Thursday, January 11, 2007

"Mellow Swag" But Still Enough

Picking up on Big Sweet's point about the 3rd quarter dominance of the Bulls of yore, last night was an object lesson in how not to come out of the half. It was a very, very frustrating loss. We managed to limit Agent Zero Weirdo to 20 points on 5-16 shooting (a performance that qualified, in his words "mellow swag.") And Kirk finally busted out of what had started to look like a season-long slump with an impressive 33 points on 6-12 shooting from behind the arc. But once again, we couldn't play through the whole game and come away with a win. A few observations. When teams d-up on the Bulls, it can suddenyl seem like the team has no offensive focal point. That's obviously due to the lack of star scoring, but if Ben Gordon isn't hitting his shot, or is turning the ball over, it can get downright scary out there. This is going to be a big problem in the playoffs and I'm flummoxed as to how to solve it, unless Gordon becomes a lot more consistent or Hinrich takes it to the next level (something I thought he had the ability to do at the beginning of the season, but I'm no longer so sure.) Also, every time the Bulls lose, I always feel like their problems are offensive in nature: not getting quality shots, shooting too many jumpers, and not hitting easy baskets. But in the games like last night and the loss to the Suns, they ended up scoring a perfectly good amount of points, but gave up a lot of easy baskets off turnovers and long misses: last night they turned the ball over 20 times. The team's half-court defense is very, very good, but their offensive dysfunctions are creating opportunities for easy scores that are just killing them by allowing teams to go on the kinds of runs the Wizards went on to start the second half last night.

5 Comments:

Blogger Big Sweet said...

Good point, Noce. I agree with you entirely on the turnovers and long rebounds. I didn't see the game last night, but I've noticed the long rebounding problem before. Wallace corrals a decent amount of balls around the hoop, but when we settle for long jumpers, as we so often do, our small guards don't have much chance of chasing anything down.

As for how to fix it, I think that the Bulls need to play within themselves. When they succeed, they make the extra pass, are secure with the ball, and get back in transistion. The way their offense works, I don't know if one player necessarily needs to step up on their own -- although, that would make things easier. But they need to play solid team basketball, in control, and find the players with the hot hand.

I do get to watch the game tonight on TNT, so let's see if Skiles got on them for their 19 TO's.

5:43 PM  
Blogger BenGo07 said...

Noce,

We don't have a lot of rules on this blog, but one that is hard and fast is that he is called Agent Weirdo.

That is all.

12:28 AM  
Blogger BenGo07 said...

PS

I only watched the first half last night, and admittedly, they looked like shit offensively. But they ended up with 103 points. It seems to me the problem last night was that they gave up 113. You can be getting quality shots, hitting jumpers and scoring easy baskets; and you're still not going to beat a lot of teams if you give up 113.

12:32 AM  
Blogger BenGo07 said...

Never mind. I'm drunk and didn't read your whole post.

PS Memphis sucks. Not the Grizz (although that's true too), but the town itself. (That's another mystery; how does this town have an NBA team? It astonishes me.) There's a real palpable sense of desperation here. I imagine it was a great town once, but now all its frivolity seems feigned, forced.

Joyce once wrote about Rome that it reminded him of "a man who makes his living by exhibiting to travelers his grandmother's corpse." Memphis is much the same, although it's more like a young, Dickensian street urchin who makes his way by exhibiting to travelers the corpse of his mother who died after giving birth to him.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Big Sweet said...

I couldn't have woken up to anything more eloquent.

8:53 AM  

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