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CAROL SLEZAK

Besides, the Bulls have failed to excite anyone all season long. Why would fans invest in them now? The season has been an exercise in patience, and the offseason can't come soon enough. The Bulls have raised more questions than they've answered this season, starting with this one: Whose team is this?

It's Kirk Hinrich's team. No, its Ben Gordon's team. Or maybe its becoming Luol Deng's team. It's tough to tell. On any given night, the Bulls can be anyone's team. Andres Nocioni has taken his turn. Chris Duhon and Tyson Chandler, too. Unfortunately, the Bulls have been no one's team all too often.

The best teams in the league have at least one thing in common: a leader. The Miami Heat is Shaquille O'Neal's team. The San Antonio Spurs belong to Tim Duncan. The Dallas Mavericks belong to Dirk Nowitzki. The Detroit Pistons? Chauncey Billups. Sure, all these guys have help. O'Neal has Dwyane Wade. Duncan has Tony Parker. Nowitzki has Jason Terry. Billups has Richard Hamilton and a whole lot more. But until you identify your No. 1 guy, the rest can't fall into place.

No go-to player

The Bulls want Hinrich to be their No. 1, and he has looked like that guy at times. But after three years in the league, it's still not clear if he's the answer. His shooting percentage has risen some this season. But when it comes down to the final seconds of a tight game, the Bulls still don't have a go-to guy. Hinrich hasn't been that guy. And Gordon, who routinely took games over in the fourth quarter last season, has struggled for much of this season.

It's no wonder the Bulls have lost so many close games. It's not just about missing the last shot; it's about knowing who you are as players and as a team. The Bulls still are figuring that out.

Sure, their lack of inside scoring is to blame for a lot of their struggles, but not all of them. Look at the Mavericks, who do a pretty good job of winning with a guard-oriented offense. Or the Denver Nuggets, who consist of Carmelo Anthony and not much more.
http://www.suntimes.com/output/slezak/cst-spt-carol26.html
 

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Carol Slezak said:
Sure, their lack of inside scoring is to blame for a lot of their struggles, but not all of them. Look at the Mavericks, who do a pretty good job of winning with a guard-oriented offense. Or the Denver Nuggets, who consist of Carmelo Anthony and not much more.
Cheap shot. Mavs are loaded with former all-stars (veterans) and Nugs have experienced players and one of the 5 best players to enter the league in the last 3 years. When she says they have "Carmelo Anthony and not much more" she's weakens her argument. She just stated that the Bulls don't have a go-to guy and then compares them to 2 teams that do. :krazy:


Just compare this year's team to last year's team. Do you really believe "their lack of inside scoring is to blame for a lot of their struggles, but not all of them" is accurate?

I say lack of inside scoring & defensive presence IS to blame for ALL of their struggles this season, IMHO.



As for a leader, I don't think they have one at the moment. Everyone on this team is a great 3rd, 4th or 5th option. Bulls need a legitmate 1-2 punch. Last year it was EC early and BG late. If they can get one guy in the draft and another in free agency or by trade, every player on this team will look better. Imagine Gordon or Deng or Hinrich as this teams 3rd option! :cool:
 

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Yes here I go again.Luol is there best player,he was inconsistant through the year,but now he's improving more and more his scoring average is rising and so is his rebounds.He's almost up to 14pts a game which is a huge improvement from last year.He may not be the go to guy in the final seconds but he is the man right now no questions asked.Some of our players drop off some are consistant but Deng numbers are getting better and better! Am I the only one that sees this?Sure his numbers are not where Kirks and Gordons are yet ,but I believe next season we will see what this guy is really made of.He will be 21 years old probley averaging about 16 to 19 points a game.I think its possible he could avgerage more but it may be hard with the loaded talent we will have.I still say in closing the Gordon should still be the go to guy in the end of the game. :yes:
 

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7RINGS? said:
Yes here I go again.Luol is there best player,he was inconsistant through the year,but now he's improving more and more his scoring average is rising and so is his rebounds.He's almost up to 14pts a game which is a huge improvement from last year.He may not be the go to guy in the final seconds but he is the man right now no questions asked.Some of our players drop off some are consistant but Deng numbers are getting better and better! Am I the only one that sees this?Sure his numbers are not where Kirks and Gordons are yet ,but I believe next season we will see what this guy is really made of.He will be 21 years old probley averaging about 16 to 19 points a game.I think its possible he could avgerage more but it may be hard with the loaded talent we will have.I still say in closing the Gordon should still be the go to guy in the end of the game. :yes:
i agree luol deng is the bulls best player
 

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"The Bulls want Hinrich to be their No. 1"

Assuming what Slezak says is true, does this bother anyone ?
 

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spongyfungy said:
Not a very good article, IMO.

The Dallas Mavericks have a guard oriented offense? Yes, and an MVP candidate playing power forward. The Nuggest are Carmelo Anthony and not much else? Marcus Camby, Andre Miller and Kenyon Martin would probably all start for us. Ruben Patterson, Reggie Evans, Earl Boykins and Eduardo Najara are solid role players.

I agree with the premise of the article. Who wouldn't? I think we can all also agree that the earth is round and the moon landing probably happened. But the statements about the Mav's and Nuggets are odd, to put it kindly.

Next Carol Slezak headline: "Wood and Prior must stay healthy for Cubs to win"

(and yes, if Slezak is correct in her assertion that Pax and/or Skiles want Hinrich to be "the guy" on this team consider me troubled)
 

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The 6ft Hurdle said:
"The Bulls want Hinrich to be their No. 1"

Assuming what Slezak says is true, does this bother anyone ?
Bothers me, he hasn't hit a clutch shot yet in his career. I don't think he has even hit the rim on a chance to win or tie a game. He usually takes ugly off balanced shots when the pressure is on.
 

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The 6ft Hurdle said:
"The Bulls want Hinrich to be their No. 1"

Assuming what Slezak says is true, does this bother anyone ?
I thought she was making an observation, not reporting inside "scoop" information. But I agree with her, based on my own observations.

It was Skiles who publicly gave the reins to Kirk. Told Kirk it was "his" team and encouraged him to take charge and be the leader. Quite the contrast of what he has done with other players. No knock on Skiles. He needed SOMEBODY to take that role and KH was a leader on a very good college team so he looked to him because he thought he could do it. Plus, IMO, Skiles wanted KH to be his protege. He sees a little of himself in KH and maybe he thought he could mold KH into a clone of himself, but KH will never be as tough and mean as Skiles was.

Now that it's clear to everyone that KH is nice, but not a #1 option, it's time to move on.
 

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I've said it all along. The two gaping holes of the Bulls are inside offensive presence and a true go-to guy. Duh! Luol Deng is probably the team's best all-around player, and maybe he will emerge as that go-to guy but still plays like a role player. Ben Gordon proved to be a good go-to guy but is not really the leader of the team. Hinrich is very close to Deng as the best all-around player but hasn't done enough to show that he is the go-to guy in crunch time. Wait, didn't the Bulls really play some of their best regular season basketball last year after Eddy sat out the rest of the season (and with Deng already out as well) playoffs notwithstanding? Hmm, makes me wonder what really is more important for the Bulls to get in the offseason.
 

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Why can't Hinrich and Deng be our leaders with Gordon as the go-to-guy? Hinrich and Deng are solid almost every game and Gordon is clutch. The game is a team sport, I don't see why someone has to be labeled as everything when there are multiple guys that can do multiple things to win.

Tyson is the the heart (when he wants to be). The PF we hopefully obtain this offseason will have to be the "kahoneez" of the team along with Nocioni.

There ya go, the 4 roles filled by 6 players.
 

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I agree that the Bulls best player is Luol Deng a.k.a "The Total Package"(the nickname I've given him :biggrin: ).
 

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The 6ft Hurdle said:
"The Bulls want Hinrich to be their No. 1"

Assuming what Slezak says is true, does this bother anyone ?
OK, now I'm bothered by that because on the Score just now Neil Funk stated that:

There's no one on this team, save for Kirkthat is untouchable.

That's the most retarded statement I've heard since "I tried marijuana in college, but I didn't inhale"!


Now I like KH, but if Pax & Skiles are planning to build a team AROUND KIRK HINRICH, then they both need to quit and go to Indiana University or some other college team because that's what they are building now! I'm sick and tired of decent players not getting to play (TT,Sweets,first Malik now Othella,Basden) but then Luke Schensher walks in and all of a sudden Skiles is swinging from his twig and berries and singing about how great he is!:nonono:

Seems like Pax & Skiles have a blueprint C-E-M-E-N-T-E-D in their brains of how the game SHOULD be played. Now it seems they lack the vision to step outside the box and get players that have exceptional talent, but maybe they didn't learn to "play the right way". That's why Pax decided not to trade up for Dwyane Wade. He thought there was not enough difference between Hinrich & Wade to give up Marshall. I wonder how he feels now? And I've had it with Skiles.

Why couldn't Tim Thomas get any run, IN THE PRE-SEASON, let alone the regular season?

Why has Eddie Basden been in his doghouse ALL year?

Why did it take so long for Malik Allen to get PT?

The Basden thing really irks me. We had no picks last year, but Pax goes and gets one of the best defensive guards in college ball as a free agent. A guy whose 6-5, unselfish and fills a desparate need for size and defense at the 2 position. Kudos. Skiles decides he can't use him. BS! A whole season of potential experience and development for the young man is gone. Next season he'll be a rookie all over again. Thanx Skiles! :curse:

Bottom line, KH cannot be the #1 guy on ANY team in the NBA that calls itself a serious contender for a championship. In fact, he should be no better than the 3rd option or you can hang it up! Bulls need 1 great player to elevate the play of the rest of the team and to get guys to settle into their roles and stop trying to be the man themselves.

Kirk Hinrich is not the answer!
 

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Now I like KH, but if Pax & Skiles are planning to build a team AROUND KIRK HINRICH, then they both need to quit and go to Indiana University or some other college team because that's what they are building now!
Assuming Hinrich is untouchable, which I question, that doesn't mean they intend to build around him in the sense that he is the first option. It can mean they consider him a stable cornerstone at a position that is difficult to fill - point guard.

I'm sick and tired of decent players not getting to play (TT,Sweets,first Malik now Othella,Basden) but then Luke Schensher walks in and all of a sudden Skiles is swinging from his twig and berries and singing about how great he is!:nonono:
Luke Schensher has played 94 minutes as a Bull. I never saw Skiles say anything about Luke other than that he was "interesting" and that they "like him". He's lavished far, far greater praise on Sweetney. Also, being that Luke was a recent acquisition, Skiles most likely made these bland statements in response to pointed questions from the media. I doubt Skiles walked out of the locker room and said "Lets talk about Schensher's 3 minutes of action last night."

Seems like Pax & Skiles have a blueprint C-E-M-E-N-T-E-D in their brains of how the game SHOULD be played.
I don't doubt that at all.

Bottom line, KH cannot be the #1 guy on ANY team in the NBA that calls itself a serious contender for a championship. In fact, he should be no better than the 3rd option or you can hang it up! Bulls need 1 great player to elevate the play of the rest of the team and to get guys to settle into their roles and stop trying to be the man themselves.

Kirk Hinrich is not the answer!
Being a cornerstone does not necessarily mean you are the #1 option on offense. There are many aspects of the game of basketball that make a player desirable to retain as a centerpiece.
 

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Ron Cey said:
Being a cornerstone does not necessarily mean you are the #1 option on offense. There are many aspects of the game of basketball that make a player desirable to retain as a centerpiece.
Like being white and "naturally" hard working.

I kid. But you're probably not laughing.

Anyhow, since were speaking on principles here, are there any examples of cornerstones who are not the #1 option on offense and are untradeables ? At the top of my head, I could think of Shawn Marion, but when I think of Shawn Marion, I know he has the speciality of being able to rebound and block shots. Plus, they already have had their team built for a while, so it's hard to see them trading him. I can't think of anyone else.

I also can't think of any specialty that Kirk has that makes him so untradeable. My aspects that make an untradeable player are below.

Is there a unique basketball skill this player has that positively contributes to the team ?

Does he make his teammates better ? If so, how ?

Does he make key plays in crunch time ?

Do you think he would make a difference for a bad team ?

For Kirk, I would answer no to every single question, a general no, because he occasionally does have his moments.

What are the aspects in a player that make him untradeable for you, Cey ?
 

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The 6ft Hurdle said:
Like being white and "naturally" hard working.

I kid. But you're probably not laughing.

Anyhow, since were speaking on principles here, are there any examples of cornerstones who are not the #1 option on offense and are untradeables ? At the top of my head, I could think of Shawn Marion, but when I think of Shawn Marion, I know he has the speciality of being able to rebound and block shots. Plus, they already have had their team built for a while, so it's hard to see them trading him. I can't think of anyone else.

I also can't think of any specialty that Kirk has that makes him so untradeable. My aspects that make an untradeable player are below.

Is there a unique basketball skill this player has that positively contributes to the team ?

Does he make his teammates better ? If so, how ?

Does he make key plays in crunch time ?

Do you think he would make a difference for a bad team ?

For Kirk, I would answer no to every single question, a general no, because he occasionally does have his moments.

What are the aspects in a player that make him untradeable for you, Cey ?
I don't think Hinrich is a franchise/untouchable type guy but I think you're being unfair here.

I'm not exactly sure what a unique basketball skill is so I'll skip that one but...

1. Yes, he makes his teammates better. Despite playing a fair amount of 2 guard Hinrich is 14th in the NBA in assists, 17th in AST/TO, and 18th in AST/48. He certainly creates oppurtunities for his teammates.

2. I'm not wild about Hinrich's free throw shooting at the end of ballgames, but he made a TON of big shots at the end of last year. People forget that Ben Gordon went into a huge slump the last month of the 04-05 season, and we were still winning with Curry and Deng out. Kirk had a number of big third and fourth quarters during that time.

3. No, Hinrich would not make a bad team good. Not many guys do. He could be an important piece on a championship team though, IMO.

My point is not that I think Hinrich is untradable - I don't. And I really hope Paxson and Skiles don't "build around" Hinrich, because he isn't that kind of talent. But these criticisms seem a little unfair. I think he does make his teammates better, he's okay in the clutch, and he's a bit of a difference maker - though not to the extent that he can turn around a bad situation on his own.
 

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The USA Today has a story on Kirk this morning with some quotes from Pax:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/bulls/2006-03-27-hinrich_x.htm

"The thing we all love about Kirk is his dedication to the game," Bulls general manager John Paxson says. "He plays hard every night, and he defends his position as well as anybody."

That dedication has been clear this year as the Bulls' instability has led to changes. They have shuffled through different lineups, moving Hinrich to point guard, to shooting guard and back again. Yet with a little less than a month left in the season, the Bulls are 1½ games out of the playoff picture going into tonight's game vs. the Orlando Magic.
During last season's playoff run, Hinrich lifted his productivity by scoring almost six more points a game than he had during the season (15.7 to 21.2) while improving his field goal percentage (39.7% to 45%) and three-point percentage (37% to 51.5%).

"He reminds me of John Stockton, only more of a scorer," says Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, someone who doesn't underappreciate Hinrich. "He's fun to watch. Not fun to play against."

But the point guard, who ranks in the top 10 in scoring at his position, continues to play in the shadows of his former draft mates.

"He's underappreciated by a lot of people," Paxson says. "But he fits into our system and what we're trying to do here. He's appreciated by us."
And this one:

But no matter what happens with the Bulls the remainder of the season, Hinrich remains an important part of the Bulls' future.

"We're going to build with Kirk, find players that fit how he runs the team," Paxson says.
So I guess that's Pax saying Kirk is our cornerstone. And I don't have a problem with that. Good point guards are hard to find, and he is better than good.
 

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it's very easy to misinterpret the statements paxson made re:kirk hinrich. in a general sense, teams are built one of two ways;with a "great big man" or a "great point guard". kirk IS the best point guard the bull probably have EVER had, and that's not a knock on any of the other players in bull lore, but the point is that he understands the game AND, CAN make his teammates better. yes, i know about jordan's bulls but his teams were the exception in every sense of the word. having other players who can handle the ball is a plus, but that only enhances kirk's value because he has the ability to make shots, like a mark price or to a lesser extent john stockton.

that stated, pax's job will be to get guys around "centerpiece" kirk that can, a) move without the ball, b) make shots. so far there's only 2 guys (deng/gordon) who can do that, and they're both less experienced than kirk. given time, pax expects to add to that number as well as combine that with tough defense (i've heard it wins championships) and smart, unselfish play. kirk epitomizes the tough defense and smart (while still learning) unselfish play. that has nothing to do with the stupid "jib" concept bandied about herein, it's simply the NBA consensus/methodology on how good teams are constructed.

i don't think it's a bad idea, further, pax's statement at least from my interpretation, doesn't rule out bringing in more talented or skilled players than kirk either.
 

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jbulls said:
I don't think Hinrich is a franchise/untouchable type guy but I think you're being unfair here.

I'm not exactly sure what a unique basketball skill is so I'll skip that one but...

1. Yes, he makes his teammates better. Despite playing a fair amount of 2 guard Hinrich is 14th in the NBA in assists, 17th in AST/TO, and 18th in AST/48. He certainly creates oppurtunities for his teammates.

2. I'm not wild about Hinrich's free throw shooting at the end of ballgames, but he made a TON of big shots at the end of last year. People forget that Ben Gordon went into a huge slump the last month of the 04-05 season, and we were still winning with Curry and Deng out. Kirk had a number of big third and fourth quarters during that time.

3. No, Hinrich would not make a bad team good. Not many guys do. He could be an important piece on a championship team though, IMO.

My point is not that I think Hinrich is untradable - I don't. And I really hope Paxson and Skiles don't "build around" Hinrich, because he isn't that kind of talent. But these criticisms seem a little unfair. I think he does make his teammates better, he's okay in the clutch, and he's a bit of a difference maker - though not to the extent that he can turn around a bad situation on his own.
Slezak wrote:
The Bulls want Hinrich to be their No. 1, and he has looked like that guy at times.

 

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The 6ft Hurdle said:
What are the aspects in a player that make him untradeable for you, Cey ?
If you are operating under the impression that I personally would consider Hinrich untradeable, your assumption is off. I consider Hinrich to be bery much tradeable.

The "aspects" a player must have to be untouchable can be simply stated as this: dominance or, in the case of younger players like Dwight Howard, potential dominance.

My point was simply that a player doesn't have to be the #1 scoring option to be untouchable and a team deeming a guy protected does not mean they consider him the #1 option. It can simply mean that they consider him an extremely valuable comodity going forward. Ben Wallace, for example.

Back when Elton Brand was traded, lots of media critics stated that while it appeared as though Elton was never going to be a dominant player (which they were wrong about), he was the type of foundational cornerstone that you simply don't trade.
 
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