Saturday , May , 28 , 2011 J.N.

The Bulls have 99 problems and the Heat is just one.

Derrick Rose’s Chicago Bulls have been eliminated from the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals at the hands of the Wade/LeBron-Bosh Miami Heat, 4-1. Chi-Town is fighting through some pain right now, but there shouldn’t be any. At the beginning of the season, there were not many people on the Bulls’ bandwagon. The hype grew as the wins piled up. The bandwagon grew yet many were not convinced. Rose won MVP and that’s when all hell broke loose. Tom Thibodeau received Coach of the Year. Beating Indiana and Atlanta were good. However, facing Miami caused the bandwagon to break. People keep saying that getting an upgrade at the shooting guard position over Keith Bogans is all that is needed to get the Bulls over the top to win it all.

Nope. Sorry. That’s not the answer.

It’s too easy to blindly say that. The truth is there isn’t any single answer. Instead, there are numerous problems with numerous answers. We have to examine the team, piece by piece, to come up with the true answers. Where do we start to find them? No, let’s not ask The Answer Allen Iverson. We start from the bottom then to the top.

The Bench Mob

Rasual Butler – He has to be incorporated heavily in the rotation; good size for a shooter. The reason why he did not play much is because he was acquired late in the season. By that time, it was too late to include him in anything. Butler is a career 40 percent shooter and 36 percent from down town. That’s not great, but better than anything besides Kyle Korver.

Kyle Korver – This man should be the best shooter. Right now, he is not. He completely vanished. He is useless on defense, but at least he gives effort. Then again, he was useless on offense. That means Korver is useless on the team. They cannot rely on him hitting clutch shots when the time matters. His numbers also took a nose dive each season. He is a keeper since he’s a career 43 percent from down town, but placed on a tight leash. His effective field goal percentage for this year’s playoffs is 50% while his true shooting percentage is 52%. That’s all good, but not effective when needed. Korver did not pull the trigger when needed and backed off from looking for shots.

Kurt Thomas – The man is done. See you later, OG.

Omer Asik – Get healthy. Get better.

Brian Scalabrine – Good shit talker from the bench. He has a lot of swag once he gets in there. Brian is a solid presence to have in the locker room.

CJ Watson – Get rid of him. He’s too busy banging Floyd Mayweather’s girl. Watson is also terrible. He keeps shooting and shooting. CJ does not know how to run an offense, which leads to the meltdowns. Watson made 19/56 from the field in the playoffs. His eFG% is .366. We’re hitting Rose territory with those numbers. No thank you. Get out of here. His defense is nice, but CJ does not run the offense at all. He does a terrible job of distributing, too.

Taj Gibson – This guy is a starting power forward on many teams except the Bulls; a definite keeper. He doesn’t complain about his role or minutes. He is cheap to keep, too. Advanced stats during playoffs – TS% – .575, eFG% – .566, PER – 16.6.

Ronnie Brewer – The Bulls need to find the 2009 Ronnie Brewer. That’s a capable starting shooting guard. The problem is his skill set. It just does not match up with what they need; can’t shoot and can’t handle the rock. They can trade him if needed because he is replaceable.

Starters

Keith Bogans – Gone.

Luol Deng – This was his best season to date; played all 82 games and playoffs, 17.4 points, 5.8 rebounds. 16.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists in the playoffs. Trade him while his value is high right now. If Chicago is keeping him, he is a good number 3 guy on the team.

Joakim Noah – 8.7 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists in the playoffs. That was horrible. Right now, he’s a keeper. Later on, think about trading him in the right deal.

Carlos Boozer – No one is taking him with his money and age. Boozer showed a lot of flaws in the playoffs to the world. Chicago is stuck with him. It could be worse. 59 games played, but played all playoff games. Remember, he has turf toe. That takes a month or two to heal properly. Boozer never got that chance.

Boozer’s postseason before this season:

23.5ppg, 12.2reb, 53.6%fg, 24.2 PER
16.0ppg, 12.3reb, 41.5%fg, 13.8 PER
20.6ppg, 13.2reb, 52.8%fg, 20.4 PER
19.7ppg, 13.2reb, 53.0%fg, 17.6 PER

12.6 points and 9.7 boards in the playoffs did not get anything done. The past Boozer would have been a certified number 2 option that Chicago was looking for. That Boozer would have beat Miami. Right now, that Boozer is gone.

Derrick Rose –The kid is the MVP. His inefficiency was due to the constant double teams. The only problems were the turnovers and shot selection.  He has to get better and he will because he is driven like Mike and Kobe.  

Tom Thibodeau and the front office have to work out these problems. Solving the shooting guard problem is not the answer. It’s not that simple. To beat the Heat and become winners, the front line has to be retooled. One of Boozer or Noah has to leave. Booz is not the same anymore and Noah will find ways to be injured and gassed half the time. That’s not good enough. The team also is in desperate need of a true sixth man like Ben Gordon, Jamal Crawford, and Jason Terry. The current Bulls do not have that.

Chicago needs to address front line woes immediately by gunning for this stud –

  • Try to obtain Dwight Howard by any means necessary. Offer a package of anyone besides Derrick Rose. The current front line is not good enough as shown throughout the regular season and playoffs. Either they’re injured or just can’t synchronize with each other. However, I guarantee that the Bulls front office cannot accomplish this. They have never acquired a star through trade.
  • Obtain a sixth man who can make shots.
  • Obtain a true backup point guard.  
  • Try to get another hybrid player that can dribble, score, defend, and play multiple positions – look into Andre Iguodala, OJ Mayo, Eric Gordon, Arron Afflalo, and Kevin Martin. JR Smith is definitely not the answer.

There you have it – a lot of problems and answers besides filling the SG position unless they land 2006 Kobe. They have to get another star in this super team era regardless of position. During the Kirk Hinrich/Ben Gordon era, analysts were saying that all that Chicago needed was a good big man, like Pau Gasol or Kevin Garnett, to win it all just like how they say that they need a good SG now. They’re all wrong back then and they’re wrong today. It’s not that simple because there are other problems that need to be addressed immediately. Have a great summer, Chicago.

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