Posts Tagged ‘Keith Bogans’

Hamilton Out Of Bulls’ Rotation, Plans?

CHICAGO — Veteran Chicago Bulls swingman Richard Hamilton, known equally for his constant motion, crafty scoring ability and in-game accessories (head band, protective fiberglass mask), might want to go with a brown paper bag these days.

As in, who he?

From 2003-09, Hamilton was one of the playoffs’ most familiar faces, packing in 120 appearances in seven seasons with the Detroit Pistons. Over the next three postseasons, he played in just six games, all with Chicago last spring. But now his involvement has dropped off the table entirely.

In Game 1 of the Bulls’ first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets, Hamilton came off the bench in a playoff game for the first time ever. He went scoreless in 7:14, which led to another personal first: Hamilton didn’t play at all in Game 2, picking up his first postseason DNP-CD.

Now he appears to be out of coach Tom Thibodeau‘s postseason rotation entirely. With minutes at a premium and the Bulls in need of scoring wherever they can find it, Thibodeau has turned to Marco Belinelli in reserve of newfound starter Jimmy Butler. In a total of 30 minutes in the two games so far, Belinelli has scored 21 points while shooting 7-for-15.

Thibodeau also has used Nate Robinson in tandem with point guard Kirk Hinrich, rather than strictly as a backup, also draining minutes that might have gone to Hamilton.

“He missed a good chunk of the season down the stretch, and then we tried to get him some games at the end just so he can get his rhythm back,” the Bulls coach said the other day.

That never really happened. After missing March with a bad back, Hamilton returned April 9 but averaged only 5.8 points in 15.8 minutes while shooting 41.9 percent in five final regular-season appearances.

Thus Hamilton’s two-season stay with the Bulls appears to be fading to black. Oh, he might be called upon here or three, particularly if Chicago advances, but this wasn’t what any of them had in mind when Hamilton signed a three-year, $15 million contract after the lockout in December 2011.

The vision then called for him to team in the Bulls’ backcourt with Derrick Rose, benefiting in late career from the defensive attention Rose drew on penetrations into the lane while simultaneously spreading the floor for the dynamic point guard. Chicago had made it to the Eastern Conference finals with defensive-oriented Keith Bogans alongside Rose, but it was clear it needed someone to share the scoring load.

How’d that work out for the Bulls? Due to injuries to one or both, Hamilton and Rose played a total of 18 games together in two seasons, sharing the backcourt for only 396 minutes. Spread across the possible 148 games in 2011-12 and 2012-13, that’s the equivalent of 2.7 minutes per game.

That’s about right, in terms of impact. Hamilton was unable to stay healthy through a series of ailments, missing 38 games last season and 32 this year. Rose missed 27 a year ago and, of course, hasn’t suited up since his ACL injury in the 2012 playoff opener. (He and Hamilton combined for 42 points that afternoon, a tease of what might have been).

Good idea that never got traction? More like a dice roll that didn’t pan out. Hamilton had limited game and no durability left by the time the Bulls signed him off Detroit’s amnesty. He scored 20 points or more five times in 2011-12 and four this season, but wasn’t around enough to consistently boost the Bulls’ attack. He has a $1 million guarantee for next season, which almost certainly will become his severance check so the Bulls can avoid the other $4 million for 2013-14.

It’s worth looking at Hamilton’s impact in another way, given Chicago’s focus on dollars expended. Hamilton, in two regular seasons, scored a total of 816 points for $10 million. That’s $12,255 per point. Bogans — working against the Bulls from the Brooklyn bench — started all 82 games in his one season with them, scored 359 points and was paid $1.6 million. That’s $4,457 per point.

Defense Again A Problem For Brooklyn

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – Yep, the Nets’ defense still stinks.

No surprise, really. They ranked dead last in defensive efficiency most of last season, before settling for 29th because the Bobcats were the Bobcats. And though the Nets upgraded their roster quite a bit this summer, they did little to improve their defense.

So that was concern No. 1 when training camp opened. After three games, it’s still the No. 1 concern because the Nets, once again, rank dead last in defensive efficiency.

Most points allowed per 100 possessions, 2012-13

Team GP OffRtg Rank DefRtg Rank NetRtg Rank
Brooklyn 3 96.3 24 112.9 30 -16.6 30
Charlotte 3 102.4 10 112.2 29 -9.8 28
Detroit 5 97.2 23 110.2 28 -13.0 29
Phoenix 5 99.4 17 106.5 27 -7.1 26
Portland 4 100.2 15 106.3 26 -6.0 25

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

It’s just three games, one of them was against Miami’s No. 1-ranked offense, and two were without Gerald Wallace, arguably the Nets’ best defender. But the Nets ranked 29th defensively in the preseason, so we really have nine games of evidence that they’re going to really struggle on that end of the floor.

Howard Beck of the New York Times has the carnage from Wednesday’s 30-point loss in Miami

The Nets shot poorly from the perimeter, rarely got into the paint and never did find a way to slow down the N.B.A.’s pre-eminent superstar tandem. James and Wade combined for 42 points, nearly matching the entire Nets starting lineup.

“Nobody said we were on Miami’s level,” Coach Avery Johnson said. “We aspire to get there. We’re not there. We’re definitely not there with three games in the regular season.”

As Johnson pointedly noted, it took the Heat (4-1) a while to develop an identity when they brought Wade, James and Chris Bosh together in 2010. Wade himself stressed that the Nets will need patience as Deron Williams and Joe Johnson get acclimated to one another.

The process apparently will be ugly at times.

“We feel like this team shouldn’t be losing by 30 to anybody,” Williams said. “But it’s a work in progress. And we can all play better.”

Trying to dig into the Nets’ numbers doesn’t give you much information as to what works and what doesn’t, especially since their loss to the Wolves on Saturday included huge runs from both teams. While the Nets have the league’s worst NetRtg overall (-16.6 points per 100 possessions), they have the league’s best NetRtg (+25.3) in the second quarter, which is kind of crazy.

Their starting lineup from the last two games — with Keith Bogans in Wallace’s place — has been solid. It was a plus-3 in nine minutes against Minnesota and just a minus-1 in 16 minutes in Miami on Wednesday.

More games will produce more data and, for the Nets, hopefully more chemistry on defense. But given their struggles through six preseason games and three regular season games, it’s difficult to see them approaching Avery Johnson‘s goal of being a top 10 defensive team.

Bulls Seek Upgrade From Bogans

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau values loyalty and defense, which explained journeyman Keith Bogans’ starting role for the team with the NBA’s best regular-season record in 2010-11. At age 30, in his eight season, Bogans started all 82 games for the first time, making Chicago’s shooting-guard spot his own by … averaging 4.4 points on 40.4 percent shooting?

OK, not exactly the numbers you’d expect from a key offensive position for a team with serious championship ambitions. But Bogans gave the Bulls’ rotation toughness, he defended hard and, on many nights, it seemed Thibodeau was fine if the veteran guard could hit a 3-pointer near the start of each half and call it a night. After all, Chicago had the league’s MVP in the backcourt alongside Bogans.

But as the Bulls prepared for their first workout Friday at the Berto Center, management pulled him off the practice floor, a source told the Chicago Tribune‘s K.C. Johnson. His quick story continued:

The Bulls hold a $1.73 million team option on Bogans. … According to league sources, Bogans’ contract officially is non-guaranteed and above the league minimum. With the Bulls exploring other shooting guard options, management is being careful and preventing Bogans from sustaining an injury.

Nevertheless, Bogans, who has been working out at the Berto Center for the last week, wasn’t happy with the move, according to a source.

As much as Thibodeau values what Bogans can do, the Bulls need an upgrade at shooting guard to take some of the offensive burden off Derrick Rose and keep defenses from overloading on the point guard.

General manager Gar Forman addressed Bogans’ limbo status in a statement, saying the team had until Dec. 19 to decide what to do with Bogans.

“Keith Bogans is under contract with the Bulls and we have a December 19th option on that contract. At this time, we are exploring several options in finalizing our roster. We have always respected Keith’s professionalism and we hope to have more clarity on this situation soon.”

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Rose Not Eyeing DPOY Award ‘Yet’

CHICAGO – Derrick Rose was left off 120 ballots by the media folks who voted for the NBA’s 2011 Kia Defensive Player of the Year and no one in Chicago demanded an inquest.  While Rose was early on his Most Valuable Player possibilities, the DPOY isn’t on his radar.

“Not yet,” he said.

Three of his teammates, though, did pick up votes. In fact, center Joakim Noah and shooting guard Keith Bogans each got one first-place vote, finishing 15th and 20th respectively. Forward Luol Deng came in 10th with 24 points (five second-place votes and nine thirds), placing ahead of Lakers star Kobe Bryant (18 points).

With Bogans, a 30-year-old journeyman who averaged 4.4 points on 40.4 percent shooting, most of the focus has been on his absence of offense. But Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is the defensive guru who trusts him with that starter’s role and thought the vote Bogans got was deserved.

“I don’t know why anyone would be surprised,” Thibodeau said. “To me, if you study the guy’s career, this is who he’s been. The guy’s done it for a long time and this is how he’s made his mark in this league. He’s a tough competitor. He’s a fierce defender. He’s played under some great coaches. You can count on Keith to play defense.”

DPOY Votes Don’t Add Up

CHICAGO — Dwight Howard’s third consecutive runaway victory for NBA Defensive Player of the Year was as impressive as the distribution of the votes were curious. The Orlando Magic center was a no-brainer for most of the 120 writers and broadcasters chosen by the league to select the winner; he got 114 first-place votes and five second-place votes.

But that means other players had their names written first a total of six times. And some voter left Howard off the three-slot ballot entirely (he got no thirds).

Boston’s Kevin Garnett got one first-place vote, 20 second-places and 12 thirds. His 77 points left him a distant second to Howard’s 585 (first-place votes are worth five points, second-place are worth three and thirds are worth one.)

Dallas’ Tyson Chandler finished third with 70 points on 20 seconds and 10 thirds. Nothing shocking there, nor that Memphis’ Tony Allen, Boston’s Rajon Rondo and Milwaukee’s Andrew Bogut lined up fourth through sixth, respectively.

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Casspi On Bulls Radar

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The start of a New Year also signals the beginning of our third-favorite season here at the hideout, trade rumor season.

After the playoffs and the draft, nothing throws more players into the mix than the trade rumor season. So what if most of what’s rumored is complete rubbish.

There are always things that pop onto the radar that intrigue us. And this ESPN.com report about the Chicago Bulls have interest in Sacramento Kings swingman Omri Casspi makes sense on so many levels. (The Knicks are mentioned as a team interested in Casspi as well.)

The Bulls have been extremely patient in their pursuit of another quality outside shooter/slasher to help take some of that perimeter scoring load — responsibilities that both Ronnie Brewer and Keith Bogans have tried to assume admirably (though neither of them appears to be versatile enough to handle the job without major assistance).

Casspi showed flashes of being able to handle those duties, even though Casspi is more of a small forward than a shooting guard. Casspi also plays with an edge that the Bulls need and haven’t had since they shipped Andres Nocioni to the Kings in a deal at the trade deadline two seasons ago.

With the Kings rolling around in the mud in the Western Conference basement, this is the perfect time for a young talent like Casspi to be freed from a situation like the one he finds himself in. Who wouldn’t want to go from a 7-24 team in the West to a contender in Chicago that’s already stocked with a superstar and MVP candidate in Derrick Rose, a veteran star in Carlos Boozer and stud big man in Joakim Noah?

Like we said, this one makes sense on so many levels — hypothetically speaking, of course.