Monday, December 29, 2008

A Great Example Of What An NBA Locker Room Should NOT Look Like

With the Bears season over, the only thing left for us Chicago sports fans to watch until March is the Chicago Bulls (unless you can figure out what the hell that game is with ice and a little puck no one can see). Well I have bad bad news for you guys. The Bulls season is unraveling right before our eyes. The Bulls have lost 7 straight on the road and cannot seem to find any sort of defensive identity. Not only that, but in the locker room there seems to be some differing philosophies about how the team should be run and what the problems truly are. Let's hear what our good friend Noce has to say about the matter:
"It's personal, you know?" Nocioni said, barely hiding his disgust. "Everybody needs to take the challenge. If we don't play 'D,' we will be out of the playoffs for sure. Today was terrible, terrible defense."
"We need to stop the ball one-on-one," Nocioni said. "Then nobody helps or crowds guys or takes a charge. So everybody can drive the basket or get offensive rebounds. It's energy. It's attitude. And that's it."
Hmmm...so based on Noce's assessment, the Bulls aren't playing with any energy or fire, right? Well Vinny seems to think otherwise:
"It's definitely not the effort," coach Vinny Del Negro said of the defensive woes. "Guys are playing hard and giving me what they can. Right now, one of our better big guys ( Drew Gooden) is out. Lu (Deng) is out. Kirk (Hinrich) has been out all year. Defensively, if you don't control the paint in penetration, it's hard to win.
"We changed defenses. When you don't have the length or size or power up front, you have to scramble."
Ok ok, so who cares what Noce thinks, right? I mean he doesn't play any real defense anyways. He can barely stay in front of his man. Unless putting a hard foul on a guy when you get beat (which is very often) means good defense, Noce is not the authority. Still there is something wrong with this disconnect in the locker room.

Oh and just in case you were curious what Larry Hughes thought about the situation?
"I'm not a spot-minute guy. I don't play well in that situation. If you want me to produce, I have to be out there. I can make a difference at both ends if I play."
Sorry about that, I'm sure you weren't curious about Hughes' opinion. I know I wasn't.

What is Del Negro doing over there? He doesn't coach the guys on the floor, since there is no apparent cohesive defensive or offensive philosophy. It doesn't appear that he is a player's coach, since there are a lot of unhappy voices in the Bulls locker room. What is he doing? The Bulls need to come out and play with some intensity tonight against the Nets and get something going.

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