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Ask Sam | Sam Smith opens his mailbag | 3.06.2015

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.

By Sam Smith | 3.06.2015 | 2:23 p.m. CT

As a retired military veteran I know a few things about ambushes. There comes a point where odds of survival are safer to run directly into the fire than escaping another way. Let's, the Bulls, run directly into the fire. Charge! What do we have to lose? Is there any good reason why this is not an opportunity to see what Snell, McDermott, Moore, and Mirotic can do with extended minutes? What's next for Thibs, to run Gasol and Noah into the ground as well? In fairness he is not to blame for the injuries, but he is not completely blameless either. As I've said, I believe the disdain between Thibs and GarPax primarily stems from his lack of willingness to evolve as a coach. He is too micro in his approach. Alas, let's see what the youngsters can do in the final 20 games. Who knows what we might find?
Greg Mendel

Thibs must have his reasons for not playing Doug; however there has to be more to it. Absolute head scratcher.
Mike Burling

Reading/hearing a lot of 'Wilt-esque' comparisons to DeAndre Jordan. He's having a great season, but is averaging 11, 14 and 2 blocks all it takes, nowadays?
Yoni Solomon

I don't know what other Bulls fans are thinking but I'm just getting annoyed by this constant media dribble about coach Thibs getting fired this year or next year. I'd sign Thibs to a 10 year deal as head coach with confidence, such is my trust in his ability as head coach. Thibs works harder than any head coach in the NBA and critically players who play under Thibs consistently improve. All this talk about Thibs being the reason for player injuries is stupid. I [couldn't] care less if Thibs is clashing with the front office because both the coach and front office are doing their jobs to a best few in the game standard with the constant strong first round picks we bring in and bargain free agents we bring in, but then development of our talent. If I had a criticism of Thibs it would be that he was slow working Tony Snell into the rotation when he looked ready to produce and that he hasn't played McDermott enough when we have needed floor spacing and that we've overused Hinrich who I wouldn't be playing at all given he is not making baskets and not a threat on offense when out on the floor. Otherwise I'm pretty satisfied with Thibs.
Christopher Doerre

I've long thought Jimmy Butler was a really good player at moving without the ball (though not quite Luol, though more athletic). This year, it seems like he is doing this less and scoring by stopping the ball more and taking (albeit making) more jumpers. I imagine without Derrick for awhile, he'll be moving off the ball even less - maybe not purposely, but in any event it seems this might reduce his effectiveness. Then I came across an article about analytics and read this:

The reason Wade was being so tightly defended was that his opponents, themselves enriched by data, discovered that Wade scored lots of points by cutting off the ball. So defenders were following Wade wherever he went, even when he ventured to spots on the floor where he was unlikely to shoot. (This can be measured by the metric called “gravity score” and “distraction score.”)

Have other teams been defending Jimmy differently because of these metrics, and thus he changed his game? Or did he change his game anyway. I would love to know the gravity score/distraction score for Snell because he seems quite good at moving off of the ball.
Rob Lininger

Can you let Jo Noah know that his reaction (to Nene) is appreciated by fans everywhere? "The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed it." by Marcus Aurelius.
Ramsey Badre

Moore was an obvious hero Thursday, but don't underestimate Hinrich's contribution. He played a critical role in the win. Why can't fans see how important it is to be in the right place at the right time, both offensively and defensively? Hinrich is rarely out of position.
William Kochneff

Are the Bulls going to make a run at McGee once he clears waivers? Or are we sticking with what we have even with the injuries?
Shaun Chalmer

This era of injury-decimated Bulls teams is making me wonder: What if da real MVP of all of those Bulls championships was Chip Schaefer?
Marc Dadigan

When people (journalists, fans, everyone) talk about D-Rose it looks like they think "oh, we're talking/writing about Derrick! Let's stop using our brain and see what happens." Just after the news came out that he was injured on Tuesday, everybody was like "I'm so sorry he's done," which is just what they said when he twisted his ankle in November, when he had the hamstring issue, when he shot 9 3s in a game and even when he missed a game due to illness. I happen to write for one of the biggest basketball websites in Italy, so when news came out on Tuesday about Derrick, I decided to cover the story. I gathered all my information and came up with an article sayng it's common for players to have to "clip" a repaired meniscus, that he could be back in a month, that the left knee was doing great so there was really nothing to worry much about. Yet, I scrolled down the comments and it was mostly "he's done, Bulls should move on," "he's like Brandon Roy" and similar things. It seems like people, even Bulls fans, want it to be that way and don't really care about facts. I mean, we should be grateful as fans to have him in a Bulls uniform and support him, or at least not make up stories about "mental weakness" or stuff like that to make him look bad. What has he done to desereve all this negativity surrounding him?
Cosimo Sarti

Who are those guys? First spoken by Butch Cassidy, of course, but lately used when remarking about the Rockets. After they beat the Cavs, I looked at the box score and I only recognized 2 of the starting 5. I’m no NBA expert, obviously; but how are they doing it? Even Harden was only 8 for 18. And I know they say he’s actually trying on D this year, but he’d have to improve 1000% from last year to even be adequate. And they’re doing it all without their big guy at Center, too. Are we going to look back on their current lineup in a few years and say “Oh wow, they had Motiejunas AND Beverley on the same team? No wonder they won it all!” Or are they just a 2nd round KO playing above their heads?
Stu Gilbert

Our starters are going to be rested for the playoffs and our bench will be more experienced and stronger than ever! Problems are just unsolved opportunities!
Rex Doty