Bucher Chat Wrap: Dwight Howard wouldn't consider Chicago/Stats don't determine who the better player is

Derrick's most loyal stalker, Ric Bucher chatted a bit this morning.

I'll cut and paste everything Bulls related but one question/answer got my attention most


This week Wilbon said that the Bulls shouldn't do a Joakim Noah for Dwight Howard trade, if that were available. I love Noah and understand his importance, but that's a no-brainer for the Bulls, right?

Ric Bucher

I'm with you. That said, I don't see any way Dwight would consider going to Chicago. He wants his own stage and a big one. The latest I've heard on that is that he's wavering on the Lakers as his preferred destination -- not sure Kobe will have enough left in the tank to grow with him. Scratch Miami and New York from his list as well. The idea of joining forces with Deron in NJ/Brooklyn, I'm told, is gaining appeal.

The answer makes no sense.  He says he wouldn't consider Chicago because he'd have to share the stage with Derrick but yet he doesn't want to join Kobe in Los Angeles anymore because Kobe would be on his last legs.  You would think Ric realizes Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the two biggest superstars in the NBA.  You would also think that if Dwight was willing to play with Kobe (whilst playing at a high level), then he'd be willing to play with Derrick, who is playing at the highest of levels.  But these guys really don't think during these chats so on to the rest of them . . .


Get em in early....Mr. Bucher, Bulls are looking pretty dominant in the past few games. Is it a little early to say that they are in playoff form or should we wait for the Boston game in April as a measuring stick for both teams?

Ric Bucher

I don't think anyone is in playoff form: the level goes up another notch and the ability to prepare for a specific opponent is a huge element. That said, the Bulls have everything necessary to be a postseason force: great defense, attention-to-detail coach, unstoppable closer. The big question is their collective mental toughness and ability to adjust from game to game. We won't know that answer til we get there.


Has Tom Thibodeau taken a seat yet this year?

Ric Bucher

It's a fair question. He's going to need to in the future if he doesn't want to wear out his welcome.


Do you think Derrick Rose is the MVP of the 10-11 season and are you a voter

Ric Bucher

Yes and yes.


why isn't Russell Westbrook getting any MVP buzz he only two less points then derrick rose more assists and more rebounds and a better field goal percentage pleasd tell me why

Ric Bucher

Because statistics don't determine who the better player is.


"Because statistics don't determine who the better player is." THANK YOU! Stats should be a part of the MVP discussion, not the whole discussion itself.

Ric Bucher

No, thank you. To be clear, stats can be very valuable - in gauging a player's improvement, efficiency, etc. But using them to compare players on different teams in different systems with different roles...well, a lot of people (who don't work in or around the NBA) do it. But it doesn't make it right.


Ok, so "statistics don't determine who the better player is." What does, your eyes? I doubt you have seen every minute both Westbrook and Rose have played this year, right? Seems like statistics are a better measure of a players worth to me.

Ric Bucher

I watch games, both live and on TV. I talk to scouts, players, coaches -- both on those respective players' teams and their opponents'. I study how they're used. I find out what the game plans are and how well particular players execute them. So, do I value all that more than I do a boxscore? Yes, yes, I do.

This is hard to say without coming off as arrogant, but I'm going to try: the access I have, and have had for nearly 20 years, informs my opinion. You don't have that access. I understand that. Some who do, don't know what to do with it or don't utilize it, for whatever reason. More than anything, I remain teachable. When I write or say something, it's almost never without having checked it out with people in the league whose opinions I trust, and who will tell me when I'm off. I don't cite those people because they're usually multiples, but rest assured my understanding of who is good and who is not, who is doing what and who is not, is not based on my thoughts alone.

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