So the Bulls get two wins against two shit teams. Here is what seems to be the 'interim' direction:
- Ben Gordon off the bench. He's playing well. They're playing crappy teams, he can do that, whether he starts or not. And one option keeps Duhon on the bench, so I still like that one better. I will say that with Gordon on the bench Deng is taking more initiative offensively, but does that mean you can't have them both playing?
- Frontcourt rotation includes heavy minutes for Wallace and Smith. I can only assume Boylan's initial talk with Wallace was a guarantee of minutes if he just showed he gave a damn. And he at least does that now, but the long minutes mean he'll just be prone to have more possessions (stretching into whole games) to take off. And he's rewarded with higher rebound totals for him to pad his awful stats. (He doesn't know we operate per-possession.) I don't expect him to be benched or buried, but I'd think limiting his playing stints benefit him as well as the team's 'logjam' of frontcourt players. As far as Smith is concerned, his knees will explode by March, but he's been good.
- Nocioni and Gray are the first big men off the bench. Gag. Although at least Noah came in the 2nd half of the Knicks game more often instead of the usual 'go small' plan of Skiles. To make matters worse for following this team, Gray enables the Bulls telecast to be even more mind-numbingly annoying. He's proven to be useful, but wishing for more than that is a waste of time.
- Paxson deserves to be fired for a 2006 draft that netted him Thomas, Sefolosha, and Khryapa, who apparently have no use on a bad basketball team playing an even worse basketball team. That is an unmitigated disaster.
So maybe it's just a couple games, and the wins against an easy schedule are needed at any cost just to get back in the playoffs.
I used to scoff at the notion that this was a team 'going nowhere', doomed for an early playoff exit and a late-teens draft pick every year. Because there's room to grow, right? Apparently not. This is what we're getting. A team that can beat the Bucks and Knicks, but will get beat by decent teams, and completely picked apart in the playoffs.
When Boylan announced Gordon was coming off the bench, I gave up on the season until a trade. Nothing these past two games have changed that, as after looking at who's getting the time, these games are completely pointless if there's no improvement as a team. And gunning towards a playoff slaughter is just plain uninteresting.