Don’t Go All Goo-Goo Over Gordon

Here they come. I knew it was only a matter of time. It’s the fawning over Ben Gordon and the calls for the Bulls to re-sign him. Leading off: K.C. Johnson from the Trib with a nice strawman. And you can just go to the last line of the column to see that:

“Go ahead: Dig into his deficiencies. But never forget the old adage that the best defense is scoring more than the other team.”

How’d that get past the editor? See, no matter how many points Gordon scores, his failure to do absolutely anything on the defensive end of the floor means the other team will almost always score more than the Bulls.

Another part of this strawman is to write something like this after Gordon has a monster game against one of the worst defensive teams I’ve seen all year. Prior to that game against the Bucks, Gordon had four bad to mediocre games playing such stalwarts like Charlotte, Golden State and Washington. In those games Gordon shot 37% and just 18% from behind the arc. He averaged just 14 points in those games.

I like Ben Gordon. But for the Bulls, the easiest place–and perhaps most important place on the floor to get better defensively is at shooting guard. If they don’t get better defensively you can forget about any near-future championship banners at the UC. Johnson also writes:

“Fans either send long, purging missives wailing on and on about Gordon’s defensive deficiencies, poor decision-making and 6-foot-3-inch stature. Or fans see what plenty of others see: an incredibly rare scoring talent who can post points in bizarre bursts and hit shots that should come with degrees of difficulty attached.”

I see all that and I enjoy it. I just choose not to look away from the whole picture. If the Bulls want to sign Gordon to a long-term deal, here’s hoping it would be as a 6th man type. If it’s to be a starter that logs major minutes, enjoy watching those bizarre bursts. Because that’s about all you’ll get. The rings will go to other teams in the East.

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