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Ask Sam | Sam Smith opens his mailbag | 4.17.2015

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 | 4.17.2015 | 2:00 p.m. CT

[Derrick] was explosive over the last number of games. It gave our whole team so much confidence and watching them play was so much more fun. In his ten minutes last night, he demonstrated no explosiveness. I’m nervous something happened.
Jacob Snyder

Okay. I really hate it whenever Rose takes a three but I've come to a point to accept it if he takes one when wide open. I really hate it when he takes that ridiculous dribble stop three with the defender all over his face. I mean what the heck is he thinking and why isn't Thibs telling him to stop? He does that at least 3 times every game. It goes in once in a blue moon but worse, it often leads to a fastbreak for the other team. Do us a solid and tell him to stop!
Bambi Choy

As an NBA fan, how happy are you for Monty Williams and Anthony Davis?
Ateeq Ahmed

What are your thoughts on starting Taj over Noah? I really liked Taj in the starting lineup the last game versus Brooklyn. I feel like Taj and Gasol gives the Bulls a more formidable lineup since Taj is a better shooter than Noah and plays much better as a starter. Noah limits the Bulls against other teams' starters as other teams totally play off of him. Meanwhile Noah's hustle and putting him next to Mirotic and Brooks will be awesome as you surround a great passing big man with 2 great shooters as well as Noah would match up better against other team's bigs off the bench, as well as saving Noah's ankles, feet for the critical moments that the bulls may need from him deeper in the playoffs.
Mark Bakr

With Thibs confirming that his playoff rotation will be nine deep (Rose, Butler, Dunleavy, Gasol, Noah, Brooks, Mirotic, Gibson, and Snell/Hinrich depending on the situation), how do you think he will distribute the minutes? Will he stagger Noah and Pau? Will he try to make sure Noah and Rose play different shifts to allow them both to run their different offenses?
Emmett O'Keefe

Out of curiosity, I did a little stat compiling to try and capture the effect that the Bulls' primary scorers have on winning. Obviously this isn't a perfect metric. You can't only look at an individual's performance as if it happened in a vacuum. But I think it's somewhat interesting.

When Dunleavy scores 15+, the Bulls are 8-4 (.667)

When Mirotic scores 15+, the Bulls are 13-8 (.619)

When Brooks scores 15+, the Bulls are 12-12 (.500)

When Gasol scores 20+, the Bulls are 24-10 (.706)

When Butler scores 20+, the Bulls are 20-12 (.625)

When Rose scores 20+, the Bulls are 16-5 (.762)

We've all been saying that Derrick is the most important factor for the Bulls to be successful in these playoffs. This data seems to fully support that argument. When Rose is aggressive and scoring the ball, the Bulls are very difficult to beat.
Dan Michler