Ask Sam Mailbag: 03.24.17

If you look at the stat line from Detroit, individually and team, it looks rather nice. Any chance of repeating it? Butler: 12 assists, 6 for 6 from the field, and 0 three point attempts. Likely not going to see Butler's line repeat, but it sure does look good. Of course, you get assists when your teammates make shots when you throw them the ball.William Kochneff

Maybe you could explain something to the novice followers like me. Why would a team fight for the eighth playoff position, when they could finish ninth and have a
chance, small as it may be, to get the number one or a very high draft
pick?Rex Doty

I’m not a huge fan of tanking games as far as the Bulls are concerned, but I’m starting to ask myself what advantage is it for the Bulls to fight for the 8th playoff spot only to get swept or lose in 5 games after watching this weekend’s NCAA Tournament. There are at least 12-15 players I saw that could be huge difference makers to a team and as of right now. Well ok, I may have stretched it a bit. Two players which stood out to me were Monk & Fox for Kentucky. The latest CBS Mock draft has the Bulls Selecting Monk with the 11th pick. Now Hypothetically, if that were the case and Monk did fall to 11th, then this looks like a pretty strong draft on paper.Randall Sanders

The stories after Jerry Krause died brought back great memories of how I remember the Bulls. The way they should be. Always competing for a title. RIP Jerry Krause. Truly the under appreciated greatest GM in Bulls' history.
Mark Bakr

Rondo is their best #1, and that's not so awful as long as they keep looking for his 'replacement'. In the meantime, he runs the offense better than any of the others and is the smartest player on the team.
Art Alenik

We both were excited the Bulls obtained MCW, especially for Snell, a "get something for nothing" trade. Although he can be excellent defensively, he is not a point guard who can penetrate or distribute the ball. It’s amazing that in his third season he has not found a favorite spot or two where he can consistently hit a fifteen foot jump shot. And after trading Taj the Bulls announced that they were going to give the younger players extended playing time for further talent evaluations. So, what was learned? No single player exerted himself to even suggest they could emerge as a potential starter on a good contending team. At best, maybe one or two are rotation players.
John Petersen

Help me understand. The one player who has gradually improved his shooting each month to eventually become one of our best shooters get rewarded by being relegated to the bench for two guys who are probably not even going to be on the team next year. Grant shot over 50% from the field and 48% from 3 point range in February and we reward this young man with the bench.
Rocky Rosado

Whereas I can understand sitting a player like Lebron after he's been to the Finals six consecutive years, or an older player like Wade who is frequently injured, I don't have much sympathy for the Leonards, Thompsons, and other stars who sit without comparable fatigue/injury excuses. Greg Popovich claims that sitting players throughout the year effectively extends their careers up to three years. Not buying it.
The Spurs have gotten superstars and stars to buy into the idea of taking a backseat to up-and-comers, thereby allowing those players to thrive as role players in reduced minutes; that's a far more compelling case for career longevity than sitting players. Furthermore, this could have happened at any point in history were it not for the pride of once great players who had earned enough money realizing they were no longer great and not wanting to play the game at a diminished level.
Jordan could've played longer and settled into an 8th man role; he just viewed it as beneath him. If anything, the demand for international play during the summer puts more wear-and-tear on players' bodies than a full season of play. I actually wonder if that has anything to do with the spikes in injuries we've seen over the past few years. It's even worse for players who typically are never in peak condition (the Lowrys and Marc Gasols).
Terrell Bryant