Bulls 120, Magic 102: Offensive! As in: awesome offense, offensive coach

Oh, Vinny. A little bit much with the post title, I agree. But to you first:

The main problem with his over-reliance on the bench tonight wasn't as much this game in a vaccum, but what it could mean for future games, and especially future fourth quarters. This is because Vinny's already established himself as a bad NBA coach. If he were a good coach, there wouldn't be so much handwringing after a truly fantastic performance by the Bulls.

But we've seen where Kirk Hinrich has a couple good games and then he's left in a game against Indiana even though he's personally sabotaging the whole team (and Derrick Rose is on the bench). We've seen where Tyrus Thomas gets his minutes slowly stripped away under the guise of teaching professionalism. I'm not worried about the young guys losing confidence, I'm worried about the team being hurt by not playing their better players (who just happen to be young) more, and in crunch time.

What is of some comfort: In the odd world of VDN, at least if the Bulls are playing well, the starting lineup will remain intact. And that means that the starters are guaranteed minutes. This isn't as bad as when Aaron Gray started so one couldn't even guarantee any minutes for Thomas and Noah.

And honestly, this was their first game of a stretch of 4 in 5 nights, so the rest will help. Though with a couple garbage minutes to go he could've put in Hunter, Gray, and Roberson instead of the starters, but maybe it was a favor to them in order to get some help in the box score...

...And they blew out the Orlando Magic! I have nice cuddly things to say about everyone, the Bulls played that well. It was cerainly their best offensive game of the year, an offensive efficiency rating over 123 on nearly 59% eFG%.Vinny can credit ball movement all he wants, but it was also guys just making shots. A lot of them...

Rose: Didn't get to the line (and he had 2 especially glaring chances where he passed while getting fouled. He'll learn...) but was absolutely deadly hitting the mid-range jumper. His man was usually late, the big was usually sagging to the middle to stop a drive, and Rose was pulling up and nailing shots.

Gordon: Did what he always does. Scored with efficiency, though this game more the hard way than usual: he was 0-1 from three. And some of those shots were really tough. Say it like Stacy King: This guy is a shot-maker.

Deng: Started out real strong, even showed off a running hook shot in the lane. Cruddy 3rd quarter (Gordon can take those 'my turn' shots, not you...) and then a victim of Vinny's bench fun.

Tyrus Thomas: That jumper has more range by the game.  17 points in 24 minutes [wow, I did what I swore I wouldn't: mix up Tyrus and Tim Thomas. Tyrus had 11 tonight, not 17 -ed.], though this wasn't the best matchup for him defensively as he frequently had to stay out by the 3-point line to stick Orlando's 3-point shooters. But it's pretty much over, isn't it? Detractors can't even call him inconsistent any more, he's flat-out producing all the time, now that he has been given a chance to do so.

Noah: I thought Noah was sensational. He was doing what he could with Howard (though, and Kelly Dwyer points this out a lot, he often spaces out until his man actually gets the ball, allowing post position too easily), and on offense he was on the full (awkward) attack. 6-7 from the line, catching some fairly difficult passes while he dove to the basket.

Miller: So this is the difference when the backup big man can actually do something with Dwight Howard. Not stopping him of course, but it was enough for me to just see Miller holding his ground. It helped the team defense by not forcing otheres to help as quickly (and credit to Vinny on changing up that strategy from the last Orlando debacle). On offense was able to work from the high post and do Brad Miller things...adding a special dose of this.

Tim Thomas: I guess I learned something about my basketball sensibilities tonight...I like lazy and smart more than passionate and dumb. Tim Thomas may be a coach's nightmare compared to Andres Nocioni, but at least he knows his role is to stand and shoot, and he doesn't try (or more accurately: doesn't care) to do much more than that. He was sticking with Rashard Lewis where Noc would've had his head nearly spun off trying to decide when to run and hack Howard. But Tim, please don't let Vinny give you Tyrus' minutes. Maybe this early burn from Vinny is just to keep from 'losing' Tim...so if it works, great: because his spot minutes are at least more predictable than what was coming in the past, and I'd prefer that from the bench role players

Salmons: No complaints (or more importantly, a dip in performance) yet from him as a bench player. What is especially nice is the way he can finish inside after contact, something not in great quantity in this team (basically what one would wish Larry Hughes could do). And even when on the court with Gordon, both being 'ball stoppers', they seem to at least work together enough to get out of eachother's way.

Hinrich: Made of teflon, so why even bother? Kidding, Kirk was threatening to prove yet again he couldn't guard quick PGs when he was getting pantsed by Alston in the 4th, but rebounded with a huge steal (that was pretty much a foul, but...) and another forced turnover. And he did shoot 3-4, realizing he should just stand there when out there with the scorers.

This is a very good 9-man rotation. Just hope in the future that Vinny handles it with more heirarchy than anarchy. Winning this one lessens the sting out of losing at Indiana, as the 3 remaining games (@Nets, @Wiz, Rockets) are very winnable. Now that this roster is fairly stacked both in the first and second units, a lot of games are winnable.

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