I’m going to start this article with a Surgeon General’s warning. If you are a Chicago Bulls fan that does not like the truth or are overly sensitive to criticism to your team. Please leave now and read Ashley Wijangco’s recap on the game on Pippen Ain’t Easy, the best choice for Bulls news previews and reviews. As always it is an informative and great read. Now with that out-of-the-way, let’s get down to business. The Chicago Bulls lost a golden opportunity to gain the number three seed by losing to the Charlotte Bobcats in overtime 91-86. I’m going to quote Dennis Green the former NFL coach for a few teams in describing the Bulls…”THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE…AND WE LET THEM OFF THE HOOK!” (To understand this point just go to YouTube.) The Chicago Bulls were exactly who as the Editor of Pippen Ain’t thought they were. They performed exactly like their rank. They held the Bobcats under their season average for points which ranks them third in the league. Here’s the problem I have had with the Bulls for the last few weeks. They scored exactly to the level they are ranked…LAST! Well the playoffs are here. New season, new format. Here’s three lessons the Bulls had better learn by the weekend.
1) Tom Thibodeau’s rotation patterns are WACK!
I must be missing something here. Isn’t the common goal in a basketball game supposed to be scoring points? Okay, I’m going to assume we are all in agreement there. I’m under the assumption that one of the coach’s job responsibilities is putting a team on the floor that can play on both sides of the court. I think Tom Thibodeau is so caught up in keeping his defensive coach reputation that it is going to cost the Bulls in the postseason. This game was lost not in overtime but in the second quarter. After watching Carlos Boozer go off for eight first quarter points to help the Bulls get a lead going into the second quarter. Thibodeau tells Boozer to go warm a seat on the bench for the entire second quarter. Well while Boozer’s seat gets warm, so does the Bobcats. They end the quarter on a 20-6 run. The Bobcats hit 11 of the their last 12 shots. They make Cody Zeller look like Tom Chambers letting him fly in and dunk on their collective heads. During this run, I’m wondering why doesn’t Thibodeau put Boozer back in? But not Coach Thibodeau. He’s got to stick to the plan. Boozer plays first and third quarters…no matter what. Oh, but he can put Nazr Mohammed in. Do you want to look at his stat line? Let’s…
In six minutes, Nazr Mohammed scored two points on 1-3 shooting and two rebounds. Really????
Oh it gets better, instead of putting in Carlos Boozer to stem the tide while the Bobcats went on their run Tom Thibodeau had the bright idea to bring someone else of the bench. How about Jimmer Fredette? You know, the guy who scored 17 points in the win vs. Orlando the other night. No not him, let’s go with the rookie Tony Snell, who hasn’t got any consistent minutes in the month of April. Going totally against his reputation of trusting rookies. Do you wanna look at Snell’s stat line? We here at Pippen Ain’t Easy want to warn readers that we are about to tell you is disturbing to people who like to watch people who can play basketball…
In three minutes, Tony Snell took a shot. That’s all. Back to you Ronald.
That is a total waste of nine minutes that could have been given to a guy that was in an offensive rhythm. The offense hit a snag when he sat down. Coincidence? To all the people out there that has dogged this guy for not playing defense, I’ll say it again. The Charlotte Bobcats hit 11 out of 12 shots for a stretch in the second quarter. Carlos Boozer was on the bench while all of this was happening. Who’s the blame now? Plus the Bulls scored a robust 18 points in the quarter. Think this is going to fly this weekend?
2) Taj Gibson looked tired. For whatever reason he didn’t have it last night.
This is not an indictment against Taj Gibson. Believe me when I say this. Anyone who leads the entire NBA in 4th quarter minutes playing the defense this guy has to play will wear out anyone. But against the Bobcats, he was terrible. In 34 minutes he scored four points on 2-10 shooting. He grabbed only five rebounds and turned the ball over six times. I will place responsibility on Thibodeau for this because Gibson was totally out of sync in this game and you know what? It happens sometimes in a 82 game season. He picked a bad time to have an off night but he needs to put it behind him and get ready for the post season because the Bulls desperately needs him to be fresh and effective. But you know he could have put in…Oh forget it!
3) My God! The Bulls offense is so predictable. If you pay attention you can predict the play at home.
The psychic Cleo is rolling over in her grave as I talk about this Bulls offense. You really don’t need to call her for a tarot card reading on the Bulls next offensive play call. We already know.
1) The guard will bring the ball up.
2) Pass the ball to Joakim Noah.
3) Do a combination of a weave.
4) If Boozer is in the game he’ll set the pick.
5) Noah reads the defense.
6) If he can’t find a cutter through the lane, he’ll either shoot the jumper or drive to his left and try to bank a layup with his left hand.
Now if I can get all that down in one article. What in the World B. Free do you think the Wizards are going to do? I heard they have this invention called video. I heard they have machines that rewind and fast forward. I assume that the Washington Wizards have this equipment in-house. Don’t you think that maybe they will come up with a scheme to combat this offense? Just sayin.
This is just the beginning of complete coverage of the Bulls playoff run. For all the opinions of the staff and the fellow Pippen Peoples, log on to Pippen Ain’t Easy for the best analysis of the Bulls next season going forward. We value the comments! Get on Facebook Pippen Ain’t Easy and leave them for us. We do use them for ideas and inspiration. Join in on the fun! Join in on the action!