Rather than the normal rapid reaction, this one will just be a few quick thoughts.
First, a lot of credit to this Bulls team. They were shorthanded the entire season, but never used that as an excuse. They had their nights that they faltered and fell flat, but it’s games like tonight that show you how much fight and effort this team put in every time they went out on the court. When I look back in a few years, that’s what I will remember. That and Game 4 against the Nets.
The effort was always there from the players on this team. From the new guys like Nate Robinson (who when he was signed I thought he was just an overconfident shooter, but actually bought into Tom Thibodeau’s system pretty well—and provided much needed scoring), to Jimmy Butler (taking a huge step forward into a starting role, developing a reliable three-point shot and shutting down perimeter players), to Joakim Noah (who has been giving the effort his entire career but emerged as Chicago’s MVP this season, often facilitating the offense and leading the defense). Even guys who were planted on the bench for long stretches of the season like Marco Belinelli and Nazr Mohammed stepped up into huge roles at times, including the playoffs.
This Bulls team wasn’t always the most exciting team, but they had their moments, and all you can ask of a team is that they fight until the very end. Chicago did that.
A long, injury-riddled season with tons of off-the-court news has finally ended for the Bulls. Here’s to a better 2013-2014.
Feel free to leave your thoughts on the season below in the comments
Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago writes:
Vladimir Radmanovic appears to be the latest addition to the revamped Chicago Bulls’ bench.
Radmanovic and the Bulls agreed to a one-year deal that will be announced Thursday, according to a report on CSNChicago.com on Wednesday night. A league source stressed to ESPNChicago.com the deal was not yet official.
Radmanovic, an 11-year veteran, has averaged eight points and four rebounds per game during his career. He averaged 4.5 points and three rebounds per game for the Atlanta Hawks last season.
For some historical perspective on Radmanovic, Phil Jackson — who used to be a pretty good coach in the NBA — grew so weary of Vlad’s wildly inconsistent play (and equally inconsistent effort) that he began calling him “space cadet” and “my favorite Martian.”
Vlad also earned a permanent spot in the Basketbawful Dumb Injury Hall of Shame for the following incident:
In February of 2007, Radmanovic separated his shoulder falling on a patch of ice in Park City, Utah. Or so he claimed. But a few days later, Radmanovic admitted that he had actually hurt himself in a fall while snowboarding. Said the Radman: “The truth is that I hurt myself in a fall while snowboarding. Being young and sometimes immature, I initially panicked and made up a false story about how I hurt myself. However, over the past few days my conscience has been bothering me terribly. I am not a dishonest person and could no longer live with this deception. Therefore, I came forward today and told the truth to the Lakers.” Mind you, his contract specifically banned him from taking part in activities that involve significant risk of injury, including skiing and snowboarding. The space cadet was fined $500,000 for his stupidity.
But all (honest and accurate) kidding aside, can Radmanovic help the Bulls?
Well, he’s a power(less) forward with a career 38 percent three-point shooting percentage. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.
ESPN’s John Hollinger’s take on Vlad:
+ Tall, flaky, sweet-shooting forward. Disastrously bad ball handler.
+ Good feet on defense but lacks strength and doesn’t always play hard.
+ Very poor rebounder. Struggles to create own shot. Surprising shot-blocker.
Michael Wonsover of ChicagoNow did a little extra digging:
Vlad Rad isn’t a horrible defender either, he’s actually quite respectable. His opponent’s player efficiency rating at small forward was only 8.9. At power forward he allowed a PER of 13.2. The Bulls should not expect Radmanovic to guard centers since his opponents PER ballooned to 18.7 while guarding fives. Synergy also rated Radmanovic as a solid defender, allowing 0.83 points per play (166th ranked in the league). He also held his opponent’s to a 38.7 shooting percentage. Vlad was especially good at spot-up defense, holding shooters to 0.76 points per play (41st in the league) while shooting 33.8 percent. Once again, don’t put Radmanovic on big guys since he was abused in the post. Post-up players shot 52.5 percent against Vlad while connecting on 1.04 points per play (251st ranked in the league).
So, in summary, Vlad is a one-trick pony on offensive (shooter) who can kinda-sorta play decent defense.