"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."Hmmm...so based on Noce's assessment, the Bulls aren't playing with any energy or fire, right? Well Vinny seems to think otherwise:
"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."
"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.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.
"We changed defenses. When you don't have the length or size or power up front, you have to scramble."
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.