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The first word that springs to mind is ridiculous.

Even John Paxson agrees with that, and he's not being paid to be a agreeable. In fact, as general managers go, you might call him an iconoclast, one who attacks established beliefs or institutions when it comes to roster management. When you are faced with what Paxson had, you have to do something ... ridiculous.

It is one thing to turn around a perennial loser by adding impact veterans via a salary dump and the free-agent market, which is the Phoenix formula.

It is entirely another to turn a dysfunctional, 23-59 team into a strong playoff contender by adding four rookies to your rotation, which is precisely what Paxson has done with the Chicago Bulls.

And there's a word for that.

"I know, it is ridiculous ... or at least it sounds ridiculous, in this day and age," said the Bulls GM, whose team plays the Nets at the Meadowlands tonight. "But the difference is, the guys we have brought in were at least tested -- either in big-time college programs or overseas. They didn't come right out of high school. They had experienced winning, and that's important to a young player."

Every season is a narrative, and every general manager tells the story line, and Paxson has one of the most bizarre, unlikely, surreal stories any GM could tell after just 22 months on the job.

http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-5/111095474573030.xml
 

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Even those who detest Skiles admit he has something others do not: "When it comes to X's and O's," Jason Kidd said recently, "Skiles is probably one of the best I've ever met."
I'd like to see the second half of this quote. :eek8:
 

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LMAO - everybody here is a genius when it comes to X's and O's and Skiles gets knocked regularly on the subject.

Throw in quotes of opposing players, doesn't matter - the word here is Skiles is still an X's and O's idiot.

Well, it appears the latest quote comes from of all places - a well-known Skiles hater.

Even those who detest Skiles admit he has something others do not: "When it comes to X's and O's," Jason Kidd said recently, "Skiles is probably one of the best I've ever met."
Well, can we finally put that bulletin board myth to rest or will the hate never end?
 

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A challenge is exactly what the entire team needed when Paxson made his smartest move, hiring head coach Scott Skiles on Nov. 26, 2003. It was a bold step, if only because Skiles has the personality of a Komodo dragon. "How demanding is he?" his former boss in Orlando, Pat Williams, once joked. "The dog and the fish try to look busy when he comes home."

:laugh:


Last February, Jerome Williams accused two teammates -- reportedly Jamal Crawford and Curry -- of not knowing the plays four months into the season. The inimitable Junk Yard Dog, foaming at the mouth, used an interesting analogy: "It's like a trash man who goes to work and doesn't know where to pick up the garbage."
 

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Mr. T said:
LMAO - everybody here is a genius when it comes to X's and O's and Skiles gets knocked regularly on the subject.

Throw in quotes of opposing players, doesn't matter - the word here is Skiles is still an X's and O's idiot.

Well, it appears the latest quote comes from of all places - a well-known Skiles hater.



Well, can we finally put that bulletin board myth to rest or will the hate never end?
I can't go so far as to say Skiles definitely doesn't know his Xs and Os, but an observer of the Bulls' half-court offense would be well within his or her rights to arrive at that conclusion.

And Kidd's imprimatur isn't earth-shattering, unequivocal proof of Skiles's wizardry, anyway. Consider the source: Kidd's tremendous in an up-tempo, improvisational setting, but pretty ordinary in the half-court (which, one would think, is where Xs and Os most come into play).
 

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ScottMay said:
I can't go so far as to say Skiles definitely doesn't know his Xs and Os, but an observer of the Bulls' half-court offense would be well within his or her rights to arrive at that conclusion.

And Kidd's imprimatur isn't earth-shattering, unequivocal proof of Skiles's wizardry, anyway. Consider the source: Kidd's tremendous in an up-tempo, improvisational setting, but pretty ordinary in the half-court (which, one would think, is where Xs and Os most come into play).
I'll give it to you Scott, you're nothing if not obstinate.

IMO, you could probably throw the same disclaimer Magic Johnson's way then. Magic excelled in the open court too.

So, let me get this straight. No matter who compliments Skiles or his offense, it will always be discounted, right? So far, everyone who has had positive words gets trashed on this board. And now we have, what by all accounts is one of the biggest Skiles haters, professing Skiles intellect with regard to X's and O's and well... unacceptable.

We can take all that talk about Skiles being a jerk because well, Jason Kidd said so. We can make posts out of Kidd saying, "talk to Eddy Curry" about playing for Skiles because well, Jason Kidd said so. But when Kidd, acknowledged by most on this board as one of the best point guards of our time compliments Skiles on being the best he's seen with X's and O's, well somehow we can discount that.

You're right in one respect. Everyone here does have a right to arrive at their own conclusion even if it is inane ("Skiles definitely doesn't know his Xs and Os"). But the smartest posters don't just impart their knowledge, they increase their knowledge.
 

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This was written by former NBA assistant coach Brian James:

Something an average fan or even a journalist might not see is how organized this team is during the games.

The Bulls' success ratio of completing scoring plays after timeouts is higher than many teams'. One key is that they have multiple options to resort to if the first option is covered.

The Bulls disguise the start of many of their sets. That confuses foes and keeps teams off guard. The offense is fitted to their personnel and varies from the pro sets that the majority of NBA teams run. The Bulls might have at least 50 plays in their playbook, which is standard, but they excel at being unpredictable.
 

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bullsville said:
This was written by former NBA assistant coach Brian James:

Something an average fan or even a journalist might not see is how organized this team is during the games.

The Bulls' success ratio of completing scoring plays after timeouts is higher than many teams'. One key is that they have multiple options to resort to if the first option is covered.

The Bulls disguise the start of many of their sets. That confuses foes and keeps teams off guard. The offense is fitted to their personnel and varies from the pro sets that the majority of NBA teams run. The Bulls might have at least 50 plays in their playbook, which is standard, but they excel at being unpredictable.
Interesting stuff. I was about to comment on how I agree somewhat with ScottMay that the Bulls' halfcourt offense sometimes seems mechanical and predictable, and I wasn't sure whether that was due to Skiles's limitations as a coach, or the collective experience deficit of the team he's coaching. Due to the fact that we tend to execute well after timeouts, I think it's the latter moreso. We have two very young point guards, a 19-year old SF, and a center who, though he's learning, still doesn't really know how to make decisions out of the post. It must be hard to add dozens of wrinkles to the sets when you have such green players. To their credit, Kirk, Duhon and Deng are very precocious, but still.
 

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Tom Dore : There are no secrets in the NBA. Scott Skiles has a handful of plays that he runs and by now all the teams have seen them, through either tape or just playing them but Scott makes a little change in the play through the course of the year, and that little change throws off the other team.

I know Dore is a big schill for this team but what he says is true.

Skiles is not a Fratello who controls every play but he lets his players decide which guy will shoot in the halfcourt. Sometimes he'll say to his players run this set, then there is option a, b ,or c. Sometimes he'll just say, let's just give it to Eddy downlow. He trusts his players to take the best looking shot. How can we go to anything fancy like JVG does if we don't properly execute the simplest plays?
 

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Mr. T said:
I'll give it to you Scott, you're nothing if not obstinate.

IMO, you could probably throw the same disclaimer Magic Johnson's way then. Magic excelled in the open court too.

So, let me get this straight. No matter who compliments Skiles or his offense, it will always be discounted, right? So far, everyone who has had positive words gets trashed on this board. And now we have, what by all accounts is one of the biggest Skiles haters, professing Skiles intellect with regard to X's and O's and well... unacceptable.

We can take all that talk about Skiles being a jerk because well, Jason Kidd said so. We can make posts out of Kidd saying, "talk to Eddy Curry" about playing for Skiles because well, Jason Kidd said so. But when Kidd, acknowledged by most on this board as one of the best point guards of our time compliments Skiles on being the best he's seen with X's and O's, well somehow we can discount that.

You're right in one respect. Everyone here does have a right to arrive at their own conclusion even if it is inane ("Skiles definitely doesn't know his Xs and Os"). But the smartest posters don't just impart their knowledge, they increase their knowledge.
Yet again, you've run into trouble by conflating all the individual opinions about Skiles into one giant, evil, anti-Skiles entity. I've never held up anything bad Jason Kidd's said about Skiles as irrefutable proof of Skiles's inability to coach, inability to relate, etc. I tend to stay as far away as possible from aligning my views with a person who thinks it's okay to beat his wife because she wanted him to share french fries with his son.

All I'm saying is that I've never heard Jason Kidd's name come up during discussions of the most cerebral players currently in the league, and that I don't consider him to be any kind of expert on half-court NBA offense.

VF: I totally agree about not overloading a really inexperienced bunch, but that's a training camp sort of argument. We've moved on, these guys have proven they can handle the workload, and our offense is in DESPERATE need of variety and improvement.
 

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And since we're talking about Skiles intellect, somebody posted a very interesting observation yesterday(?) comparing Skiles and PJ. Hopefully someone else can locate it.

Essentially, PJ could usher out the starting five and he was pretty much fielding his best offensive and defensive teams. For Skiles, its the complete opposite. Its almost as though we have two teams - the all defensive team and the all offensive team.

Skiles gets ripped for his rotations here constantly, but when you look at the personnel he actually has, he has quite a juggling act to perform when it comes to balancing both ends of the court.

Too bad we just can't agree the guy is actually pretty bright when it comes to basketball.
 

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Mr. T said:
Too bad we just can't agree the guy is actually pretty bright when it comes to basketball.

I'll agree with you... the guy is gonna be coach of the year... it seems like some of us want Jesus Christ to be our coach... well Skiles has been pretty good so far, he deserves all the credit in the world right now, and he'll get in when he wins coach of the year
 

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ScottMay said:
VF: I totally agree about not overloading a really inexperienced bunch, but that's a training camp sort of argument. We've moved on, these guys have proven they can handle the workload, and our offense is in DESPERATE need of variety and improvement.
I don't really agree. It takes more than a training camp to learn the ins and outs of scoring in the NBA. Heck, Eddy and Tyson are in year 4 and they still have a lot to learn. It's nice that we have guards who learn quickly and an awfully bright young SF, but it's still an incremental process.

just think back to how unbelievably pathetic our offense was last year. Kirk and Jamal pounding dents in the floor trying to get open shots for themselves or each other. Eddy not knowing how to run a set. AD executing the "brick an open 16 footer" to perfection. I know that this year's offense isn't exactly Showtime, but compared to last year, it's a freaking ballet. Skiles deserves a little credit for that, and so does Pax for putting together a better team. And so do the players for executing reasonably well. Yes, there are times when we really bog down, and Gordon's individual skills have saved our rears on more than a couple occasions, but in the end, our offensive sets, combined with much-improved defensive intensity, put us in a position to win games. We can't expect this to be a finished product already, though.
 

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ScottMay said:
Yet again, you've run into trouble by conflating all the individual opinions about Skiles into one giant, evil, anti-Skiles entity. I've never held up anything bad Jason Kidd's said about Skiles as irrefutable proof of Skiles's inability to coach, inability to relate, etc. I tend to stay as far away as possible from aligning my views with a person who thinks it's okay to beat his wife because she wanted him to share french fries with his son.

All I'm saying is that I've never heard Jason Kidd's name come up during discussions of the most cerebral players currently in the league, and that I don't consider him to be any kind of expert on half-court NBA offense.
Actually, I don't think I have. While I was replying to you I was speaking to the board with respect to "Eddy Curry" and "Skiles being a jerk". Thats on me if I didn't make that clear enough, but I'm not going to make multiple individual posts to address the same subject.

Yet, its not much different I suppose than for me to read into your implication that I have no qualms "aligning my views with a person who thinks it's okay to beat his wife because she wanted him to share french fries with his son". As I recall, you're a big supporter of putting out a talented team and not a choirboy team, right? Are we going to base POV on the players abilities or his off the court character? It seems to me there aren't many "character" guys in the L so thats gonna narrow our expert witnesses down to a measley few (probably just those Paxson type guys minus Ben).

I actually can't stand Kidd, but I do cede to his knowledge of the game.

And for the record, the last part was in part for you. I consider you to be a smart poster, but I sense you're always adamant in your views even if evidence surfaces which may prove you to be wrong.

We can agree to disagree, but just for arguments sake who would it take to convince you Skiles knows X's and O's or can you only believe it with your own eyes?
 

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Mr. T said:
We can agree to disagree, but just for arguments sake who would it take to convince you Skiles knows X's and O's or can you only believe it with your own eyes?
I'm a big "actions speak louder than words" guy. I'm not impressed by interviews and soundbites saying "bringing back Eddy and Tyson is a given" or "Scott Skiles knows his Xs and Os". Maybe I'm jaundiced, jaded, cynical, or all of the above, but I'm almost always going to go with my version of the truth, not what someone tells me it ought to be.

I respectively disagree with the viewpoint that our team is too young and needs to be coddled lest it implode. The point of coaching in general and play-calling in particular is to put players in spots where the things they are good at are emphasized and the things they are bad at are concealed. It's very true that Skiles is fighting somewhat of an uphill battle because we don't have many true two-way players. But at this point in the season, where every single play (all three of them) is well-known by the opponent, and our shooting percentages and turnover rate aren't getting any better, it seems to me that a new play or two might not necessarily cause our offense to become undone.

just think back to how unbelievably pathetic our offense was last year. Kirk and Jamal pounding dents in the floor trying to get open shots for themselves or each other. Eddy not knowing how to run a set. AD executing the "brick an open 16 footer" to perfection. I know that this year's offense isn't exactly Showtime, but compared to last year, it's a freaking ballet. Skiles deserves a little credit for that, and so does Pax for putting together a better team. And so do the players for executing reasonably well. Yes, there are times when we really bog down, and Gordon's individual skills have saved our rears on more than a couple occasions, but in the end, our offensive sets, combined with much-improved defensive intensity, put us in a position to win games. We can't expect this to be a finished product already, though.
VF, John Hollinger's recent take on the Bulls' resurgence basically said that their offense is as effective (ineffective) as last year's 23-59 team, with one major difference -- a lights-out fourth-quarter scorer in Gordon. Hinrich is still pounding dents in the floor. Eddy is still turning the ball over. Tyson was a better offensive player his rookie season. The rest of the guys seem to have their number called only on busted plays. And so on.

The thing that really bugs me is that because our defense has been so consistently good, you'd think it would allow for more offensive experimentation. I would like to see Skiles at least explore the trade-off between plays we might not execute as crisply due to unfamiliarity vs. the ability of those plays to work because they're unfamiliar to our opponent as well.
 

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ScottMay said:
VF, John Hollinger's recent take on the Bulls' resurgence basically said that their offense is as effective (ineffective) as last year's 23-59 team, with one major difference -- a lights-out fourth-quarter scorer in Gordon.
I went and found the Hollinger quote on Insider:

In truth, Chicago looks like a poor offensive team for a good reason – it is. Despite a vastly improved win-loss record, Chicago's offensive output isn't much better than it was a year ago. This is evident in its Offensive Efficiency, my measure of a team's offense. It's the counterweight to Defensive Efficiency, which I introduced previously. As with Defensive Efficiency, Offensive Efficiency measures a team's points per 100 possessions used. The formula is similar: Start with the points a team scores per 48 minutes and divide by its Pace Factor, then multiply the result by 100.

Under this formula, the Bulls average 97.8 points per 100 possessions – ranking them 26th among the NBA's 30 teams. They're not too far from the bottom either – lowly New Orleans is barely a point worse at 96.4. With the league average at 102.7, the Bulls are nearly five points per 100 possessions worse than the competition.
 

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I read that article. Didn't that article also say that if you take the atrocious beginning of the season out, the Bulls are actually closer to the middle of the pack? If I recall, that article says that the way the Bulls opened the season made him think they could be the worst offensive team ever. They've come a lonnnnnggg way since then, even though there's still plenty of work to do.
 

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ViciousFlogging said:
I read that article. Didn't that article also say that if you take the atrocious beginning of the season out, the Bulls are actually closer to the middle of the pack? If I recall, that article says that the way the Bulls opened the season made him think they could be the worst offensive team ever. They've come a lonnnnnggg way since then, even though there's still plenty of work to do.
In their first 15 games, the Bulls weren't bad defensively. They weren't great either, but they gave up 103.1 points per 100 possessions, which is only slightly worse than the league average. When you consider that two of Chicago's first 15 games were against Phoenix, that's not too shabby.

But offensively, Chicago was as bad an offensive team as you'll see, averaging just 91.7 points per 100 possessions. Had the Bulls kept that up for a full season, they might have been the worst offensive team in history.

Since then, the Bulls have been a very respectable offensive team, putting up 100.9 points per 100 possessions – a mammoth improvement of over nine points. (The league average is 102.7) They're still below the league average, but with the way they play defense, the Bulls don't need to have a great offense.
 

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Is it the offense or the players?
I'm torn on this issues.

last game we score 90 odd points but had a horrible shooting night from Kirk,Gordon and Duhon, but who else do you want taking shots.
(we don't have good shooters outside Ben)

There was abit of discussion going about that chandler should be given a few more plays run for him.

I think we currently have two guys that make great second options (curry and gordon) and two guys the make great fourth options (deng and hinrich)

Maybe next year if gordon continues to improve we have
gordon first option 20ppg
curry second 18ppg
deng third (assuming he improves some) 16ppg
hinrich fourth. 14ppg

now you might go, I've understated what they can score but we'd be in quite a luxirious position of having people that can step up and score more when required and having them most likely scoring in an effective way.
 
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