Ask Sam Mailbag: 10.14.2016

Dwyane Wade is right, Bulls are far from being any contender for a title. You see the problems not so much the offense(although people wonder how the 3 Alphas will gel this season?), but rather the defense.
Kieron Smith

I noticed with Rondo out, we don't have a true back up point guard. Dinwiddie started, but didn't play the traditional point. Isaiah Canaan played there a good amount too, but he almost seemed like a decoy out there. I remember both of those guys being more scoring guards on their previous teams. Who do you see as Rondo's back-up? I know we have guys who can play point with Wade, Jimmy and I've even heard Valentine. Do you think we need a true PG off the bench, or does Hoiberg's system allow for other positions to handle the ball? I miss Captain Kirk.
Ateeq Ahmed

I was super impressed with Dinwiddie. He's clearly more of a true Point Guard than Grant is. And with his size, I think he could earn solid backup minutes behind Rondo. Then bring in Valentine and McDermott off the bench as wings. With Niko and Portis up front. Defensively they'll be rough, but they should be able to score. And besides, Hoiberg will likely stagger those substitutions so that at least 2 of the Veteran 4 of Rondo, Wade, Butler, and Taj, are on the court at all times. I can visualize a starting lineup in a couple years of Valentine, Butler, McDermott, Taj and Portis eventually. Valentine and Butler can initiate the offense. Butler guards the opponent's best perimeter threat, McDermott and Valentine spread the floor, while Portis can stretch it. Taj and Portis can hold their own on the interior. That's a legit starting 5 in the East, assuming Valentine and Portis develop as expected.
Paul Giuntoli

Taj seems so important - so glad he's still here.
LongGiang Li

Do you think Spencer Dinwiddie will be the first guard off the bench? Can he also benefit the bulls like E'Twuan Moore and Aaron Brooks before?
King Berango

Dwyane Wade knows what happened behind the scenes in the summer of 2010 and I do not. However, I still don't accept some of the way he explained things. The biggest problem I have is that he claims they would have picked the Bulls, or at least it would have been significantly more likely they would have, if the Bulls had completed a trade of Deng to free up the cap space for all three of them to come. This, in my opinion, is a disingenuous though wise thing for Wade to say now that he is on the Bulls roster. After all, the Heat didn't trade away Michael Beasly to free up cap space for all three guys to sign there until after they announced that was their plan. The Bulls very easily could have found a taker for Deng, I believe, if those three informed the Bulls they would sign with Chicago. Also, Wade knows basketball better, and I'm sure at the time knew Rose better, than I ever will. But my recollection of Rose back then was as a reluctant scorer who preferred to run the offense (I'm not saying that was his biggest strength however). Both in his one college season and on the Bulls he was forced into a scoring role because there weren't other scorers around him. So it's hard to accept Wade and James couldn't imagine a fit with Rose. Not to mention the fact that the Bulls roster also had Noah, who was just emerging at the time as a dominant defender and rebounder who didn't need the ball, something the Heat were never able to find during their big three era.
Cameron Watkins

As the team has reinvented itself I was feeling sorry for Taj, the "last man standing" and the "odd man out". Well, it seems he wasn't feeling sorry for himself! Dang he sure looks like the obvious starter. The rest of the depth chart is settling itself as well. Dinwiddie has respectably earned that 12-15 minutes behind Rajon. Canaan will be suitable as a sparkplug scorer when the need arises. Nikola and Doug are both going to have big nights but it's nice not to have to rely on them yet. Snelly Cat will have a role as he is so much more valuable then it seems every media outlet makes him out to be.

The only hole is the final 10-12 minutes of backup big. This is OK too because a little healthy competition between Bobby and Felicio will be positive and not distracting. Should we be warily optimistic? Like playoffs optimistic.
Matthew Mikulice

Are you worried about your League Pass package this season?
Sam Smith