Bulls worse than expected but not as bad as it seems

I rise here in defense of John Paxson. Is anyone with me? I can't hear you. OK, I'm really sitting because Bulls players might suspend me otherwise. Full Story
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Reyes

Monticello, MN

#1 Jan 17, 2008
We need to go after Patrick Ewing at the end of the season, look what he has taught Yao and imagine what he can do for Joakim and Tyrus and of course Gray.
Jack

United States

#2 Jan 17, 2008
Sorry Sam

I like Paxon as well, but he brought in 3 bigs who can't shoot or score, and has to be held accountable for that. Even at their best over the last few years, they win ugly with hustle and the occassional Ben Gordon explosion, but they needed another scorer as much as a big, and Joe Smith is the best they have. He's a nice pick-up, but Aldridge was a better fit. They could have moved up for Yi, and he would have helped them.

At least they are not as bad as the Heat.
Ruben

AOL

#3 Jan 17, 2008
Sam,

I usually respect your columns and opinions, however, I think you've missed on this one. It really is all that bad because we have taken huge steps backwards. We are missing consistent play and ability from a "average" back court, and missing an inside scoring presence on a regular basis. Our forward play is about the only thing consistent, because at least you know you will get something out of either Deng, Nocioni, Smith. Duhon shoots the ball as if the hole is 6" in diameter and when Ben Wallace gets the ball on offense he doen't know what to do with it. I am a season ticket holder that had high hopes for this season. Maybe it was unrealistic to hope for the finals, but certainly 50 wins and a solid run for the finals was not out of the question. At this point, I just don't see it.
mack the knife

Beirut, Lebanon

#4 Jan 17, 2008
A winning run and we will all change our tune. Thabo should start....
R oger F

United States

#5 Jan 17, 2008
How dare you disparage the great Swiss swagger! Bring it on, Double S!
Fred

Orlando, FL

#6 Jan 17, 2008
the heat are in a better position for success in the next five years. Once shaq retires, it will clear up tons of money for free agency, not to mention they will get a starting quality player in the lottery this year. Any team that features Dwyane (MJ) Wade and a few other NBA quality players (unlike this year) will always be in the mix for the NBA championship. See 2006 (and the future).

Since: Jan 08

Pomona, CA

#7 Jan 17, 2008
Yeah, things are really looking up, Sam. Another lottery pick.
Patrick

United States

#8 Jan 18, 2008
I hated this pick from the start. It made no sense other than to hopefully take something away from the Pistons and you're paying 15MM per to do that?? At least Chandler had size and most people knew he hated Skiles. Everyone knew Wallace could not be on the floor in the 4th qtr so what exactly are you going to do in the playoffs when your so-called starting center is a huge liabilty. You're playing 4 against 5 every night.

I'll be intellectually honest Sam...I hated this signing from the start. FIRE PAXSON TODAY!!!!
assegai

Doncaster East, Australia

#9 Jan 18, 2008
Yeah wasn't it a great decision to let a possible ALL-STAR center this year go, to sign P.J. Brown a year ago,Just to free up cap room.Not forgetting we gave up Elton Brand to draft this Guy!!!
Bullseye_8ball

Los Angeles, CA

#10 Jan 18, 2008
Sam,

Let's face it, Phil Jackson was not there this time to take them to the next level. Pax panicked after seeing Santa and his 8 reindeer on Christmas Eve. But remember the saying a few years ago about the kids playing. That's the only way you can see what they can really do. Remember Rodman, not the average citizen but a heckuva player. Noah may become the same. And Thomas and Sefelosha too.
BJ DuPon

Chicago, IL

#11 Jan 18, 2008
Sam,
I think you're right. We all loved this team three months ago and we all loved when they signed Wallace and dropped Chandler, though there was that certain nagging feeling that Chandler could always turn into something great, as there should be with former number two picks. The decline of this team is still pretty inexplicable, although I think in part you can chalk it up to having players who are extremely one dimensional, with the possible exception of Deng. Wallace can/could rebound, but couldn't shoot, at all. Same with Thomas, same with Noah. Gordon can shoot, but he can't dribble. Hinrich, he can manage, but he can't play, and on and on and on. Hopefully, they'll right the ship with a trade for a player that can do a couple of things and get back to .500 by the end of the season. Still a wash, but it'd be a weird kind of progress, given the circumstances.
Joe

Westmont, IL

#12 Jan 18, 2008
The post by Ruben was funny, because I feel the exact opposite. I usually get super frustrated and annoyed from reading your articles mostly because of the trade speculation. I feel like a 16 year old kid could do what you do.
Anyways, I did really like this article. For the first time in a while it was a positive, realistic article. I totally supported the Wallace move at the time for all the reasons you stated. I also thought the Noah and Thomas picks were best available. Thomas is an incredible athlete. Just think if he could find tune his game and find a jump shot. And how can you not like Noah? This guy cares about the team and about winning. He hustles 100% of the time. He called out Ben freakin Wallace? What rookie in the history of the NBA would call out Wallace for laughing during a blowout. I love this guy's heart.
No one could have seen this coming. I thought they were going to the Eastern Conference this year for sure. But the brightside is they have basically 10 quality trade pieces on this team.
One last thought. Do you think the Bulls would be the best team in the NBA right now if they never gave away Curry and Chandler? Think of that starting line up: Hinrich, Gordon, Deng, Chandler, Curry. Or Hinrich, Deng, Nocioni, Chandler, Curry with Gordon off the bench. So much for being midgets with that line-up - it'd be one of the biggest in the NBA. Kind of wish we could have seen that line-up for longer than a half a season.
assegai

Doncaster East, Australia

#13 Jan 18, 2008
In the current Bull's situtation, it's hard to see why a player of Tyrus Thomas's ability, is not getting more of an oppurtunity. Okay maybe he's nothing more than a Highlight Machine, but so was Josh Smith a few year's ago!!!
Morris

Springfield, IL

#14 Jan 18, 2008
I have no problems with the moves Pax made, my problem is with the moves he did not make. Anyone who watches this team has known that it has needed an additional scorer for the past several years. If Pax does make a move for a scorer by season's end, then you gotta dump him.
assegai

Doncaster East, Australia

#15 Jan 18, 2008
Only if the scorer is a Slasher or Post-Up type player.
Milan

Boston, MA

#16 Jan 18, 2008
Before you name Paxson exec of the year:

First the trade of Thomas for Aldridge was stupid. Let's get an athlete that is a minor headcase and can't score consistently for a good scorer and rebounder.

Second let's draft another non scorer to go with Wallace and Thomas, meaning Noah.

If it weren't for Smith and Deng the forwards/centers would have the lowest scores in the league.

Since: Nov 07

Mount Prospect, IL

#17 Jan 18, 2008
As is typical, I agree with some of what you say; however, I do not agree with you about the coaching ability of Scott Skiles. It appears to me that Skiles is capable of coaching average, experienced players, but that is about all. I did love the discipline he brought to the team, but doubt that he could have taken them much further. It seems that he made sure anyone with an opinion other than his was gone. I don't think that he could have coached a team with a Michael Jordan or a Kobe Bryant. It appeared to me the Wallace headband incident last year portended what happened this year.

As for being able to "coach" younger players, especially long ones, I don't think he was qualified. Chandlerís progress since he left the Bulls, and Thomasís and Noah's lack of progress are examples that add credibility to the point. I hope Thaboís performance of late will continue to be another example.

The talking heads on TV gave him a great deal of credit for being able to draw plays for a specific situation; however, he certainly didn't seem to be able to draw up a plan to get a season off to a good start.
WALKER SLAUGHTER

La Grange Park, IL

#18 Jan 18, 2008
I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY THE BULL ARE STLL STARTING BEN WALLACE HE CANT SHOOT FREE THROW HE CAN'T REBOUND HE HAS NO KIND OFFENCE AT ALL BULL PUT TO MUCH IN TO THERE DEFENCE THE BULL HAS NO KIND OF OFFENCE AT ALL THEY NEED TO GIVE THOSE MINITUE TO AARON GRAY TYRE THOMAS AND NOAH THEY CAN TURLY TURN BULL SEASON AROUND
BULL4EVER

Atlantic Beach, FL

#19 Jan 18, 2008
CHICAGO has not lived up to title contenders this season and will have to wait a year or 2 to start winning NBA titles like they did back in the 90's because of their youth way too many young guys on this squad,but that's alright,because the lakers won 3 NBA titles since winning in 88.My BOYS from the WINDY CITY will rise again since last winning it all in 98 GO BULLS BABY.
Fire Paxson

Schaumburg, IL

#20 Jan 18, 2008
Paxson has to go cause he failed to make the moves neccessary to fill the needs of the team. I am fine with the drafting especially the last two cause he took the most talented players availible which always pays off in the long run. I am pissed about the trades he has made and the many trades he has whiffed on.

They peaked last year we saw it in the collapse of the backcourt in the playoffs and he failed to bring in a star SG didn't have to be Kobe but they needed a big scorer that can defend.

He came in with an agenda to get rid of all the bulls players and he forced Curry and Chandler out who have proven to be better frontcourt players than any he brought in. He gave away Chandler and planned on giving away Curry but got lucky cause Isaiah might be the only GM that is more retarded than he. His trades suck and I hope he is happy with his mess cause this is his team and it is as flawed as he is...

Stupid former players turned GM how about we interview smart people for the job next time? Reinsdork get off your ass and get a replacement!

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