Ask Sam Mailbag: 10.12.18

I saw this posted from an old Bulls favorite name, Keith Booth: Tex Winter: One of the best basketball minds ever. I'll remember coach for always having time to discuss life&hoops w/ a young rookie. Fav Tex quote

Condolences to the entire Winter family.

Bob Ding

I always was most taken with Tex's belief in the purity of the spirit. It was why he went to places like Long Beach State and Northwestern despite having an elite reputation. Tex never was concerned with his reputation. He was the ultimate
teacher. If students needed help, it never even occurred to Tex his record—and reputation—would suffer. He and Johnny Bach were the most perfect assistant combination in history because Tex believed everyone could be better and didn't recognize
status while Johnny endorsed talent and success; the winner of the war was the one who was right. Phil was the ideal fulcrum to balance their Republican poles of thought. There aren't teachers like Tex anymore because the teaching is with
computers and spread sheets. It's OK; it's just the next time. There won't be another Tex Winter. Perhaps it's best that way.

Bobby Portis is a black hole on offense who flexes after scoring when down thirty points and talks about himself in the third person. He also severely injured a teammate! If it were anybody else, I'd label him "arrogant, clueless, and
selfish." But I like him a lot, and somehow he seems like a good guy. I sense that people around him do too. What's he like?

Alejandro Yegros

There's a lot to root for in this team, but I think the key to this year is Dunn. The frontcourt looks strong with Markkanen, Carter, Portis, and the veteran Lopez. The wings look less settled, but we have a lot to throw at the position –
Lavine, Parker, Valentine, Hutchison and the veteran Holliday – and surely something will stick. But point guard seems an all-eggs-in-one-basket proposition with neither certainty nor variety. If Dunn can't deliver, it doesn't seem like the team
has any other options. So, with 80 percent of the preseason finished up, what are you seeing? Can Dunn be a top 25 percent point guard? What's his ceiling, and what's his floor? I'm hoping for a great season and a playoff run, but I imagine, if
this season brings another lottery pick, it will be earmarked for the point.

Joe Kraus

I have been hearing and reading Bulls faithful  talking about this being a 40 win team and sneaking in to the playoffs.. crazy talk !! The way this Bulls team is built, in the 2nd year of a rebuild is at best a 32 win team. I wish people would
just appreciate this team for what it is, a rebuilding team hoping to see growth from its core of Markkannen, Dunn and Lavine whilst having cap flexibility to go after a free agent next year to speed up the rebuild.

This team isn't competing for a championship in the next few years and as much as i love the home town kid story with Jabari there is a reason the Bulls signed him to a 1 year deal with a option for the second. Enjoy the journey, it's going to
be frustrating at times and exciting at others, but this team is rebuilding, not built for a deep playoff run. Hopefully that happens sooner than later, but its not this season.

Mike Burling 

I knew this season would be an 'uphill battle'.  Didn't realize they'd have to climb out of an abyss first.  This sure is a(nother) challenging year for Fred, but also one of opportunity.  This starting out as such a disorganized mess (at 1-2)
that turning it into the semblance of a team will seem like a miracle.  By season's end, Fred will either look like a genius.. or get fired. Zach really did look good!  That's the Zach LaVine I'd seen before and was very happy to acquire.  At
least on offense, he makes the game look easy. Jabari seems to be the exact opposite.  I liked his effort better in this game, but everything he does looks difficult.  He runs the floor like an old guy and gets up, but only with significant
effort.  And what happened to his shot?  Jabari looks like he didn't shoot a J or run a sprint all summer.  Actually, I'm hoping that's it, because that means he'll get better in a month or two.

Art Alenik

I don't understand why Jabari is coming off the bench after a couple preseason games.  I think Holiday should be coming off the bench.  Holiday is pretty much a backup talent.  He's not that much better at defense than Parker yeah he gets steal
and runs, but he's not a finisher.  He's no threat to drive to the basket.  We've seen Holiday the last few years, he doesn't impact the game much.   A lot of empty stats.  Jabari has moves he can drive,  I think you got to give him a chance.

Al Musavi

I'm not worried, what with it only being three games into the pre-season, but what do you think is most important for the Bulls this season? Obviously staying healthy is of major importance, but do they need to make the playoffs? It's a
possibility in a much more open eastern conference but we'll see if it happens. So what would be most important for you? Further improvement of the LaVine/Dunn partnership, consistency, improvement of the rookies or something else? Should be an
interesting season.

Steven O'Connor

I've been having fun arguing with other fans that the Timberwolves should have known what they were getting themselves into with Jimmy Butler.  He seemed like a guy who would eventually pull this kind of thing during his last two or three years
in Chicago and it wasn't a big secret.  Do you think Bucks fans and followers will be saying the same thing to Bulls fans soon about Jabari Parker?  I didn't follow the situation all that closely, but I think he got quite upset and became a
distraction late last year when he came back from injury and wasn't used as much as he hoped to be.  Might this year's Bulls team have the same sort of problem?

Cameron Watkins

The general view is that Doug McDermott is a quality person but not much of a pro basketball player.  Some like his three point practice "stroke" but he is not a jumper and very slow and you can't coach speed or leaping ability.  It
seems like he has been all over the league in just a few years without much, if any, wow factor. Just a few years ago when the NBA got a big jolt of additional income,  a number of teams made insane and regretful salary deals that still have a
few years to burn off.  It's just inconceivable to me that McDermott is worth anywhere near the $22 million three year deal he got from Indiana.  But since it's not from our pocket perhaps just applause for Doug.  What am I missing?   John

I came upon this quote from an "anonymous" NBA GM:

Fair or not? Typical of superstars, or superstar wannabes?

Michael Mezey

Of course, everyone wants to do well and succeed. But Jimmy's just doing what everyone before him has done, though not quite the same way, which also defines the guy who came from 30th in the draft. It's actually also a quietly major issue in
sports. The analytics people who run teams these days have basically figured out it's more cost efficient to pay young stars and not veteran free agents. Sure, you pay LeBron, Durant, the super guys. We saw it in baseball last winter. If the guy
doesn't move the needle in a big way, and Jimmy doesn't given a career playoff record below .500, teams have decided it's better to invest in potential stars. Maybe they'll be great. We know these guys are only very good. Jimmy, unsurprisingly,
hasn't taken it very well. So he brought his ESPN cameras and staged his drama in Minneapolis Wednesday and then skipped the team's trip to Milwaukee Thursday. Jimmy's no dummy. Put a little more pressure on the Timberwolves. See if he can
humiliate their core players. He needs his Bird rights in a trade to get max. As a free agent, he gets four years, not five. So he's not playing it out as his contract suggests he should. Jimmy's life has been a lot of risk taking, con game,
daring and self assurance, from finding places to sleep and eat to a school that would take him to a coach who would play him. He's climbed to the top of the sports world to the point he's insulted by a $100 million contract offer. C'mon, that
is pretty cool if he can pull it off.

What has gotten into Jimmy?  What happened to "just a kid from Tomball Texas?" I'm very disappointed to here about his awful attitude.

Mark Zylstra

Jimmy's been upset the Timberwolves committed to Towns over him, and it's not unusual and to many not inappropriate. After all, Jimmy's been an all-pro. Towns is not nearly as celebrated, though more so than Jimmy at his age. But that's also
life. Towns is at the right time in the right place in the right era. Jimmy already has rejected a contract larger than Michael Jordan basically ever was offered. Towns has been remarkably unruffled over all this, to his credit. Though not
surprising for a kid with a 3.96 GPA in high school. It's a shame Towns has to be the target. He doesn't deserve that and could easily point to records and ask Jimmy what he's ever won. Jimmy's a terrific player and the Timberwolves certainly
were better with him. Jimmy often does things louder than others, but he's always got a good reason, at least to him. He's looking for a way out to maximize his future earnings, which it apparently became clear the Timberwolves were not going to
do. It's something many others do; just not often this way. And by the way, how would this Minnesota starting lineup look: Dunn, LaVine, Wiggins, Markkanen, Towns? No, you don't let coaches run your organization.

There have been reports that Fred is installing a "switching defense" that some other teams have adopted.  What is a switching defense and how does it differ from what the Bulls have been using?

John Petersen

I personally believe switching makes defenders lazy, which is what is considered my old time thinking. Teams always used to play man to man. You guarded your man wherever he went. If he got a shot, it was your fault. So get there! Now guys can
say too easily it was everyone's fault. Though if you have five (or four like Golden State) defenders who are aggressive and can switch and close in height, you can play an excellent defense. Actually, the Bulls played versions of that when Toni
Kukoc substituted for Luc Longey in the 1996-1998 championships with Rodman at center. That was a great defense that switched. There aren't many. The Bulls did it mostly with perimeter defenders last season, but this season, and especially with
Carter, are trying to do it more often. They believe it will make them a better defensive team. And with the additions of Carter and Portis to the lineup Wednesday, they were much better and more capable of switching. So maybe it will work out.
We'll be watching.

I'm really concerned with Cameron Payne being the back up point guard. He's ineffective as a playmaker and I don't believe he has the necessary IQ to run the second unit. I was hoping for a veteran back up point guard signing , but at this
point I'd be more comfortable with Arcidiacono as he is more effective in Hoiberg's system, more physical and a better defender. Also, in a half court set, the offense struggles with this ineffective passing for 10 seconds without putting any
pressure on the defense. It's too mechanical and predictable. I'm all about sharing the ball, but don't you think they are better off with LaVine or Dunn trying to penetrate first and then move the ball as the defense collapses ??

Bobby Grbevski

Anyone from the walkons impressing? Walton showed he can hit the 3. Way too small, tho

Mike Sutera

Rumor has it that KD might leave the Warriors. Do you see the Bulls reach out to him? Big market, he'd be the man here and in a weaker East conference with an improved young squad around him... The opportunity of proving he can win without
nothing but All Stars around him might be appealing to him, no?

Alex Henriquet

Why does Bill Wennington currently shave his head? What razor and shaving cream does Bill Wennington use to shave his head? Also, during the tail end of his career of playing in the NBA; why did Bill Wennington get a Buzzcut haircut?

Matthew Parij