Of the six losses this season, this one worries me the most. I know the Sixers are a good team, and like I said about the Heat game, we should take games without Luol Deng with a grain of salt. But there were some troubling aspects to this game, and I'd like some answers to the following questions:
1. What did Turkish D do wrong?
Scalabrine came in for Asik after Asik gave up an and-1 to Lou Williams with 8 minutes left, pushing the lead to 19. I think it was obvious that the starting frontcourt wasn't coming back into the game, due to playing like crap. But I don't feel like Asik deserved to be benched as well. While I love me some White Mamba, and defend him more than most, he gave up 2 baskets down the stretch that Turkish wouldn't have given up (and had one terrible turnover that Asik certainly wouldn't have had,) and it might've cost the Bulls a chance to make a game out of it.
2. If you leave your starters in when up 20, presumably because the game isn't over, why not try when you're down 14?
AKA, why not bring Derrick back into the game? I get that we give you crap when Derrick is in late when we're on the other end of a blowout, but I assume you just want to be sure of the win. So why doesn't it work the other way? The Bulls were down 13 with 6 minutes left. That's not insurmountable by any means. I get that CJ was playing well, but that would have been the perfect time to slide CJ to the 2 and play them together. Or at least put Asik back in for Mamba.
3. Why is the defense getting worse?
I was looking forward to this game because it was supposed to be a matchup of two great defenses. We got half of that. It's not just Boozer anymore, either, there was a lot of late rotations and lazy movement, which is why we gave up 98 to a not-very-good offensive team. On the pregame show Bill Wennington was talking about how while his Bulls teams had a lot of elite individual defenders like Mike, Scottie, Rodman, and Harper, this Bulls team has a great defensive system. If that's the case, the defense shouldn't fall apart with Luol Deng out for a little while. Instead, we're just average without him.
4. What are you going to do about Boozer?
He's been beyond bad in the last few games. Not just with his stupid fadeaway (I'm not even going to post his shot chart, just imagine 2 circles around the basket and a bunch of x's from the elbow.) His defense has been like the Bulls are playing 5-on-4 lately. I haven't been this annoyed with a Bulls help defender since Nocioni. It's like the Bulls' starters have to be perfect on offense to make up for Boozer's defense, which isn't easy. Even tonight, I think this game might not have gotten out of hand if TT had pulled Boozer for Taj a little quicker.
This is all crap I shouldn't have to write about the Bulls' highest fucking paid player. He is getting 13.5 mil to be a detriment to this team. I know nothing is going to happen during the season, but if this keeps up, I will be at the front of the pack howling for GarPax to amnesty Boozer in the offseason.
So what's it going to be, TT. Give Boozer a wake-up call? Or just stop playing him entirely. Honestly? I'm starting to root for the latter.