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Ask Sam | Sam Smith opens his mailbag | 12.17.10

Sam Smith opens his mailbag to respond to the latest round of e-mails from his readers.
Sam Smith Mailbag

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.

Who do you see us bringing in to cover in case Thomas or Asik go down, I looked at the
D-league and saw these names; Sean Williams-pro experience but has had
 attitude problems, Tiny Gallon, not sure if the Bucks still hold his 
rights... then there's the old stand by Chris Richard, we know he's good for 
some boards and some fouls.

Craig Chandler

Sam: Chris Richard always seems a possibility. As Gar Forman suggested Thursday, they’ll go with what they have now with the idea they weren’t playing Thomas, so that’s like an addition to the front line. With Boozer, Gibson, Asik and Thomas and Deng playing four on occasion, they figure for now there aren’t minutes, anyway, for someone else, and hardly anyone who would be good enough to play ahead of whom they already have. But I’ve got plenty of associate GMs on my emailing staff and some of the names suggested in trades or pickups include Craig Smith, Aaron Gray, Ryan Hollins, Derrick Brown, Joey Dorsey, Marressee Speights and Hasheem Thabeet. You’d probably have to give up J.J. in a deal, and, frankly, I’d rather keep him and get him some time before I give up on him.

Would the Bulls consider bringing in Rasheed Wallace while Noah is out? He had some clutch play late last season for the Celtics.

Peter Slaven

Sam: I’ve received a couple of suggestions for this one and I had to separate it from the others as I don’t want to poison their names. There are few guys more toxic, less willing to play and with the potential to destroy whatever goodwill and effort your team has going. I am quite sure the Bucks or Pacers would pay his salary if the Bulls would sign him.

So with the news of Joakim Noah missing 8-10 weeks due to surgery for his right thumb, this can be seen as a good and bad thing in my opinion. the bad is obviously our emotional leader is out 8-10 weeks and that we have to start playing Kurt Thomas. the good is that Asik can get a chance to really develop over the next 8-10 weeks, especially with this easy schedule.

Sam Witt

Sam: I’ve gotten a few of these silver lining things about how Noah would be rested for the playoffs and the reserves can flourish and if that’s the reasoning imagine how great C.J. Watson could be in the playoffs if Rose only got hurt. You never are better off on any level to lose your best players. They are playing because they are better and because the other guys generally are not up to that, and the more those other guys play the more it strains your depth and depletes those other guys. I like Asik and think he’ll help defensively, though he and Thomas cannot be counted upon to play big minutes because of expected fouls for Asik and age for Thomas. For now, Boozer and Taj will carry the load with some help from Deng and I hope more of a chance for James Johnson, who should be playing.

With Noah out 8 to 10 weeks, who should get his minutes? Does Tibs use his less skilled big men in order to “match up”? Or does he put together a rotation using his best 8 players and play small ball? In my opinion, Noah’s minutes should go to Gibson and Brewer. They play tough D, hit the boards, provide energy, are assets on the break, are not offensive liabilities and they can play the up tempo game that fits D Rose. Certainly Asik and Thomas can provide minutes against the bigger centers when necessary.

Bill Bychowski

Sam: As he said, Thibodeau is going to try combinations, like he did with Boozer out, to see what works. I personally have always felt with this Bulls team it needs to play fast, and without Noah I think it’s going to be difficult to maintain the defensive level the team played at. Boozer is not a high level defender. Sure, Taj is very good and Asik is a surprisingly good defensive helped, though unable to play big minutes. I’d try to play smaller first as I think Boozer and Gibson can match well enough unless you have situations with Howard, whom Noah doesn’t play well, anyway, or guys like Andrew Bogut and Brook Lopez. Thomas is smart and tough, but you cannot play him big minutes and also hope to have him for later in the season. Scalabrine also hasn’t played much of late and should be able to provide some help. I, frankly, can’t see them adding someone who’s even better than Scalabrine. Noah will be back. I’d still be seeing if I could use a draft pick to get myself an upgrade at shooting guard.

I think there is one saving grace with Noah out for two months. Now, the Bulls are not going to made a dumb trade. Taj Gibson will deliver more value to the Bulls than anyone they could get for him. Sure, they could use a better shooting guard. But the Brewer/Korver platoon is certainly servicable, especially with Boozer's presence in the low post and Derrick Rose's newfound range and MVP-calibur play. I mean, it's not like they're throwing Chris Carr and Dedrick Willoughby out there. And I think Gibson is special. He is a team-first guy who can do just about everything at a high level. He can't be your best player, but with Rose, Boozer, and even Deng out there to score, Gibson fits perfectly in the frontcourt as a defender, great defensive rebounder, and a surprisingly useful scorer that you can't leave open out to 10-15 feet. With the Magic turning into the Real Housewives of Orlando, Atlanta (surprise) not showing up after overpaying their own free agent and leaving Crawford hanging, the Bucks learning that John Salmons is only good if he is traded mid-season, and the over-hyped, under-manned Heat destined for a second-round playoff collapse (what, Erick Dampier is going to rescue their frontcourt?), I see Bulls-Celtics as one of the greatest NBA Eastern Conference Finals in recent memory. The Celtics, if healthy, should pull it out, but that series is going at least six games, if not seven.

Josiah Barnes

Sam: All right, I’m ready for the lockout. I expect Orlando to make a big deal, though I don’t necessarily disagree with your analysis of the other “contenders.” With Noah back a month and assuming everything goes well, I do think the Bulls can make a nice push as they were setting up with Boozer and Noah as a 55-win type team. Your points about Taj are right, in my view. He’s a terrific complement, defensively, with Noah and I’d have been loath to trade him in just about any deal but Anthony. If you have a chance to get a high level star type player you have to go for it. I wouldn’t have traded Rose or Noah, but after that you have to open it up. There wasn’t much chance, anyway, but you had to try and I believe even with all this Anthony remains on the back burner. If the Bulls could do a deal with picks, Deng and Taj I still think they would and take the hit now and then put it together once Noah returns. Though I do believe Anthony somehow will end up with the Knicks. Dedric Willoughby? Strong. You must be an Iowa State guy to remember how far along Tim Floyd brought him in that 17-win season. I was more a Matt Maloney guy.

I saw that Rose trails Rondo by about 70k votes for a starting spot in the All-Star game. I know Rondo is having a good season, but how can fans not see what a special season Derrick has had? Also, the Bulls are #1 in the league in attendance. Where are all of these Bulls fans?

Adam Schechner

Sam: Don’t blame the Bulls fans. First voting doesn’t mean much as it’s like early returns in a political race. They could come from outlying precincts. It’s like games the first few weeks of the season when teams can start off hot because of the competition. I still believe that Rose will start the game with Wade. Rondo is out now for a few weeks, so that might hurt his chances some, though I hate to see that. I believe given Rose’s season and general popularity, the vote will swing to him. But there is a factor in national media bias toward Eastern teams and that most people get their sports news from ESPN and since they are situated halfway between Boston and New York those are the home teams of the people who decide what goes on the broadcast and they tend to emphasize those teams more. And Boston has had a good season and Rondo has been getting a lot of credit. But Rose is more deserving of the start and I believe will get it as long as he continues to play.

How did Stoudamire turn out to be a better PF than Boozer, especially since when he's down here in Phoenix he's always been overpaid and underperforming? He's doing what Steve Nash did when he left Dallas then huh?

Abram Bachtiar

Sam: Stoudemire has been terrific and has become an MVP candidate. Stoudemire always was better than Boozer in talent, but with larger question marks because of microfracture surgery and then serious eye surgery. Teams, including the Bulls, were more wary of his long term health prospects, and you saw this summer he couldn’t play for USA Basketball because the Knicks couldn’t get insurance on their $100 million contract. But Boozer is a high quality offensive player and I don’t believe the Bulls regret having him over Stoudemire for the lengths of their deals. Stoudemire could turn out OK, but teams usually play the odds and you heard even former Suns GM State Kerr say earlier this season it was too big a risk to pay Stoudemire beyond three years.

It seems like a nice bonus to the return of Boozer has been the way the second unit has settled in the last couple weeks. They're playing with confidence and they look like they have a much better of idea how to play with each other. With that said, I like Asik starting for Noah and leaving Gibson with that second unit. Obviously he'd play the starters minutes overall but I think he really anchors that group defensively. Plus he's more effective offensively matched up with the opponent's back up big men. Thomas would probably be the better option but I assume he's going to need a few weeks to get into better game condition.

Tim Payne

Sam: We’ll get a better view of Thibodeau’s thinking after practice Friday and whom he decides to start Saturday. He did say he wants to get a lineup and stick with it. So, yes, he could go with Asik as from the Boston and Houston models he likes to play with size. In fact, he’s used Asik and Noah in tandem and has said he’d like to employ them together more, though Asik hasn’t developed as fast as he’d hoped. I generally prefer the five best players philosophy as long as the size is close, but it’s hard to imagine Asik staying in games long enough as a starter. Eventually, it could be Thomas, though it is tough to see him playing big minutes after never having been used this season. Veterans like him are ready more quickly than you’d think. So while I’d go small, I expect Thibodeau to go tall.

There are some rumors around J. R. Smith as possible trade to Bulls, what do you think about him?
Can he make Bulls team stronger?

Ivan Kochemasov

Sam: That was the bad internet rumor of the week. I didn’t see it, but got numerous emails about it. We all know this same management sent him out days after getting him in the Tyson Chandler trade years back. He’s been so difficult to deal with George Karl and Chauncey Billups couldn’t settle him down and the Bulls, from what I’ve heard, have never discussed him with the Nuggets other than perhaps to say, “If we make a trade with you, we’d take the rights to Priest Lauderdale before we’d take J.R. Smith.”

There has been a lot of talk about Melo to the Bulls, but I feel Aaron Afflalo is the guy we should be after. Would Denver do a deal?

Jason Chavez

Sam: I’ve gotten several questions about Afflalo, and my answer is, why would they? They are not contracting. Yes, they’ll lose Anthony, so that especially means they’ll both have money and want to retain a scorer, especially since they’ll also let go J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin. My guess is they view Afflalo one of their core players. He is a restricted free agent, which means they can match, so he’s not walking away and no one is about to vastly overpay him. I know it’s frustrating to Bulls fans, but most teams don’t operate as Bulls feeders.

Trade for Nick Young of the Wizards. With John Wall playing big minutes, Gilbert Arenas and Kirk Hinrich both rotating between pg and sg, it seems like the Wizards might be willing to part with Young. He would fit nicely into the team dynamic.

Neil Olsen

Sam: Or not. He’s a guy I’ve brought up with the Bulls before and I always get one of those “are you nuts” looks. He is kind of an eccentric, a shoot first goof ball type who’ll have 30 one day and then 3. He’s another name thrown out a lot and like Afflalo I just want to end that. Not happening.

I have seen enough of CJ Watson as the backup point guard. He appears to have a high dribble, not a good ball handler and teams press him because of this, and his entire offensive skills appear to be to pound the ball far from the basket. I have not seen any penetration skills from him and he appears to be just a so-so defender. Is it time to find another backup?

Greg Anderson

Sam: No, he’s not ideal as he’s more a scoring guard, but the Bulls have way bigger issues at shooting guard and center with limited assets. My guess if they do anything it will be to address the shooting guard position if they eventually fall completely out of the Carmelo sweepstakes. Watson will be fine for the team they have.

Isn't it about time we all stop pushing for the trade of Luol? Especially since it seems that Melo wants to play in NY no matter what. The way Amare is playing and the way the Knicks are coming together, it seems more and more likely that Anthony will play out the year in a Nuggets uniform and then sign with the Knicks to team with Amare and possibly CP3. I like how the Bulls are being patient with possible trades. I think they know that they need to give some time to the team as it stands and see where things go before shaking things up. Are the Bulls still waiting for something to happen with Anthony or is their plan to fill the SG void that stands out in every game? We need to stop talking about trading Deng. At this point, he is the most crucial piece on the team other than Derrick. His defense has been outstanding and he seems like a genuine team player, which are two traits that Melo does not have going for him.

Ben Jamerson

Sam: I don’t hear much Lu-hating anymore. He is having a terrific season, like against the Pacers when the Bulls were getting walloped on the boards in the first half, it was Deng who began to stick his nose in, as it were, to get the tough rebounds and get that deficit turned around. When he got his tooth broken by a Kobe elbow against the Lakers he never left the game. He leads the team in minutes played, showing how much the coach relies on him. He’s worked on his game and makes threes. Look, if you have a chance to get someone like Carmelo Anthony, you have to do what you can while maintaining your essential core. But as you note, that seems a long shot and I agree. Deng is hardly a problem for the Bulls and has been one of the better answers this season.

Though Thibodeau clearly is a capable coach who has this team playing at a higher level than at any time since Skiles (before the team tuned him out), like Skiles and, many years ago, a young Doug Collins, he is going to wear out this team physically and mentally unless he learns to chill out. His starters play too many minutes and the bench needs more playing time to develop -- in case Rose or other starters get injured. He stands on the sideline screaming instructions on every single play of the entire game, even when the outcome has been decided. Does Thibodeau has the well-rounded perspective needed to lead a championship team?

Stuart Leichenko

Sam: There’s just one Phil Jackson. Pat Riley never let up on his players, and then practiced them four hours. That’s who Thibodeau is and he has to be that guy. Same with Rose and taking off jumping over guys with a minute left in a blowout. You don’t take away people’s natural skills and tendencies that made them who they are. If the Bulls had the players to win a championship, and they don’t now, then Thibodeau would be a good enough coach for that. I don’t worry so much what will be as I’ve seen more players tune out the so called nice guy coaches more quickly, your Bobby Weiss types. From what I can see around the team, the players like Thibodeau, they respect him and they respond to him. No, he doesn’t have the gimmicks you see from Phil or Doc Rivers with side trips and motivational speeches, but he knows the game and knows how to help them get better and for guys who’ve been around, like Deng, I’ve never seen him more excited about the game. And I don’t see this team ever give up. The last few years we’d see big deficits and then they get larger and that’s it. This season they hear plenty from Thibodeau and you never can thus count them out, as teams like the Pistons and Suns with 20-some point leads found out. No one’s perfect, and this is about winning games for now and Thibodeau seems to know how to help the team do that.

Since the Bulls are in weak Central division where they'll likely to win, are they guaranteed to get at least the #3 seed in Eastern conference when the playoffs come?

Jay Choi

Sam: First of all, nothing is guaranteed in December, as you never know with health issues. And there’s this Noah surgery you may have heard about. You saw Rose almost out for the season a few games ago, and then what? He is the indispensible man. Anyway, the way it works, the seeding in the first round is the three division winners and the next best record for top four and home court in the first round. But if, say, the Bulls were to win the Central and there were three better records, they’d get the fourth seed. After the first round, home court is determined strictly by record and division winner means nothing.

After seeing the Bulls beat up on the Lakers last week, it got me thinking about two things. First, and most obviously, Phil Jackson is one heck of a coach, and has basically dominated the position for the past twenty years (though he only has one coach of the year award!!). It will be sad to seem him go, but he has earned the right to walk away when he feels it is right. I started thinking about the great teams and players he has coached, both in Chicago and LA. I wanted to know which of Phil's championship teams, from either Chicago or LA was the best? Also, if you were making a starting five of the greatest players that Phil has coached to championships, again, from either Chicago and LA, who would you choose? I would have MJ and Kobe at the guard positions, Pippen at the 3 (and bringing the ball up the court on offense), and Shaq at the 5. I think that almost everyone would agree with me on these selections (all current or future hall of famers), but the most interesting selection would be the 4 man. Rodman, Grant, and Gasol are the leading candidates for this position, but I am stuck as to who would be the best fit. Gasol is probably the best overall talent, but I think that I would go with Grant for his mid-range shooting, activity on the offensive boards, and his ability to get out and run on the break.

Andrew Condic

Sam: Now, that would be a team you could put up against any of the all-time best. Yes, the first four are obvious choices, all Hall of Famers or to be and MJ maybe best ever, Kobe maybe bottom of the top 10, Shaq in the 10 to 20 range and Pippen somewhere perhaps 30 to 40. Pau, obviously, is the most skilled and you’d say the choice because he could score and is a seven footer. But I’ll agree with you. Horace was much underrated here, especially in retrospect, because of the bitter departure. And playing with Michael and Scottie it was easy to be overshadowed. But from the ’91 championship season through his last in ’94 here he averaged just barely below a double/double with a four-year average of 9.7 rebounds and about 14 points. And though Horace was viewed somewhat as missing games, he was an ironman compared to what goes on today. In those four seasons, he missed a combined 20 games, fewer than Pau missed last season. Plus, he fit the defensive “Doberman” style much better. As for Rodman, the Bulls winning percentage those first two seasons was better when he was out (missing 45 games in two seasons) than when he played. That third season Pippen missed half the year after surgery. Rodman, with a few exceptions and I will admit a couple of good playoff games, was basically a fraud carried by Jordan and Pippen. As for the best team, I still go back to the ’91 champions because Jordan, Pippen and Grant were at their athletic best with a more talented supporting group. The Lakers basically did it with Shaq and Kobe and old veterans who complemented them well.

The pending trade of Terrance Williams to Houston is interesting. 

Do you think Houston acquiring Terrence Williams makes Courtney Lee available? I think he could be a good fit for the Bulls, I've liked him since his rookie season in the Finals with Orlando.

Edward Richards

Sam: Sounds simple, though Houston has basically, even though they don’t use him, considered Lee as a potential All-Star player and generally ask for something comparable in return when there are inquiries. Perhaps they’ll change their thinking closer to the deadline, but if you tried now it probably would cost you one or two No. 1s and Gibson, which is hardly worth it and hardly feasible now.

I've noticed that Derrick has been playing some solid defense lately. Nothing spectacular, of course, but he's clearly fighting over screens, contesting shots and leads the point guard position on shots blocked. His steals numbers, though, is still far afar from the rest of the premier point guards in the NBA. I know we all are very demanding with Rose considering that he's already been doing a whole lot but i guess he should start gambling a little more, mainly when guarding the low profile guards out there.

Paulo Ferreira

Sam: And make sure he brings lunch for everyone as well. The Bulls defense is not a gambling defense, and that is not good defense. The stuff that Kobe and LeBron do looks impressive but is bad defense and compromises their teams. Rose actually averages about a steal a game, which is pretty good, anyway, and especially for someone playing for a coach who emphasizes protecting the interior. It’s actually staggering to consider how far Rose has come as a shooter, playmaker and rebounder that anyone would think he is the one who needs work. The irony is he probably will work harder than anyone, anyway.

Watching the Bulls this year, I am mortified at how pathetically we shoot free throws. How can a collective group of some of the best basketball players in the world squander so many free shots? Having played basketball for years, I understand that fatigue and pressure play a role, but seeing Bulls players routinely miss free throws throughout the game is flabbergasting. I was actually astounded to find that we were shooting 70 percent for the year - it seems we miss 70 percent sometimes.

Trent Magnuson

Sam: It is a problem and will catch up with them. You generally cannot miss that many unless you have more than one super player, like Shaq and Kobe, who can make up for it. It generally has kept Orlando from getting a bit farther and now with their talent a bit on the decline they are stepping back. The fact is there aren’t many truly pure shooters on the roster other than Korver, so it’s a struggle. Though to take heart the champion Bulls generally weren’t very good, either, generally around 73 percent, but not quite as bad as this group, which hovers closer to 70 percent.

I keep hearing about Jason Richardson being a "great fit" for the Bulls, but we both no there is a 0% chance of him wearing a Bulls uniform under his current deal. However, if Phoenix slips out of the playoff picture in the West, couldn't we put together a deal that allows Grant Hill (Expiring @ $3.3M) to come to the Bulls to participate in a post-season race? I think he'd mesh in perfectly with our group and fill the "spot up jumper" role we need at the 2. He'd be a good vet to have around.

Mark Samelson

Sam: I don’t know for sure, but my sense in Grant resigning with the Suns is they have sort of an agreement that he gets to stay. He likes it there, as does his family, and he’s very committed to lifestyle. Plus, he’s made it clear as he’s made this amazing comeback which didn’t seem possible that he’s not going to chase a title as a guy who hooks on, not that with him the Bulls are a title team, anyway.

Maybe this is a little forward thinking but do you think that Hornets pick the Bulls own would net them Evan Turner from the 76ers? I'd imagine the 76ers would be reluctant to shop him so early but he kind of looks like a guy that would be a real good role player, and not one to carry the offense as the 76ers need. Granted Turner doesn't bring the athleticism and outside shooting the Bulls need but as a complimentary piece who can run the point in stretches, fills up the box score and provides you intangibles, maybe he's a fit to come home to Chicago?

Michael Dlugos

Sam: I know he hasn’t been playing much and barely is in Doug Collins’ short rotation, but no one gives up on No. 2 overall picks that fast (Hasheem Thabeet still is in Memphis) and certainly if they were to is going to demand a lot not to look bad. I think eventually Collins will find a way to use him.

I dont understand Carmelo, why would he want to go to the Knicks with no one but Amar'e, who is injured prone, and Felton; why wouldn't he want to come to the Bulls and play with Rose because Rose is unbelievable and there is a better chance of winning.

Mike Storino

Sam: Maybe he doesn’t care that much about it, though the Knicks have looked pretty good with Amar’e and Felton. Plus, with Noah off the table from his extension and now surgery, the Bulls really don’t have the pieces that much interest the Nuggets, certainly at this point. I suppose things can change, but I’ve yet to hear anything of Anthony pushing for Chicago.

I am a firm believer that we made the right choice in extending Noah and not trading him, especially since Melo has now rumored to only sign with the Knicks. But if a team trades for Melo and he doesn't resign, that team's worst case scenario is that they get a huge salary off their books for the new NBA CBA. What is your opinion on this idea and if we were to lose Melo after making a trade, who would we be able to potentially sign with the new cap room?

Dan McBride

Sam: As I mentioned above, the Nuggets are not particularly enamored with what the Bulls have to offer. But it is an interesting point. I don’t see it happening as if you cannot be assured he’d stay you cannot afford to give up much, and if you don’t Denver would just keep him and let him go.

I don't understand the final shot strategy that most all coaches blindly follow. Under 24 seconds left, shot clock off, I don't want to see my point guard running the clock down to 6-8 seconds to run a play just to be the team that gets the last shot. The conventional thinking goes: get the last shot, worst case no one scores, best case obviously you add 2-3 points. But far to often, the shot is a very low percentage shot, often forced up in traffic without one setting their feet, or running away from the basket. Also, the possibility still exists that the offensive team could turn the ball over and allow a quick & easy hoop in transition for the opposing team. Most of the time no one scores. So why not set up a real offense, play your game, get a quality shot, then play some tough defense and force the opponent to hit the tough low percentage shot. Sure, greater risk on the surface, but statistically it would offer the greatest rewards over time. Also, something that doesn't make much sense, sitting a player with early foul trouble. Last night, Rose draws two quick ticky tac fouls, gets the hook, Pacers go on a run, Watson stays out there. Look, I like Watson, this is not an incitement on him, but play to the flow of the game. Indiana is doing everything they want & coming all the way back from 17 down, put in Rose & put the game out of reach, then Rose's foul trouble will mean nothing, b/c you will play the bench all the way home. Force Derrick to play with foul trouble, trusting him, teaching him how to play without, appearing to at least, foul. Put pressure on the refs to keep making touch calls, and if they do, go right back at the opposition on the other team. Get every possible minute out of Derrick when the game counts, if he gets his 5th, maybe 4th, then sit him til the end or later portion of the 4th quarter.

Ryan Schlanser

Sam: Ah, coaching, if only we could. We see it in football all the time with prevent defenses that routinely have teams who can’t go 20 yards moving up and down the field and changing the game. Coaches tend to be conservative, obviously, and like in football where going for it on fourth down probably makes statistical sense more often few do. Because most coach defensively, basically fearing failure over chasing success. Now, it’s more sophisticated and all have probability models to follow, which has basically made baseball irrelevant. Actually, I happened to be talking to Larry Bird about something like this before the Pacers game (huge name drop, there). Anyway, Bird made a good point. He said he never understood why teams at the end of quarters when they knew they’d start with the ball the next quarter didn’t go three for one with a two for one possession and then knowing they’d have the ball, an obvious edge to get extra points. The theory before coaches had all this statistical data used to be to get off a shot with maybe five or six seconds left so you had a chance for a rebound and another shot. But apparently too many coaches lost at the buzzer that way and were second guessed and began to coach out of fear of that. It became common and was exacerbated by the spate of firings that a few opportunities to second guess a decision like that pushed coaches to take out as many negatives as possible. Only the truly secure ones like Jerry Sloan and Gregg Popovich will take chances and don’t care what anyone says. Similarly with fouls. Derrick is smart enough to stay out of foul trouble, but there also is the point of getting him some rest as he played almost 40 minutes in that game, anyway. But you are right. End game situations generally are terribly mismanaged. If only the fans and media could coach, it would be perfect, eh?

Who would win a half-court 2 on 2 match with Neil Funk and Stacey King vs. Chuck Swirsky and Bill Wennington?

Justin Werrbach

Sam: I do know for sure basketball would be the loser. I’d have to give it fairly easy to Funk and Stacey as I think Chuck weighs 113 pounds and probable Neil would post him. Though no one could stop Bill’s shot, I think Stacey’s stream of consciousness trash talk would eventually distract Bill enough.

What do you think? Leave a comment below: