Hair of the Dog: D-Rose and Bulls Hand Over First Loss




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Well, that was ugly. I think I watched too many Carlos Boozer rim cuts resulting in layups. The Bulls scored 84 points through three quarters en route to a 110-94 win. Anyway, 81-1 is still there for the takingand here’s a little “Hair of the Dog” that bit you last night.

The Five:

STARTERSThe Hill-Stephenson-George-West-Hibbert lineup that assaults opponents with power, speed and smarts has remained relatively supreme through ten games, except these last two. In 34 total minutes ‘The Five’ is allowing an appalling 119.3 points per 100 hundred possessions and scoring only 90.1 points per 100 possessions, which would be below the likes of Utah and Cleveland’s putrid offenses.

What about tonight? Even shoddier. In the course of 20 minutes of their second game against Chicago, ‘The Five’ scored twenty-seven points lower than their average offensive efficiency mark, and that’s 107.1.

They were a mess defensively, especially at the rim, where the Tom Thibodeau led Bulls made half of their shots. Chicago finished all seven of their cuts to the rim, per MySynergy Sports. As I mentioned in the foreword, Boozer got in on the entertainment, making two layups and a dunk off of cuts that were result of Paul George-Lance Stephenson miscommunication(I actually thought George should of stayed on Boozer), Derrick Rose penetration and Luis Scola’s slow feet and lateral movement. Related:Mike Dunleavy whipped past Lance Stephenson on a cut too.

Did I mention Nazr Mohammed had one also?

Well, Derrick Rose is sort of good:

450121023_10XThe 2011 MVP is a career 30% shooter from beyond 23 feet 9 inches, which is well below average. No staff is instructing their team to fight like hell to get around ball screens to obstruct his three-ball attempts like a staff does Steph Curry.

Before last night, Rose only made six threes through seven games on twenty-four attempts. Tonight? How about six of them on eleven attempts. I’m certain the Pacers will live with Derrick Rose taking eleven out of his sixteen shots outside of the restricted area, where he did not find any riches, missing all three layup attempts.

Paul George’s rough night:

PGbloodySome games you just don’t have it. Other than two measly shooting numbers at home versus Chicago(not last night) and Toronto, Paul George has made over 48% of his shot attempts. After tonight the percentage dropped to 46%. He was 3 of 14, missing seven of his jumpshots as well as five layup misses. There was a handful of shots, specifically shots of rim, that George would generally make. He was somewhat lethargic when defending off the ball, getting beat on a Deng back-door cut. In his defense, they were down by 30 points but his normal exertion wasn’t present. 

At least Hibbert was solid:

Occasionally there is a trickle of positives in a double-digit loss. Tonight had them. One was the rim defense on Derrick Rose and the other was the NBA’s leading shot blocker, who finished with three blocks, five defensive and offensive rebounds along with 14 points.


450121013_10xGive it up for six million dollar man! In 16 minutes he made three out of his four three pointers, including a silly one dribble pull up over Taj Gibson. However, that was his only triumph over Taj, who exploited on the low block multiple times during garbage time in the fourth quarter. I’m hoping this momentum carries over to Wednesday against former team if he sees the court. Come on Frank, get him some minutes against New York.

Parting note: If you ever wanted to survey a mismatch at the center position, it will be present on Wednesday night where Indiana will play Andrea Bargnani and the gloomy New York Knicks.

 Feel free to disagree and let your thoughts be known to me on twitter. @Jalen_NY

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Tags: Game Recap

  • Ian

    It’s hard to get too critical on the Pacers given how well they played until last night. I think you could sense the Bulls would play their best game of the season. They knew if they lost this they’d be playing major catchup all year, and this was in Chicago.

    That said why does Vogel give so many minutes to Solomon Hill. He’s essentially filling the Sam Young role, the warm body at the 3 spot who doesn’t do anything particularly well and doesn’t need to be guarded spot. Sure Copeland will be abused by someone like Taj (who is a power forward while Copeland is more of a tweener), but he stretches the floor on offense which is something the Pacers could have desperately needed considering how bad their shooting was in general. I know statistically the Knicks didn’t suffer with Copeland on the floor on defense last year. It may take Vogel out of his comfort zone, but until Hill gets more comfortable with the NBA 3 pointer and makes defenses respect his shot, I think his minutes should go to Copeland.

    • Joe Betz

      Agreed. Hill is the better defender and rebounder, which is what you want most nights, but tonight you needed offense and that opportunity didn’t happen until Copeland came in in the third. Hill is at least a season away from developing a consistent 3pt shot.

    • achoo

      sounds like Vogel heard you. 0 minutes for Solo last night

  • Joe Betz

    Because I’m here when they win, I have to be here when they lose…even after suffering a terrible evening filled with Bulls-loving friends telling me how much better their team is, how the Pacers can’t score, etc. etc. etc.

    George and Stephenson couldn’t make a shot, Deng was hot from the start, and Rose made 6 threes, which could have easily been 7 if not for a Noah offensive foul. This was a perfect storm game against the Pacers that you knew would happen at some point…unfortunately, it happened against the we-are-not-rivals Bulls.

    Thanks for the Copeland call-out. I was very impressed with his one dribble three over Taj AND with his move to the basket later + his entanglement with Boozer.

    • achoo

      win or lose, we still booze, go Pacers

  • achoo

    It’s tough to win 10 in a row.
    Pacers missed a lot of good open shots, in and out of the rim. Great looks they will make 9 times out of 10, this was just the 1.

    Also I think Derrick Rose is seriously trying to challenge Shawn Marion for the “ugliest three pointer in the NBA” award. Yeah he made a lot of them, but man does it look bad when he does. It’s like watching Barkley swing a golf club.

    Solo is learning and developing. These early games don’t really matter, let him play. It will be valuable experience for later. He has already improved a lot since game 1, even though he is nowhere near ready to play in a serious NBA game. Maybe by the end of the season he won’t be a liability. With Young you knew what you were getting, with Solo there is at least hope that he could develop into something useful. I’d give him a chance.

    • john b

      Marion and Rose are in the hunt and trying to take the “Ugliest 3 pointer in the NBA” award away from Kevin Martin lol

      • achoo

        Martin rushes his shooting motion, but at least he has good form.
        Marion has no follow through, but at least he gets perfect form from his lower body
        no idea what the hell D Rose is doing. Rushing the upper body, but not too bad, but his lower body? Kind of reminds me of post-Achilles Dominique Wilkins where he would basically kick his own butt when he took a jump shot. Or kind of like Paul Pierce where he looks like his legs are about to give out from under him as he “elevates.” But there’s a weird twisting motion in there too. Combined with the arms, it makes for some really ugly form.

        Kids: don’t watch D Rose shoot. it’s bad for you. accidently banking in a 3 might get your team 3 points, but it’s not a good shot. especially when your body looks like a jellyfish in mid air

        • john b

          Lol hard to argue with that. I was always confused how Marion made it out of high school with that form. If I were a coach and saw that form, I would lose my marbles over it. I guess if it works, it works…but damn it’s hard to watch

          • achoo

            same with DRose

            Did anyone hear my main man REGGIE MILLER last night during the Bulls/Nuggets game?

            REGGIE i love you – do you read my posts? man what an honor that would be.

            but i am just stating the obvious. REGGIE commented, after DRose took a 3, how horrible his form looked. REGGIE chalked it up to tired legs, said something along the lines of his strength/conditioning in his injured leg not being there yet and the result is a tired looking jumper. makes sense.

            i watched some 2011 DRose clips and he had nice form on his long jumpers. So it’s logical he is just overcompensating for his weak leg. but it is ugly! I wonder if he will remain this good a 3 point shooter once he is able to use proper form again… or will he keep using the jacked up form because it works?


            and yeah, Marion’s jumpers STILL make me go WTF!?! kind of like Tebow’s throwing motion, you just can’t get over how somebody can be so un-fundementally sound, and yet so successful

  • Realist

    I haven’t felt this down after a loss in a long time. Not entirely sure why.

    Also, I have a feeling that the Spurs will be #1 in the power rankings out shortly, and rightfully so too.

    • achoo

      it’s ok… the Bulls are a good team.
      I had the Pacers and Bulls as the top 2 teams in the league this year,
      followed by a slew of West teams,
      then the Heat,
      then more West teams,
      then the Nets,
      then the rest of the West basically before rounding it out with the pathetic 5-15 of the East.

      Bulls lost @Miami, Bulls lost @Indiana, those are tough places to win. Pretty much their only dud of the season was losing to Philly, otherwise they’ve been relatively on point.
      Indiana is the far and away the best team right now, but the Bulls will close the gap all season long. It should be a fun one, and make it that much more rewarding when the Pacers win!

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  • lil-bang

    Once the Pacers got down by double digits Copeland should have seen the floor. He was put in too late. He was brought here to be a spark off the bench. I’m sure Vogel will be a little quicker to get him on the floor next time. Also would mind seeing Copeland to come in some games when you see the offense is being stagnant but the defense is keeping them ahead. Put in Copeland to drain some 3′s and extend the lead.
    Sucked the first loss had to come to Chicago. That game would have made Indiana sitting really pretty in the Central for a while. Oh well, move on and win the next won. Get back to where they were a couple years ago where they didn’t lose back to back games untl half way through the season.
    GO Pacers!!!

  • AMF1322

    I think it’s the best game to lose first and I’ll tell you why: because Chicago it’s a contender. I know this doesn’t sounds right, but think about it: it’s worse to lose at Chicago, or at TD Garden with the sucking C’s, or at home against Philly? At least losing at CHI is justified. AND, let’s not forget, we lost without Danny Granger (who should be a huge part of this team’s bench in the future) against a no-injured Chicago, with all it’s bench and starting five on the court. And we’ve already beaten them in Indy, also without Granger.
    Also, every good team has an off-night. I think, in regular season, it’s better to have off-nights against contenders at their place, than at home against Toronto, or Sacramento, or Orlando, Charlotte. The kind of games that Indy lost last season could make you lose your hair, or fall into alcoholism. Now, he have to wait that this team doesn’t have another off-night until the POR, or OKC, or SA game.
    Last: If you look Pacers schedule, and you analize it thinking how good the Pacers have been so far, I think we can make a 49-11 until march (assuming we’re going to lose @LAC, @POR, @SA, @OKC, Vs. MIA, @MIA, vs HOU, @NETS, @GS, @MIN). Of course, I believe Indy will make some of those some W’s (@LAC, @NETS (please, just please, also Vs. MIA)). You can add a L’s in one game @ATL (both are back-to-back). My point is: thats a great record. And if you look the reamaining games, the Pacers are closer of losing 15 games than 22. And both are 60 wins or more, so thats a top 3 seed for sure. And looking to Chicago’s bench (Butler it’s injured already, and it’s a mistery how many games will Rose and Noah be out), and Nets’ slow start (meltdown?), the only rival for the first seed it’s Miami.

    • achoo

      this was a good post so i just wanted to leave a comment.

      last year was a nightmare as it was unfolding. we were quickly finding out that the bench stunk (did not take long to realize Green, DJ, and Plumlee were worthless. cut Young once before bringing him back as token-warm-body-to-take-DG’s-spot. quickly noticed Tyler peaked as a senior at UNC and saying he plateau’d since his arrival to the NBA would be a compliment. and Mahinmi was still raw.) we were also quickly noticing that without DG, there was no go-to option. a sickening memory was drawing up the last shot for DJ when down 1 to the Bobcats. What??? DJ not clutch? blasphemy. and the defense was half-assed. seriously. all out effort? ok i give that. but sometimes it was effort to bang, or to press, rather than effort to play a solid defensive possession.
      some of those games we lost to shit teams, still give me nightmares. the fact that they were close losses is even worse. you get blown out- ok you had a rough outing. you lose close- that means you had it and gave it away. champions don’t do that.

      THAT SAID, i think we all look back at last year, as a whole, and remember this team being great. even as they were struggling, you could tell they had the makings of a good team. the bench would not play much in the playoffs, ok good. george and west were clutch scoring options, check. defense was getting better as the year went on, great.

      This year, the bench is looking good, if not great. i watch a lot of league pass, and Pacers use their bench (in close games) more than anyone. Scola could start for any team. Watson could start for most. Cope is just starting to get going, and DG hasnt even played yet. George is now very clutch, and there is no question he gives us a better late game option than DJ. and the defense, i dont think ANYONE will question Indy’s defense. say what you want about their offense or special teams, but the D is great.

      so given we felt good about last year, and this year is already shaping up much better, how should we feel? i’ll give you this to chew on:
      Hill: -3
      West: -3
      PG: -1
      Hibbert: +1
      Lance: +5

      that is differnce in minutes from last season. Hibbert’s able to stay on the floor longer (less fouls, better conditioning,) Lance is getting more playing time (less of a liability/loose cannon,) Hill/West are able to rest more (great backups) and even PG can rest a little more (save him for the postseason, as if he needs it)

      I expect these numbers to keep trending downward as the bench improves and DG returns. With 3 starters playing under 32mpg already, this team is in the sweet spot to build continuity and allow for keeping fresh.

      just expanding on your nice post.
      also i agree, Nets are a joke. and Bulls have issues, not from a talent standpoint, they are loaded, but from a health one, who knows what will happen if 100% of their team isnt 100% healthy. Pacers can afford that luxury (losing a key player) even more than teams like Miami can.

  • achoo

    Hello Sports Fans

    Do you find Dwyane Wade to be extremely fascinating?

    Are you interested in what goes on behind the scenes- such as the dedicated thought process it takes for Wade to choose between fuchsia and magenta capris?

    Have you always wondered how such a huge NBA Superstar can also balance being a Father of the Year candidate?

    Do you look past momentary emotional outbursts such as dislocating Rondo’s shoulder, breaking Kobe’s nose, two hand shoving Rip Hamilton out of bounds, open field tackling Darren Collison, throwing Bibby’s shoe into the stands with the clock running, kicking Sessions in the balls (all guys smaller than Wade,) making fun of Dirk playing sick, or asking to be paid to play in the Olympics? Do you look past these and see a charming and caring human being?

    Would you watch 13 or more 22 minute long videos about Wade training his kids, bragging about marrying an actress, and how hard his life was growing up in the mean streets of Oak Land, a wealthy, 85% white suburb of Chicago? Are you ready to laugh your butt off to the comedic situations that unfold? Are you prepared to watch Wade’s kids say silly things and hit Wade with balls, to watch Wade’s wife work her comedic chops in sassing him out, to watch flashbacks of Wade being a hero and helping kids escape humiliating torture from “gangsters?”


    If you answered YES to one or more of these questions, you are the target demographic for FOX’s new hit show “Three the hard way.”
    Get it? It’s a pun about him having the #3 jersey and having two kids and a wife. The title is so funny you don’t even need to watch.

    If you answered YES to one of more of these questions, you may also be suffering from a concussion. Please seek medical assistance immediately.

    • Realist


      He really is the dirtiest player in the game. And for some reason he is a media darling. I dungeddit.

      But yes, let’s tune in to see how he manages to raise two kids on 19 million a year.

      • achoo

        or how he “plans” on taking a “massive” paycut on that 19 mil next season to keep the “big 3″ together.
        what an ego that guy has to think that any group he is part of is a “big” anything. thinking he’s better than Harden… next he’s going to say he’s a better 2way player than Paul George.

  • Realist
  • poot

    Zach Lowe, sloppy seconds thief:

    anyone read the new Lowe article about doing away with divisions?
    the correct answer is “no” because the article is not new, it was written by poot many moons ago
    he basically adds a bunch of fluff to my comment, including 4 paragraphs of circular logic (which he later in the article refers to reading his work as hand-wringing.) he then falls off the topic, and starts talking about abolishing conferences, and hosting a wild card tournament prior to the playoffs. again, sloppy seconds as he mostly rehashes an old Bill Simmons article

    so Zach, I see you read my work and yet you go on a limb and suggest that Part 2 (how to fix the divisions problem) is not easy due to the “ripple effects.” clearly you are stuck and need some help, so i will let you know that it IS easy, and you’re going to have a tough time filling a 2000 word article on that topic.

    1. eliminate the divisions
    unless you’re going to make divisions worth while, get rid of them altogether. one worthwhile idea might be you play your division opponents each EIGHT times per year, and everyone else twice. the only “ripple effects” are fatigue of seeing the same matchup 8 times. but what a way to naturally build rivalry. imagine watching your team get beat 6 or 7 times in a season by the same guys, tell me you wouldnt hate them with a passion. possible other ripple might be a pathetic division (see atlantic) allows the king of the turds to pad their record by playing 16 more games against bad teams than someone from another division. but hey, we watch the same teams play each other 7 times in the playoffs, and it only seems to get better the more they play, why not carry that over to the regular season?

    2. “tackle” the 3 game series vs 4 game series issue
    i steal a page from the NFL and make my own notes. to avoid the dreaded “ripple effects” we want to keep things the same as much as possible while also eliminating divisions. this means there are still 30 teams, 2 conferences, 82 games, and, unfortunately, 10 teams you play 4 games against with 4 teams you only play 3 games against. Currently, the system is broken, and the 4 teams you only play 3 games against are selected on a rotating divisional scale. 2 from each other division, different from the year before. i am yet to determine the pattern, if there is one.
    So how to choose?

    thanks for reading this far Zach. i look forward to seeing your thoughts on how to choose. i have a method, it is complicated but it is fair and makes sense. i tried to write it but i’m not that articulate. lets see how the pros do it.

    • AMF1322

      Maybe eight games it’s too much, but six makes sense. Also, I never understood how they didn’t use divisions to define to play less games. Play 4 games against the guys of your division, and 2 against everyone else. That would create a 66 games season (it’s still a pretty good number), and really makes the divisionals matches more important. But still, it’s not fair that Brooklyn only has to take the subway to the MSG, and Portland has to make a really long distance to play against Minny or OKC.

      And that raises another topic: even the conferences are broken. It makes absolutely no sense that Memphis is a West conference when Tennessee it’s closer to the Atlantic Ocean than Illinois. (I know Chicago it’s closer than Memphis, but come on, they are almost in the same longitude). If you ask me, they should find another way. Maybe separate in three ‘blocks’: east coast, middle, west coast.

      Or into four zones: Central division plus Minny, Toronto; Knicks/Philly/Boston/D.C./Miami/Orlando/Atlanta (stop the brooklyn/NYC thing, and goodbye Charlotte.); Pacific plus Portland, Utah; Texas teams, New Orleans, Memphis, Denver, OKC. This would (from my point of view, an argentinian using Wikipedia as a guide) make more sense (at least in the watching the states, not the cities… it’s 2 a.m. and I have to work tomorrow, man. You’re welcome to help me out). Also, This would make easier to bring 1 more team (Charlotte and Nets can come back if Boston goes to the ‘North-Central’ zone, and Seattle to the ‘Pacific’ or ‘Far west’ zone it’s an easy one), maybe a Kansas team in the ‘Texanian-center’ zone. With a four zone system, in a 32 teams league, you play four games against the same zone team (7*4=28) and 2 against the rest (24*2=48). It’s not THAT many games less (76), but now, they make a little bit more of sense. Then, a playoff between the 4 top teams of every zone, and the champion of every zone goes to a final four.

  • Tieshonne

    Very well written piece. I do have some other theories to the pacers recent struggles. They dont have a tall shooter that is a liabilty on defense.(Ex: Bargnani for the Knicks) If a defense is too well rounded they become complacent and think they can stop anybody. They also dont have a guy with mileage on him that you would want to go to war with. (Ex: Metta for the Knicks.) If you dont have a guy like this your interior D get soft and gets picked apart by players who thrive in triple threat situations. They should look to deal Paul George for guys like these listed above. Possibly Paul George for Kyle Korver and Elton Brand from the Hawks.

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