Well Pippen Peoples, I have a confession to make. I just fell in love with my job here at Pippen Ain’t Easy after my last article recapping that train wreck that was that loss to the Portland TrailBlazers. As we all would like to forget, the Chicago Bulls came out as lifeless as the Philadelphia 76ers winning streak before Saturday night losing 91-74. Last night I read a comment from one of the Pippen Peoples (who shall remain nameless) basically blasting me for calling Carlos Boozer the best player on the floor that night while constantly missing rotations on defense. I replied this way. I’m basically paraphrasing here…Carlos Boozer led the Bulls in scoring AND rebounding, why are we so upset over his defense? Why can’t we be upset that Kirk Hinrich can’t throw the ball in Lake Michigan? Why can’t we be upset that the Bulls can’t be consistent scoring team every night? More importantly I need to stress this to Bulls fans out there. I don’t care HOW GOOD the defense is, you have to put the ball in the basket more than once in between commercial breaks! The Bulls rank fourth in the NBA in defense. They are DEAD LAST in scoring. Let’s put this in perspective.
The Philadelphia 76ers who just came off a 26 game losing streak scores more than the Chicago Bulls.
The Milwaukee Bucks who stink like a bad beer brewery, scores more than the Chicago Bulls.
The Los Angeles Lakers who granted can’t stop traffic with a stop sign, red light or a cop, scores more than the Chicago Bulls.
Here’s the point. Whoever scores the most points in this sport wins. Which is the perfect Segway into Sunday night’s game against the Boston Celtics. The Bulls scored MORE than the Celtics winning 107-102 in Boston. With the win the Bulls now have a .500 record on the road and more importantly keep pace with the Toronto Raptors who won Sunday as well. The Bulls also keep for now some distance from the Brooklyn Nets who also won. Here’s what I learned in this game.
1) The Bulls management team had better figure out a dollar amount to keep DJ Augustin if they want to keep him.
Let me give out a few names to you…Nate Robinson, Marco Bellinelli, CJ Watson. These are guards that came off the bench to provide scoring for the Bulls in past seasons. Notice I said the word past. Nate Robinson left to sign with the Denver Nuggets. Marco Bellinelli is enjoying his time playing for a title contender in San Antonio. CJ Watson is now playing for the top seeded (for now) Indiana Pacers. Now DJ Augustin has carried on the tradition this year. I think he is actually doing better than his predecessors. Augustin went for a career high 33 points of the bench to lead the Bulls to the win. That seems cliché but in this case it applies because he scored 15 points in the 4th quarter. Here’s why the Bulls might want to sign this guy. In the last two minutes when the game was tied at 96-96, Augustin knocks down a three, steals an inbounds pass and hits six free throws to ice it. This just in to Pippen Ain’t Easy…that’s good basketball.
2) The Bulls NEED to get to the line…then hit the foul shots.
The Bulls were outrebounded in this game. They let a struggling Celtics team that had lost nine of ten hang around too long. The reason the Bulls won this game outside of Augustin going bananas was that they were absolutely outstanding from the free throw line. The Bulls were 25-31 from the line. What does this number mean? If a team goes to the line 31 times, that means that they are aggressive. Augustin went to the line ten times and hit them all. Joakim Noah who is a fantasy player’s dream scoring 13 points grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out an absurd 13 assists, went to the line ten times hitting seven. Let’s compare the number of times they went to the line vs. Portland…16 times hitting 11. For a team that’s DEAD LAST in the NBA in scoring, they need to exercise all options available to score. Just sayin.
3) Hate him or love him…The Chicago Bulls NEED CARLOS BOOZER to get out of the first round of the NBA playoffs.
You can send as many comments as you want (especially that special someone), but I don’t care. Carlos can’t guard a warm cup of milk if President Obama let Boozer borrow the Secret Service. He’ll spend 3/4 of the season shooting 17 footers. He yells and screams and provides all the fake hustle that the Bulls fans can stand. He whines twice a week about not playing in the 4th quarter. I could keep going but you heard me say this before. All of this does not matter. The Bulls need this guy engaged to get out of the first round of the playoffs. For all of his faults (and he has a ton) he does offer something that the Bulls desperately need considering that they are DEAD LAST in the NBA in scoring. The man can score points. The Bulls have figured out how to be a good defensive team in SPITE of Boozer, why can’t they figure out a way to get this guy in rhythm on the offensive end? Against Portland he was the one of the only ones that had a pulse on the offensive end. He followed that up with 14 points on 7-10 shooting against the Celtics. Now before you comment, remember this…the team who scores the MOST points win the game. This tends to be a little more important in the playoffs where rumor has it the Bulls have to play better teams. Like better than the Boston Celtics
Here’s my three things now learn from this!
17 points. That’s how many points Jimmer Fredette has scored in a Chicago Bulls uniform. You’d better pray DJ Augustin stays hot.