Bucks 97, Bulls 90: Maybe in 6 more games Vinny will realize Nocioni is giving him nothing

Before what I think is the main point of this game, some other call-outs of bad:

Gooden put in his second straight stinker (1-11 from the field), and his shot selection still has me thinking he really thinks he can do it all. The offense in general was no good at the start, a lot like the night before: Gooden and Gordon forcing shots, and Rose with a sloppy floor game (5 TOs overall), and Rose wasn't hitting jumpers tonight either. The frontcourt did a poor job of securing defensive rebounds, letting former PER-hero Dan Gadzuric get 7 offensive boards in 21 minutes.

The good was pretty much Luol Deng, who looked a lot more active on offense. And Larry Hughes, who was 4-8 from the field and only a couple were the typical awful Larry shots. I have no expectations for him, but I have to say he hasn't been absolutely terrible. He still offers nothing outside of volume shooting, so even when shots go in he's not doing that much...but it's better than the alternative. If he's going to play 24-ish minutes and be like this, maybe he'll regain some value before he gets sick of pretending he's ok as a role player and tries to kill the team from the inside.

On to Nocioni, whose trade value is plummeting to the point where an expiring contract with no working limbs would be fantastic return. There's nearly 4 more years of this, everyone!

But in Noc's defense, he's doing a great job showing very plainly that he just doesn't have it. It's on Vinny to pick up on that not-so-subtle cue. Instead he left Nocioni in for two disastrous stints:

First half:
Enter the Noc: 23-20 Bucks, 10:31 2nd quarter (Richard Jefferson enters as well)
Exit the Noc: 48-35 Bucks, 2:51 2nd quarter
Noc? 7:40 min, 3 Fouls, 0-0FG, 1Reb. Jefferson scores 10 points

Second half:
Enter the Noc!: Start of the 4th quarter, 76-72 Bucks
Exit the Noc, with clenched fists: 87-75 Bucks 7:32 4th quarter
Noc's hair? 4:28 min, 0-1FG, 1pt, 2 TOs

This is a guy who's given the team nothing the past several games, so Vinny should've been going for the hook at the first sign of awful. That first half stint was especially bad, as Vinny's next move after putting in Noc at the 3 was leaving him in as Deng returned and shifting him to the 4, first paired with Gooden and then Gray. (as a reminder: always a bad idea). In comparison, by this same time in the game Tyrus only had a bit over 5 minutes after one of his best games of the year. (VDN made a similarly odd decision in the 2nd half: after Noc put them in that big hole he went small...with Gray as the lone big man. Why?)

It was only 12 minutes, but a disastrous dozen for Nocioni. He really doesn't have to play at all. Thabo could be re-introduced to professional basketball (3 minutes against the Spurs followed by 3 DNPs), Larry (ugh, I know) could be at the 3 against smaller lineups, Tyrus/Noah/Gooden/Gray can handle nearly all the minutes at the 4 and 5. Granted, the Bulls weren't ahead when Noc entered the game either, because those aforementioned frontcourt guys like Gooden and Noah weren't offering much...but Noc was not only not offering anything, but actively taking away.

For the time being, he shouldn't see the court. Make up a leg injury or something, it's likely not that far from the truth.

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