Sunday, November 04, 2007

Where Is That Tree Coaches Grow On?

It's not easy to figure out when a relatively good coach is doing a bad job, but I'm having a hard time blaming the Bulls' 0-3 start on cold shooting, Ben Wallace's ankle, and bad calls. Easy and obvious excuses like that have been used by fans after many a Bulls loss, but I suspect poor coaching is the cause.

The Bulls have pulled out of slow to terrible starts before, and it's not because Skiles has come up with a new offense and defense every December. The players eventually start playing well. All the talk of offseason preparation has been a carryover from the days when Eddy Curry couldn't get in shape. It was important then, but now? Whatever the players reportedly are or aren't doing in the offseason has meant jackshit. I realize that conditioning isn't something that pays off for a player in November, but Deerfield parking sticker gossip is officially dead and buried.

The offense is as deliberate and predictable as Othella Harrington in the post. The only player who can succeed in isolation is Ben Gordon, and that ability came in the box. The set plays and the drive and kick offense have to be burned into the memory of opposing coaching staffs and players by now. Why are Deng and Hinrich without any one on one skills? Strategy can only take a team so far, and it's obvious Skiles' answer to every woe is substituting a player who will (in theory) play within the system better. Too bad the system has failed the team when teaching pump fakes could have made the offense more dynamic, and less dependent on open jump shots.


Blogger BenGo07 said...

I gotta disagree. Skiles' offense got them plenty of open looks the last two games, in particular against Milwaukee. Hinrich shooting 3 of 12 (a lot of them wide open) is his fault, not Skiles'. Same with Noce shooting 6 of 15.

We're 0-3, which sucks, but I'm not wiling to throw anybody under the bus just yet.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

It's not about open looks. Missing open shots is very bad no matter what the situation is. The Bulls can't draw fouls, or take advantage of crappy defenders. That's on the coaching staff, and that helps quite a bit when the shots aren't falling.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

a little more clarity:

The Bulls didn't/couldn't isolate Deng or Hinrich against Milwaukee's arsenal of garbage defenders.

There's an area of player development that's gone overlooked in favor of commitment to a system that's inefficient even at its best. That sucks.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone was expecting the kind of start the Bulls are on right now. But maybe that's b/c of the whole Kobe fiasco of last week. Deng is going to be on nike's bball site this Wednesday ansering questions live and should be cool to see if anyone asks him questions about the start to the season

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

this doesn't jive with your usual stance of the coach having minimal impact. Perhaps Deng and Hinrich just aren't athletic enough to create their own opportunities. Not that I like that explanation better, and I do always cringe at mention of 'the system' at expense of letting your best players work things out.

As far as isolations, the constant lack of proper lineups could translate into also not realizing mismatches with the opposing squad. Heck, even Flip Saunders handles that part pretty well.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

another slow start convinced me November contains the conditions needed for a perfect storm of player rust and the shortcomings of Skiles-Ball.

Athleticism is a big factor in one on one play, but plenty of NBA slugs managed to develop a decent scoring move or two. The Shimmy comes to mind, and I already mentioned the Big O. Just some foul drawing tricks would be nice to see. Gordon tries, but ends up on the floor most of the time. It doesn't look like the coaching staff has any guidance to offer on the matter.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Hot Shit College Student said...

and the 'system' explanation does kinda suck, but it's tough to articulate reactionary thoughts. The constant lineup tweaking is worse than +/- suggests if Skiles really is clueless when it comes to teaching players one on one skills.

10:03 PM  

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