BULLS NEED LEADERS
This just in: the Bulls lack leadership. “I don’t think that’s one of the team’s strengths right now,” Vinny Del Negro said.
I’d agree. Especially when I see repeated selfishness on 2-1 breaks where the ball isn’t given up. Or when I continually see Drew Gooden shoot those 20-footers. And when I still see Vinny Del Negro not doing much about it. I’d say he could lose the team, but then you’d have to have a team to begin with.
“It’s tough when you have your captains out,” Del Negro said. I suppose the abscences of Hinrich and Deng should be taken into consideration when it comes to the Bulls’ record. Leadership? Not so sure. I don’t think they can stop some of the poor shot selection. They can help on the defensive end, although I think Deng may be overrated on that end. But I don’t really think of them as ‘leaders’.
The biggest problem I see is that the draft picks of the last few years–save Rose–have not performed well or up to their ability. I saw Joakim Noah–who I thought would be a very solid pro–get manhandled against OKC the other night. He is a non-factor in a half-court set, or even worse a liability. Tyrus Thomas shows flashes here and there and I’d rather see all of Noah’s minutes go to him. But he still shoots 40%. Sefolosha does some nice things defensively but he can’t shoot nor score. Aaron Gray has his uses but is really a 9th man type player.
Noah has been the ultimate disappointment for me. I thought he would come in and be an effort guy, the type of player other players hate to play. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He lacks energy, stength and makes poor decisions passing out of the post. He has no postgame at all and/or is afraid to try to score from there. The game against OKC was a prime example. He received the ball in the post and tried to turn and get up for a shot. He was just overpowered and shot it short. In the NBA, when you have that type of position in the paint you are expected to score there. Noah didn’t come close. Then there is all the over peripheral stuff like yelling at coaches, sucking wind in games in January, bickering on the court and on and on. That draft in particular wasn’t very good, but even so, Noah is looking like a guy that will never pan out.
So I desperately await to see what Paxson can pull off by the deadline. If anyone wants Noah or Sefolosha I would surely deal them. If Thomas brings something of value he can go too, although I’d rather keep him. It’s just a tough time to be a Bulls fan. I’ll say this: Derrick Rose is getting some incredible on the court training. He’s been able to work on getting to the hoop and creating scoring opportunities when there isn’t anything there. Can Paxson get the players to build around him? How long does he have to do that before he loses his job?