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Hollinger: No 'Cure' For Chicago Catastrophe

Nov 29, 2007 – 11:09 PM
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Tom Ziller

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Variously, folks have argued Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, and/or the head of Scott Skiles could rescue the Bulls. ESPN.com's John Hollinger (a divisive figure, sure) hears none of it, defending Skiles somewhat and placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of... everyone else.
[U]sually when a team struggles you can blame it on one or two obvious differences. Similarly, when a team struggles offensively you can usually isolate it to subpar performances from one or two players. But this is why Chicago's performance is so perplexing. Break down the Bulls' offensive results and you'll discover the reason for the bad start is poor performances by ... everybody.
Hollinger goes on to document how every non-rookie on the team (except Steady Joe Smith) is woefully underperforming compared to last year. The offense is on pace to be the worst in modern league history. The top long-ball shooter is hitting 34% from deep. Kirk Hinrich, the biggest offender, is shooting 34% overall. Ben Gordon's seriously down. Luol Deng's seriously down. Andres Nocioni's seriously down. Thabo Sefolosha is shooting 29%. Even Tyrus is shooting a terrible clip for a frontcourt player.

Hollinger surmises that if Hinrich doesn't turn his season completely around, the Bulls are toast. Skiles is mostly let off the hook; the Bulls defense is statistically better now than at this point last year, and obviously Skiles is a defense-first coach. But how much of that defensive consistency should be owed to defensive talent? This offense might not be the coach's fault, but you can be assured there are coaches out there who could take these players and get more than 86 points a game out of them.
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