Thursday, October 11, 2007

Skiles, Noah Shoot Down The Latest Tyrus Thomas Fabrications

Who knew TNT's 'drama' ads would be so influential on the reporters Tyrus Thomas doesn't massage, pat on the back, coddle, take out to the movies, get hookers with, etc., etc., etc. (Surely this is the first time a blogger has made a reference to both basketball and TNT's long running ad campaign.) I won't link to all the Ty Thomas is not good cuz he's lazy stories, not because I fear the Ballhype implications, it's that they're days old, and I'm lazy.

Joakim Noah on Thomas in John Jackson's column:
''We're definitely working hard in practice,'' Noah said. ''He's a competitor, I'm a competitor. We're working hard fighting for minutes, but at the same time I think we realize we can make each other better and it's all about winning. I'm really happy that a guy with his athleticism, his ability, is on my team.''
Scott Skiles in Mike 'The Omega Man of Reason' McGraw's column:
Skiles also downplayed the notion that Noah is in a battle with Tyrus Thomas to start at power forward. The two players basically represent the Bulls' front court of the future and may play together, or Skiles could opt to use veteran Joe Smith at the position.

"I wouldn't read a lot into who starts on opening night anyway at that spot," Skiles said. "I don't think it makes that much difference.

"Each guy does a little something different, so we've got to be a little more concerned about which guy or guys can come off the bench and maybe fit better with (Andres) Nocioni and (Chris) Duhon and Thabo (Sefolosha). So we're trying to balance both lineups out there."

At least no one makes sweeping generalizations about the work ethic of NBA players anymore.

I'm all for criticizing players (take them down a peg to my level!), but the vague criticism of Thomas seems to be a non-story fit for the preseason. Noah doesn't need to be pumped up on the corpse of Tyrus Thomas' reputation either. Fans have learned an important lesson: never be rude to anyone who needs a word count, and meets a deadline.


Blogger Jack Cobra said...

You forgot this part from Skiles:

''He and I spent a fair amount of time looking at his scrimmage,'' Skiles said of the video review from the session Sunday at the United Center. ''Basically, he made a couple of explosive plays, and the rest of the time he just stood around flat-footed, and looked out of gas. He knows staying focused every possession, staying in the plays, that's still a part of his game he needs a lot of work on. So it's an important exhibition season for him.''

I'd say coming into camp in such great shape that you are 'out of gas' is very Eddy Curry-esque,CST-SPT-bull10.article

11:15 AM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

I was cherry-picking myself, but the problem lies with Sam Smith, and a few others who have been riding the Joakim Noah bandwagon over Tyrus Thomas then backing over him again. Skiles has voiced concern over Thomas' offseason as much as he's praised Thomas for his talent and improvement.

Sam grabbed the mention of work ethic, praised Noah, then used it to bash Thomas. It's tough to believe the incredibly vague accounts of Tyrus-is-lazy, and even tougher when accounting for the mutual animosity between Thomas and the local media. The added clarity from today's various beat articles makes all of the previous crap seem like an attempt to inject some melodrama into the starting power forward gig competition. The outright rooting for the outgoing, polite kid shouldn't be veiled as basketball analysis.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Jack Cobra said...

I think that if Thomas would have beat Gordon and Deng into the gym a few times during the Summer then this wouldn't be an issue.

The major questions that surround Thomas are his ability to know the sets (offensively and defensively) and his ability to be consistent. He should be able to take care of that himself if he works at it.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

Must have been a tough commute between Europe and Deerfield for Deng.

Like I said, I'm all for criticizing a player for not doing the work. It's the building up one quotable player by tearing down another who isn't nice that bothers me. I'd like the facts, not the bias.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Jack Cobra said...

the facts are there...and deng was at the berto center before heading to florida for his Team England training and then over to Europe. Really think I'd make that up? It's out there.

The fact is that Thomas isn't putting in the work and he's trying to rely on his athleticism to play in the NBA.

If he doesn't do something this season, he'll be gone.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

Pax sez both were there. I never intimated you were making anything up, Deng was just overseas for a good chunk of the summer. Doesn't make much sense to compare their alarm settings. A 4th year player is bound to know how to prepare better than one in his first offseason as well.

If you haven't noticed, the facts (according to the Bulls) seem to indicate that Thomas had an adequate to below satisfactory offseason, and the opinions make it seem like he did nothing. Or how you put it, "he'll be gone."

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

That's how I look at it. Tyrus likely worked and thinks he worked hard, but there's a difference between what he thinks is working hard and what the organization thinks is working hard.

We also know that Noah did nothing in the offseason (due to his shoulder), so it makes it even more strange that a subpar summer for Tyrus has been blown up into a competition between him and Noah.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Coach Skiles said...

The Bulls are a stickler for players practicing at the Berto center. Many, many players who have reps as hard workers don't practice at their teams facilities during the offseason. And I seem to remember much praise for Ty
before and during last season about how hard he worked. Specifically I remember Skiles saying how Ty was just plain a nice kid. I'd look up this up on the Trib archive, but I'll use the ever popular blog excuse for laziness - I'm on deadline.

Did Ty likely slack a little bit this offseason? Sure, but let's not make a mountain out of a 21- year -old kid chillin' a bit during
the summer. Jesus, it's not like he
ate his way across the South Side a la Sweetney.

5:07 PM  
Blogger BenGo07 said...

Agreed with Hot Shit. This is a total non-story that's getting print because a) it's a weird time during training camp when there's simply not that much to report on, but the very fact that the Bulls are in training camp means that beat reporters have to write and report on SOMETHING; and b) Sam Smith has an absolutely bizarre animus toward the NBA's hip hop culture in general and Tyrus in particular.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to really understand what gives coaches pause about Tyrus, next game you watch try this. Pay attention to how many times Tyrus actually touches the ball on Offense vs. turnovers generated. Compare that to say, Noah, who touches the ball alot when he is in, and generates similar total turnovers to Tyrus, despite Tyrus' low total touches. Also notice that Tyrus really isn't playing PF when he is on the floor, but more like a SF that can't shoot. He faces up, and slashes, and tries to get open outside, and hopes someone throws him the ball. He doesn't box out, and if he does get the ball, and doesn't immediately shoot a jumper, he slashes. All SF stuff. I personally think thats part of the reason they are thinking of moving Deng over to SG more. Put in lineups with Noah-Wallace-Tyrus in front, and Deng and Hienrich in back. Against teams with bigger guards thats a great hustle lineup, and gives Tyrus room to grow. Substitute Joe Smith for Tyrus for a more controlled offense. Noah/Deng/Nocioni front will be very fun for high octane swing it around for jumpers, Deng slashing, Noah swinging the ball and cleaning up.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I think Tyrus stole Sam Smith's lunch money and Sam swore he'd never ever forget. Maybe it wasnt lunch money, maybe it was his girl... but the sentiment is the same.

10:34 AM  
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is it me or doe's Scott Skiles look a lot like Chris Benoit the wrestler...

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