Ask Sam Mailbag: 12.28.18

I appreciated the comments on the defense. I thought the two things that made the game winnable against Orlando and Cleveland were Lauri's shooting and the team defense. It has happened a few times this year that this Bulls team played defense with the tenacity of a Thibs team, or the VanLier/Sloan/Love teams of yesteryear, and this was one of those times. It made the game fun to watch, and Lauri's shooting gave it a happy ending.

Kirk Landers

Well, Dunn has started to look like the guy we all thought and hoped he might be, finding his shot at the top of the key, getting good assist numbers and rebounds and low turnovers. Markkanen is a lock for All-Star maybe even next year. LaVine is going to average 20 ppg and Carter will be a nice 12 and 10 guy once he gets these fouls under control. It seems to me we need a SF and hopefully one of the 3 Duke guys to round out the starting rotation for the next few years and there isn't really a close second in need. Maybe risk a Bol Bol pick if he is there at 7 or so if this winning continues and we finish similar to last year.
Jack Donnelly

Dunn reminded everyone how effective & useful a mid-range game can be. His game has a distinctive 90's feel to it, but it would be masterful in any era.  Fun and satisfying to watch.  He's a better distributor than LaVine because he's a different player. Archidiacono is the most natural distributor on the roster right now.  A locked-in Dunn presents the other side-problems all over the place.  I need to see him do this for 40 games before I'm a believer though; fight through slumps and countermeasures. Love Harrison. Wish he could shoot. He reminds me of a younger, more athletic Keith Bogans.
Pete Zievers

In the short time I've seen LaVine and Dunn together on the court (which is minimal). I don't believe they can co-exist. LaVine is extremely high usage with a ton of questionable decision making and atrocious defense. On the other hand Dunn has high usage, but he's a lock down defender and shows when LaVine is not on the court he can be that go to guy and a great compliment to Markennen. If I had to choose one I would choose Dunn. Its not saying to trade LaVine, but I wouldn't be crying if Paxson decided to make a move to get players that were better fits with Markennen. Markennen seems to struggle more with LaVine as Zach holds the ball so much and either takes a contested shot or someone like Holiday or Markennen gets the ball with minimal time left and needs to rush the shot. I think there's been better ball movement since LaVine's been hurt and Parker has been bench. Should the bulls look towards more of Korver, Reddick type shooter to pair with Dunn long term. I like Hutchinson's potential as a future starting Small Forward. Someone like Cam Reddish would be a great fit opposite Dunn.
Rocky Rosado

That 6-shot game may be the best thing that's happened to Lauri.  It pissed everybody off (and rightly so) to the point where they forced the ball to him... and he showed them what he can do, twice.  His 3-pt. range is murder, but I love those driving dunks.  Remember when we realized he was better than we'd thought?Well, now he's better than we thought then.  It's between Markkanen & Tatum for best of the 2017 draft, and we may not be sure which one for a few years.
Art Alenik

Do you agree with Charles Barkley that Jokic should be a front runner or in the MVP conversation if Denver ends up #1
Gorav Raheja

You think benching Jabari Parker per game guarantees a victory? Okay, so we beat the Cavs by 20, that doesn't mean we're going to do that to every team, Jabari Parker was listed as available/Chandler becomes the backup Power Forward? So what happens if we play a much harder team than the Cavs/Chandler gets injured? What, we end up playing an even shorter guy? If Boylen isn't going to play Parker, he ought to get him traded. I like Jabari/don't like the fact he's not good at blocking/tends to hog the ball at times too, but this not allowing him to play when he's available is starting to bug me.
Kieron Smith

What a great Christmas story! Everyone thought the Derrick Rose trade was a good one for the Bulls. No one ever imagined he would ever get close to his MVP level of play again. As a Bull, everyone thought he would be playing on Christmas Day for years to come. Now relegated to playing on Boxing Day, he comes out with a vintage prime time performance, carrying his new team and making me think he can still lead a team to a championship someday. Gotta love sports!
Guy Danilowitz

As a huge Derrick Rose fan, watching his highlights of his 50-point game literally brought tears to my eyes. The fact that he put up one of the biggest games of his career after everything he's been through is nothing short of amazing. The way he's passing, shooting, driving, and finishing without dunking, he looks fresher than he has in years. If he can continue to play at a high level for however many years he can still play do you see him being able to reach the hall of fame?
Trevor Bode

When I get the chance to watch the Bulls on TV, I'm usually impressed with Stacey's knowledge and insight of the game.  I was wondering more along the lines of whether Stacey has been considered for a head coaching gig or if he's thought about throwing his hat?
Mark Basa

Hypothetically you have a draft class of Lew/Kareem, Moses M., Wilt, Bill R.,Hakeem.  In today's NBA what would teams do with these all time players who probably would've never been capable of jacking up three pointers?   Also, can you foresee a new league formed  in which there was no three point shot and big man play was reemphasized?
Chiang Mai