Rose Still Needs Help In Chi-Town

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HANG TIME, TEXAS – The Bulls won more games than any other team in the league a year ago. The Bulls have the second-best record in the NBA this season. The Bulls have the President of the United States talking about welcoming them to the White House next year to celebrate a championship. The Bulls have the reigning MVP Derrick Rose playing like he’s ready to go back-to-back.

So are there really any questions about the Bulls?

Well, as our good friend Sam Smith of Bulls.com points out, maybe just one:

But it would be nice, also, if someone could score some points.

Yes, Derrick Rose, despite increasing defensive pressure, had 22 points and eight assists. And Carlos Boozer had one of his best games as a Bull with 23 points on nine of 13 shooting and eight rebounds, including a dive on the floor for a loose ball and aggressive fronting the post on Greg Monroe, which we don’t often see from Boozer.

That sort of play enabled the Bulls not only never to trail in beating the Pistons for the 13th straight time, but with an 18-3 run to start the fourth quarter with mostly reserves playing the Bulls broke open a game they controlled but primarily with leads around 10 points.

The Bulls Monday started their lone three in three nights set and are about halfway through playing nine games in 12 nights with nine of the first 13 of the season on the road. Though everyone has scheduling like that to play through this season.

So it doesn’t fully answer whether this Bulls team can score enough to truly be taken seriously.

Call it the Kobe Syndrome. As good as one player might be, every superstar needs help. The belief was that the Bulls filled their most glaring need for a perimeter shooter when the addition of the veteran Richard Hamilton, as smooth fitting as a foot into a custom-made loafer. But Hamilton has now missed three games and five of the last six with a sore groin and at soon-to-be-34, there have to be concerns about how soon Rip can return and whether the problem will nag at him. C.J. Watson is also sidelined with an elbow injury, missing the last five games, leaving that role of supporting Rose to John Lucas III.

It is not just the backcourt where Bulls are a bit light on offense these days. Joakim Noah did NOT take a single shot in 25 minutes of Monday night’s win over the Pistons, Luol Deng has struggled with his shot and Omer Asik is not yet a force putting the ball into the basket.

Noah’s play has been something of a mystery, though his game seems altogether different. Perhaps the best running big man in the league, Noah hasn’t sprinted the court much and has been getting caught often out of position on defense. On one play Monday, he watched without moving as Jonas Jerebko drove from the wing for a layup. He’d tried shooting a rolling hook earlier this season, but that proved unsuccessful and he’s barely a threat again. Plus, he’s not making the usual defensive impact, though he did block two shots Monday with eight rebounds. Certainly not terrible, but the Bulls have come to expect so much more.

His backup, Omer Asik, has been more effective in position and help defense, but Asik, we know, has little offensive game yet.

Likewise, Deng has shot 15 of 47 the last four games. Take away his eight of 16 against Orlando and that’s 22 percent in the other three games.

“His lack of offense is going to happen,” said (coach Tom) Thibodeau of Deng. “The big thing about Luol is when he is not shooting well or scoring, he still helps you in so many ways because of his defense, the way he moves the ball, his hustle and activity. I’m not worried about Luol.”

Of course, as long as Thibodeau is pulling the strings, the Bulls are going to have a foundation of defense and if anything they seem to have turned it up a notch this season.

Still, in this compacted schedule of 66 games in four months, it would seem to be asking a bit much of even the indefatigable Rose to keep shouldering so much of the burden. Note that nine-game road trip lurking up ahead from Jan. 29 at Miami through Feb. 12 in Boston.

It’s nitpicking, we know. But when the expectations and the stakes are so high, it comes with the territory.

And didn’t that guy with the statue outside the United Center still need a dependable supporting cast to collect those rings and Presidential visits?

32 Comments

  1. Darren says:

    Give up Noah, Boozer, the Bobcats pick we have and our first and/or the second rounder. That will keep Orlando happy and the bulls line-up would have good depth. It would look like this.

    PG Rose, Watson, Lucus lll
    SG Hamilton, Brewer, Korver
    SF Deng, Butler
    PF Gibson, Scalabrine
    C Howard, Asik

  2. KC says:

    First and foremost, we should not trade for D. Howard if he does not initially sign a contract extension. Secondly, If we can’t land him by the trade deadline we should just roll with the players we have. If we do not make it to the championship or Boozer does not provide quality play in the post-season, we amnesty him and go for a major pickup in free agency.

  3. Trey says:

    The Bulls are a great team, but I’m not sure if we are a championship team, because what most people are failing to recognize is that the Bulls struggle against athleticism. Even if the team isn’t that good, the Bulls struggle against athleticism. You look at teams with athletic wingmen or bigmen causes problems that’s why Pacers, Hawks, and the Heat give the Bulls so much trouble. But, you look at games against the Celtics, Spurs, Lakers; the Bulls play well because they can outrun and jump over older slower teams. I believe what the Bulls need to do is add some athleticism at the power forward position and at the shooting guard position. Boozer is really bad and they need to get rid of him and Rip is not a solution at the two guard. We are built like the Celtics from 2008 but without the offensive skill and that’s why we struggle and why we are probably not a championship team. I say we need to add athleticism or get multiple offensively-skill players.

  4. eh?? says:

    I think they’re trying to address is what if the bulls lose D.Rose to injury…..they need another one who can take that spot….and at the same time to lighten the load for D.Rose…just look at Miami, they can afford not to play Wade and Jame and still can win…they have so many spare All-star Players..with this compact season i think teams need to rest their no1. player in the long run…d.rose is just an injury away from losing a championship run….

  5. TheTruth says:

    Well, the truth is that the Bulls have a terrific team, filled with good defenders and some viable scoring options on Rose, Deng and Boozer. They also have depth. But I do not think that this team can contend for a championship, simply because Rose is the only real superstar in the team and also because he tends to put the team WAY too much on hid back, and that only hurts them, because Rose doesnt shoot the ball so well (low 40s is his shooting porcentage) and you throw some good D in there and you practically destroyed their chance to score in he fourth quarter. I think that the Bulls should get a secondary scorer to acompany Rose, someone better than Deng and that can create his own shot of the dribble. Just my thoughts on the Bulls, I just wish them a a louzy season (Heat fan) and see that they dont get another good player in a while

  6. Derrick Rose has too much pressure says:

    Derrick Rose has too much pressure
    January 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm
    Derrick Rose is still a kid and he has too much pressure. One off night means that the team looses the game. He needs a consistent help. Without Derrick Rose, this team wouldn’t make the playoffs!!!

    D-rose needs D-wight, and the head coach would agree with me.
    Get dwight for Boozer & Noah. Next they need outside threat which means get Ray Allen
    The time is up for Boston and they need to get younger but at the same time they don’t need to rebuild completely
    Trade Rip & Asik for Ray Allen
    PG:Rose
    SG:Ray
    SF:Deng
    PF:Gibson
    C:Dwight

  7. fan says:

    I believe Bulls can beat anybody in 7 games except Heat. That means conference finals at best for Rose and co.

  8. Derrick Rose has too much pressure says:

    Derrick Rose is still a kid and he has too much pressure. One off night means that the team looses the game. He needs a consistent help. Without Derrick Rose, this team wouldn’t make the playoffs!!!

    D-rose needs D-wight, and the head coach would agree with me.
    Get dwight for Boozer & Noah. Next they need outside threat which means get Ray Allen
    The time is up for Boston and they need to get younger but at the same time they don’t need to rebuild completely
    Trade Rip & Asik for Ray Allen
    PG:Rose
    SG:Ray
    SF:Deng
    PF:Gibson
    C:Dwight

    • Celts says:

      Because giving the celtics Rip Hamilton is getting younger? Ray is like only 2 years older and shoots 2000x better…

  9. Neutron says:

    The bulls are buil to win a whole lot of games, every season but not built to win championships. The only way they’ll ever beat Miami, is if one of the big 3 gets injured. Thats it. I like the Bulls, their one of my fav’s, but im tired of people calling Luol an adequate 2nd option for a championship team. Its ridiculous. Luol plays terrific D. and is gona get u 16 to 18 points a night shooting a good percentage. The kid is an all star in my book, but take away the Defense in his game and he is no longer considered an all star. Chamionship teams need at least 2 guys that can take over games in the PLAYOFFS. Rip is 34 now so not too sure if he can be that second guy yet. The Spurs had multiple guys, The lakers in both championship runs, Celtics, Mavs etc etc. If I’m the Bulls im seriously considering offering a low ball package to the Magic for Dwight Howard. I am 100% he’ll sign the extension. They would immediately be the favorites if they pull the right deal.Sorry Bulls fans. Reality (Miami) is starting to set in really fast….

  10. Mitch says:

    The Bulls have a great supporting cast. Sure there isn’t any other superstars other than Rose but what about Brewer..much improved might i add. and dont write off Rip yet, he will be fine! Lock the Bulls in for a Championship run.

  11. Gabe says:

    I agree with most comments here, with a good dependable cast, I believe the Bulls will go the distance with Rose at the helm. And I hope that fan favorite (across the nation) Scalabrine will play more minutes.

  12. BULLSFAN says:

    The Bulls are playing basektball. Are you serious about comparing Westbrook to Rose? Rose is a way better player than Westbrook. Don’t get me wrong Westbrook got game, but when he see KD taking a lot of shots he feel its his turn to do the same. Rose don’t have KD on his team, but if we did. Back to the Bulls everybody is going to have an off night, but as long as they are finding another way to help the team win it shouldn’t mattter what their shooting percentage is. I Agree about Noah, he’s not playing his normal game, but that ok he going to come around. The BULLS are a GREAT TEAM. LIKE I WAS SAYING AT THE START OF THE SEASON THE BULLS ARE ON A MISSION AND TEAM BETTER WATCH OUT. #GO BULLS #BENCH MOB

  13. Scotty says:

    To me, it is obvious that Rose needs to increase his mid-range attempts. Opposing teams are primarily scheming to keep him from penetrating and scoring at the rim, yet he still wants to drive all the way to the basket even when there are 2 defenders waiting down there. Just look how many times Josh Smith rejected him at the rim the past two games against Atlanta. Rose seems to decide way too early in possessions that he is going to take it all the way to the rim no matter what. When he isn’t doing that, he is jacking up 3’s. He is taking too many 3’s, and shooting a terrible percentage. His first two seasons in the league, Rose was fantastic from mid-range, and I don’t understand why he has abandoned that part of his game. IMO, when the playoffs get here, and games are close in the 4th quarter, he needs to be able to get good shots for himself. All the great ones who win championships have that ability. With his speed/quickness, vertical, and threat to take it all the way to the rack, he should be able to step back, cross back, or pull up anytime he wants from mid-range and drain it over these smaller point guards.

  14. jaycee says:

    try to make brewer be in the first 5 because he can attack more aggresively

  15. Magnus says:

    “The Bulls have the reigning MVP Derrick Rose playing like he’s ready to go back-to-back.” – That’s a joke right ?

  16. Troy says:

    Good analysis Fran!
    The Bulls are still motoring along, last year with starting SG Bogans and this year so far with Noah not playing like he was last year before he went down injured when he could have been called to the All-Star game.
    RIP is a good sidekick and with Deng and Boozer shoulding the load the Bulls will be just fine also the MOB squad 2nd unit had little equal in the NBA so that helps alot! Next year we might not have the luxury of such a deep bench with Taj Gibson and Omer Asik likely to get big offers from other teams!
    I don’t see how we get past the Heat, but we almost did last year even while starting Bogans!
    We sure miss Kurt “Big Sexy” Thomas on our squad, but lil John Lucas III has been our savior and given DRose some rest time which he really needs to stay sharp and carry the heavy load on him!
    GO BULLS!!!!

  17. d maker says:

    bulls to d final 3o% win = 70%lose……

  18. JW71 says:

    true,not many did it all by themselves(in a figure of speaking),but maybe rose could be the first?-far fetched but just a suggestion,confrence finals in his 3rd season…i think the bulls are ready now.

  19. Mike says:

    Package the draft picks we have since they are all protected til 2016,Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, and maybe Jimmy Butler to the Warriors and pick up Montae Ellis. Maybe add Asik. Other than that I dont see where we can a 2 guard this season. Imagine Rose and Ellis running up and down the court all day…

    • ybz90 says:

      That is a horrible idea. That’s the kind of thing you’d pay to get Dwight Howard, not Monta Ellis. Can you imagine the weakness of that backcourt in terms of defense? It would be a relatively tiny duo, and combine that with the losses from the bench, you’ve gone from contender to 4-6th seed at best.

  20. Kevin O says:

    I dont think Bulls are a great team at all. The only reason they are supposed contenders, is Thibodeau defense, and that’s all. Rose put numbers similar to Westbrook’s last year, and was the weakest MVP in the last few years.
    Not to mention a mediocre playoff run for him. Its to soon to a guy like him carry a team on his back, so he needs help. Consistant help. Not like Boozer’s up and down style of play

    When they play against a good defense, they struggle. It has always been this way. And just like Aldridge wrote in his article a couple days ago, Bulls have mastered the art of winning ugly. And thats not gonna put up for a title

    • JAKE says:

      HAHAHA THE BULLS ARE AVERAGING 98 POINTS A GAME AND HOLDING TEAMS TO 85 POINTS A GAME. How is that winning ugly..? You apparently never watch the bulls play and they are 8-2 right now with no rip hamilton and the cj injured and noah playing like crap.. The bulls have a complete team with the best defense in the nba (look at the stats) and rose will be the best point guard for the next five years with winning two championships.. Westbrook is not even close to d rose and never will be. HEY NEXT TIME LOOK AT STATS BEFORE TALKING STUPID…BTW D ROSE HAS A SIDEKICK NAMED LUOL DENG..D rose and Luol Deng can match up against any two superstars on each team..

    • Law064 says:

      Kevin O your comment is a complete FAIL weakest MVP in a few years? He made History he’s been the Youngest MVP ever and he carried the bulls last season and he’s doing it again so far this season so get your facts straight before making stupid comments. Prix is back The bulls could use Dwight but they can beat any team with the roster they have. Rip has been out Watson has been out Boozer is the biggest waste of money ever, Noah & Deng has been struggling and they are still winning. Don’t be a hater maybe you should watch the games and check the stats before being a hater. Go Bulls Go Celtics

  21. NJ Lou says:

    “Take away his eight of 16 against Orlando and that’s 22 percent in the other three games”. Ok, I’ll play. What about taking away the 2-12 from yesterday, where does that leave you? FYI, Rose is averaging 8.4 apg, so he has to be gettting help from somewhere.

  22. Jaykwan says:

    Rose has a dependable supporting cast–almost. This team is slowly coming together. Ronnie Brewer can shoot now, Korver (usually) plays defense now, Asik is developing nicely, and Jimmy Butler, in his very limited minutes, is proving he belongs in this league. Carlos Boozer, I swear to you, is starting to play defense and even dove for a loose ball last night. Luol has had a few off nights–you can trust he’ll bounce back. Joakim is a bigger concern, sure; he has had one double-double this season and his numbers are horrible. Rip is old and injured; there is some concern there, as well.

    If you watched the game in Atlanta on Saturday, you saw Chicago’s bench (Scalabrine included) play the entire fourth quarter and force Larry Drew to shamefully put his starters back in the game to avoid losing it; the Bulls have depth. This team is far from perfect and far from its true potential. They are 8-2 even with poor play from their starters, important injuries, and seven road games. If this team is healthy for the playoffs, which is their real regular season goal, brace for an epic Bulls-Heat series.

    • Kevin O says:

      The same Atlanta team that lost to Heat W/O Bron and Wade? That show us something, if the Bulls are a little deeper, so are the Heat. In fact, Miami has been spanking teams without Wade, Curry and MIller. If CHI wants to be in the finals, they must find a wingman for Rose, otherwise, even if he makes 5 straight 40-point games, Bulls will still have a hard freeking time. Have you seen the way Chalmers and the kid Cole are playing? They are on a rollin’, and that will hurt the Bulls as well, because Rose will be runnin’ around chasin’ em

      • Chris says:

        Yes, the same Atlanta team that BEAT Miami IN Miami.

      • John R says:

        You act like Broken down curry and Miller were making a diffrence. They are both below average players who nver realy made a diffrence for the team at all. We’re mising C.j and RIp who have major roles. And come on chalmers and cole?! They are not even half the player Rose is.

    • prix is back says:

      Bulls need Dwight to stand with the Heat…otherwise it would just be the same as last season…a great team but not a championship team…

      • kevin says:

        bulls dont need howard he needs the bulls he isnt a big enough star to carry a team plain and simple