HOW TO WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
Sam Smith reports today on about 127 trade scenarios in the NBA. The biggest for the Bulls revolve around KG and Pau Gasol. Now that P.J. Brown has found something other than the outside of the rim, should the Bulls move any of their talent for a low-post scoring option? Brown is a fine defender but I would not want to go into the playoffs depending on him as a low-post scoring option. Even though he has had some solid games lately scoring the basketball, he’s still averaging only 5 points per game. For his career it’s 9.2.
But if you want to win an NBA championship you need a low-post game. You need a solid option there. History confirms this. Sure, Dwyane Wade went crazy in the playoffs last year, but the Heat don’t sniff the title without Shaq. Spurs had Duncan. Pistons didn’t win it until they got Sheed. The Lakers and Shaq. The 2007 Bulls do not have this. It’s certainly possible that the Bulls as they are currently comprised could buck the trend and win it all. But it’s doubtful.
Pau Gasol is said to be ‘defensively challenged’. But isn’t that why you got Ben Wallace? Gasol still blocks 2 shots a game and is a terrific all-around offensive player. He’s a legit scoring option in the post. Could Luol Deng become that type of player? Eventually, maybe. Would you trade him for Gasol? It’s a difficult question. But Gasol is only 26.
The Bulls have acquired a lot of talent. Most of their trades in the Paxson era have been ‘wins’. They haven’t given up a lot. But you can’t keep all these guys. And I’m pretty ceratin that whatever Gasol lacks on the defensive end he more than makes up for offensively. I’m also certain that Scott Skiles gets him committed to being a better defender. As a Bulls fan, if they had a starting 5 of Wallace, Gasol, Nocioni, Gordon and Hinrich, I’d be thrilled.