FanPost

Report Cards and Parent-Blogger Conferences: Pt.1

I just finished my first round of parent-teacher conferences, where I was able to provide parents with a clear idea of their children's strengths and weaknesses before coming up with a game plan for the rest of the semester. This got me thinking: if the Bulls were my class, what would grades would I give them, and what would I tell their parents (i.e. Pax and the front office crew)? Admittedly, the report card shtick is overdone, but Vinny's done such a crappy job with this that I would consider giving my first born for a one-on-one. I've included some former players just for the hell of it, and also because there are only seven or eight current Bulls that actually could be considered "players." Now then, let me put on my teacher hat and get us started.

For part one, let's start with the current starters (no crappy pun intended, honestly):

 

Joakim Noah - B -

THE GOOD:

Admittedly, I was not exactly thrilled back in '07 when the Bulls picked what at the time looked like a 6-11 Bozo the Clown impersonator, and his first season offered little more than drama and frustration. Starting the season behind Aaron Gray in the pecking order didn't exactly put that frustration to rest, but the progress he has made lately has been respectable. Noah's faster than most bigs, and his rebound rate of 7 boards per half game is impressive. He's a good guy to have in the fast break and good for a few tip-ins and alley-oops, and his defense has been pretty decent as well.

THE BAD:

Noah still doesn't have that great of a jumper, and stronger, more physical bigs have destroyed him at times (Kendrick Perkins has had some career nights against Jo). He definitely needs to bulk up, and his help defense is still developing.

CONFERENCE TIME:

"Your kid's got some serious ADHD, but he's got potential. When he's not getting into trouble, he's worth having around. Get him to cut the head pubes, pack him another baloney sandwich in his lunchbox to bulk him up, and give him some more minutes."

TYRUS THOMAS - B -

THE GOOD:

I have certainly had my share of "If only we'd taken Aldridge" moments, but my feelings about TT are kind of like those relationships you see on COPS. You know, whn some trailer trash gut with a beer gut and a mullet is being dragged in hand cuffs for jacking some toothless chick in a neon green tube top, only for her to drop the charges at the end while screaming "I know Joe Bob abuses me, but ah love him!" He'll shoot 20% one night and show about as much fight as Snuggle, but when you see him swat shots into the fifth row and execute that perfect alley-oop with Rose, it's love all over again. His jumper has improved a great deal, and he's finally starting to crash the boards with some semblance of regularity. Tyrus has always been a decent defender, and he's gradually shaping into a very good defensive presence. I've had to change my pants after some of his block parties, and he's making lots of players think twice before bringing that weak sauce into his kitchen.

THE BAD:

The man's inconsistent, it's as simple as that. That potential comes and goes too often, and the first half of the season was fairly disappointing for Tyrus. His jumper, although greatly improved, still needs some work, and he settles for the jumper too much when he should try to use that freakish athleticism to take it to the hole. Stronger bigs also tend to pose some problems for Tyrus, so bulking up would be a good idea.

CONFERENCE TIME:

"Your kid has potential, but he needs to use it all the time. He's somewhat of a slow learner as well. For example, I tell him to run over to the wastebasket and stuff the trash in, but he throws up garbage from twenty feet and misses. I sometimes wish he could be a bit more like little LaMarcus, but he's got such outstanding potential, and he's starting to show it more often. Get him to hit the books and make sure he eats all his vegetables so he gets big and strong."

John Salmons - B+

THE GOOD:

Salmons has proven to be a great addition, scoring in bunches and taking some pressure off BG. His one-on-one defense is solid, and he offers some versatility for a team that lacks depth. He's excellent at finding ways to score, and he can hurt defenses by slashing or creating his own shot. An excellent pick-up, and he deserves to hold on to that starting spot when (if?) Deng returns.

THE BAD:

Salmons is fairly one-dimensional, even if that dimension is important and he has excelled in it. His help defense is only average, and the man just can't rebound. This is a career year for him, and although I expect him to be a good scoring option for a few more years, the 20 ppg average is going to go down.

CONFERENCE TIME:

"Johnny has fit in very well with his classmates, and he gets high scores even on the toughest tests. He deserves to stay in this school, so make sure he comes back next year. And don't let little Luol try to tell him he's going to take Johnny's place, because it's not happening.

Ben Gordon - B

THE GOOD:

Like Salmons, he's one-dimensional, but he's so damn good at that one dimension, and you need to score to win. Not many guys can create their own shot like him, and he gets scary hot at times. He'll be good for at least 20 ppg for years to come, and he shoots for a high percentage. His defense has also developed a bit, and he's been one of the Bulls' most consistent performers this year. He's also got poise in clutch situations, which is an exteremly valuable asset of his.

THE BAD:

This one-trick pony can't do a whole lot else but score. His defense may have improved, but it's still mediocre, and his passing and ball handling are below average for a guy his size. His decision-making skills are questionable, like when he chose to go for isolation for about twelve seconds and assassinated the offensive flow against Bosh in the overtime loss when passing looked the better option.

CONFERENCE TIME:

"Ben is very dependable in class, and his high scoring is very consistent. At times, I'd like to see him show some more skills and play better with others, but he's an important member of the class. We'd like to keep him next year, but he seems to think he deserves more than his fair share, and he has to remember that we can't have a good class unless everybody gets a share of the paper."

Derrick Rose - A-

THE GOOD:

What a complete package. This guy has ridiculous poise for his age, and he's great at making decisions. The kid has a pretty decent shot, and his defense is improving. He gets into the lane with ease, and he's a natural finisher. His quickness is just plain sick, and his passes are spot-on. His victory in the All-Star Skills Competition looked effortless, and he's a born leader. He's also an incredibly hard worker, crashing the boards and fighting his way to the basket every night. Rose is a big reason that the offense has improved, as his penetration draws extra defenders and allows him to free up his teammates for good looks. This kid's the future of this franchise.

THE BAD:

He's a rookie, so the occasional off night is to be expected. His outside jumper is good, but he needs it to improve to take his offensive game to the next level. His defense also needs to improve before he can truly be included in the elite ranks with Deron Williams and Chris Paul.

CONFERENCE TIME:

"This kid's gonna make something of himself. He gets high scores, he plays well with others, and he's a real leader. He's a hard worker, always trying to keep the boards clean and helping others to do better. Give him a pat on the head and keep him happy."

Vinny Del Negro - D

THE GOOD:

I believe I speak for most Bulls fans in saying that expectations were not very high going into this year. I personally felt that they would finish anywhere from 7th to 10th, so he has the team right about where I expected them to be

THE BAD:

Those expectations (for me, at least) were low in great part because I thought Derrick Rose would need much more time to settle in and adjust to the NBA game. Rose was ready, and the Bulls actually have gotten some production from their bigs this year. Despite all this, the Bulls are right where they were last year, playing mediocre and inconsistent basketball. When the Bulls were good a few years ago, they specialized in defense, and they could count on that specialization in a pinch. The current group has no dependable specialty other than undpredicatbility, and by definition you can't really depend on that (I think I just blew my own mind typing that, but it almost makes sense).

CONFERENCE TIME:

"Vinny's trying hard, but he's struggling. He's met my minimum expectations, but he's done little else. He has done just enough to stay in school for next year, but he's going to have to show some progress if he wants to stay in school for the full year."

 

How are my assessments? Are they spot-on, or do I need to do some more studying? What grades would you give this group? Feel free to make comments, and look for part 2 to come shortly.

 

 

 

FanPosts are user-created posts from the BlogABull community, and are to be treated as the opinions and views of that particular user, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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