Preview & Chat: The Chicago Bulls

Kurt —  November 18, 2008

Records: Lakers 7-1Bulls 5-5
Offensive ratings: Lakers 109 Bulls 103.5
Defensive ratings: Lakers 93.9 Bulls 102.1
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Vladimir Radmanovic, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Bulls Derrick Rose, Ben Gordon, Loul Deng, Drew Gooden, Joakim Noah

Lakers notes: After beating up the Lakers offense in a couple of posts around here, maybe we should talk a little bit about the positives.

First, the Lakers crash the offensive boards hard. They are grabbing 31.5% of their missed shots, which with their length means a lot of putback dunks and easy baskets. Along those same lines, the Lakers have been one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the league (opponents grab just 24.4% of their misses).

Pushing the pace also has been good for the Lakers — they are getting 43% of their offense in the first 10 seconds of the shot clock, and they are shooting a very good 57.7% (eFG%) on those shots. That despite those horrible pull up jumpers from Fisher.

The Bulls Coming In: The Bulls enter Staples Center with one of the best backcourts in the league — and that starts with rookie Derrick Rose. If you haven’t seen him play yet this season, you are in for a treat. Watching him to start the season reminds me of CP3 a couple years ago in the sense that you watched him and thought “damn, he is going to be very good.”

Matt from the brilliant godfather of hoops blogs Blog-a-Bull passed along these thoughts:

It’s been a real pleasure watching Rose so far this season. There was a worry that he’d take time to develop in comparison to Beasley and other rookies, but he’s already arguably the best player on the roster.

And the Bulls are not shy in relying on him, he’s 2nd on the team in usage rate (behind only gunnin’ Ben Gordon) and leads the team in minutes with 38 per game…and it’s been over 40 minutes in the week since Kirk Hinrich got injured.

He’s been surprisingly aggressive with his shot: it seems that teams are daring him to not pass, and his jumper looks better than advertised (including a somewhat respectable 35% on 3-pointers). But what really makes him special is the way he can get to the rim. His athleticism for his position is unmatched in the whole league. He’s tremendously quick, and has great strength and body control for a PG, to where getting hit around the rim doesn’t seriously alter his shot. And his touch when attempting layups is phenomenal.

While Rose and Gordon are starting to mesh well, the front line is struggling to adjust to the new game, and that is what is really hurting the Bulls. Matt explains:

Luol Deng is coming around but his game is not a stand/shoot one, so it takes some time to incorporate his off-ball slashing ability in with Rose. By contrast, Andres Nocioni has had some great games realizing that all he needs to do is find the 3-point line and wait for Rose to give it to him.

The truly bad news thus far has been the disappointing young frontcourt of Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah. They’ve been reduced to spectator status outside of the lane, which is giving them little chance to be effective. And to make matters worse they’re not producing in the other aspects of the game enough to keep them on the floor…rebounding and forcing turnovers and then running the court so Rose can find them.

Keys To The Game: First things first, this should be an up and down game, with two athletic teams that want to get out and run (fifth and sixth in the league in pace this young season). In these instances, the team that plays the best transition defense gets the upper hand.

The Lakers, however, may want to slow it down a little. The Bulls with Noah/Gordon/Thomas along the front line are struggling to defend the paint — opposing fours are averaging 21 and 10 while shooting 51% (per 48 minutes), opposing centers are averaging 20 and 16. The Lakers have great production and rebounding out of their bigs, they need to get the offense going tonight by working the ball inside out.

The Lakers need to get back to what they were doing well defensively to start the year — with crisp traps and rotations in the half court. This perimeter-based Bulls team, as great as Rose may be some day, plays right into the Lakers plans. If they can push Rose, he is going to make a few great plays but a few big mistakes as well. This might be a team that can be rattled by the more aggressive defense. If the Lakers remain sloppy on rotations of the bigs, Rose could have a huge night.

The Lakers, particularly the bigs, need to play the screen and roll well because they will see a lot of it with Rose and Gordon tonight.

Where you can watch: Locally watch Fox Sports in LA or listen to the guys at AM 570. Nationally, check out the NBATV broadcast.



98 responses to Preview & Chat: The Chicago Bulls

  1. I hope Kobe will be playing Rose. Rose is too big and fast, and athletic for Fish.

  2. Prime Ticket is going to have another announcer less “Courtside View” broadcast tonight.

  3. I am kind of excited to see Rose play. See if he is as good as his stats suggest.

    Wondahbap, You might see that a little bit. Gordon is not a particularly tall shooting guard (ok he is short for a SG) so I think FIsher could guard him somewhat. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Rose is having a big night and is killing Fisher and Farmar if Kobe shows him a few things.

  4. I really like this Bulls team. They have a lot of talent that I’ve been very bullish on since they entered the league (Gordon, Deng, Rose, and Noah in particular).

    However, I’ve read in some places that Del Negro has not yet found his groove as a coach and I wonder if that is lowering their ceiling….We should get a good look tonight.

    Like Kurt said, I’m really interested in seeing how we play against the perimeter oriented offense of the Bulls. I hope to see much more discipline in our wing defense, getting back to the shading and trapping that served us so well against non-Iverson teams.

  5. Darius,

    I think our bigs are going to have a field day tonight. I can’t see them matching up with us at all. If our wings stop open 3’s and penetration, it could get very ugly. Unless Rose just absolutely kills our PG’s, and changes the whole game. But I can’t see that happening with Ariza and kobe able to switch to him.

  6. Who’s interviewing Sasha in the 570 interviews? 1st time I’ve listened to any of them.

  7. wondahbap,
    I too see us having a major advantage inside (and as Kurt pointed out, that stats would lead us to that conclusion too). The key is going to be our patience and discipline on offense. The Bulls are going to try and push pace (Del Negro being a disciple of D’Antoni) and it’s very easy to get caught up in that pace when playing a team like that. What will be key is for us to not settle for the jumpshot in early offense and for the guards to recognize our advantage and work the ball inside. Gasol/Odom/Bynum have major advantages over Gooden/Tyrus/Nocioni/Gray and should be able to get the looks that they want, but we have to work the ball into them for us to take advantage.

  8. Darius,

    If the Bulls push the pace and we get sucked in, how many PUJIT’s do you think we might see from Fish? Haha.

  9. Perhaps we will see alot of Ariza on Rose?

  10. This Little Pinky November 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Can’t let Ben Gordon go off on one of his hot shooting streaks. I’m concerned the Lakers will give him too many open looks tonight.

  11. DR looks sensational so far. Like CP3, he’s young, athletic, and very crafty. Watch for the eurostep, and watch for the beautiful hesitation dribble.

    I appreciate Odom’s saltiness and emotion this year, and I’m expecting a good fight against Nocioni tonight.

    I think the outcome of this game comes down to two factors. How well the Lakers trap DR, and the quality of decisions DR makes in the teeth of the Laker defense.

  12. Not like I don’t watch ’em all, but tonight is one of those games you really look forward to catching. We’ll see what young Mr. Rose can do. I’m also a little concerned about Fish sticking him, so I think we’ll see a lot of Kobe and Farmar on Rose.

  13. All I have to say on Rose is that he’s been great for my fantasy team. An undrafted gem that I can easily flip for a solid vet midseason before he hits his rookie wall.

    I haven’t seen him play much yet either, just short clips here and there and a few highlights. Also missed out on march madness last year between real life and the lakers, so this will be my first good long look at his game.

  14. the other Stephen November 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    no way farmar can match up with rose..

  15. he does not need to match up with him one-on-one all he has to do is be smart and try to force him to go where the help will be. That is the key to any good team defense.

  16. Anyone have a link for the game online? doesn’t seem to be working for me right now.

  17. I’m going to worry if we drop this one.

  18. the other Stephen November 18, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    no way farmar can team match up with rose..

  19. hey guys, writing from east tennessee, family matters bring me east, so I am one of the homies looking for a link to tonights game.
    I will call the local cable company tomorrow and look into league pass.
    does anyone know how that works? ie; can I ask for just the Laker games, and get them here in TN?
    I could be here for months, and don’t want to miss too much of this season, I think this is going to be one for the books!
    go lakes…
    link please??!!??!
    thanks mates

  20. I can’t decide whether Gary Payton’s extended trashing of the All-Star Ballot on nbatv is GREAT television or TERRIBLE television.

  21. 19- if you can get nbatv where you are, they have the game tonight

  22. Gary Payton and Chris Webber are absolutely terrible on NBATV. However, I love how every Tuesday the fans decide which game they televise, lets keep voting the Lakers in!

  23. it’s pretty irritating player introductions are universally skipped on television, except for special occasions. were they put aside just to clear more room for advertisements?

  24. For those of us who do not get NBA TV (darn you AT&T U-verse) has the Lake Show.

    Time to kick back with a cold beverage.

  25. Neither nor have the stream. Any other ideas for online viewing?

  26. Gooden is torching Bynum, Gasol is torching everyone.

  27. Lakers getting killed from the outside… again. Why couldn’t Gooden shoot like that when playing with LeBron?

  28. Aaron: They do:

    Decent quality too.

    Pau going for 81 tonight?;)

  29. 27

    Don’t be fooled, Gooden has had nights like this everywhere he’s played. He just isn’t consistent.

  30. aaron,

    channelsurfing has the stream, i’m watching it right now. 10:30 EST next to GS Warrior game.

  31. Alright, thanks guys…I’m not sure why it’s not working for me…I’ll work on it.

  32. Wow, sweet pass by Kobe. Chicago has no answer for Pau down low.

  33. chris h,

    I live in the east and have League Pass. There isn’t a Laker-only (or any exclusive team) pass. It’s about $200 for the season, and you get all games plus NBATV, if your local provider doesn’t already carry it.

    You can just call the provider and order it — they activate it pretty much immediately and you should be good to go.

  34. andrew needs to get agressive and finish.

  35. terrible call by the refs.

  36. the feed is way too choppy for me 🙁

    So, judging from the box score, it looks like our defense works at the expense of our offense and vice versa.

    At any rate, can pau go for 72 at least? that’d be kinda fun if Kobe can stomach it.

  37. When’a the last time a laker dunked the ball with 2 hands?

  38. phil should run drills on dunking. that sasha miss dunk was terrible and if i remember correctly they missed a number of open dunks in past games too.

  39. I think Fisher was infected with the same allergy to rubber that Sasha has had- whenever the ball hits his hands he has to put the ball up or he gets a nasty rash on his fingers.

  40. Lovng this line-up. Too many mismatches.

  41. It looks like last years starting line up is the best at running the offense.

    Maybe, it’s drew, who should be on the bench?

    any thoughts?

  42. OK Kobe, that’s just showing off now.

    Derrick Rose is just unstoppable when he wants to get to the rim. He’s going to be a hell of a player.

  43. There’s that slash we missed against Detroit. Nice LO.

  44. The Lakers are starting to play like they’re up by 15 or something. Hopefully they build the lead back up before half-time.

  45. Yea, Pau and LO are a sight of beauty together.

  46. These refs are so whistle-happy…

  47. Do the Lakers still play the triangle? This year I wonder. The passing is so helter skelter. The ball isn’t stopping as much as it did Friday, but nobody does much cutting.

  48. woah- I didn’t even notice Ben Gordon getting 18 points. Getting into the penalty so quickly kept Chicago in the game the second quarter.

    Listening to Gary Payton and Chris Webber talk about the league makes me wonder if they watch any games or read anything about the league when they aren’t on the air. Payton’s analysis of Bynum: Be needs to step up and score more, “especially coming off the bench like that.” Huh? Their prediction for the second half: Kobe hasn’t tried yet, he’ll put the game away in the 3rd and sit out the 4th.

  49. I’m with you, other guy named Joel. And all those quick fouls within the first minute of the 2nd are what put the Bulls at the line all quarter long … free throws are what allowed Chicago to get back in the game before halftime.

  50. Could NBATV be pushing any harder for LeBron on Fan Night next Tuesday? They must not be happy that Fan Night has turned into Lakers Night. =P

  51. why does the ball stop so much, it’s really annoying?

  52. Am I the only one who starts screaming ‘NO NO NO!’ every time it looks like Fisher is about to drive to the hoop?

  53. 52

    No you aren’t…

  54. Is it me or has bynum lost his hops. His vertical leap is starting to look like shaq’s and he’s only 21 yrs old?!?!

  55. 47

    I don’t know exactly what the Lakers have been running this season but it sure as hell isn’t the triangle.

  56. It really does look like Drew doesn’t quite have all of his elevation back yet … there have been a couple of lob passes that would have been dunks last season that tonight he’s catching and bringing back down in order to gather himself before the shot (usually leading to a foul instead of a basket). I assume he’ll get that spring in his step back by mid-season.

  57. last season’s pre injury bynum would’ve made that dunk

  58. Man, Kobe’s got a killer fantasy line going. 50%, 18 points, 5 boards, 6 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks and only 1 TO.

    Zero FTs though.

  59. jd,

    anytime gordon has touched the ball a laker has been whistled. How many FTA does he have?

  60. Kobe sure got a kick out of Lamar fouling out! He looked like an audience member at Def Comedy Jam on the bench.


  62. Agree with STU, just give the ROY to Rose already.

  63. is there any chance that we can steal this rose guy from the bulls to replace kobe when he’s gone?

  64. 58- he has 8, all in the 2nd quarter I think. I’m more angry at some of the non-calls where Lakers are clearly getting hacked .

  65. did we just outscore them again? or was it the defense this time?

    I mean 100 points (and counting) is a lot, but when you see ben gordon go 6-22 I think that should say something. (larry hughes also shot 2-8, but that’s larry hughes so I wouldn’t really call it defense)

  66. I know there was a lot of fuss last year with Durant and Odem, but right now I’m convinced that Rose is and will continue to be better than both.

  67. A 14 point lead down to 6 in almost less than a minute. What happened there? D:

  68. This game frustrated me. The Lakers should have won by 30, but they just kept effing around. The Bulls shots a low percentage, and the Lakers got a lot of steals and blocks (and a lot of the offensive rebounds given up were flukey) but it still never felt like the defense wa sparticularly focused.

    If the offense is shaky because they spend a lot of time studying defense fine, but that felt like they just cruised on raw talent. And that won’t get it done a lot of nights.

  69. Another thing

    Whatever happened to Sefolosha, wasn’t he one of the supposed bright spots in the Bulls lineup?

  70. Well, it’s hard not to cruise on raw talent when you have an obvious mismatch.

    But they seemed quite careless with ‘getting to the talent’ down low. Just dump/lob it and pray, it seemed.

  71. We’re Lakers fans, so I’m already anticipating the nit-picking we’ll be hearing about this win. But just think about how frustrating this game must have been from the perspective of a Bulls supporter: every time your squad battles back and starts to chip away at the deficit, LA answers with a big steal or a block and goes back up by 15+. Trip after trip down the floor your team can’t stop Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum. They must have felt toyed with all night. It’s much nicer to be on this side of the fence.

    That Rose kid must give them some measure of comfort, though. I mean, damn.

  72. Missed the game. Two questions for those who watched:

    1) How does Rose compare to an early version of CP3? Could he really be on that level?

    2) Did Kobe guard Rose? What defense did we try on Rose?

  73. @snoopy: Kobe did not guard Rose. We used Fisher and Farmar on Rose on the perimeter and there was usually some sort of big help defender waiting for him when he beat the initial defender. Kobe was mostly guarding and being guarded by Deng, it seemed.

  74. nomuskles – thanks!

    Can’t wait to watch this kid play. I had him as my #1 pick before the NCAA season started, when everyone was going crazy over OJ Mayo. But I still haven’t seen him in an NBA game. Soon, hopefully…

  75. Rose is a different player than CP3 but the results are similar. I’m not a scout, but Rose seems quicker, whereas Paul seems more in control. Paul gives me the same vibe Nash does- that every step or move is deliberate, even if its not the quickest. While Rose is blur. I’m glad he’s in the east.

  76. That was a game that was both entertaining and sloppy, but finished with 109 possessions. That is 80s speed. Fun to watch, good to get a win, but not sure what if anything you take away from that game.

    Ironically, things should be slower against the Suns on Thursday.

  77. The Bulls got a lot of points in what was “garbage time” even though the point margin was not that outlandish. There was never any doubt the Lakers would win.

    Rose is a straight up freak. His body, strength, speed, and quickness is unguardable 1-on-1. Period. He can score or will be a better scorer than Paul, which kind of slides him into the middle of CP & DWilliams. That step back move he had on Jordan was nice, good to see j come back down and score right back on the next possession though.

    As Bill Simmons has put it so well a few times (yes, I read the sports guy, screw the bias), imagine if D’antoni had just waited to see how the lottery played out before taking the money in NY. He’d have Rose as a point guard w/ a plethora of young talent around him and a lot of movable chips. Now we’ll have to wait & see if Del Negro can mold this team into winners….

  78. Tivo’d the game and thought the camera angle thing was fun for about 5 minutes, then I was over it.

    For those who also Tivo’d the game, go to the time out with 3:26 left in the 3rd quarter after Kobe nails a three to give the Lakers an 82-65 advantage. I believe in reference to the three he just hit he’s talking to one or both of Josh Powell and Trevor Ariza and says “Ahhhhh! Like busting that one good nut. You know what I’m saying???” And it seems like Powell and Ariza are either ignoring him, or they realize the camera is on. The sound cut off shortly after and then the kiss cam is shown. Hilarious. Someone please put that on

  79. You know, I decided to watch the game again because it was on FSPT (Prime Ticket). You get a court side seat view of the game (and the gov’s wife and son were interviewed), you know, a little different than the regular FSW or TNT top angle view.

  80. Just wait until the Bulls surround Rose with a finisher, a decent big man, and a couple of shooters. They will be scary good. Rose is going to be that good. I don’t know the Bulls cap situation, but please do not let LBJ pair up with him in 2010.

  81. Something that was very clear last night: the offense, looked like last year’s offense when LO was in for Drew. LO and Pau have a great chemistry, and at the moment, it is arguable that LO is our BEST rebounder. He also moved very well without the ball.

    Also, I liked the defensive game Vlad played last night, he shaded over well on the strong side trap and got a couple steals and defelections. I just feel he needs to make a couple 2s and his offensive game will be a helpful weapon.

  82. *ooops, 3s

  83. 77. Don’t get me wrong, I like Rose as a player; however, he shouldn’t be compared to to CP3 or D-Will, as he is more a combo guard than a true 1.

    Frankly the player that I think that Rose is most comparable to is a young Steve Francis, i.e. a big, athletic ball-handling guard who is unguardable one-on-one and who will put up numbers in multiple categories but doesn’t really have the instincts to run a team and isn’t a strong defender.

    This is not to say that Rose will crap out as a player like Francis did, as he seems to be mentally tougher than Stevie, but he has a ways to go to be considered a legit pg.

  84. Rose is one (1) year out of high school and we are already pronouncing whether or not he has top flight PG talent???

    The guy has top flight scoring talent, sees the floor, and can pass well – all at the NBA level. What more do you want from a rookie less than 20 yrs old? Fans – we have the attention span and memory of a gnat.

  85. In browsing the NBA stories across the internet I am taken by the constant reliance on statistics that analysts use. It reminds me of baseball and why I like basketball better. In basketball, more than any other North American sport (possibly the NHL equals it), the game relies on a back and forth cooperation between players to find success. In football the cooperation is generally one way and basketball approaches this when you have a Kobe scoring 81 points – I think this is one reason analysts don’t like Kobe. Anyway, there is a give and take when several people contribute and one of them is then given credit for the result; via a statistical computation. This is the huge difference between watching a game and looking at the highlights/results.

    It is in this vein that I say this team is good enough to beat most opponents on most nights, but not yet good enough to beat the good teams consistently. This is where the maturity of the players comes into play. We have too much up-and-down to be ultimately effective and this is where the Friday loss to Detroit is instructive. Phil is trying to mold the group into a more consistent team.

    This is also why I think Lamar will remain on the 2nd unit. LO alternates spectacular plays with boneheaded decisions/emotions. A look at his stat line last night shows a very productive night. However, he contributed as much to Chicago’s runs as he did to ours. He has too much talent not to use him, but when he is used is the fine line Phil must constantly assess.

  86. any thoughts on the sasha and ariza tiff? did anyone see it?

  87. 81) kwame a
    “the offense, looked like last year’s offense when LO was in for Drew. LO and Pau have a great chemistry, and at the moment, it is arguable that LO is our BEST rebounder”

    At this point, I think that the “best five” are Gasol, Odom, Kobe, Ariza, and Fisher/Farmar. (I would say Sasha, and go without a PG, but I don’t think Phil has tried that yet.) That is also the unit that PJ has ended several games with. I expect Bynum to replace Odom in that group, though, within a couple of months.

  88. 87-Agreed. I wish Sasha got some run at PG, and I hope that Drew is able to become a factor on offense again in the near future.

  89. Craig W.,

    “It is in this vein that I say this team is good enough to beat most opponents on most nights, but not yet good enough to beat the good teams consistently.”

    How can you say that. All they’ve done is beat the good teams, consistently. Last year and continuing through to this year, so far. Sure, we’re not at maximum level yet, but what teams are? And yet, we’re still beating the supposed contenders we’ve faced pretty handily. It’s only going to improve. Bynum still looks uncomfortable with Pau.

  90. Lakers downplay Ariza-Vujacic spat
    Sasha Vujacic has been known to show his fiery side. Getty ImagesThe Lakers mixed a bit of dissension with their latest routine victory. Trevor Ariza confronted Sasha Vujacic after a second-quarter sequence Tuesday against Chicago, according to the Orange County Register:

    The discord arose after Ariza had the ball under the basket and passed it out to Vujacic on the wing. Rather than move it back to Ariza or another teammate, Vujacic just held it for a beat and then launched a 3-pointer out of the flow.

    The shot missed badly, and Vujacic was soon called for a foul, leading to an automatic timeout with 8:37 left in the second quarter.

    That’s when Ariza got in Vujacic’s face and stayed there as the players walked from the far corner of the court back toward the Lakers’ bench. [Kobe] Bryant shepherded Ariza toward the end of the bench and stood in his way while Ariza, who has a temper that his furtive demeanor belies, remained so keyed up that he just kept pacing.

    [Phil] Jackson benched both Ariza and Vujacic. As play was resuming, Jackson did something he never does: He left his usual area and walked to the end of the bench to address the matter directly with Ariza.

    “It’s just something that we want to keep internal, so I’d just as soon not talk about it,” Jackson said after the game. “Trevor let it out, and it was unfortunate to see that on the court.”

    Jackson also made a point late in the game to take Vujacic to task for misreading a play on offense. Assistant coach Kurt Rambis also spoke to Vujacic at length during another timeout about proper decision-making on offense.

    Neither Ariza nor Vujacic wanted to dwell on the incident afterward, although Vujacic managed to make clear where primary responsibility lay by saying: “I wasn’t doing anything. I was playing basketball. … Have I done anything? Have I reacted inappropriately? Was I unprofessional?”

    Said Ariza: “It wasn’t anything big. We both want to win. We’re out there and we’re competing, and we just had a little disagreement, that’s all.”

  91. You know a guy is good when Laker fans start offering Derek Fisher and Luke Walton for him.

  92. wondahbap,
    You rarely should include last year’s wins when talking about this year’s team. The chemistry and maturity issues always create changes in how the team functions. We clearly have the talent to beat almost any team consistently, but that is not the measure we will judge this team by. This team must win the championship for it to be considered a success. Lack of success is not failure – IMO.

    Phil runs a system offense and this year’s team clearly has not gotten comfortable with that system yet – this will impact us against the really good teams in a series situation. This team is prone to settle for jumpshots and there are better jumpshooting teams out there. This team does not exhibit a killer instinct on defense yet.

    Our talent will get us into the playoffs – that is not the question. However, we will need more to win a championship. I know, it is early yet. Phil is still developing the team. I just don’t subscribe to all the unbridled optimism with our early success. We still have growth to make before we become a true monster.

  93. The weirdest passage in Kevin Ding’s article on the Sasha/Ariza incident is this:

    “Odom has had conflicts in the past with Vujacic – including one just a week ago in the visiting locker room in New Orleans after Vujacic didn’t bring back a borrowed bottle of Radmanovic’s body wash out of the shower, leaving an exasperated Odom to go fetch it.”

    I think I saw that episode of Saved By The Bell. We’ll be lucky to survive the season with such tension. Will people stop lending Sasha their bodywash, leaving him to stink after road games, which hurts his confidence with the ladies, making him even more bitter and annoying??


    an analysis of the damage that rose did personally last night.

  95. I’m sure part of the reason we’re seeing less offensive effectiveness is because the preseason focus was more on defense than offense. Hopefully Phil can get the offense running as the season progresses. It works against us, a bit, because we have such good offensive players that they don’t often need to work through all the options in the offense.

    I felt like part of the reason Gasol sat for long periods last night was because Phil didn’t want the team to just rely on dumping the ball to him (even though that probably would have worked).

  96. Sorry for the double post, but does anyone else wonder if Lamar and Sasha have some sort of weird side bet going based on minimum time to foul, or maximum distance from the basket when the foul occurs? Otherwise I have no idea what the two of them have been doing the last few games.

  97. Rose looks pretty good. His shot looks a lot better than I thought it was, and he is ridiculously fast. If he works hard (and avoids injuries) he will be a very very good player, especially if he improves defensively.

    Here is a video on “the Machine” which I thought was pretty funny.

    The Machine Break down

  98. new post up, talking about some of the same themes.