When we first hired VDN I was excited because I didn't really know anything about him besides that he was an underrated player in 1990s NBA Live games. I also knew that I didn't like any of the available "veteran coach". Moreover, I told myself that someone has to give the Phil Jackson's and Greg Popovich's of the world a first chance and that maybe Del Negro would be the next great coach. I now can safely saw that I was completely wrong. I don't know what he is hoping to accomplish offensively or defensively. It really doesn't seem like he has a well thought out plan.
Having said all this, the worst part about VDN is his rotation. He claims that defense is important and then puts out a lineup of rose, gordon, hughes, nocioni and gray/gooden. All of our perimeter players (except Thabo and luol) always go for the steal and thus leave a lane open to the basket and I wouldnt be intimidated by any of our big men that actually play. Not only that, but Gooden, for example, never rotates quick enough. This aggressive defense could be more effective if we had a premier shot blocker (which we do...tyrus), but it will not win championships. All of our perimeter players can best be described, at least defensively, as the anti-bruce bowen. Then, Stacey King praises Larry Hughes defensive ability because he gets so many steals.
Now, I know Larry Hughes has been a pleasant suprise offensively, but his defense is HORRENDOUS. This is the same with Gooden. Even if they go off for 20 or 25 points, they usually allow an equally high amount. This makes me miss Skiles a little bit...despite his love for Adrian Griffen and Malik Allen. At least Skiles made sure that we were prepared and played as hard as any team in the league. Defensively, we always rotated well and played quality team defense despte the fact that we never had a true lockdown defender. It was actually very impressive.
On to our big men. I do believe that Tyrus and Noah are our 2 best big men. Unfortunately, they can only play limited minutes together. We may need to get rid of one. In the right system, I can see Tyrus playing a Kenyon Martin like role and Noah will eventually be a very effective role player...maybe even a starter. With TT, we have to remember that he is still VERY young and that at times he looks brilliant. He will never be a Shawn Marion like player, but he can be effective. Why cant we just give him consistent minutes so hes not looking over his shoulder every time he makes a mistake. Granted, he has many flaws (poor bball IQ and poor defensive positioning due to his propensity to try to block ALL shots being the most obvious...also, he thinks hes better than he really is), but that doesnt mean that we don't develop him. Offensively, he is raw, but judging from his high free throw %, it must be inferred that he can hit a 15 foot jumper. However, thats not his strength and VDN's system results in a pick and roll and everyone else standing around watching. This is not a system where TT or Deng will be effective. Of course, there has been more movement the last couple of games, but on important possessions we always revert back to 1 on 1 mode.
This is why I think people are being too hard on Deng. It almost seems the system was designed with our coaching staff forgetting that he was a prominent part of the offense. He is a slasher and needs to cut to the basket and run around screens for open 18 foot jumpers. He probably will never be worth the 70 million that he recieved, but its not like its such a terrible contract. If it were 55 or 60 million we would all think it was a good deal and lets face it...NBA teams almost always have to overpay for quality players.
I must say that I am in the Bosh camp. I would, however, rather sign NO ONE than Amare. Amare is a poor defender and relies on his athleticism way too much to sign to a max contract at his age (in 2010). More importantly, he's a selfish asshole that I never want to play for the Bulls. Unless he changes his attitude, I think its a safe bet to claim that he will NEVER win a championship. To be a championship quality team it is essencial that your best players do the little things that win games (ie defense, hustle, rebound, make the extra pass, etc.). Besides that, I think we need to see what we have with our young players. I think Thabo will be the best out of all of them and can eventually start alongside Rose or at the 3 if we are to ever trade deng.
BG, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly difficult to watch. He can score, but he seems to go out of the offense way too much to get his points. More importantly, he takes the ball out of Rose's hands. The more Rose has the ball the better. Unfortunately, Rose still is not very assertive nor a great leader. That will come, but the team (and VDN) should recognize his superiority to the rest of these scrubs and give him the ball. BG is an underrated defender, but that does not mean he is a good defender. Average at best, but not as bad as Funk makes him sound.
Anyway, I guess Im frustrated that Vinny seems to not understand the strengths and weaknesses of our players. Nocioni really doesnt have a single strength. I know he goes off every 4 or 5 games, but he only does so against terrible defensive teams that don't rotate out to the 3 point line. Besides that he is defintely in the bottom 20% of nba players. He really doesnt do ANYTHING well and I would say that on average we are outscored by 1 point per 90 seconds when he is on the floor. He is an atrocious defender and hes shooting 38 or 39 %. Also, why is Gooden thought of as a good offensive player? He shoots less than 45 % from the floor as a pf/c. That isnt good. We really have to get used to the idea that he is at best an average offensive player and a terrible defender. I could keep talking but this is already long enough. At least Derrick gives us all hope.