Drew Gooden (07-08 Synopsis)

29 07 2008

A portrait of a young beard

A portrait of an artist with a young beard


Drew Gooden — Chicago Bulls Forward
Measurements: 6’10” – 230 lbs.
Experience: Sixth-year, 27 years old
From: University of Kansas

2007 – 2008 Season Statistics
12.0 points | 44.9% FG | 8.6 rebounds | 1.2 assists | 0.8 blocks | 30.8 minutes

Season Highs
Points: 31 (vs. Atlanta)
Rebounds: 16 (2x)
Defensive Rebounds: 13 (@ Phoenix)
Offensive Rebounds: 8 (2x)
Assists: 5 (2x)
Blocks: 4 (vs. New Jersey)
Steals: 5 (@ Toronto)

What This Year Proved

Drew is your consummate hustle player.  He can crash the boards and set picks with the best of them.  But on a team where every front-court player is a “hustle player,” Drew had to bring his game.

And he did, for the most part.  In the 51 games before getting traded to the Chicago Bulls, Drew tallied averages of 11.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.6 blocks. 

In 18 games with the Bulls, Drew averaged 14.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 blocks.  He did a solid job for Chicago.  In Chicago, he improved his per game shot-blocking drastically, nearly doubling his 0.7 career block average.

His sudden defensive prowess can be attributed to his new role as one of Chicago’s primary big men.  The pressure defense employed last year helped funnel drives to either him or Joakim Noah.  Drew proved that he can be an adequate, if not exemplary, anchor for a thinning Bulls defense.

Quote Him

“Man, I got jealous of the ducktail.  The ducktail started getting more attention than me, so that’s why I cut it off.” — on cutting his old rat-tail

Looking Forward

We know Drew can run the floor and finish.  We know he can hustle and board.  But as the Bulls are currently constructed, he’ll need to do more than that.

When he establishes position, he has a high-percentage baby hook that he hits over most defenses.  Drew gets into trouble when he starts acting like Arvydas Sabonis.  The Big 90 convinces himself that he can hit fadeaway J’s a la Sabonis but they’re bad, off-balance shots and he’s no Paul Hamm.

Drew needs to use his muscle and width to get as many easy inside buckets as he can.  Alternatively, he has some speed and enough determination to beat his man down the floor.  Easy buckets can come his way by looking for an outlet or a quick entry pass in the early offense. 

Because the Bulls haven’t addressed their big man deficiency, Drew Gooden will need to assert himself past his comfort zone.  He doesn’t have second or third option skills but being the most polished big forces him into the equation.

Season Grade: B

Fourteen and 10 is nothing to sneeze at.  Drew performed as well as he’s ever performed in his career.  Although his efforts didn’t translate into more wins, it’s greatly appreciated.  Keep on keepin’ on, especially with that gnarly beard.

Photo credit: Slam Dunk Central




16 responses

29 07 2008
Jim Stark

Drew sure looks good looking in that Bulls uniform. But I hope Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas show him up this year.

29 07 2008

Don’t you want to just run your hands through that beard, man? Forget Heidi Klum, I’ll take Andrew Melvin Gooden.

29 07 2008

I think Gooden will be better in Chicago than Cleveland, though he will miss those 15-20 LeBron misses each night as rebounding opportunities. I’m wondering what he’ll do facially this year though. Obviously it’s gotta be something different. Maybe shave his eyebrows? Grow out really long bangs, ala Ronaldo in the 2002 World Cup?

30 07 2008

man i love your bulls synopsis.. keep em coming..!

30 07 2008

Drew Gooden stinks … as either a starting player in the NBA or a key role player off the bench.

Drew has very few, if any mis-matchable components to his game and is a poor man’s Mr. Little-bit-of-Everything-but-NO-ONE-THING-of-True-Value.

Being a good guy isn’t enough to get a nod of approval in my book. 🙂

30 07 2008

What’s wrong with Drew as a role player?

Not having a clear skill-bastion isn’t always a bad thing. Take a look at the Finals teams: Turiaf, Farmar and Powe don’t have a clear competitive advantage. They essentially just ran around with their heads cut off — which is not to say it wasn’t of value.

Sometimes, a swiss army knife is preferred to a butcher’s blade.

And besides, Drew is a clear upgrade from PJ Brown — someone who became invaluable to the C’s championship run.

30 07 2008


* Farmar is a quick, skilled PG with a well-defined role
* Turiaf is a banger who knows he is not a scorer for a quality team in the NBA; he, too, has a well-defined role
* Powe is a banger who can and does finish pretty darn well around the hoop. His current role is well defined and limited due to his inexperience in the League. As he continues to improve he is going to develop into a far superior BIG than Drew Gooden, IMO.

What messes up Gooden, IMO, are:

i) The lapses he experiences when he forgets that at this level of competition (unlike the NCAA) he is not a goto scorer on his team (if it’s any good) in any way, shape or form; and,

ii) His lack of height/size, as a PF/C, in the NBA, his lack of athletic shot-blocking ability and his overall lack of explosive quickness (both horizontally and vertically) … relative to the other top notch players in the League he is matched up against on a nightly basis.

In general, Drew Gooden is a … blahh player; not an … ah-hah! one.

Gooden is not an upgrade on PJ Brown … e.g. if Gooden’s on last year’s Celtics, Boston FAILS to win the NBA championship (and I’m not kidding on this one).

IMO, James Posey (3) is an example of a sharp Swiss Army Knife … Drew Gooden (4) is an example of a Dull one … with periodic delusions of being a Butcher’s Blade (grandeur). 🙂

30 07 2008

So is it that you have a problem with Gooden the player or the role he has on the Bulls?

If it’s with the role, I’m whole-heartedly agreeing with you. Drew has an ill-fitting role on the Chicago Bulls. I’ve been saying that all along which is why I was pissed that they drafted Derrick Rose.

What I will say is that there’s a distinction in praising a guy for filling a role (Farmar, Turiaf, etc.) versus me patting someone on the back for his effort while overextending himself on a bad team (Gooden).

If you’re qualm is mostly with Gooden the player, we’ll have to explore this topic further…

People poured praises on Turiaf during the playoffs. Why? Because he hustled and flowed when he was on the floor. Of course you’ll look exerting your measure core competency while Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are running out there with you.

And I’ll argue that he’s essentially Drew Gooden from a skill-set standpoint Hustlers and boardmen with wide frames. Turiaf’s second jump is better but he’s a vastly overrated defender.

But how many minutes did Turiaf actually play? 9.8 playoff minutes and 18.7 during the regular season. Farmar played 17.1 minutes in the playoffs. Powe plays around 12 each game.

Gooden, on the other hand, easily doubles their minute per game averages. Would you expect some what relatively inadequate for his role to overextend himself in big rotational minutes? I would argue that Turiaf’s (et etc.) marginally better per game stats would be diluted with increased minutes. (Which should be interesting to note for his upcoming Warriors campaign.)

When the Cavs went to the finals, Gooden was the “banger,” the “hustler,” and the “guy who finished around the hoop when he had to.” Stick him on a losing team that asks too much of him and the criticism creeps up like an old smoker habit. But roses only go to the victor, I suppose.

He can be a “blah” player, I won’t argue that. But let’s be honest, the other role players I’ve mentioned are every bit as “blah.”

Thanks for your thoughts and keep the coming…

30 07 2008


Let’s just stick with the Gooden vs Turiaf comparison … it will narrow the focus and make it easier to go further into some specific detail which might help both of us understand the other’s perspective better.

Athletically … I am not saying that Turiaf is a Wow-guy, by any stretch of the imagination, cause he’s not, but … Ronny is in a different class entirely in comparison with Drew.

Ronny is far more lithe than Drew.
Ronny is a much better second jumper.
Ronny has more lateral quickness and has an easier time switching onto and covering smaller players effectively.
Ronny is a better shot-blocker than Drew

When it comes to offensive decision-making …

Ronny just doesn’t force or miss the same number or quality of shots that Drew does.
Neither does Ronny present himself as someone who perceives himself to be a player who can take a game over for any significant stretch of time through his own offensive exploits … especially not by going at his check off the bounce … all of which Drew can, unfortunately, lapse into from time-to-time.

Ronny is a:

i) Spot-up, catch & shoot, mid-range jump shooter; and,
ii) Interior ‘Garbage Man’ who can clean-up the misses of his more skilled teammates.

Can Drew do these things too?

Yes, of course he can.

But, IMO … not to a similar degree or in a similar to Ronny.

PT has has little to do with it.

30 07 2008




Hopefully you can participate, and please spread the word to others you respect.


30 07 2008


I’m with you for the following comparisons…

“Ronny is far more lithe than Drew.
Ronny is a much better second jumper.
Ronny has more lateral quickness and has an easier time switching onto and covering smaller players effectively.
Ronny is a better shot-blocker than Drew”

And I’m with you on your point that Turiaf is a better garbage man which can be attributed to your argument of Turiaf being more lithe and laterally quicker. Plus you agree with me that he’s got a better second jump than Drew Gooden.

And although it doesn’t look like you agree with me on this point, I’m thinking that his forcing bad shots is a function of his role on this team which subsequently also stems from the amount of burn he gets.

To me, it would seem that Turiaf is a better shooter (he shoots about 50% from the field, I think) because he has never been asked to overextend himself. Gooden is definitely known to lapse. I’m sure he’s broken his share of plays, that much is certain, and we can agree on that.

I would argue that Gooden’s career clip of 47% could be a function of an ill-suited role.

In Chicago, he’s supposed to step up. Even on the Cavs, when Big Z was out, who did they match him with? The Andersn Vareja (no O) and Donyell Marshall. Not exactly monsters in the paint. Take a look at who he played with in Orlando: Juwan Howard, Zaza Pachulia, Donnell Harvey, Andrew DeClerq and the great Sean Rooks.

I don’t want to belabor my point but it is this: a 3% deficit in from the field can partially be explained by what I mentioned above. Le Turiaf Tres Grand hasn’t been looked at to generate consistent inside offense yet in his career. Gooden has and that can explain part (but not all) of his offensive ambition.

P.S. The Yao-Bynum thing looks interesting. I’ll look forward to your thoughts on that. Haha, I’m sure you’ve prepared a detailed thesis on how Bynum will take over the world. Looking forward to it…

30 07 2008

@ feetinthepaint, khandor
my only problem with drew gooden is his inconsistency. sometimes he plays really good, then disappears the next game. if he can improve that, he can become a better player, though not necessarily a superstar. I don’t think he is built for that. he can be an above average role player who can provide decent numbers for his team.

30 07 2008



That’s a first for me. 🙂

Drop on by … things are rolling re: Yao vs Bynum.

31 07 2008

What do you think of the Deng signing? Think it keeps Gordon from resigning?

31 07 2008

I like Deng as a role player for the Bulls.

No, I do not think his re-signing will, by necessity, determine the fate of B-Gorden with their team.

In my mind, Deng is more linked with Nocioni.

More inclined to think that Gordon & Hughes & Hinrich are going to have a domino effect on one another. (i.e. when 1 goes, then the other two will probably be staying)

1 08 2008

That’s a good call. I just can’t decide if Gordon is serious about possibly moving to Europe or if he’s just trying to use it to get more out of the Bulls, ala Sasha Vujacic.

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