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**** the clippers
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16,459 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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The Bulls have a terrifying defensive team. They are built for the grind, which unveils their weakness; they can't really score in bunches. So instead of out-grinding this team, which would not be a successful endeavor, our aim will be to outscore them. We'll be starting our five best players just to keep things even-keel in the opening minutes. (And because there's absolutely no benefit to going small with Hamilton when you're up against KG). We'll want to exploit Cunningham's matchup (likely Erving), since he's the only player in Chicago's starting lineup who isn't an elite defender (or even a great one). And we'll be running lots of pick-and-rolls with Payton and Erving (finishing) or Payton and Parish (shooting). Payton's not an amazing three-point shooter, but he hits enough to where the Bulls probably wouldn't feel good about abandoning him. In yesterday's pratice session, we had Erving in the gym practicing setting picks for eight hours straight. Oh to be young and imaginary.

Peja and Laimbeer will be getting heavy minutes off the bench, often together. On offense, Laimbeer will do a fine job of stretching the floor and dragging one of KG or Zo (or their backups) out to the perimeter, but his primary focus is to be a prick on defense and the boards, and to rough up the opposition. Maybe we luck out and his antics cause KG to blow his lid and get tossed. If Peja starts feeling it from 3 and we do a good enough job of getting him shots, there's a distinct possibility that the Bulls just won't be able to keep up. (In case you didn't know, Peja hit 240 three's at a 43% clip in 03-04). When Peja's on the floor, we'll be shifting Dr. J to defensive SG, and Moncrief will sit. Peja is, to put it bluntly, a shit defender, but he'll almost always be on either Cunningham (I'm okay with making him beat us), or DeBusschere (not a scorer).

The Bulls sort of have a Peja of their own on their bench, in Michael Redd. However, Redd's defensive shortcomings will hurt Dornado's squad more than Peja's hurt mine, because a defensive hole at guard means that things will open up for Payton or Moncrief, which is not what the Bulls want. In order to keep Redd from having an impact, we'll be playing Moncrief in shorter spurts after the opening minutes, in order to keep him ready to jump off the bench if Redd enters the game. Jerry Sloan will come in handy for keeping up the defensive pressure when Moncrief is on the bench and we're not playing Peja.

The starting guards all largely cancel each other out. That's just a matter of who can outplay who. As far as depth goes, the only other player on Chicago's bench that concerns me is Yao and his shooting touch. Our tallest player still gives up six inches. However, Yao's not a particularly tough or hard-nosed guy, so our best bet there is probably to have Laimbeer try to get him off his game. Monroe is an impressive scorer, but an impressive defender. Either of our starting guards can handle him. Pettit was excellent in his day but I have doubts about him being able to hold up against more modern players. DeBusschere is a pain on defense, but not an offensive threat at all.
 

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Jesus Shuttlesworth
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17,071 Posts
Good luck sir - they got a tough squad...but yours is nice too!
 
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