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Nov
26
2007

Bulls Need Slumpbuster

By Jack Cobra  |  Comments (4) | Hype It Up!  |   Filed Under: Basketball | Jack Cobra Archive
I put myself through the agony of watching both Bulls losses over the weekend in an attempt to get a better picture of what the problem is with this team. They very well could have/should have won both games, but came up empty once again. It's time to bust out the 'slumpbuster', so there is my favorite picture of Erin Andrews. If that doesn't work, nothing will.

Onto an actual basketball-related opinion. The Bulls aren't very good right now. They are missing shots, running the offense horribly wrong and playing defense like their feet are stuck in cement blocks. There isn't a single player on the entire team that is playing that well right now, so what are the Bulls to do?

Fire the Coach!! No, that's just ridiculous and anyone who says that at this point needs to have their head examined. While I'm all for 'fresh starts' and crap like that, it's not time to let Scott Skiles go. Has he not led this team to multiple playoff appearances? Isn't he the one who installed the offense that became a thing of beauty the past couple of seasons? Is he not the one who changed the entire mentality of this franchise by instilling hard work and intensity? The answer to each of those questions is....Yes. The players are still being put in position to succeed, they are still getting open shots and....if it weren't for him they probably wouldn't have been in either of these games this weekend. Skiles is not the problem. That's a fact. Complain all you want about starting lineups and substitution patterns, but the fact is....the Bulls aren't losing because of Skiles.

The problem is that, right now, the players are horrendous. They are over-dribbling on offense, they are missing their jumpers, they don't have anyone who is willing to drive the lane...deep breath....deep breath. They have become selfish on offense to the point of missing where their teammates are going to be. Wait, that's actually a very good point. One of the main reasons why the Bulls have been successful the past couple of seasons is because it seems that each player knows where his teammates are going to be on every offensive possession. That's not the case this season, and who knows why. I've saw so many crappy passes this weekend that it almost made me wonder if the players are doing it on purpose. The players, the players, the players....that's where fault lies.

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4 Comments

By your logic, 'the players, the players, the players' deserve a reprieve because they changed the culture of the team too.

Perhaps unfair, but it's just easier to fire the coach. This isn't working, the team isn't improving and has in fact gotten worse, young players are continually buried and underdeveloped.

The players will get better just by law of averages, whether Skiles is there or not. But maybe this will accelerate the process.

Jack Cobra said

Thanks for stopping by Matt. While the 'easier' thing to do is to fire the coach....sometimes the easiest route isn't the best route. Why is the offense not being run like it has been the past few seasons? Why are players not setting up each other like they have in the past? That has nothing to do with Skiles.

It's hard to make an assessment this season on whether or not Thabo and Tyrus are being buried and underdeveloped because the entire team is playing so poorly. Last season those two filled a role that a young player should fill. I have to wonder though....with the way Luol, Hinrich and Gordon have worked so hard in the off-season, can the same be said about Ty and Thabo? I know Thabo was playing international ball, but could he have been better served by staying and working with the Bulls in the off-season? As for Ty, he's shown flashes but his fundamentals are poor. Those are the things that can be worked on by a player over the Summer and he hasn't shown any improvement from last season. I don't think Skiles is to blame because those two aren't getting better. Skiles wasn't the one pushing the 'Big Three' in the past off-seasons.

I think the players did get a reprieve the first few games of the season when they shot poorly. Everyone was thinking it would just come around one day. Well, 11 games into the season and it still hasn't come around.

I actually agree and disagree with firing the coach. I think firing the coach at the 11 game point is only necessary if the players have quit (see, ahem, the Knicks, perhaps). If they are playing hard, but sucking... then let's see if the coach can make the proper adjustment.

Of course, there is case to be made that long term Skiles is that good a coach. He's relentless, and that works on young teams, but he's also one who pushes buttons, and uses the media to call out players. Not good attributes to earning your team's loyalty or trust. It seems the classic case of a taskmaster whipping the team into shape for a couple of seasons, but then losing them in the third or fourth season. By that token he should be fired, because the team just isn't buying into his philosophy anymore.

Jack Cobra said

I think Skiles gets a bad rap here though. Yes, he's more of a taskmaster than Bill Cartwright and Tim Floyd, but he really hasn't been as tough on these guys as he used to be with his other teams. You rarely, if ever, see him screaming during the games, although who knows what happens at practice. I'm sure he gets on the younger players because they really don't know/understand what it takes to play at NBA speed when they first get into the league.

If the players start tuning him out and ignoring him, then he has to go. Until then, I think he's putting them in position to succeed better than anyone else could, and he should stay.


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