Now that the Chicago Bulls are now in the offseason, I have noticed that there are two things that the Chicago Bulls are very passionate about lately here at Pippen Ain’t Easy. One, being anyone that has anything negative to say about Tom Thibodeau and his coaching job during this past playoff season. Two, anything that has anything to do with Carmelo Anthony leaving New York and coming to Chicago. Pippen Ain’t Easy has gone in-depth on what could happen IF Carmelo Anthony decides to come. Again, this is not an article that is saying Carmelo Anthony will don a #15 jersey next year. We’re breaking down what might happen if he comes. Let’s get started by reviewing what got us to this point.
The first part of this report broke down what Carmelo did to get out of Denver after seven years. The article went over how Denver wanted to sign Carmelo to an extension (like New York wants to now.) It goes over how non committal he was and how rumors were being leaked out about where his next destination was going to be almost on a daily basis (kind like what is going on now.) Then finally he muscled himself into a situation that he wanted all along.
The second part to this series went into what the Chicago Bulls had to do to clear cap space to fit in Carmelo’s salary. The piece broke down what the New York Knicks did (unnecessarily and foolishly) to get Carmelo Anthony in town. There were comments so let me answer those now.
1) Agreed the Chicago Bulls cannot be that ridiculous to get rid of an entire squad of up and comers to bring in one player, no matter how talented that player may be. Lucky for you Pippen Peoples Jerry Reinsdorf is the owner and not James Dolan.
2) Under no circumstances Jimmy Butler should be traded. If Tom Thibodeau stops playing the guy 40 minutes a night maybe he won’t be worn out by the playoffs. Do the Bulls need a playmaker? Sure. Will it be Derrick Rose? Not if you’re waiting on the guy from a couple of years ago. But Jimmy Butler shouldn’t be traded. No way.
The third part to this series covered the aftermath of the Knicks squad after the young guns left and what he was left to play with. As we all know, the Knicks stunk up the Eastern Conference. The piece took a look at what Carmelo could dealing with possibly with a depleted roster. Now let’s go into coaches.
Let’s get this out-of-the-way, Mike Woodson has no offensive system outside of rolling the ball to Melo and winging it. That’s what got him fired in Atlanta doing the same thing just insert Joe Johnson who’s now in Brooklyn. Now outside of having the coolest goatee in New York, he was totally useless. He actually didn’t coach until the Zen Master came to town. Carmelo stood by him until the end (anyone see a red flag here?) and now that Woodson’s gone he now has to figure out if he’s going to play for Steve Kerr.
In my opinion, Carmelo Anthony became a superstar while being coached by George Karl his first seven years in the NBA. I feel that Karl was the only coach that actually pushed Carmelo past his limits. Coming out of Syracuse, he was just a scorer…an inefficient one. Carmelo at the beginning of his career took too many jump shots. He lived on a steady diets of long difficult two point shots and threes. George Karl created a “10-10-10 Rule”.
What this means that if Carmelo Anthony shoots ten shots in the paint (also read… post somebody up) and get ten free throws, then he can take ten jump shots. Look nobody in the world has all of the tools of Carmelo Anthony. What this guy can do to put the ball in the hole is exactly what the Chicago Bulls need. However, Carmelo fought George Karl every step of the way. George Karl wanted to Carmelo to use all of his talents. He is a nightmare matchup for small forwards and especially power forwards. When Melo used the 10-10-10 rule he was killing people all over the NBA. If he was matched against a small forward, he would just back them in the post and score over them. If he played a bigger player, he would use his quickness to get past them or shoot over them. George Karl made him a more efficient player but more importantly a better player. All of this came to fruition in 2009 when the Denver Nuggets went to the Western Conference Finals.
Since Carmelo Anthony left Denver to come to New York well let’s say that the quality of coaching diminished slightly. Oh what I am I saying, it feel off the cliff. When he got to New York he was coached by Mike D’Antoni who would tell you that Steve Nash is the MVP and he’s still the coach of the Phoenix Suns with that same seven seconds or less offense that he has tried to pan off on NBA teams. When he resigned in New York it was the same reason he resigned in L.A. He couldn’t coach the players that he had into that offensive system he ran. Then he’d go looking for extension and take his ball and go home when he didn’t get it. Carmelo never got along with him. It was widely rumored that Anthony got him fired. If he did, he knew what he was doing based on the job D’Antoni did this past year with the Lakers.
Mike Woodson was a stop-gap who just was in the right place at the right time. Question for you Pippen Peoples, Do you know that guy coaching the Brooklyn Nets right now, Jason Kidd? Well he along with Rasheed Wallace, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas provided leadership in locker room that helped the Knicks to an Atlantic Division title. That means Woodson did not have to do much but keep up his goatee maintenance. When they left well, Woodson did too…a year later.
I’m not the biggest fan of Tom Thibodeau these days. He is a coach without an offensive system. Kind of like Mike Woodson. Has anyone thought of how the offense is going to run with Carmelo Anthony who is a notorious ball stopper and Derrick Rose who is a shoot first point guard? Can it be done? Sure, George Karl figured out a plan when Carmelo played a couple of seasons with Allen Iverson. But that was years ago. Since then, Carmelo has gotten very used to being the number one option. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Derrick Rose likes being the number one option too.
Let’s forget the offensive side of the ball for a second. Let’s talk about defense. Now understand everyone went nuts about Carlos Boozer and his lack of defensive acumen. This just in to Pippen Ain’t Easy, you are all exactly right. Do you think Carmelo is the greatest defensive player in the world? If you do, you’ll believe that statue in front of the United Center is me in a Jordan throwback jersey. While Carmelo has been in New York he has not been challenged to play defense on a consistent basis. Raise your hand if you’ve seen Melo play defense like say…LeBron James for four games straight. I’ll wait.
Lastly, Tom Thibodeau is a demanding coach. How do you think Carmelo is going to deal with those long marathon practice sessions? All that yelling and screaming? All that preaching on defense? Carmelo Anthony hasn’t been coached for years. Not since George Karl. The question for you now Pippen Peoples is, what makes you think he’s ready now?
The next discussion is sparked by one of the Pippen Peoples. Can Carmelo co-exist with Derrick Rose? Furthermore, does Derrick Rose even want to?