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Apr
2
2008

Thomas Just Isn't Enough as Bulls Lose to Celtics (Again)

thomasceltics.jpgWell....there you go. With Drew Gooden out again with an injury, Tyrus Thomas got his second consecutive start for the Bulls last night. Everyone should be happy now. Kind of. In one of his finer "efforts" of the season, Thomas ended up playing the most minutes on the team (37+) and leading the team with 24 points....all while compiling a -18 rating for the game (that's not good for those of you that don't know). Nice. The Bulls still lost 106-92. It wasn't even that close.

What's that old saying about any player in the NBA could score 20+ if he got the chance? Actually, I think I just said it. Anyways, not a bad game for Ty even though he had three of his shots blocked and picked up his first foul like nine seconds into the game. Seriously, nine seconds into the game. Then again, what do you expect when the guy was supposed to be guarding Kevin Garnett (20 and 7).

Enough about that dude, let's talk about the Bulls as a team....they haven't been close in any game against the Celtics this season. Yes, the Celtics are better than the Bulls but I'd like to believe the Bulls could at least keep the games kind of close. Then again, these are the Bulls. They are not good. Case in point. Larry Hughes, who McBias loves for some reason, was 0-6 from the floor last night and is causing Interim Coach Jim Boylan to play Chris Duhon again.

Speaking of Boylan, he said earlier in the week that the Bulls weren't going to 'go young' to close out the season even though they are out of the playoff race. That alone should keep him out of the running for the full-time gig. I know that I'm not the biggest Ty Thomas fan but they really do need to let the kids play and evaluate what exactly they have in the inventory. It doesn't make sense to have Thabo Sefolosha play less than 18 minutes like he did last night just like it didn't make sense to have TT only play 25 combined minutes in two games over the weekend. Although, only playing Aaron Gray for nine minutes last night DID make sense. Oh well.

The Bulls play at Cleveland tomorrow night so expect Gooden to be back and for Hughes to throw up at least 15 shots.

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5 Comments

Well, I suppose it's always a good idea to play the young kids, since this season is done anyway, and see what they have to offer. Not to mention every 20 point game Tyrus throws up helps Paxson's limited job security just a little bit, right?

Still, I think the real question now is what happens with Gordon and Deng in the offseason. Much like I've said in the past about David Lee and Brian's boy Iguodala, it's not in the long term interest of the Bulls to overpay those guys, if they aren't really proven franchise players. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out....

I think they are going to try hard to move Gordon if they can get a sign and deal. They aren't going to offer him anything long term so they'll either move him or he'll sign the one-year deal. Deng will stay long term

I think Lee and Gordon are similar. Both borderline starters, both going to be paid way too much. Iguodala is a legit starter if not a legit star, Deng sure looked like one last year and I have to think if they can get some semblance of a team together in Chicago, he will again.

The difference I see between the Bulls and the Sixers is that the Sixers have better pieces around Iguodala. They can afford to sign him to a big deal this Summer and still get another huge piece (or two smaller ones) with their cap space. Then they'll still have cap space next Summer when Miller comes off the books, or they can resign Miller.

If the Bulls sign Deng to a huge deal, when will they have the cap flexibility to bring in talent to surround him with? That's an open question if you look at their salaries. They have so many decisions to make.

Yeah, I hear you Brian. But the difference is overpaying for Gordon is less likely, because Ben probably won't get too many offers. Lee will get offers, and Deng and Iguodala will, too. And so keeping those three guys might mean overpaying them. And overpaying a guy like Lee isn't as costly as overpaying AI or Deng (who might want as much as $14 million a year or something).

They are actually similar to Okafor in a lot of ways. Okafor, like I said before, isn't more than an above-average center, maybe #10 overall, right? Now, where do Deng and AI rank in SFs?

Better SFs: Pierce (though he has peaked), Marion, LeBron, Rashard Lewis, Caron Butler, Tracy McGrady, Carmelo Anthony, Ron Artest, Antawn Jamison, Corey Maggette (when healthy), Rudy Gay, Stephen Jackson.

Not SFs, but can play there: Vince Carter, Josh Howard, Kevin Garnett, Michael Redd, Jason Richardson.

In a similar category: Josh Smith, AI, Deng, Gerald Wallace, AK47, Lamar Odom, Danny Granger, Richard Jefferson.

Will be better very soon: Kevin Durant.

When you look at that list, you realize that the SFs that are in the same group as Deng & Iguodala, and gotten their pay day already - Jefferson, Odom, Kirilenko - all have terrible contracts. Jefferson and AK are practically untradeable, their contracts are so bad. Never mind that when they signed them just two or three years ago, they seemed like good or fair deals.

Something to keep in mind....

Needless to say, I disagree. You have so many one-dimensional players above Igoudala on this list it isn't even funny. Anyway, I did some research, check out this spreadsheet. It contains the PER, opponents PER and difference for every player you mentioned in your comment while playing SF. Source is 82games.com.

It isn't just about scoring, it's about shutting down the best player on the other team as well. Iguodala is in the top 10, easily.

The only player not included is Kevin Garnett because he hasn't played SF at all.

I generally don't rely on PER, in a vacuum. But I think when you look at the larger picture of PER vs. opponent's (the guy you're guarding) you get a good sense of the player's true value.


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