Guest Post: The Clippers debacle

This loss was both poetic, and good for the Bulls. It was poetic because they played poorly, yet were in a position to win (or extend the game to overtime) precisely because they were facing the worst free-throw shooting team on the league. Yet they failed because they, too, stink at the line.

At the same time, the loss was good for the Bulls because as long as they were able to keep winning while shooting terribly from the line, there would have been no sense of urgency. The manner in which they lost, however, might actually help the team in the long run.

It is true that free-throw shooting is not an easy skill to improve quickly (if at all). It takes time, practice, and good coaching. But above all, it requires dedication by the individual(s), and that is something that, in this context, seems to have been missing from the Bulls this season.

Given that it was Rose – an underachiever at the line himself – who missed the crucial free-throw, it is likely that he will redouble his efforts to improve in that area. And given that he is certainly a leader of the team, and especially by example of his work ethic, perhaps the rest of the players will feel pressure to focus on improving their foul shooting (pun intended) as well.

This is no joke, though, as even with the team (hopefully) back at full strength for the playoffs, any thought of upsetting an elite contender will remain a fantasy unless the Bulls shore up their free-throw shooting.

About the Author:
Tony C. grew up in Evanston, and cut his teeth on the exciting, early ’70’s Walker-Love-Sloan-Van Lier Bulls. As you might expect, he is thrilled with the direction and development of the current team, as the emphasis on determination, defense and chemistry is so reminiscent of that classic, earlier era.

19 Responses to Guest Post: The Clippers debacle

  1. Anonymous December 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    yea it’s pretty disgusting how bad they’ve been at the line. they don’t seem to realize how important that aspect of the game is. not only do they need to shoot better from the line, they need to force more fouls with harder drives to the basket. i’m all for finding the open man off the drive and pop as well as good ball movement but we really need to do a better job of getting our opponents into foul trouble as it can completely change the dynamic of the game. these refs cant htold off on their whistles forever.

  2. Matt December 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm #

    Don’t really agree with one of your points. Rose doesn’t underachieve from the line (he has a better FT% than Wade and LeBron), he just doesn’t get there often enough. What numbers are you expecting out of him?

    Tony C. December 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Here’s a follow-up tidbit:

    WNBA players are, as a group, good free-throw shooters. Having said that, though, the current Bulls (at .700%) would rank last in the WNBA based on team FT%.

  4. Noah's FT Ark December 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    my friends and i played a game where u had to drink every time kurt thomas jumped. we didn’t have to drink much at all…

    chitown4life December 20, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    @ Tony don’t be like trying to get on Rose cause he missed one free throw without Rose this team would suk that is the simple but clear fact ppl miss the best of them do it. The current team we have does not work right brewer cannot make shots constant, bogans cannot make shots constant korver does not get enough time on the floor and now we have big hole in front court , we need to trade brwer n bogans to the grizz for mayo also sign sheed to vet min therefore we will have two hot shooting players mayo korver to help spread the floor more for Drose , he is the focus and the leader of this team everything the bulls do should be centered around him period time to make some changes you see what others are doing making moves the bulls need to do something themself to make sure they right the ship now . peace

    Tony C. December 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    chitown4life –

    I don’t care about Rose missing the one free-throw. What I do care about is that his FT% has gone down in each of his three seasons, as there is absolutely no excuse for that. In any case, he should be much better than a 75% FT shooter.

  7. Mike December 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    I think the refs confused the Clippers with the Lakers. Horrible officiating

    BoppinBob December 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    I am concerned about the Bulls FT shooting, it definitely needs to improve. Unfortunately some players were never able to develop the skill (i.e. Shaq 52.7% and Wilt 51.1%).

    Short term I am more concerned about the Bulls rebounding. Gibson should miss at least one game with a concussion. That means that two of the Bulls top three rebounders will be on the sidelines. I have felt all along that the Bulls weakness is the front line depth. Noah is a unique talent. He gets by on hard work and hussle. But he takes a beating all season long. Asik will take a similiar beating, as will Gibson as a small 5.

    chitown4life December 20, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    @ Tony

    I don’t care if he shoots 60% from the Ft% the main thing is his over all game is up and continueing to go up since he came to the bulls his stats put him in the convo for MVP of the league now why are you so concerned about his FT% tell you what who ever thinks that hitting fT’s is gonna win you a championship beeds to take a close look at the game yes they do determine some games but in the long run its the team that gets stops and rebounds and scores that win it all finally Tib best get some help and get it fast else this ship we are on is gonna go down maybe faster than alot think and may not have to worry about Rose being here anymore imgine that yea the thought of him leaving sounds hard to imgine especially him saying he won’t but ppl can and do change there mind lets just hope he does not he is coming up on his contract year soon so best make sure he is happy with the team you have he is the true superstar of this team therefore make it clear they will do what they have to to make this team a winner even more than they have done already……..

    Savage December 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm #

    I am sorry but I have to side with Tony C on this one. The Bulls FT shooting this year has been unacceptable. Rose should be vocal about team mates working on that aspect of their game. We are not a team that is so dominant that we do not need to shoot well from the line to win games. Quite the opposite we are a team that is involved in a lot of close games this puts an even greater importance on shooting from the line. I think the one that really needs to emphasize this is coach T.

    inkybreath December 21, 2010 at 12:47 am #


    The FT shooting has been consistently bad enough to present a bad pattern. It has made a handful of games harder to win and easier to lose. (And, I am ignoring Asik at the line, altogether. He has other things to work on.)

    Gorditadog December 21, 2010 at 1:00 am #

    It’s not just Rose: as a team we are poor at free throw shooting. Bulls so far are missing 7.6 free throws per game. That is 7.6 free points we are giving away each game. In contrast, Boston misses only 5.7 free throws per game (and they have Shaq!) while the Lakers miss only 5.0. Against the good teams, when the games are close, those 2-3 points per game we are giving away at the line could well be the difference between winning and losing.

    chitown4life December 21, 2010 at 5:03 am #

    @ the last three respondents

    You all have valid points but your not looking a whats going on now our team as it stands is gonna find it hard to win without anothr big man also a consitant shooting guard FT% is only a very small part of what is going on right now with our team the bigger picutre is players down Noah Gbson and lack of bench scoring three thing that can kill any team from winning soI’m glad you keep the stats on fT% but what about the other aspects of the team love to hear your outlook on that ……………..peace

    BoppinBob December 21, 2010 at 6:01 am #

    Rest assured that Thibs is harping on FT shooting. chitown4life, no championship team has been a bad FT shooting team. It may have some bad FT shooters, but they do not see the ball in potential FT situations. That is why it is important for DRose to show improvement in that area. Stating the obvious, the Bulls offense runs through him, he will be fouled until he shows that he will make them pay at the line. That being said, DRose has proven that he will address and improve his weaknesses, I am not worried.

    I am worried about the rebounding and defense while Noah is out. The short term is very scary with Gibson hurt and missing at least one game. I have felt all along that the Bulls needed to reinforce the front line before doing anything more about SG. The current situation just underlines my position. While I do not think that Bogans should be starting, I believe that the rotation is providing close to 19 points/game. The three SG’s that the Bulls have fit an offense geared to DRose.

    inkybreath December 21, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    Again, agreed. I surely don’t think FTs outweigh defensive rebounding right now, for one.

    I have always loved to hate Brendon Haywood, and, yes he is a lot of money… but he is the guy we need to make the bench play really hurt the other teams (that is assuming his work as a stop-gap until Noah heals).

    Haywood is still very hungry, rebounds and averaged 2 blocks per game on 25-32 minutes. It would send Asik to the deep bench, but the urgency has been created for this team with these back to back injuries.

    Omer gets back low minute-tip and Kurt Thomas can hit the lazy-boy and we can knock the Lakers and Boston around a bit more with some bigs.

    inkybreath December 21, 2010 at 6:38 am #

    The guards we have are talented enough to get the jobs done, or better yet, they have the talent to be coached into winning.

    inkybreath December 21, 2010 at 6:46 am #


    I just looked at Haywood’s contract – whew, 12 million at the age of 36?

    Go get ’em, Omer!

    chitown4life December 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    @ inky LOL tooo funny looked at his contract lol heck no there is no way we are gonna pay that much for a player at his age and also just a fill in til Noah gets healthy might want to consider Sheed at least he knows the d and would get him for the vet min and would not cost us any picks win win situation i think maybe if we do make a move we could get mayo for like bogans brewer and first might take both first picks but if that can be done do it might get another big from the Grizz also in the trade lol ink tooo funny…..


  1. Bulls-Clippers Preview » By The Horns - February 2, 2011

    […]  They fell on their faces. […]

Designed by Anthony Bain