Scottie Pippen’s strong words

Scottie Pippen thinks LeBron James could be better than Michael Jordan some day.

This isn’t an entirely new idea. TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott expressed similar sentiments today. Still, it was a bit of a kick to the face to Bulls fans, considering LeBron is currently holding their still-beating hearts in his hand today.

It’s possible. LeBron might be the GOAT someday. Or he might not. We won’t know for a while.

What we do know is that the 2010-11 Bulls weren’t good enough to get the job done. And, not surprisingly, Pip has some thoughts on that subject as well.

Yes, he was looking at you, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.

Said Pippen: “You can’t have two of your top high-paid players sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter. And that isn’t just last night’s game. We have seen this the whole season. So for us to think the Bulls are going to go farther when your high-priced players are not going to carry you and finish games for you … you’re not talking about a championship team.

 “You can’t hide at this stage of the season. At this point, you have to be able to play through everything because if you’re trying to hide a guy or a guy is not performing for you, it’s going to show offensively in the playoffs and it’s going to be magnified … We all know Carlos did not play at the level the team needed him to and that that hurt them more than anything because they couldn’t rely on him.

“The flagrant foul, the pushing calls, the inability to finish strong around the basket. Now you’re a liability. We can’t hide you and now we have to take you out of the game. … When it came down to it, Miami had three guys who could make shots and the Bulls had maybe two and a half. Maybe Lu [Luol Deng], his offense had been there. But it’s a half when Boozer is coming up with 10 points and you need 20, or Joakim is coming up with one point and you needed 10. You never had that third guy.”

All I can do is sigh.

I’m not sure where the Bulls go from here. There’s this general feeling that they failed utterly. Yet they weren’t blown out and could have won every game they lost in this series. The problem wasn’t all Boozer, nor Noah, nor Derrick Rose…although each of them carries a fair share of the blame.

Some of it also goes to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. He never could decide on a substitution pattern. Yes, Rose stumbled and choked down the stretch, but he never got a single second of rest in the second halves of the final two games. Thibs also went to Kurt Thomas far later than he should have.

This is finger pointing time, but the critics better have a full 10 digits, because there’s plenty of pointing to be done right now. The devil is in the details, and the details did the Bulls in.

So did LeBron and Dwyane Wade. They both made clutch plays throughout the series. The Bulls lost the series and those men took it.

The question: Where do the Bulls go from here?

29 Responses to Scottie Pippen’s strong words

    23 > 6 May 27, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Well I’d like to think Pax and Forman were on their phones as soon as the final buzzer sounded calling the agents of Jason Richardson, J.R. Smith, etc. As long as Bogans is Rose’s backcourt partner, he will continue to be frustrated by double teams. Noah could use a bit more muscle and develop a 15-footer. For Boozer, I think it was all mental and he just needs to regroup and work with Thibs on the D. And you know Rose is already in the gym.

    23 > 6 May 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Well I like to think Pax and Forman were on their phones as soon as the final buzzer sounded calling the agents of Jason Richardson, J.R. Smith, etc. As long as Bogans is Rose’s backcourt partner, Rose will continue to be frustrated by double teams. Noah could use a bit more muscle and a develop a 15-footer. For Boozer, I think it was all mental and he just needs to regroup and work with Thibs on the D. And you know Rose has already hit the gym today.

    ScottA May 27, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    That is the question, isn’t it; I think they should mostly be content with what they have. Just need to pick up another shot-creator (a cheaper Jamal Crawford would be ideal, or even Crawford himself for a couple years, if JR is in the spending mood) and another shooter or two.

    Internal improvement (more offense from Noah, better shooting and decision-making from Rose, improved offensive schemes from Thibodeau and the staff) should cover the rest. Thankfully, they aren’t maxed out on potential yet – there’s a lot to look forward to. Finals are an achievable goal for next season; who else is really a threat in the East? Besides the Heat, obviously.

    Savage May 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    I have to agree with what Pippen said regarding Boozer. We got him to take pressure off Rose and work in the low post. In the playoffs Boozer was a jump shooter and any time he took it inside he either missed by a mile or got blocked. So no pressure was taken off rose and we had no one that could work the post. Noah can hit that free throw line jumper and must work on that over the summer since he is not a low post offensive player. Rose needs to improve he knows that. He needs to be able to hit that 18 foot jumper on a regular otherwise teams will just build a wall inside and play him like they do Rondo.

    Sure we could pick up a play making SG but I don’t think that would help as much as having a low post threat. So either have Boozer work on improving his D and low post moves or trade him for someone that can improve in that area. But I agree that another playmaker will be needed to get to the next level as well.

  5. Raevyrn May 27, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    Besides the internal improvements mentioned above I really feel we need someone in the mold of a Ray Allen/Rip Hamilton. Someone who can hit that jumper, runs around creating movement, and can knock down the three with consistency. Or just have Brewer, Korver, and Bogans do a fusion dance creating one guard….

    Matt which SG do you believe would be the best fit? I feel like JR Smith or JRich might be the most optimal. JR is younger and more of a head case but I believe the locker room could handle it. JRich is 30 already and definitely has a higher price tag but I’m unaware of any behavioral issues with him.

    xpltv72 May 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    the bulls have a lot of homework for the offseason:

    player by player:

    D. rose. work on that mid and long range shot. perfect it. have it become second nature where u dont over think it. learn to be a better floor general. study all your top peers (rondo, paul, kidd, nash), hell call stockton, mark price or isiah. raise your court vision and basketball IQ. hes one of the best, just not a perfect player…yet.

    C Boozer. youll never be a decent one on one defender, so practice help and weak side defense. study lebron and dwight howard. perfect your post game. practice with multiple people on you. learn to score hard and strong. learn to score without clearing out.

    J noah. big man camp. big man camp. call Hakeem Olajuwon. perfect the post, or get as good as you can. perfect mid-range shot. bulk up more. become a beast.

    L deng. perfect your 1-on-1 game. study lebron more. train with scottie. be a self starter. decide to be the 2nd option. own it.

    K bogans. read deng. perfect shot. become a shooter. shoot all summer. nothing else but offense. all summer.

    R brewer. perfect shot. when u think u done. start over. if you perfect jumper then you WILL start next season.

    K Korver. shoot shoot shoot. but with all kinds of defenses in your face. practice real time situations. practice off the dribble shots. shoot blindfolded untill you stop overthinking the shot. thats all you need to do.

    T gibson. call barkley. bulk up. perfect shot. learn to play with your back to the basket. keep getting better at your d. train with noah with olajuwon. or james worthy. kep getting better.

    omar asik. bulk up. get stronger and faster. learn the post pau gasol. learn to always go up with two hands. perfect free throw. youll need it next year.

    CJ watson. train where rose will be training. aim to be better. just strengthen your shot and 1-on-1 game. get even better at d. be the ultimate sub. aim for 6th man next year. own it.

    the rest of team. whatever you can do to improve your strengths, own it in the offseason.

    thibs? hire an offensive specialist, perferrably one who worked close to tex winter. hell hire jackson as an assistant. see if he would do it. it will only make you better. hire pippen as a true assistant and have him teach the bulls to be winners. perfecting the pick-and roll is paramount, roses vision is transparent. make all of the others better offensive players. the transition game is a must as well. more offensive plays. get a specialist. make all your team shoot a million free throws with headphones listening to screams and deafening boos. push them to the limit.

    Savage May 27, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    P.S. Rose does not need a screen to lose his man so stop making it so convenient for teams to double him by ALWAYS running the pick and roll. Spread the floor a bit that way if they double we have a wide open man for Rose to hit.

    cmb2345 May 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    as much as it pains me to agree with pippen i do…the “star players” can not be on the bench at the end of games and if they are thats a problem in itself …..that being said i dont think bulls have to do much but obviously we need a shooting guard BADLY!!!! if seen alot of options being tossed aroundjr smith would be nice and trading for mayo would be great but if im not mistaken i think nick young is a free agent not sure if he is restricted or unrestricted tho but i think he should really get serious consideration he is a scorer and his offense is exactly what we were missing he can shoot the 3 dive and finish and most importantly create his own shot i think he could be googd

    xpltv72 May 27, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    thats why i say “perfect” the pick and roll. run it so that its not an option to double rose anymore. get it out of his hands sooner. it can be done.

  10. Bam! May 28, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    Ok, here we go:
    Noah and Boozer for Dwight Howard, then pick up Ray Allen in free agency. Taj Gibson should start anyway, and Howard is arguably the best big man in the NBA right now. Bogans > Brewer in my books due to his defense and better jumpshooting. I always thought it might be a good idea to use Korver to back Deng up. Deng is not getting younger and playing 40+ minutes per game is Nbad idea for him. Korver’s spark is better used as a compliment behind Deng, as long as we have Ray Allen starting.

    PG: Rose, Watson
    SF: Deng, Korver
    PF: Gibson, Thomas
    C: Howard, Asik
    SG: Allen, Bogans

    Maybe it’s a long shot, but I can’t think of any team that could beat that prospective Bulls group in a playoff matchup. Only 3 players on the whole roster do not play outstanding lockdown defense. 4 of the starting 5 are capable of averaging 20+ ppg. Bench mob is three great shooters, an almost ageless vet big man, and a brilliant center who just finished his rookie year.

  11. Raevyrn May 28, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    Won’t be able to get Mayo, not with the reported dislike the owner/management has for Chicago. Guess someone put bull piss in their coffee or something…

    Bernard May 28, 2011 at 5:18 am #

    Sell the farm to get Dwight Howard to come north. Take on Slim Chin’s contract if you have to.

    Man, I’d love to see a simulation of what would have happened had the Bulls made the deal for Carmelo. Anthony may have hurt them on defense, but…POINTS!

  13. Greenie May 28, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    Boozer, Noah, and Brewer for Howard…?

  14. Inception May 28, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    perfect scenario: get Richard Hamilton/Ray Allen for the present and a young SG to try and mold for the future…

    CJ May 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    They have a decent shot at Hamilton. All the draft pick maneuvering between MIN, DET, and CLE may result in him being bought out, and “sources” say he wants to come to the Bulls. He’s declining, but he’s still averaging 14ppg and 38% from 3, and they wouldn’t have to give up anyone to get him. They’d still be in position to trade for a young building block like Lee or DeRozan (hold the Mayo, please).

    One trade possibility mentioned in the Tribune was Kevin Martin from Houston. I hadn’t really heard of him before, but was blown away when I saw his stats. Averaging 24ppg, top 10 in TS%, PER in the 20’s. If he’s available, I’d trade picks, Korver and Brewer for him in a heartbeat. I’d even consider Asik, but not Taj.

    chuj May 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    pistons fan, came here from bawful

    rip hamilton def is available and i think he would be an awesome fit for your team

    i pray to god they don´t give up rips contract and this years #8 for basically nothing in that three-team-deal

  17. Raevyrn May 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    I wasn’t aware Houston was even thinking of trading Kevin Martin…

    1c1cle May 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    unload boozer @ all costs (sans rose).

    Trade for Howard. Unload the whole squad, if necessary. Only exception: Rose. Try to keep Deng, Gibson, Noah.

    I feel as if the Bulls are in a similar situation that the Charlotte Bobcats owner explained a few months back regarding the Bobcats- even though the bulls are at a different level. Point is, the Bulls will not win a championship with this squad. Noah doesn’t have the talent. Boozer does have the motivation nor will. Deng cannot be the only off-the-ball option.

    We got close with this team, but now, because of our small cap, we dont’ have the options with had last year.

    Bam! May 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

    I have expressed a desire for us to acquire Ray Allen, but there is no way that he will leave Boston. Our biggest issue is offense, especially from the outside, and the best way to fix this is with Arron Afflalo, who I think could end up being very similar to amyoung Ray Allen. Afflalo is a free agent this year, and knows he can’t win in Denver. Helloooooooo Chicago. Afflalo is a great shooter, defender and workhorse, so he’s kinda like a real Thibs player. By the way, he averaged a deadly 75% from the three this season against Miami.

    More important than getting Dwight is grabbing a player like Afflalo right now so we can compete better with Miami. We also need to make sure our SF and SG are capable defensive players, so that LeBron and Wade can be contained. Afflalo’s defense can help prevent Wade from going off better than Bogans.

    Getting Afflalo should be first priority, but if possible, adding Dwight would make us unstoppable. Trade Boozer, Noah, Brewer, money and picks for D12 and Hedo. Boozer is not worth keeping anyway, Howard is at least twice as good as Noah and Brewer is meaningless with Afflalo as our 2 guard. Imagine this:

    Pg: Rose / Watson
    Sg: Afflalo / Bogans
    Sf: Deng / Korver
    C: Howard / Asik
    Pf: Gibson / Turk

    That is a lineup that can beat Miami in 5 or 6 games. We would have the best Pg and C in the league, best young allaround Sg, a top 5 Sf and a great young Pf. Bench mob includes a Pg with a great outside shot, a veteran Sg, one if the best sharpshooters in the league, arguably the best second year C and the best backup Pf in the NBA. Hedo and Bogans would be our oldest players, and I doubt either would play more than 20 minutes per game.

    This could be the basis for a real dynasty. I’m talking 3, 4 rings, possibly.

    Zilla May 29, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    My big improvement for the Bulls next season? Noah takes more shots! Ugly as they may be, we can already see that he can hit that midrange jumper, take other big men off the dribble and finish, or post up and go to either hand. He just does it once a game, when he can do it 10 times a game and still shoot around 50%. The man can play defense and still contribute on offense, and I think he hates losing enough to do just that.

    CJ May 29, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    Afflalo is a restricted free agent and Denver will NOT let him go. The Bulls don’t have the cap room to make attractive offers, so the only way they get better is trades or buyouts. Think Hamilton, Iggy, or Martin if he’s really available. The only place I’ve heard that is in the Trib.

    BULL4EVER May 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    Never mind these totally nonsense remarks from Scottie Pippen’s mouth when he said lebron james was better than Jordan, especially when the Second City already has another Jordan in D’Rose and Rose will start winning NBA titles with the Bulls for years and years down the road like how MJ once did with this Bulls team.No one will even dare to mention lebron james when those boys from the BIG D brings his team down in the Finals and that is just what’s in store for that miami team when they see Dallas on Tuesday night.Speaking of the Bulls, they need to get rid of carlos boozer in a trade if they can pull off a trade involving him and they need a No. 2 shooting guard in order to win for years and years down the road, gotta upgrade this roster through the draft and trades in order to win for a long time coming if you’re Chicago. GO BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bam! May 30, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    It’s highly unlikely that the Bulls can grab Dwight.

    Meanwhile, let’s try just improve offensively and at the 2 guard position, and then rearrange some players. Think about this scenario:

    1. Grab a quality SG, such as Arron Afflalo (unlikely), Ray Allen (somewhat unlikely), or Jason Richardson (most likely).
    2. Bench Boozer and start Taj in his place. Taj’s presence as a starter will be far more significant, and Boozer would be an outstanding backup.
    3. Use Korver as more of a swingman, switching between SG and SF.
    4. Pray that J-Rich develops defensively.

    PG: Rose / Watson
    SG: Richardson / Bogans or Brewer / Korver
    SF: Deng / Korver
    PF: Taj / Boozer
    C: Noah / Asik

    An interesting idea is, after acquiring a useful SG, trying to get Hedo Turkoglu. We would use Tuk as a PG (he often plays the point for the Magic, but is a far better offensive player than CJ). With him, we would dump Watson and Brewer. With Hedo, it would look like this:

    PG: Rose / Hedo
    SG: Richardson / Bogans
    SF: Deng / Korver
    PF: Taj / Boozer
    C: Noah / Asik

    Another possibility is keeping Watson and using Hedo as a backup SF, while Deng can switch between SG and SF. Richardson is explosive and big, so if he works on his defense, Deng and him can switch off sometimes, which would be great for our offense. In doing so, Hedo would be able to get more minutes and have a significant impact as SF, even though Deng would continue playing big minutes (which he probably should not next year, if we get a quality 2 guard).

    Bam! May 30, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Another possibility is keeping Korver on the 2 behind Richardson, but making sure he plays about 20+ minutes per game. We could keep Bogans and play him behind Deng, because he only plays like 8 minutes a game anyway. his defense would be great if LeBron is on the floor and Deng is resting.

    PG: Rose / Watson
    SG: Richardson / Korver
    SF: Deng / Bogans
    PF: Taj / Boozer
    C: Noah / Asik

    Asik also needs to play at least 15 minutes per game. The time he’s been getting this year is not enough for him to become great. Either way, though, we MUST START TAJ OVER BOOZER. I don’t care how much we would be paying for a bench player. Boozer would become arguably the best backup PF in the NBA, and Taj is WAY BETTER THAN BOOZER! I’m not just being emotional about this because of Boozer’s performance in the playoffs. Taj is outstanding on defense, while Boozer is terrible. Taj is consistent and efficient on offense, which Boozer was not this season. Taj would take more shots as a starter and become an outstanding starting PF.

    This potential team would have very few offensive problems. In terms of ppg, Rose goes for 25, J-Rich can score 15-20, Deng is usually on the high end of 15-20, Taj can get 10-15 if he starts, and Noah is on the upside of 10-15. That means our starters alone would produce 75-95 points on their own. Watson can get 5, Korver can consistently get 10 if he plays 20+ minutes, Brewer can get 5-10, Boozer would get 10-15, and Asik can get 5-10. The bench mob would score 35-50. This means that we could, theoretically be scoring 110-145 points per game. Of course, this is not realistic, but it goes to show that my proposed arrangement would be far better offensively.

    By the way, I just wanted to show this clip:

    Korver CAN play defense (sometimes). At least better than Boozer can.

    BULL4EVER May 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Yo Dallas destroy those losers from south beach and as for lebrick james and dwayne fade turn those 2 fools into yall’s little girls whom yall are going to wanna play with and destroy during these Finals.GO BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Noah's FT Arc May 31, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    it would be really cool if we could get hamilton, and it seems possible. on the other hand, i think there is no chance that orlando trades howard. we are stuck with boozer, for sure.

    i really don’t think the bulls have much wiggle room to change their team at all. we really just got to cross our fingers that they work hard this summer, especially on offense. as much as i hate to say it, i think jr smith could be the best pick-up. allen isn’t leaving boston, crawford is too one dimensional… who else is there? marquis daniels? anthony parker?

    ScottA June 3, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    Dwight is probably not happening. Unless he hangs out with Lebron and Wade all summer and they spend the whole time ripping on Orlando.

    In general, most of the veteran scorers wouldn’t be useful; Hedo’s done, Richardson is just another solid shooter who can’t create shots. I guess Hamilton wouldn’t be a bad option, as long as it’s a short, cheap contract and he accepts a limited role, but he’s no better then Korver. Would love Afflalo, but highly doubt Denver lets him go; Bulls would have to overpay, but might be worth it.

    In any case, they shot creators who can be effective in limited minutes, not mediocre veterans. JJ Barea might be an interesting possibility for that role, assuming he’s relatively cheap; Dallas has Beaubois waiting around and probably won’t want to pay 5 point guards.

    Wormboy June 3, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Sorry for the late post. You know, Matt, losing in the Conference Finals should NOT be considered a failure. Not by any stretch. So I’d consider it building on success. For a young team, that’s a good place to be. The bad news is that the Heat are in the same conference, and we all know they’re going to improve their role players next season.

    BULL4EVER June 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    It’s horrible news for the heat they have Chicago in the East- not to mention they also have Boston, hey Miami won’t be winning the East every year, especially when you have a young and rising team like Chicago who will be winning NBA titles soon in the near future like they once used to in the 90’s.And so many individuals have zero interest in pulling for miami to win it all, especially because of lebron james and dwayne wade being total cowards, such as lebron james totally cheating competition by running from it and dwayne wade recruiting him and having him join him in south beach.GO BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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