I assure you I like writing about subjects other than Omer Asik. It just... hasn't happened yet. Anyway, it's something to talk about for the six games before the playoffs begin that doesn't rhyme with shmeMVP.
Asik's play hasn't tailed off because of another player, as some argue with Jo-Booz (or is it Rasual's fault?), but his value on the floor has dropped because of an inability to hit free throws. Not because he is shooting worse (though he is a little), but because he is being forced to shoot more.
Look at the uptick in FTA since he had that national coming out game (for him) against Dwight Howard and you'll see what scouting has done to other teams' defensive strategy. it's not quite Hack-O-Mer out there, but whenever he is in a position to score, defenders do anything short of a judo chop to make sure he earns it at the line.
Which is all well and good, except Thibs plays bench guys according to who has the hot hand (how else to explain Asik's all-over-the-place minutes?). And too many one-point offensive possessions eventually outweigh solid defense and rebounding, unless Omer all of a sudden turns into White Howard.
Of course priority 1-A++ is the Noah-Booze Conspiracy, and this post becomes a cute footnote if that magically gets figured out in six games. But if the Bulls' frontcourt enters the playoffs without those two clicking, and if Taj continues to wear two completely different-sized shoes, the Bulls will need Asik to step up his awesomeness* before it's all said and done.
Even though Kirk Thomas is a near-ideal insurance policy, I think we'd all agree the Bulls are much more dangerous with Omer out there doing his Omer-y thing. Especially when he crotch-swings his feet up on a dunk like Shaq used to do.
*Non-homery journalism word
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