Los Angeles Clippers vs. Chicago Bulls
12:30 p.m. PST
November 24, 2013
FOX Prime Ticket
1. Are you worried about Derrick Rose’s future?
Brian Schroeder, Bulls By the Horns, (@Cosmis): I’m worried, but less so than I was when he first went down. The way he plays, and the way he transfers his weight around practically invites knee injuries. Honestly, it’s impressive it didn’t start happening before now. That being said, a meniscus injury is so much less than I was fearing (ACL tear/head asplode) that I can only feel slightly relieved at this point. Regardless, I really think the Bulls should adapt their offense to rely less on his ability to beat people off the dribble and more on getting him open shots. The pick and roll, basically.
Jovan Buha, (@jovanbuha): Yes. Look no further than Brandon Roy and Amar’e Stoudemire as two recent examples of All-Stars who dealt with major issues on both knees and were never the same. Rose is more reliant on his athleticism than either of those two players, and while his injuries may not be as serious or long-term, it’s still disconcerting. The 2010-11 version of Derrick Rose will sadly never return.
Fred Katz, (@FredKatz): How could I not be? I’m no doctor (though I play one in real life), but going down with a separate knee injury only weeks after returning from an ACL tear that had you out for more than a year is never a good thing. So yes, in that sense, I’m worried.
2. Does Reggie Bullock deserve more minutes than he’s been getting?
Schroeder: To be honest, I’ve only seen Reggie Bullock for about 15 minutes so far. Basketball Reference says he’s logged 67, so no one’s really seen him very much. I liked him at UNC, and I like him now. Willie Green shouldn’t be getting minutes over anyone anyways. Hopefully Reggie will see enough time in Matt Barnes’ absence to get on Doc’s good side.
Buha: Yes. It sounds crazy, but given Matt Barnes’ early struggles, Bullock might be the Clippers’ second-best bench player behind Jamal Crawford. He has the second-best net rating on the team – the Clippers are +8.7 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor – and is shooting a respectable 36.3 percent on threes since Barnes’ injury. He’s averaging 14.3 minutes per game over that span, but I’d like to see that bumped into the 18- to 20-minute range.
Katz: Yes. Bullock has been solid. He hasn’t been great. He hasn’t been mind blowing. But he’s been solid, and a Clippers’ bench that has been as inconsistent as anyone could imagine could really use someone who fits that description: high-effort, smart, consistent, and solid.
3. Who would you rather have as your coach: Tom Thibodeau or Doc Rivers?
Schroeder: I’m biased, but I’ll take Thibodeau mainly due to his prevailing defensive scheme. There’s something to be said about the workload he puts on players, but Deng and Noah at least have had injury problems in the past. Plantar fasciitis is fairly unpredictable. If I needed one play drawn up in one situation, I’d have to go with Doc. Or Popovich.
Buha: Doc Rivers. Perhaps I’m biased since I’m around Doc a lot, but I think the way he communicates with his players gives him an advantage over almost every other coach. Thibs probably has the advantage in the Xs and Os department, but Doc is the more personable and likable teacher, and I think that matters just as much, if not more.
Katz: Thibs. Doc is tremendous, but Thibs might be the best non-Popovich coach in the entire league. If you want someone to design a defense, Thibs is your guy (and the first person you can go to confirm that fact is, in fact, Doc). He might play his guys too many minutes and he might ride them too hard throughout a season, but the positives he brings to a team with his defensive system outweigh any minuscule negatives that Thibs brings to Chicago.