Happy St. Patrick’s Day Pippen Peoples! Wear your green or get pinched. The Bulls probably break out their green uniforms on Monday when the soon to be MVP Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook come to Chicago and play at 8:00. The Thunder is not going to be in a good mood either after getting beat by the Dallas Mavericks 109-86. The Thunder rested Westbrook, not taking chances over working that surgically repaired knee. So Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler and DJ Augustin I have a message for you. Eat your Wheaties and get some rest, you are going to need it. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I must pass along what I learned in the Bulls victory over the Sacramento Kings. Let’s get started.
1) Joakim Noah is the blueprint of what a leader should be.
I love this dude. Obviously the Bulls fans do too. They keep on letting him know by chanting MVP after every good play he makes. Noah has been on record saying that he does not like the chants because it takes away from the accomplishments of the team. What a guy! Joakim Noah is on the way to superstardom and he still won’t get the big head. Well Joakim you can’t have everything. Anyone that can put up numbers of 23 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, five blocks and three steals plus run the offense at the high post, this is the reaction that players usually get. If a player has 33 double-doubles and counting for the year while anchoring a top five defense, MVP talk usually has their name in the conversation. Hey Joakim, take some advice, enjoy the ride. You deserve it. It feels good to see someone who works hard getting the recognition that he deserves. Entitlement drives me crazy and watching you play inspires me and it inspires the people all around you. Trust me.
2) Jimmy Butler has fallen back into some old bad habits.
I will preface this by saying Jimmy Butler is my favorite player on the Bulls. He has that smooth old school game that is just so cool to me. I can’t explain it. That’s why Saturday’s game drove me insane. He was terrible. Butler only scored five points on 1-11 shooting. Here’s what’s troubling, he missed all four of his three-point shots. If you are a fan of Pippen Aint Easy (first off, thank you for the support) you know I have ranted about Butler to stop shooting three-point shots. One of the threes he took he missed to the left and it was short be about five feet. Look if you think I’m being tough…SO! Look at the numbers if you don’t believe me. Butler shoots less than 40% for the season. I’ll keep right on saying as long as the good Lord allows me to write…If you are a player that shoots less than 40%, YOU CAN”T SHOOT! Now his percentages rank 10th on the Bulls, 58th in the division,176th in the conference and 369th in the league. Now if these are your rankings (provided by CNNSI.com) why in the world are you shooting threes? Stop it! When Jimmy Butler plays on the perimeter that means he is not aggressive. When he’s not aggressive, he plays out of rhythm that leads to missed lay-ups like the one he had in the 3rd quarter. With Butler chasing after the other team’s best player, that has to wear him out so it’s a good idea to stop hoisting up 25 footers.
3) If DeMarcus Cousins can control his attitude he could be as dominant as Shaq! I say this because if Joakim Noah is the blueprint of what a leader should be…Cousins is a cautionary tale of what not to do as a leader.
Hopefully this article gets to Shaquille O’Neal who is part owner of the Sacramento Kings. If O’Neal actually took Cousins under his wing and showed all of the experiences that he had in the NBA which includes what he learned from the Zen Master Phil Jackson, DeMarcus would be illegal. But here’s the caveat, IF DeMarcus listened to him. If you watched the game Saturday night, try to remember the looks on DeMarcus Cousins face. He looks like he is mad at the entire world. It was almost sad. He put a stat line of 25 points 14 rebounds two assists and four steals. Now that line is comparable with Noah’s stat line for the night. Here’s the difference, Cousins looked like he had HALF of the passion of Noah. Noah does what he does on passion and hard work. Cousins has all of the talent in the world which gets lost with his bad attitude. It cost him the All-Star game this year. If this keeps up, what next?
Those are my three…Learn from this!!!
The Bulls have a total defense ranking of 3rd in the NBA. That ranking is up from 4th when they got run out of the United Center by the San Antonio Spurs! Think they’ll keep it after the game against the Thunder? Let’s hope so.