You may think I'm going to have a full bitch session over Duhon playing the entire 4th quarter.
Eh, close. With Hinrich playing like garbage there are worse things than having Duhon take over. But going with the 3-guard lineup of Duhon/Hinrich/Duhon for the final 7 and a half minutes was completely infuriating.
What's the benefit of having Duhon out there with the starting backcourt? The stock answer is to limit turnovers (I think), but when you have three guys under 6'3" the offense needs more movement and passing to execute. And in a slowed-down half-court situation that dominates the end of NBA games, this reliance can lead to more turnovers, not less. They had 3 TOs and a 24-second violation.
And needless to say, it kills the defense. Luckily Hedo Turkoglu is awful so having Duhon on him wasn't a catastrophe like it was the day before when he guarded Tayshaun Prince. But then it's a big goddamned surprise that the Bulls give up offensive rebounds, or are overmatched and have to foul to save a basket.
Will we hear it's because of 'poise', or because they're young? How about because they're short?!?
Was Luol Deng overpowered by Dwight Howard on a couple late possessions because the Bulls can't 'close games out'? or maybe it's because Deng shouldn't be guarding Dwight Howard, ever?
Seeing this makes this whole past offseason seem a big waste. You bring in bigger, athletic players, yet the same old Bulls routine of tiny-ball (yes, beyond small-ball) remains. The gimmick works when you're up 20 and want to keep the clock going with better ballhandlers, or down 20 and want to chuck some threes. Not in a close game against a big team like Orlando.
I hate this tiny-ball lineup not just because of Duhon, it's more because it screams of conceding a talent gap that does not exist. For once, I'd like to see the Bulls win because they're better. That can be achieved by playing...their better players. Playing guys in their right positions. Instead we get this garbage about having to out-execute teams, out-work teams, out-hustle teams....how about just being the better team? They're better than the Magic, and instead try and resort to this tired-ass gimmick to win a game.
And the worst part is I don't see things changing in the future, if anything it'll get worse. Games will be more important, meaning these half-pints will have to be out there more to 'settle things down', or 'keep the team even-keeled'. Meanwhile instead of opening up big leads they're letting opponents keep it close, and instead of winning games they're losing them.
Skiles has got to stop this crap.