Slow Starts Not Because of Low Energy... (or How Keith Bogans Is Ruining My Life)

How is it not obvious to everyone alive and that watch the game of basketball that relying on ambiguous and amorphous reasoning like "low energy" is just not true for the Bulls recent struggles on the road versus bad teams? When was the last time a team lost and "low energy" was not a reason behind it? Has anyone ever heard a postgame comment referring to a team having butt loads of energy during a loss? Pointing to this is an easy and idiotic cop out.

The real reason for our slow starts is plainly obvious... We are playing 3 on 5 on offense to start all and every game and this leads to easy hoops for the opposing teams against our D when Booz and Thomas are slowly jogging back during transition. I love Booz, he has been a godsend for our team but his D isn't exactly First Team or Second Team or Third Team (or any Recognized Team). Thomas is a great starting option against certain teams. Teams that have big, back-to-the-basket centers whom Kurt would need to defend one-on-one. At no other times should Kurt be our last of defense. He's solid but there're only so many charges a center can take. And as he can't jump any higher than a new born seal, we don't have anybody contesting layup's and shot's near the basket. Kurt starting against the Celtic's? Brilliant. Kurt starting against Bobcats? Not so brilliant. When the frontline of Kwame Brown and Boris Diaw lead to a 36-22 lead, there's just something really, really wrong going on here. I'm all for consistency and veteran leadership, but I'd rather take the match-ups over it. Starting Taj or even Omer would have been the far more prudent thing to do in my mind. You can't counter pure athleticism with lead-footed skills.

Finally, Bogans... sigh... what more can be said about Mr. Bogans. There really is no more reason to be using Bogans. If he's starting because of his defense (and it can only be for his defense, god help me if Thibs is starting him for any sort of reference to his offensive game... i will have an aneurysm) than why is he not used at any other point in the game as a defensive stopper? If, as Thibs is saying, Bogans brings solid enough defense against the starters of the opposing team, how could he not be put in during the final seconds of a close game to stop the opposing teams last possession? I could be wrong, but I can't recall Bogans being in the game in such a situation. Mind you, this is not what I'm asking for. I would like nothing more than Bogans to become best friends with Scal. They could start taping themselves and create some sort of reality tv buddy comedy. Old, grizzled black guy and a goofy, tall ginger? Yes, please. If you want to keep Brewer as a second unit energy guy and give him the 25+ minutes that he usually gets, I'm actually fine with it. At least start Kyle at the 2 over Bogans. Kyle spaces the floor and from my observations, Kyle has not been that much of a downgrade on D from Bogans. The purpose of basketball is to score more than the other team. Thats the alpha and omega of basketball. You can get to this goal either by stopping them or scoring for us. So in regards to this simple idea, I present to you the following chart:

PLAYER 1 TEAM + - +/- MIN +/- /MIN G
D. Rose Bulls 2,916 -2,733 183 1396:40 .131 37
K. Korver Bulls 1,646 -1,472 174 797:17 .218 38
L. Deng Bulls 3,023 -2,877 146 1485:01 .098 38
C. Boozer Bulls 1,542 -1,411 131 740:44 .176 23
R. Brewer Bulls 1,732 -1,655 77 884:37 .087 38
J. Noah Bulls 1,847 -1,771 76 882:34 .086 24
O. Asik Bulls 892 -841 51 444:43 .114 38
C. Watson Bulls 1,007 -958 49 521:32 .093 38
K. Thomas Bulls 777 -735 42 400:10 .104 19
T. Gibson Bulls 1,581 -1,543 38 809:17 .046 36
K. Bogans Bulls 1,374 -1,346 28 671:18 .041 38
J. Johnson Bulls 255 -235 20 121:44 .164 12
B. Scalabrine Bulls 171 -173 -2 79:09 -.025 13

I realize the +/- statistic is not exact science. There are matchups to consider, playing against the opposing teams second unit, etc. However, this is so goddang irrefutable that it makes my eyes hurt. Please, please me. Just take out Bogans. Just imagine how easier the offense would flow and the incredibly greater spacing on our end of the floor. Our defense is elite status right now. There is no denying that. We are sixth in Points Allowed, second in D Rating, and first in Schedule Adjusted D-Rating ( However, our offense is what is holding back our team. We are only average when it comes to any and all offensive numbers. Replacing Bogans 12+ minutes with Korver or Korver/Brewer or Korver/Watson or Brewer/Watson or anything would be a boon to our team overall. This has to be done. And it has to be done now. There just are no more excuses.

On a side note, just imagine the jump in numbers for D.Rose. Instead of kicking out to Bogans, Derrick would be passing to a career 40%+ sniper. Also, how much bigger are those driving lanes and passing lanes going to be when opposing D's can't just leave our 2 guard to trap/double Rose. It just makes sense. I've been giving Thibs the benefit of the doubt because we were winning and I've been on a sort of high not seeing VDN on our sidelines with his bemused/confused face. But it's about time we've moved on with this whole ridiculous Bogans experiment. It was nice while it lasted, but it's over now.

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