Gunnin’ Gordon

25 11 2008

I’m going to tell you something that you might not know:

It’s Ben Gordon’s contract year.

But shhh!, don’t tell anyone.  Ben doesn’t know that we’re on to him.

The guy’s a gunner.  He scores and he doesn’t do too much else.  And that’s fine but is it too much to ask him to make an extra pass to the open man?

If Ben gets an outlet pass, he acts as if Derrick Rose isn’t in the building and he brings the ball up himself.  His favorite play seems to be where Drew Gooden sets a pick at the free-throw line extended so that Ben can drive floorside.  He then forces up a shot at  the freethrow line regardless of how many hands are in his face.

Ben, along with Rose, leads the Chicago Bulls in field goal attempts at about 15.5 shots per game.  He’s hitting them at a very good 48.5% clip.  Clearly, he’s their number one option with Luol Deng hurt.  And although his attempts are up from last year’s 14.9 FGA, he’s also playing three more minutes.

So I can’t get too down on Ben but is it too much to ask for two passes per possession?

Vinny Del Negro admitted that there isn’t much offensive variety in his playbook.  Vinny wants to make it simple for a rookie point guard by streamlining plays.  But the Bulls’ offense gets so stagnant at times.  They don’t make the defense move and their offensive tendencies are plainer than Pam from The Office.

Wouldn’t you get bored forcing the same shot over and over again?

Assemble Your Crew

3 07 2008

After hiring the green Vinny Del Negro to become the Chicago Bulls’ head coach, the organization has hired some tremendous assistant coaches.  Vinny’s Prince now has the Revolution — in the form of three aging men.

Del Harris, Bernie Bickerstaff and Bob Ociepka have been brought into the fold.  I’m very happy and impressed with these hires.  All three guys can ground the organization with pragmatism and experience, supplementing the change of direction and freshness that Vinny represents. 

Harris has more than 13 seasons of head coaching experience with a career record of 556 wins and 457 losses.  Having been with the Mavericks for the last nine seasons, Harris has been apart of the offensive fluidity of Don Nelson as well seeing the strict defensive schemes of Avery Johnson.   Maybe Jerry Reinsdorf will morph into Mark Cuban? 

Bickerstaff has been with the Charlotte Bobcats franchise since the beginning.  He has served as their head coach, general manager and EVP of basketball operations.  Vinny, as well as John Paxson, will benefit from having someone that has managed a team from different angles.  Maybe Reinsdorf will turn into Michael Jordan?

Ociepka also has a lot of coaching experience.  Additionally, he spent the last two seasons as a Timberwolves assistant.  His familiarity with a young core nucleus will also play a part.

Although these aren’t your USA National Team assistants (Jim Boeheim, Nate McMillan and formerly Gregg Popovich), this is a great move by the Bulls.  For the first time this summer, they have done what I wanted them to do. 

I hope they make it Purple Rain.

Photo credit: Palo Alto Daily News