By the Horns Weekly Mailbag- 11/20/2013

Image from Flickr via Pacdog

Image from Flickr via Pacdog

Welcome to the Bulls by the Horns weekly mailbag where we will answer some of your reader submitted questions about the Chicago Bulls and the NBA. If you’d like to submit your question to us please shoot us a message via our contact form. This week’s mailbag is on a Wednesday, however subsequent mailbags will be moved to later on in the week. Without further ado, let’s get to it:


Why won’t Thibs play the younger players on the team like Teague, Snell, and Murphy more meaningful minutes to help them develop? It seems useless that they just sit on the end of the bench not getting any experience.
Eric T

As we’ve seen over the past several years, Tom Thibodeau is a “go hard every night and win now” kind of coach. He expects his players to give it their all every night for all 82 games of the regular season and keep up that kind of performance throughout the playoffs. With this kind of mentality playing rookies or younger players in general doesn’t make much sense. More often than not, rookies prove to be a liability on the floor as they are more mistake prone. We’ve already seen one example earlier this season when first round draft pick Tony Snell played meaningful minutes against the Miami Heat. During his seven minutes on the court Snell repeatedly allowed his opponent to get to the hoop, missed defensive rotations, and committed a couple of stupid fouls.

I understand that the rookies can’t get experience and grow without getting some playing time. To this end I agree with you and am in favor of Thibodeau giving more minutes to Marquis Teague, Tony Snell, and Erik Murphy in games against some of the league’s worst teams. Chicago plays down to their opponent’s level anyways and doing so can only help the starters stay healthy for the long postseason run the team hopes to have. But otherwise I am fine with Thibodeau leaving the inexperienced players on the bench. Simply sitting, watching, and analyzing the game as it unfolds (as well as watching film later) aids the learning process and can help reduce the learning curve once a player does get some meaningful minutes.

What is going on with Derrick Rose’s performance lately? He played really well during the preseason but has been abysmal during these first nine games. In the nine games Chicago has played he’s shot more times than he’s scored points in five of them, his field goal percentage isn’t even 35%, and his 9.33 PER is tied for the worst on the team with Nazr Mohammed.
Cynthia W

Derrick Rose’s recent performance only enhances the notion that no one should put too much stock in to the preseason. Unless the organization or Rose’s camp is hiding information, there isn’t much to suggest that Rose’s struggles are due to anything more than rust. Thus far Rose has shown the same speed, agility, and first step he used to have prior to sustaining his knee injury and has increased his vertical jump. The knee is healthy and things in that regard look good but Rose has been away from the game for more than a year and a half. He needs time to get back into NBA form

A lot of Rose’s early struggles can be attributed to Rose simply trying to do too much by himself. Early on in the season Rose would drive into traffic to try to get a layup or would try a pull up jumper off the dribble rather than pass the ball to his teammates. The result has been a lower field goal percentage, more shots taken than points made, fewer assists than his career average, more turnovers per game, and a lower PER. However Rose has already made some improvements and will likely continue to do so.

What do you make of the reports of a rift between Thibodeau and Foreman coming to out over the past several months?
Phil H

Despite the two downplaying the reports, I do believe that there is a rift. With an intensely loyal coach like Thibodeau, you shouldn’t really go off and fire one of his best friends, tell him how to coach players, and seemingly impede how he works. Especially when he, as a coach, has already brought the team so much success in the past three years despite all of the adversity the team has faced. At this point I honestly don’t know what to make of the reports though and how things will play out in the future. All I know is that if either side doesn’t tread lightly (yay poorly made Breaking Bad references!), there will be blood.

The Pacers are looking dangerous this year. Do you think Chicago stop them in the playoffs?
Alex C

The season is young. The Pacer did get off to a hot start and have only one loss on the season to Chicago. Between now and the playoffs just about anything can happen. Players can get hot, cool off, get hurt, or get traded. As it stands I still believe the Bulls will have a better record than the Pacers at the end of the regular season and believe Chicago will make it further in the playoffs, but I do think it’ll all come down to one or two games in both situations. Regardless, with Indiana’s making their presence known in the East things definitely have become a whole lot more fun.

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