Carlos Boozer

The Chicago Bulls need a Second Star

Originally Published on 5/13/2011

This morning, I arrived at the office and tried to do exactly what Carlos Boozer does everyday when he goes to work. First, I began the day by providing my management with an artificial sense of hope that my performance would be amongst the top 2 in the company. Then, I began exhibiting a strong sense of enthusiasm by talking a lot, socializing with outsiders, and praising my workmates in front of others as if I were setting a leadership example.By mid-day, when I ran into more sophisticated competition that took me out my comfort zone, I began failing – repeatedly – and did the only thing I knew how: I screamed loudly to give everyone the impression that I was working harder than I actually was, and once management caught on to my game, I took a backseat watched as my less talented, but more passionate and harder working coworker, finished the presentation that I had originally started. Finally, at the end of the day, I approached management and requested a portion of my 16 million dollar annual paycheck.

It didn’t work for me and it shouldn’t work for Carlos Boozer. Most importantly, it won’t work for the Chicago Bulls.

As a Bulls fan, watching Derrick Rose battle defenses over the past few years is eerily similar to watching Michael Jordan’s pre-1991 playoff runs in which he single handedly willed his inferior Chicago Bulls teams until he was ousted by better teams with better defenses, better chemistry, and in most instances, better talent. No one man can win a championship, and it wasn’t until after the All-Star break in 1991 that Scottie Pippen began exhibiting the characteristics of a true and consistent #2. The rest as they say, is history.

Unfortunately for Derrick Rose, it appears that he will not be afforded that same luxury anytime soon. Since he entered the NBA in 2008, Rose has been burdened with serving as both the #1 and the #2 for a Bulls team that has lacked that second star to help compliment him as Alpha Dog. Carlos Boozer was certainly expected to serve this role when he was signed in 2010, but has historically demonstrated a proclivity to disappear during the playoffs while Luol Deng, although much improved, has yet to even crack the All-Star team.

This poses a major problem for the Bulls’ championship aspirations since throughout the history of the NBA, only 7 teams in 65 years have ever won a championship without having at least 2 superstars. By superstar, I am referring to a player who:

a.) Can serve as a secondary Alpha Dog while the primary Alpha Dog is on the bench.

b.) Has the ability to serve as an Alpha Dog on a playoff contender, though perhaps not a championship contender.

The following are the exceptions to the rule:

  1. 1975 Golden State Warriors – Hall of Famer Rick Barry was the Alpha Dog, and Jamaal Wilkes was the #2.
  2. 1977 Portland Trailblazers – Hall of Famer Bill Walton was the Alpha Dog, and Maurice Lucas was the #2.
  3. 1979 Seattle Supersonics – Complete and utter anomaly #1. No Alpha dog, a Hall of Famer in Dennis Johnson, and a team that relied more on balance from complimentary players such as Gus Williams, Jack Sikma and “Downtown” Freddie Brown.
  4. 1994 Houston Rockets – Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon was the Alpha Dog, and Otis Thorpe was the #2.
  5. 2003 San Antonio Spurs – Hall of Famer Tim Duncan was the Alpha Dog with a very young Tony Parker as the #2. David Robinson was in his final year, averaging only 8.5 points and and 7.9 rebounds while Ginobili was a bench player.
  6. 2004 Detroit Pistons – Complete and utter anomaly #2. No Alpha Dog, one All-Star in Ben Wallace, and yet another team that relied on great defense and strong chemistry from complimentary players.
  7. 2011 Dallas Mavericks – Future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowtizki was the Alpha Dog while Jason Terry was the #2.

Can the Bulls buck the trend and become one of the rare exceptions to the rule? Possible, but doubtful.

Believe me Bulls fans, I hope I am wrong. During the 2011 postseason, we saw evidence of teams taking the ball out of Rose’s hands and forcing other players on the Bulls to beat them. Once the Bulls faced more more stalwart defenses such as the Miami Heat, they encountered more sophisticated zones and traps that put increased pressure on the supporting cast to deliver; something they struggled to do with consistency throughout the playoffs.

The Bulls desperately need a second superstar, and will have to wait until they have more cap flexibility to make changes. Until then, we will continue to watch Derrick Rose go 1-on-5 unless the Bulls can put together one of those improbable runs, that only 7 other teams have been able to accomplish.

Related posts:

  1. 7 Things the Chicago Bulls Must Do During The 2011 Offseason
  2. Why A Dwight Howard To Chicago Bulls Trade Makes Sense
  3. Sam Smith: Rose’s Historic Season Means No True MVP Competition (4/11/11)

Discussion

81 Responses to “The Chicago Bulls need a Second Star”

  1. I don’t think the 04 pistons are an anomaly. They are a rare case, but you have to look at that individual year. They had 4 very good starters, who would all go on to multiple AS games each. You could make a strong case that Ben Wallace was the 3rd or 4th best player on that team, he certainly wasn’t better that Billups that year. Ben was a liability offenively, and not that good of a man defender against legit centers, but he was a great help defender.

    Also, who were the other top teams in the nba that year: pacers with miller as best player, not exactly a daunting team, the wolves, again, nothing special for a top team, and the lakers, who basically only had kobe and shaq. Malone was worthless and hurt, payton was awful and didn’t fit the triangle well, george was 5th best, kobe was a little banged up and had to worry about his trial, and shaq was beginning his decline, out of shape, and lazy. So, in retrospect, not all that surprising that the pistons won that year.

    If boozer isn’t a true #2, then the 03 spurs have to be on your list as well. Boozer would be better than anyone else on that spurs team, other than duncan. The thing with the bulls this year is that they have 3 guys you could call #3 guys, and 2 of those are excellent scorers: deng/boozer, so the bulls aren’t doing too bad for themselves. Plus, they won primarily because of defense. You could make a strong case that Rose isn’t a true #1, it’s just not on his team, he is a true #1. If rose was the thunder, and westbrook on the bulls, we’d be having a completely different debate.

    Posted by boyer | May 13, 2011, 12:52 pm
    • if rose was on the thunder and westbrook was on the bulls, the bulls would have been a much lower seed and probably wouldn’t make it past the first round, and the thunder would have the best record in the leaugue and have much better chance against the heat in the finals

      Posted by dmosier | May 13, 2011, 1:39 pm
    • Boyer – The 2004 Pistons are a complete anomaly. Not necessarily to get through the Eastern Conference (the Eastern conference was horrendous that year) but to win the championship. Even without Karl Malone for 2 games, the Lakers still had 3 Hall of Famers and the 3 best players on the floor. Those guys simply did not get the job done, but the talent was certainly there.

      Great point about the 2003 Spurs though. David Robinson was on the team but on his last legs.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 13, 2011, 5:46 pm
      • The lakers had the 3 best players, huh? Other than kobe and shaq, who’s this mysterious 3rd wheel? The glove and mailman may be HOFers, but they were below average starters that year, and performed miserably in the finals, and shaq/kobe were slowed by either age, laziness, or injuries. Not all that surprising the pistons won.

        Posted by boyer | May 15, 2011, 3:58 pm
        • No mystery. The 3rd best player was Karl Maone and the 4th best Gary Payton who will be a hall of famer. Payton may have performed poorly, but that was not indicative of his talent level, considering only the year prior, he went for 19-9-3. The talent was there, the skill was there, and the Laker players were capable of playing at a high level. They simply did not get it done despite being overwhelming favorites walking into that series.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | May 15, 2011, 4:05 pm
          • Seriously, are you really going to tell me 04 payton and 04 malone are better than the entire pistons starting unit? Every piston starter was better than either of those guys in 04. I can’t believe you actually believe that, well, I guess can, given your other poorly written articles.

            Posted by boyer | May 17, 2011, 12:57 pm
  2. Once again, a VERY lame article from “Chasing 23″. Lately I think that you should change your tag-line slightly: “The NBA Blog for the Moderately Intelligent Basketball Fan – Because the Highly Intelligent Fans Usually Go Elsewhere.”

    Here’s your problem with this article – you’re judging the current Bulls team on their Hall-of-Fame Credentials, when most of their core is 26 years old, or less! It’s insane, and you’re putting the cart well ahead of the horse.

    Joakim Noah turned 26 less than 3 months ago, and he’s the elder statesmen among Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Ronnie Brewer, Omer Asik AND Luol Deng (yes, you read that correctly, Noah is older than Deng).

    When the Bulls won their first Championship, could anyone imagine Scottie Pippen being a Hall of Fame player? COME ON!!! His toughness was questioned because of the ‘migraine’ game the year prior.

    Why not compare this year’s Bulls to the Detroit Pistons teams of 88-89 and 89-90? Crazy, you say, because they had Isaiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, and Dennis Rodman, all future Hall of Famers, as well as Chuck Daley?

    Not so crazy, if you look at it in the context of 1988. Sure, Zeke was a star already. But Joe Dumars was 25 years old, averaging 18 points, 5-6 assists, and 3 rebounds per game, with a .15 Win Share and 17 PER over those 2 seasons (Deng’s numbers this season were 16, 3, 5, .15 and 16, respectively.) And Dennis Rodman was already 27 years old, averaging 9 points, 9 boards, and less than a block, with a .153-.175 Win Share and a PER of 17. Compare that to Joakim Noah’s averages this season of 12 points, 10 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, a .205 Win Share and a PER of 18.8, all while being 2 years younger than Rodman was in 1988.

    Adrian Dantley was a future HOFer in 1988, but he was traded for Mark Aguirre mid-way through the Pistons first Championship season, and Aguirre came off the bench to average 14-15 points per game.

    I submit to you that it was just as strange to imagine Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman in the Hall of Fame in 1988 as it currently is to imagine Luol Deng or Joakim Noah there in the future. We simply don’t know what will happen.

    How about Chuck Daly? He was 58 years old in 1988, beginning his 6th season with the Pistons after a partial year with the Cavaliers in 81-82. In his first 3 seasons with the Pistons he had fewer playoff wins than Tom Thibodeau has this year alone. Thibs recently turned 53 years old, which happens to be the same age as Chuck Daly during Daly’s first year in Detroit.

    In summary, you’re judging this year’s Bulls team – which happens also to be an incredibly young team – through the lens of history, by which we have historical perspective and full careers to judge past champions. You could only start making meaningful comparisons if you were to judge previous champions through the common perceptions of them BEFORE their first championship, e.g. Scottie Pippen as a mentally and physically soft player. Making comparisons for older teams this season, such as the Spurs or the Celtics, would be more meaningful – as we can already ‘look back’ on the careers of Duncan, KG, Ray Allen, etc – than to try to judge such a young team as the Bulls.

    Posted by Whatever | May 13, 2011, 2:22 pm
    • This guy just won the Internet.

      Posted by J | May 13, 2011, 2:51 pm
      • “I submit to you that it was just as strange to imagine Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman in the Hall of Fame in 1988 as it currently is to imagine Luol Deng or Joakim Noah there in the future. We simply don’t know what will happen.”

        you don’t make statements like that and win anything other then ‘biggest bulls homer of all time.’ the closest those 2 guys will ever get to the hof is in a trade to the magic for a guaranteed future hof’er in howard.

        Posted by He Hate Me | May 13, 2011, 3:43 pm
        • Yes, He Hate Me, you’re entirely correct. And I’m quite sure that in the spring of 1988, when Dennis Rodman averaged 9 points and 9 rebounds per game, you were championing his cause as a future Hall of Fame player. It makes perfect sense, just like your post. Thanks for the feedback.

          Posted by Whatever | May 13, 2011, 4:37 pm
          • no shit i’m correct that’s why i said it. rodman was a freak of nature from day 1 and the sky was always the limit for him. if he wasn’t so fucked up he probably could’ve been even better then he was. i mean he STILL made it to the hof as basically a whack job. one of the most talented players to play the game.

            deng and noah in the hof…both those guys are slightly above average players. they aren’t hof’ers. period.

            Posted by He Hate Me | May 13, 2011, 5:24 pm
          • Okay, He Hate Me, I’ll play along.

            How old were you in spring of 1988? And were you, in fact, trumpeting the probability of Dennis Rodman being a future Hall of Famer at that particular time?

            If so, you were (and probably continue to be) a die-hard Detroit Pistons fan, which probably explains your hatred of the Bulls and negativity about life in general.

            If not, you couldn’t predict the future any better then than you can now.

            Posted by Whatever | May 14, 2011, 4:57 am
          • you think i’m a pistons fan? omfg i hated you before whatever but now i hate you even more. although i pretty much hate everything. plenty of hate for the pistons AND bulls. and I REALLY fucking hate the red wings. in fact the city of detroit can disappear and we’d all be better for it. same with new jersey. i hate chicago too but mainly b/c of the pansy ass cubs fans. otherwise chicago doesn’t get as much hate as the others…although i still hate it.

            oh yeah in ’88 i was old enough to know that deng and noah won’t be going to the hof. again i do remember people saying things about rodman having the potential to be that caliber player but didnt have his head on straight and never really did. if i ever hear something like that about deng/noah/boozer or any of the other bulls trade bait role players (i.e. the entire roster other then rose) i’ll be sure to come back here and recognize.

            Posted by He Hate Me | May 14, 2011, 9:03 am
          • So, you remember people saying that Rodman had the potential to be that caliber of player….sometime, somewhere, someday, maybe, might, could, someone, etc. Great.

            So you weren’t actually saying it yourself, and you don’t remember who it was that was saying that about a 9 point, 9 rebound per game player at the time? Interesting.

            And you’re not a Pistons fan, as you state.

            So my last comment holds true: “If not, you couldn’t predict the future any better then than you can now.” You can be a man and admit that anything can happen in the future, or you can continue to act like a stubborn adolescent who can predict the future. I really don’t care.

            Do you think Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are future Hall of Famers? Their numbers are no better than Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer. If they make the Hall, it’ll be because they rode Duncan’s coattails there – and if that’s the case, why can’t some current Bulls do the same with Derrick Rose? Why can’t Noah average 15 rebounds for 3-5 seasons, win some DPOY awards, win some championships (on the Bulls or elsewhere), play 10-12 more years, and eventually make the Hall as Rodman did? According to you, it’s nigh impossible. Bully for you, Nostradumbass.

            “oh yeah in ’88 i was old enough to know that deng and noah won’t be going to the hof.”

            That’s crazy! You knew that they weren’t going to the Hall when they were two years old!! Man, you should be an NBA scout. You can evaluate future NBA talent when the players are still in diapers. Why don’t you have your own blog, rather than being a lackluster commenter on this one?????

            Posted by Whatever | May 15, 2011, 9:53 am
          • alright you sold me so here’s what i what i’ll do. since i’m in the xfl hof i will put in a good word for those guys. that should be enough.

            Posted by He Hate Me | May 15, 2011, 3:15 pm
      • I agree. Great post. Hindsight is 20/20, and Pippen became known as a great player AFTER championships were won. His career averages are 16, 6, and 5. Those numbers don’t jump out at you as Hall of Fame (or NBA’s 50 greatest ever). I realize that at his peak he could average 24 and 7, and was an all-star (which I UNDERSTAND THAT DENG AND NOAH ARE NOT) but, if the Bulls were to win a few titles, and Deng or Noah played key roles, who knows, their legacies could be enhanced greatly. This doesn’t mean I think either of these guys are as good as Scottie (NBA’s 50 Greatest list, 10 time All-NBA defense) but I see the point Whatever is trying to make. Even if they don’t reach HoF status they will be looked at as great players.

        Posted by pointguard40 | February 1, 2012, 10:59 am
    • Thanks for the read Whatever. I understand your point that the Bulls are a young team and it is early. But the fact that you actually believe that there is a possibility for Carlos Boozer or Luol Deng to make the HOF is completely absurd and tarnishes your credibility. Unlike yourself, I am comfortable in my judgement and will go out on a limb by stating that they will not make the Hall and that the Bulls do not have any HOF players on this roster. If Luol Deng or Carlos Boozer makes the hall, I will eat crow, but trust me, it won’t happen. They simply are not HOF caliber talents, at least not with the way the modern day players are evaluated.

      Also, when the Pistons won the NBA Finals in 1989, Dumars was only in his 4th year (3rd as a starter) while Rodman was in his 3rd year. In many ways, the jury was still out on those guys. Luol Deng is in his 7th year, Boozer in his 9th. If you do not see by now, it ain’t happening. Perhaps there is a chance with Noah, but I doubt it.

      Second, to answer your question about Scottie Pippen, I first noticed his true potential during Game 5 of the 1988 cavs/Bulls series. Would have I declared him to be a future HOFer at that point, no? But the Bulls did not win a championship either. Once Pippen’s game improved in 1991, and won a ring, would I have declared Pippen a potential HOF caliber player? Absolutely – and thats the point – you need a HOF caliber #2 .The 2011 Bulls however, do not have that type of player on their team.

      Even if we included the 89 and 90 Pistons they still represent anomalies – teams that won without at least 2 HOF caliber players playing at a HOF level, they represent the exception, not the rule.

      Can the Bulls win the Championship? Yes it is possible, and the 5 teams listed have proven that. However, my position is that it is highly doubtful based upon what we have seen throughout history.

      I appreciate the tag line recomendation. Will take your suggestion into consideration ;)

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 13, 2011, 3:28 pm
      • “But the fact that you actually believe that there is a possibility for Carlos Boozer or Luol Deng to make the HOF is extremely troublesome.”

        The fact that you can’t read is even more troublesome. I did not mention Carlos Boozer in my comment.

        As for Deng – yes, you’re quite correct. If Luol Deng averages 17 points and 7 rebounds for the next 8-10 seasons and wins several NBA Championships, it’s totally unthinkable that he might be HOF worthy, right? Yes, of course.

        “Unlike yourself, I am comfortable in my judgement and will go out on a limb by stating that they will not make the Hall and that the Bulls do not have any HOF players on this roster.”

        I presume that you mean ‘…other than Derrick Rose.’ (Along those lines, ‘judgment’ is the legal and the American spelling. If you use the word ‘judgement’, you should also use the word ‘colour’ and pronounce ‘schedule’ as ‘sheh-jewel’ and not ‘skeh-jewel’.)

        “Once Pippen’s game improved in 1991, and won a ring, would I have declared Pippen a potential HOF caliber player? Absolutely – and thats the point – you need a HOF caliber #2.”

        And that’s EXACTLY my point – you even wrote it: “..and won a ring” (past tense). You’re judging these current Bulls on their Hall of Fame credentials BEFORE they’ve won a ring, yet you judged Scottie Pippen to be HOF-worthy AFTER he had won one. You’re begging the question.

        I remember all of Scottie Pippen’s career quite clearly – and even the best of Chicago’s Homers would’ve scoffed at Scottie Pippen’s Hall-of-Fame credentials in May of 1991. You’re kidding yourself, not to mention revising history, if you contend that you would have argued that Pippen was a future Hall of Famer before the Bulls swept the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Final.

        “Even if we included the 89 and 90 Pistons they still represent anomalies – teams that won without at least 2 HOF caliber players playing at a HOF level, they represent the exception, not the rule.”

        The Lakers, Spurs, and Celtics have already been removed from the equation. The Bulls, Heat, Grizzles, Thunder, and Mavericks are the teams remaining. This entire SEASON has been the exception to the rule, and many observers have stated recently (including Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown the other night) that this is one of the most unique (or strangest, depending on your opinion) playoffs in NBA history.

        Basically you’re saying that the Heat are the only team with a chance. Do the Grizzles or Thunder have two confirmed Hall of Fame players? Russell Westbrook?

        Dallas? If you think Dallas has a chance, then you think that a 38-year-old Jason Kidd is more valuable and will contribute more than a 26-year-old Noah or Deng.

        I’d say that, by your logic, Miami is the only team that has a choice – unless this year will be an exception to your arbitrary, hindsight-dependent ‘rule’. And if any year is an exception, wouldn’t it be this year?

        Posted by Whatever | May 13, 2011, 4:35 pm
        • The fact that you believe that there is a remote possibility that Luol Deng will continue to average 17/7 for the next 10 years, win multiple championships, and potentially make the HOF kills your credibility. But hey, don’t let me interrupt your dream. So let me put it to you another way. Even if the Bulls win 3 championships (which they will not without a true #2) Luol Deng is still not going to the Hall of Fame and the fact that you holding out hope thinking there is a remote possibility tells me that you are clueless . Deng is not Scottie Pippen 1991, nor is anyone else on this Bulls roster (other than Rose). You could see the potential in Pippen early on. He was an All-Star. Deng is not. It doesn’t require waiting for the outcome of this or any other season to determine that.

          You are also choosing to interpret whatever you want to intepret. I never said that the Bulls do not have a chance. I simply said that it is doubtful. They can certainly become the exception to the rule, but the fact that they do not have a true #2 will serve as a major inhibitor, especially against a team that does have a #2 such as Miami. The fact is that the majority of teams who have won the championship have had a HOF #2 or even HOF caliber #2. Not quite sure why that is difficult to understand, but I sense that you are one of those fans who simply cannot stand to hear anything bad said about your team. Again, it is not impossible, but also not typical for a team with the Bulls’ makeup to win a championship.

          My suggestion is you focus more of your efforts on identifying more spelling and grammatical errors instead of formulating a basketball argument. Your contention that Luol Deng actually has a chance to make the HOF is preposterous and the fact that you are quoting Mike Tirico is even more shameful.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | May 13, 2011, 5:12 pm
          • “My suggestion is you focus more of your efforts on identifying more spelling and grammatical errors instead of formulating a basketball argument.”

            Bravo Realist!

            Posted by Kansachusetts | May 13, 2011, 7:03 pm
          • It could also be argued that the Heat are an anomaly because they really have two #1′s in Lebron & Wade, and they have a true #2 in Bosh. On any other team, Wade and Bron would be top dog if they weren’t playing together.

            Posted by ccorso | May 13, 2011, 9:12 pm
        • Luol Deng ain’t going to the Hall bro. And it don’t take a crystal ball to figure that out. You are an idiot who is a complete Bulls homer and the fact that you think they will win multiple championships with the team they have makes you look stupider. Maybe this year. But not multiple championships.

          Posted by Chauncey Gandus | May 13, 2011, 5:20 pm
          • You were good until this statement:

            “Maybe this year. But not multiple championships.”

            You think that if the Bulls win this year the age of their predominately 20 somethings will catch up with them?

            What your logic?

            Posted by Dustin Hoffman | May 13, 2011, 6:09 pm
          • “You think that if the Bulls win this year the age of their predominately 20 somethings will catch up with them?

            What your logic?”

            dude its rose and a bunch of role players and he thinks that they aren’t good enough for multiple championship runs…or is that not obvious enough for you?

            Posted by He Hate Me | May 13, 2011, 6:43 pm
        • Whatever’s crushing this argument. Deng clearly has an outside shot at the Hall of Fame. In fact, any Bulls starter outside of Bogans, who’s just hideous on paper, has an outside chance at the HOF if they win a couple titles. Winning changes the way we view players historically-plenty of players have gone to the Hall of Fame for being supporting players on great teams. Dumars, Dennis Johnson, James Worthy, Robert Parish, Frank Ramsey, Gail Goodrich, and many more have achieved Hall of Fame status for being second or third fiddles. I actually think Luol Deng compares quite favorably to Dennis Johnson and Dumars in particular. Both of those guys made the HOF primarily by being #2 guys (DJ was a #4 on that Celts team) who had huge impacts on NBA Finals series and won Finals MVP awards, and both had similar numbers to Deng. Couldn’t Deng win Finals MVP for shutting down Lebron James and Dirk Nowitzki/Kevin Durant in consecutive series? He was close this year with virtually no name recognition. I also think the “if you don’t see it by now, it ain’t happening” comment is totally bogus. Steve Nash morphed from a good player into an MVP in his 9th season, so there’s precedent. I don’t really think Deng will be a Hall of Famer, but to laugh it off as absurd is just foolish.

          Posted by Lochpster | May 13, 2011, 6:47 pm
          • “Deng clearly has an outside shot at the Hall of Fame. In fact, any Bulls starter outside of Bogans, who’s just hideous on paper, has an outside chance at the HOF if they win a couple titles”

            Solid logic Lochpter – I look forward to seeing Kurt Thomas and Ronnie Brewer in the hall.

            Posted by Chauncey Gandus | May 13, 2011, 7:12 pm
          • Lochpster – Luol Deng is not Steve Nash. When Nash came into the league, he had the tools to be a top level All-Star caliber player, and in fact was an All-Star before he signed with Phoenix. We were certainly surprised as he got better. However, I feel pretty confident that Deng will not morph the way Steve Nash did and am baffled that you would think that guys like Ronnie Brewer, CJ Watson, Omer Asik, Kyle Korver, Kurt Thomas, and Rasual Butler have an outside shot at the hall.

            Regardless, the crux of my article was that the Bulls were lacking a HOF #2. Luol Deng, even if he were to make the Hall as #3, is not a #2.

            Posted by The NBA Realist | May 13, 2011, 7:21 pm
          • Nice straw man arguments guys, but lets try to debate actual positions rather than twisting my words to mean something they clearly did not. My exact words were that any Bulls starter outside of Bogans…has an outside chance at the HOF if they win a couple titles. There are 5 players starting for the Bulls right now-Noah, Boozer, Deng, Rose and Bogans. Nobody else has started a playoff game for them, and nobody else has started a regular season game when those 5 were healthy. You know this, I know this, so why pretend I thought any random Bull who started a game as an injury replacement this year was a potential Hall of Famer? I’m sure you felt this was a clever “gotcha” response when in fact I said exactly what I meant and you knew exactly what I meant. For the same reason I did not point out that when you said there were no Bulls players of HOF quality, you were not including Rose in that assessment-it was clearly not what you meant even though it is EXACTLY what you said. I also agree that no Bulls supporting player is equal to Nash, who is a 2 time MVP and a slam dunk Hall of Famer. I only used him to provide evidence that players can get better late in their careers. Was that a poor choice of comparison? Perhaps, but my point was more that players could improve late in their careers than to compare any of these guys to him directly.

            In any case, I respect that NBA Realist is willing to write on controversial topics that spark debate. The articles are generally well written and thought-provoking and bring to light some interesting ideas many of us had not considered before. Sometimes I will agree, and sometimes I will not. I presume the whole point of this website is to challenge the way we think about the NBA, is it not? And this argument is absolutely NOT off topic. It was stated in the article that Boozer and Deng are not championship caliber #2 guys and do not have Hall of Fame potential. It is also stated clearly that Boozer is a weak #2 and Deng is a #3 masquerading as a #2, although I’m not sure where the supporting evidence for either this assertion is, and again, I’m not even sure that I disagree with that assertion. However, I asserted that teams have won with #2 guys no better than Deng or Boozer and that those guys have gone to the HOF, and my example was Joe Dumars. When I look at Deng and Boozer’s career numbers and compare them to Joe Dumars’ numbers, I fail to see a significant difference. Yet Dumars is considered a legit #2 on a title team and is a Hall of Famer. Nobody would ever consider him Hall of Fame worthy without those titles and that Finals MVP, but his career looks totally different with those in hand. If the Bulls win 2 titles with Boozer and/or Deng being their second best player, it would be inconsistent to say that Dumars is clearly a Hall of Fame #2 and Deng or Boozer is not. I agree, Deng and Boozer are far from McHale, Pippen, and Dr. J, but each of those guys was one of the NBA’s greatest 50 players list and well above the threshold for inclusion in Springfield, which has 145 players inducted. My point, and I believe the point of Whatever as well, is that IF the Bulls win a few titles, we’re going to look at these players’ careers in a different light, and they could be among the weaker candidates for the HOF as #2 guys on title contenders. That’s what winning does for guys’ careers. Again, I do not actually expect them to wind up Hall of Famers, primarily because I do not expect the Bulls to win multiple titles, nor do I expect either to win a Finals MVP, but given that they are key cogs in a young team that could contend for NBA titles for years, I don’t think the possibility is particularly far-fetched in either case. Would the Bulls have a better shot at a title this year if they had an Oscar Robertson or Jerry West or Scottie Pippen on the wing or a McHale or Kareem in the post in place of Deng, Noah or Boozer? Absolutely. Would they have a better shot with a Hall of Famer such as Joe Dumars or Dennis Johnson in these guys’ places? Maybe or maybe not, but both of these guys are Hall of Fame players nonetheless, and most of us would agree they were capable of being #2 guys on title teams, although I’m not sure exactly what number you would ascribe to Johnson’s role on that Sonics team. If you disagree that’s perfectly fine, and I am open to being dissuaded, but just to state that Deng’s not a #2 or a HOF caliber guy and that to suggest otherwise is somehow “asinine” or “absurd” or “tarnishes your credibility” or calling folks “clueless” is another logical fallacy, the ad hominem attack, and really doesn’t pass for intelligent discourse or debate.

            Posted by Lochpster | May 14, 2011, 5:56 pm
          • Fair points Lochpster. To be honest, I overlooked that you mentioned “starter” and really thought you meant anyone on the Bulls roster was HOF caliber. It was an oversight on my part, and my intention was not to try and change the argument.

            I will also relent on my position that Deng and Boozer have absolutely no a chance at the Hall since as one reader pointed out, if K.C. Jones can make the hall, so can those guys.

            Regardless – and I probably made a poor choice in words- the point of my article is to state that teams typically need a strong #2 to win a championship and perhaps, the use of the phrase HOF caliber is incorrect. Could Deng or Boozer evolve into that strong or even HOF caliber #2? Anything is possible. But I remain highly skeptical based on the fact that both players are already 7 and 9 years into their careers respecitvely, and we rarely see a metamorphosis to the level of Steve Nash. In other words, I am hard pressed to believe that anyone would actually make this bet.

            Moreover, throughout NBA History, when a team is about to win a championship, in almost every other scenario they typically have an established second star (already an All-Star) with whom you can already see HOF potential. Joe Dumars (who I believe should be not in the HOF and in my mind – different discussion for a different day) is a rare exeption to the rule and a player who as you mentioned is in the HOF because of his championships, not a because he is your protypical HOF #2 that we have seen in the past – players such as Kevin Mchale, Pippen, etc.. He is the exception, not the rule, and I should have done a better job in articulating that.

            Posted by The NBA Realist | May 14, 2011, 11:16 pm
          • The reason why you look at players in a different light because of championships and other accomplishments is because basketball isn’t all about numbers. There are certain things that players do consistently during a game that can’t be measured by statistics. Joe Dumars was a superb defender, a great teammate and leader, and had a tremendous heart. He was a key component on two championship teams that demolished the Showtime Lakers, consistently beat the upstart Bulls and the Trail Blazers.

            The entire 1989/1990 Pistons’ teams lacked a player averaging over 20ppg for both championship seasons. That is what makes those teams so special. They played 5 on 5. While other championship teams tended to play 3 on 5.

            Looking back on a career and changing your perspective because of accomplishments doesn’t mean they persuade you to change your values, it just opens you up to the possibility that there are factors you aren’t weighing.

            Posted by Adam | May 15, 2011, 1:16 am
          • And my point is that you are judging the current Bulls against the past champions, post-championship.

            First off, it’s a subjective ‘measure’ that you created, and then you presented evidence to prove your subjective arbitrary creation. It’s something that I would expect out of some cheesy talking head like Jalen Rose. But if you claim to have a NBA blog for intelligent people, then you have to take the criticism when your articles have all the substance of Cheese Wiz.

            Secondly, you’re still comparing past champions to a Bulls team that may or may not win one or more championships in the future. If they do win one, or more, then history will view these players much differently in the future than they are viewed now. My examples of Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman in 1988 and Scottie Pippen in 1990 point directly to this fact. If you believe that my credibility was ruined, so be it. But yours was ruined also, when you suggested that you viewed Pippen as a HOF-caliber player before the 1991 ECF. Sure, Pip was an All-Star by that point, just as Boozer as been (twice), and Deng really has played at an All-Star level several times. But Scottie wasn’t anything near a future HOF player at that point. I remember Scottie’s career quite clearly – he was all raw talent but couldn’t actually play the game after coming out of Central Arkansas. It was competing against MJ every day in practice that made him into the Top-50 player he would eventually become. But not even the most dyed-in-the-wool Bulls fans believed that Pippen was HOF material in spring 1991. It wasn’t until the following year, when he led the comeback in the 4th quarter of game 6 against the Blazers with the 4 bench players (Armstrong, King, Hansen, and Williams, if I remember correctly) – which is exactly the same point when most folks realized that Phil Jackson was something more than a good coach, but a truly special coach. Pippen’s legacy wasn’t really firmed up until Jordan retired and he led the Bulls to 55 wins, and could’ve won the title without MJ if Hue Hollins hadn’t raped him against the Knicks. If you truly believed that Pip was a HOF-caliber player in early 1991, you were either a child, or equally as subjective back then as you are now.

            Per your subjective creation in this post, and your presentation of evidence to bolster your subjectivity, you only need to look below these comments, where “Kobe” pointed out that you forgot the 2009 and 2010 Lakers! Is Pau Gasol a future HOF player? Andrew Bynum? Really? Either you believe that Pau is a Hall of Fame caliber player (is he really able to contribute more to the team than Deng or a non-turf-toe Boozer on any given night?), you forgot them on accident (not the sign of great research), or you conveniently forgot them to make your argument stronger. Gasol has career averages of 18.8 points and 9.1 rebounds on 52% shooting; Boozer’s are 17.3 points and 10.1 rebounds on 54% shooting. And Pau is destined for the Hall? Whatever.

            If you include the 2009 and 2010 Lakers in the equation, that’s 7 Champions in the last 35 years (1975-2010) that have won without a Hall-of-Fame #2 player: 20%. And all of a sudden that changes your hypothesis from ‘unlikely’ to once every five years.

            Furthermore, who is the Hall-of-Fame caliber player on the San Antonio Spurs Championship teams of 2003, 2005 and 2007? Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker? Are you sure? In 2002-2003, Manu averaged 7.6 points; he was a non-factor. Parker averaged 15.5 points, 5.3 assists, 2.6 rebounds – hardly Hall-of-Fame worthy numbers. I’d argue that you could add the 2002 Spurs to this list. Ginobili’s career averages are 15.3 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. His numbers increase in the playoffs, but if he makes the Hall it will be based on his team’s success and not his individual numbers – which could easily be true in the future for Deng or Noah. Parker’s numbers are a little better over his career – 16.7 points, 5.7 assists, 3.1 rebounds – but in reality no better than Deng’s 16 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists. If Parker and Ginobili make the Hall of Fame, it will be because they rode Tim Duncan’s coattails, or Superman’s cape, into the Hall. And why couldn’t several Bulls ride Rose’s coattails there in the future?

            What about the 2006 Heat? They had Shaq, of course, as a second fiddle. But look at his numbers. Shaq averaged 20 points & 9.2 rebounds in the regular season, and 18.4 points & 9.8 rebounds in the playoffs. Certainly he occupied the paint, and he shot 61.2% from the floor during the playoffs, but he only made 37.4% from the FT line which made his presence suspect in the last few minutes (Hack-a-Shaq). Certainly Boozer, Deng, and even Noah are capable of having an 18 point, 9 rebuond game on any given night, even if they’re not future Hall of Famers according to you?

            I could even poke holes in the 2008 Celtics. While they had three Hall-caliber players and Rondo, those players were 30-32 years old and their averages were all down significantly (20-25%) from their best years and below their career averages. And Rondo averaged only 10 points and 5 assists that season. They won the Title with Defense and teamwork, not because they were all still averaging 25 points per game as they had at their peak.

            On the contrary, I’d say that the only NBA Champions of the last decade who had at least 2 future Hall of Famers playing at their peak were the 2000-2002 Lakers.

            Since the NBA expanded and MJ subsequently retired, it’s actually less common for the Champion to have 2 Hall of Famers at their peak. It’s much more common to have 1 Hall of Famer playing at the top of his game, and either another HOF player at the end of his career (2006 Heat; 2008 Celtics), or one or more All-Star calier players having good seasons (2002, 2005,2007 Spurs; 2009-2010 Lakers).

            If you truly examined the statistics objectively, and didn’t try to fit them to your subjective pre-determined hypothesis, you probably would have seen this also.

            The real story is that this Heat team is incredibly top-heavy and has little talent or production outside of the top three. Maybe they resemble old Bulls teams or Rockets teams from the 1990s, but having far less talent on the bench and more suspect coaching. Meanwhile, the Bulls resemble the Lakers of the past few years, or the recent Spurs championship teams – again, currently with more suspect coaching than Pops or the Zen Master.

            That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

            Posted by Whatever | May 15, 2011, 9:03 am
          • Honestly, a highly intelligent NBA fan wouldn’t care if Deng is going to make the Hall of Fame….they would be more concerned with how he’s going to perform against LeBron James in the ECFs

            Posted by alex | May 15, 2011, 11:24 am
        • Let me settle this debate right now.

          Whatever, you are absolutely correct in that there is an outside shot that Luol Deng or other players on this Bulls roster have a remote chance of making the HOF. However, you are completely missing the point of the article.

          The Realists article is about whether or not the Chicago Bulls have a legit second fiddle which they dont. He is absolutely correct. Throughout history, the majority of teams that won a championship had that second fiddle or that Hall of Fame second guy. There were certain teams that bucked the trend but it was not typical. Again, it is not impossible, but not likely either.

          Luol Deng is not that second guy and not in the same league of guys like Kevin McHale, Scottie Pippen, or Dr J. Could he make the Hall as a third guy? Sure. If KC Jones can make the Hall, so can Luol Deng. But this notion that Deng is a second fiddle for championship team, which is the point of this article, is asinine.

          Also, there is no mention in his article that the Bulls could not win the championship. He is simply stating that the chances are less without a second Hall of Fame guy, and I completely agree. Espec if you look at history.

          Posted by theonlyguywhomakessense | May 14, 2011, 11:31 am
          • I disagree. The point of this article was to invent an arbitrary measure of NBA Champions, and then to present evidence in a way to bolster that subjective measure.

            I’ve argued above that since the 2002 Lakers, it’s much less common to have 2 HOF players playing at their peak, but to have 1 at his peak with several other players having very good seasons.

            Classifying players as “future Hall of Famers”, “Hall of Fame caliber”, “All Star caliber”, etc, is highly subjective, open to argument, and can’t be proven nor disproven by any objective measure. It’s the stuff of media talking heads and flashy headlines. Looking at actual statistics, while not as flashy, actually paints a very different picture of this situation.

            Maybe that’s the difference between an NBA blog for moderately intelligent people, and one for highly intelligent people? Who knows.

            Posted by Whatever | May 15, 2011, 9:14 am
  3. Hahaha. WHATEVER treated you like no other. Sucks…

    Posted by Treated | May 13, 2011, 2:35 pm
  4. Does this poster “WHATEVER” have a blog?

    He’s serving the author of this “analysis”.

    Posted by Dustin Hoffman | May 13, 2011, 6:12 pm
  5. I think Whatever has a point with the HOF stuff. It’s not totally out of the question that Deng/Noah would get the nod if they win a couple of titles (although I admit I just can’t see it right now). And if they get past the Heat I like the Bulls chances against whoever comes out of the West.

    But I thought the point of the article was that Rose needs help (i.e. a #2). Rose has carried this team so far with the exception of last night when Boozer finally stepped up. It’s been brought up numerous times how the Bulls offense has struggled in the first 2 rounds. Somebody who can consistently take the pressure off Rose would obviously help tremendously. Deng/Boozer/Noah have been way too inconsistent.

    I think a better argument would have been to look at the lack of production by the other Bulls players so far these playoffs then any past HOF comparisons.

    Derrick Rose 28.8
    Luol Deng 16.7
    Carlos Boozer 11.8
    Joakim Noah 9.9
    Kyle Korver 7.8

    The team is averaging 95 ppg. Basically Rose is accounting for almost 1/3 of the entire team’s offense and he’s a pg. That’s the real issue here. Way too much pressure on him to produce. It may partly be his lack of wanting to trust his teammates too. But he’s going to have to trust them if they want to get past the Heat imo.

    Posted by Milhouse | May 13, 2011, 7:20 pm
  6. It should be noted that the 2004 Pistons,the 1989/1990 Pistons, and the 1979 Sonics won titles with no one averaging over 20ppg during the season.

    They won on pure teamwork and defense.

    On the flip side it’s just as rare for a team with the league’s scoring champion to win a title.

    Posted by Adam | May 13, 2011, 9:02 pm
  7. Why are the 2009 and 2010 Lakers not mentioned in this? All they have is Kobe as a #1 and a bunch of role players just like Rose and the Bulls. Who did they have as a #2 guy? Pau Gasol, really? They won 2 straight with a star and role players so why can’t the Bulls

    Posted by Kobe | May 14, 2011, 1:04 am
    • Thanks for the read Kobe.

      Because I consider Pau Gasol a much higher caliber role player and better than anything the Bulls have. Gasol, in my mind, is a prototypical #2 on the championhship team – a guy who would be the Alpha Dog on most other teams (as he proved when he was on the Memphis Grizzles and lead his team to 3 consecutive playoffs with James Posey as their second best player).

      Deng has never been an All-Star, and I do not believe that Boozer, while certainly an All-Star, could ever lead a team the way Pau Gasol did.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 15, 2011, 2:20 pm
      • Ha. Now you’re changing your own rules, because you were caught napping. You tried to fit the evidence to your hypothesis, rather than fitting your hypothesis to the evidence.

        In your original post, you state: “Moreover, only 5 teams have won the NBA Championship without a Hall of Fame caliber #2 player”. Now you’re calling Pau Gasol “a prototypical #2 on the championhship team – a guy who would be the Alpha Dog on most other teams”.

        Well, which is it? Are you trying to prove that NBA Champions need two Hall of Fame caliber players, or a Hall of Fame player and a ‘prototypical #2′, or an ‘Alpha Dog’, whatever those are?

        And what about Manu Ginobili or Tony Parker? Are they Hall of Fame caliber, or simply Alpha Dogs, or Prototypical #2 players, or whatever subjective non-quantitative mythical categorization you will invent next?

        “Can the Bulls buck the trend and become one of the rare exceptions to the rule?”

        ‘Rare exceptions’ to your subjective and easily-contradicted rule? It really isn’t so rare.

        Add the two Lakers Championship teams of 2009 and 2010, and the three Spurs Champs of 2003, 2005 and 2007 to the equation, and you have 10 in the last 35 years without 2 Hall of Fame players (almost 30%). Even more importantly, that makes 6 in the last 8 years – and 6 of 12 since MJ retired.

        It’s the exception to the rule to have 2 Hall of Fame players since the Bulls made their last run.

        ‘Alpha Dogs’ and ‘Prototypical #2′ players? You obviously don’t know the first rule about being in a hole: STOP DIGGING!! :-) :-D

        Posted by Whatever | May 15, 2011, 4:06 pm
        • Whatever,

          For a guy who prides himself on being highly intelligent, it is amazing how active you have become in participating on a moderately intelligent blog. Would that make you highly intelligent, moderately intelligent or just lonely? Regardless, I appreciate the participation.

          The answer to your question is Both – A HOF caliber #2 to me is someone who could serve as a #1 on a playoff level team (5th or 6th seed). I obviously failed in my effort to articulate that and readily admit this. With that said, Dumars is a unique exception. I do not consider him to be the Alpha Dog of a Playoff team, but because of the Pistons extensive depth, and chemistry, they made it work. Moreover, my criteria does involve some subjectivity because I do believe that players such as 2007 Shaq, 2005 Ginobili, 2007 Ginobili, and any of the Big 3 (none of whom are HOFers yet) as guys who can serve as Alpha Dogs of a mediocre playoff team. Regardless, I do not consider Deng or Boozer to be players who could serve as the number one on a playoff team.

          My suggestion is that you continue to hold out hope that Boozer and Deng will become that #2. I hope that I am wrong. But I just don’t believe that it will happen. In the interim, thanks for mixing it up on our blog.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | May 15, 2011, 4:26 pm
          • Oh the joy of subjective debates. The problem with basing a rule on subjective assessments is that it’s going to make your position easy to attack and impossible to defend. When subjective terms like #2, Hall-of-Fame caliber and alpha dogs are being thrown around when nobody knows what, exactly, they mean, people are going to disagree with you. I totally get what you’re saying, but you’ve put yourself in an impossible position to defend.

            Is the alpha the emotional leader of a team, or is their best player? And how do we pick who the #2 is when a team has a bunch of supporting players? For instance, we’ve thrown around the argument that Pau Gasol’s not a HOF caliber #2. Let me turn that debate on its head. Given that I’m a numbers guy , you know I’m going to say that the alpha dog is the guy who creates the most production for his team, and therefore gives them the best chance to win on a nightly basis. Also, given that I think Kobe’s arguably the most overrated player in NBA history, you know I’m going to use his Lakers teams as an example. Pau Gasol has had a higher PER and more win shares (offensive, defensive and combined) over the past 2 years than Kobe Bryant. Could one not argue that Pau Gasol was the true alpha of the past 2 Lakers teams and Kobe was the #2? Would that change the nature of this debate, because Kobe is clearly a HOF caliber #2? Or would it weaken the argument, because the #2 brought less to the table. Do Kobe’s legacy, reputation, personality and intangibles make him the #1 regardless of their actual numbers? What does all this mean? Nothing really, other than how to define the alpha, #2, or the idea of HOF worthiness. Likewise, I think many people would consider the 1978 Bullets Wes Unseld’s team even though Elvin Hayes was clearly the best player from a numerical standpoint at that time-Unseld was the 6’7 center with the legendary toughness and grit as well as the winner of the Finals MVP, but he averaged a mere 8 points and 12 rebounds per game that year. Dale Davis has had more dominant seasons. Hayes, of course, averaged almost 20 PPG and over 13 RPG and would certainly fit your criteria as a HOF caliber #2, but that would leave us with a pitiful contribution from our “alpha”. Then again, since both players are actually in the Hall of Fame, would I have the nerve to argue that they are not Hall of Fame caliber players. In Unseld’s case, I probably would. The 1973 Knicks present a similar conundrum. That team had 5 players who are currently in the Hall of Fame. Willis Reed was clearly the emotional epicenter of that team but was nearing the end of his career and was a shell of his former self. Walt Frazier, on the other hand, was having a career year and was clearly the best player on the team. The Knicks also had 3 other Hall of Famers in Dave Debuscherre, Bill Bradley and Earl Monroe, but none of them had a particularly impressive year. In fact, I’m not sure any of those 3 were dominant enough at any point in their careers to truly be Hall-worthy. I feel like they all made it in large part because they were NBA champions in a huge market and were generally well liked (Bill Bradley averaged 12 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds for his career but was a beloved ambassador for the game). Who’s their alpha, who’s their #2, and did they have anyone playing at a Hall of Fame level other than Frazier? I would say of all the Hall of Famers on that team, only Frazier could have been the #1 on a respectable playoff team at that point. Have I twisted myself completely in knots yet?

            In any case, thanks for the opportunity for a spirited debate over a topic that ultimately just comes down to opinions. There are very few things I enjoy more. Keep up the good work.

            Posted by Lochpster | May 15, 2011, 11:53 pm
  8. All of yall suck a dick yall dont know shit pansies

    Posted by killa bitch | May 14, 2011, 2:39 am
  9. the rest of the lineup really does just suck, noah isnt going to be a HOFer averaging 9 points and 10 chest bumps a game, even if they win a chip. which they wont

    Posted by alex | May 14, 2011, 7:32 pm
    • Thanks for the read Alex. I completely agree. You can point to their stats all day, but Noah, Deng, and Boozer are not your protypical #2 guys on a championship caliber team.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 15, 2011, 2:31 pm
      • “You can point to their stats all day, but Noah, Deng, and Boozer are not your protypical #2 guys on a championship caliber team.”

        NBA Realist, you really need to stick to one hypothesis, rather than keep changing the goalposts as you are doing throughout this blog entry.

        Now you state that they aren’t the prototypical #2 players on a ‘championship caliber’ team. Even if we accept your hypothesis per past NBA Champions, now you’re saying they’re unusual players per past championship CALIBER clubs? You’ve gone off the deep end!

        Here’s why: In order to make this statement, you must now include at least every team in the Finals, and not only past Champs – because ‘championship caliber’ means of the same degree of excellence as champions, and not ONLY teams that have won it. I’d argue that most ECF and WCF teams are, in fact, ‘championship caliber’. But for a few tipped balls here and there, we could have different teams winning it all. Case in point: the 1992-93 Knicks, or the 1993 Suns. Were they not ‘championship caliber’ ballclubs, even if they didn’t win it all?

        And then I’d have to point out that Deng, Noah, and Boozer very much hold their own against past ‘championship caliber’ ballclubs.

        Posted by Whatever | May 16, 2011, 3:48 am
        • Umm, are you kidding? Are you really saying that Deng, Boozer, and Noah are in the same league as #2s throughout history such as Ginobili, Shaq, Kobe, Pierce/Allen/Garnett, Kareem, Mchale, Wilt, Russell, Dr J, Pippen, Gasol, D. Robinson, Drexler, etc..

          Here is your fundamental mistake: Those players aren’t ONLY defined by their championships. They are simply better than Noah, Boozer, or Deng will ever be, even without a championship and arbitrarily pointing to only certain stats (such as the stats comparing Gasol vs Boozer while completely ignoring Boozer’s defensive deficiencies and ignoring blocked shots) doesn’t bolster your case. Sure, you have players such as Dumars and Dave Debuschere, who benefited from rings, and Deng/Boozer/Noah may turn out to be better than. But the vast majority of teams have won, have done so with their second best player being better than what the Bulls have this year. And THAT IS A FACT.

          Your entire argument is a play on words and you are conveniently dodging the high level message of the article which is that teams rarely win when their second best player is to the caliber of Boozer, Noah, or Deng.

          I get it, everyone else on this blog gets it. The only idiot that doesn’t get it is you.

          So feel free to pick one item out my message post, continue your word play, keep your head in your ass, ignore the high level meaning, and run with it.

          Or you can put your money where your mouth is by making a fool out of yourself and stating that those Bulls players are as good as the majority of number twos that have come into the league.

          Game, set, match.

          Posted by "Whatever" is a complete idiot | May 17, 2011, 12:57 pm
    • Alex,

      If last night was sucking, I’ll take that suck all season, and for the remainder of their careers.

      You’re simply a jaded Miami fan or Chicago hater. Miami’s lineup, outside of the 2 1/2 men, is the definition of SUCKAGE.

      The rest of the Bulls lineup kicked the read of the Heat’s lineup’s ASS.

      “noah isnt going to be a HOFer averaging 9 points and 10 chest bumps a game”

      What if he averages 9 points, 14 rebounds (8 offensive), 4 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks, as he did last night?

      What if he averages 11 points, 12 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2 blocks and steal throughout his playoff career, as he currently does? Heck, he’ll probably only get better, as last night he only shot 4-14.

      And Luol Deng, with his 21 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists and a block, while holding LeBron to 15 points on 5/15 shooting – he sure does SUCK! He should go back to the Sudan, he embarrassed Chicago so badly last night.

      How about that Bulls bench, with 28 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks – compared to Miami’s bench production of 15 points, 7 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 steal and 0 blocks?

      The only sucking sound is coming from your post, Alex.

      Posted by Whatever | May 16, 2011, 3:57 am
      • i’m a pistons fan, so theres where my hate is coming from, and i hate the heat too. i’m also an ohio state fan, so i really hate noah. but i was genuinely surprised by the production from the bulls bench and especially deng last night. if he puts up stats like that for the rest of the series, into the finals and next season, i easily could see HOF for him. but he was inconsistent throughout the season and had a habit of vanishing in big games. I remember watching him at a game at the palace earlier this year and he couldnt hit anything… so im just basing this analysis on previous experience.

        Posted by alex | May 16, 2011, 8:50 am
        • Well, hey, at least you’re honest about your dislike for him (Ohio St and Detroit), so I can respect that.

          But I have to tell you that Noah has never vanished from big games as a Bull. He was injured earlier this season (don’t know if the game you described was during that stretch). But he has been awesome during the playoffs as a Bull – even as a rookie, against Boston. Who could forget him taking it the length of the floor and jamming over Paul Pierce (who fouled out on the play) to win game 6 in triple OT?

          Do I really think Noah or Deng could make the Hall of Fame? I’d say there’s much more probability of that happening than this blog article ever being relevant.

          Here’s a good article about predicting the Hall of Fame. The most important factors are number of Championships won, then number of All-star games, followed by points, assists, and rebounds weighted almost equally.

          http://www.basketball-reference.com/about/hof_prob.html

          Posted by Whatever | May 17, 2011, 4:02 am
          • by the calculation factors on the website, deng, if he retired today, has a 15% chance at the HOF. but if he wins a chip this year, his chances rise to only 18%. he will need to win multiple chips or increase his averages during the season. boozer’s chances for the HOF are greater, noah’s lower, but none substantial unless the team wins multiple chips.

            thanks for the reference, i really like the website and i think ill use it a lot more.

            Posted by alex | May 17, 2011, 4:21 pm
          • Wow, it’s incredible that the person who is arguing that Deng, Noah, and Boozer being a HOFer is actually bringing this reference up. If they retired today, plugging in the values for those 3, their chances are:

            Boozer: 7.5%
            Noah: 0.02%
            Deng: 0.3%

            Compared to the Heat big 3:
            Wade: 99.1%
            Lebron: 99.2%
            Bosh: 62.5%

            Assuming that their points, assists and rebounds averages doesn’t sky rocket, the Bulls will need to win at least the next 5 – 6 championships for them to be even close to be considered HOFers.

            Posted by BEN | May 17, 2011, 11:33 pm
      • Thanks for the debate Whatever. In the future, you can either play “what ifs” with every player in the NBA, or you can look at the trends in history.

        I wish you luck in your campaign for Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer’s Hall of Fame induction.

        Posted by The NBA Realist | May 26, 2011, 8:57 pm
  10. This comment section is full of derp, and quibbling over definitions.

    I approve.

    As always, an entertaining read Realist.

    Posted by drubacca117 | May 15, 2011, 8:17 pm
    • Thanks for the positive feedback Drubacca. I agree that everyone probably got bogged down more in semantics instead of the general point of the article. I appreciate that you understood the high-level message.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 15, 2011, 9:51 pm
    • It is definitions that separate objective, quantitative analysis from subjective, qualitative analysis.

      If NBA Realist is presenting this as a fundamentally sound quantitative research about the NBA, then it is those very definitions that will determine whether the evidence does or does not, in fact, prove his or her hypothesis.

      If this article is being presented only as entertainment, without any real analytical value, and not as real research – yes, the definitions by which the author tries to prove his or her point and be loosey-goosey, constantly changing, and lacking any specificity.

      I’m sorry that I assumed it was presented as the former. I now realize it was the latter. My bad.

      Posted by Whatever | May 16, 2011, 6:05 am
      • Bro – Everyone seems to understand what the Realistis getting at except you.

        You are likely one of those ambulance chasing attorneys whose sole purpose in life is try and validate their self esteem through technicalities and a play on words. We all get it. You dont.

        Deng and Booz are not #2s. they are 3s at best. The Bulls may win and the Heat may choke but the Realist hit it on the nail in saying that most teams do not win without a legit #2.

        And comparing Boozer to Gasol strictly off stats is pathetic. Gasol ate that guy up everytime they played in the playoffs. He is also a better defender, better shot blocker, and actually rotates on defense. Looking at stats alone makes you an idiot. Watch the games. Boozer is not Gasol.

        You should just stick to being hypocrit by bashing this blog and then coming back over and over again like some some abused low self esteem low life.

        LOL

        Posted by Chauncey Gandus | May 16, 2011, 9:45 am
  11. How bout dem apples, NBA Realist.

    Posted by Taj Gibson | May 16, 2011, 8:27 am
  12. I think that the Realist wrote this article based on what he’d seen so far in the playoffs thinking they’d need a lot more to get past the Heat. But I’m not sure he or anybody else expected what they saw last night. Certainly if they’d been playing like that from day 1 this article probably never would’ve been written. The Bulls just bitchslapped them in the 2nd half and the end the Heat just looked shellshocked.

    The Bulls are greater then the sum of their parts and everybody is buying in and leaving it out on the court. If they play like they did last night they will be celebrating title #7 with relative ease.

    I also wonder if Spoelstra will dress his bigs in game 2. I think he almost has to after last night but not sure how much good it’ll do.

    Finally, the Realist wrote an article a month ago about the ’91 Bulls/Lakers finals. The guy is obviously a huge Bulls fan who was writing this article based more on past observation and hoping this current Bulls team could find a way.

    http://chasing23.com/down-memory-lane-the-1991-nba-finals-2/

    Posted by Milhouse | May 16, 2011, 9:09 am
    • The only issue with that argument of the Bulls and what they were capable of is that it did not take into consideration the body of evidence for this team. The entire season the Bulls have played this way with a total team effort. So a true “HOF #2″ isn’t necessary. In fact the things mentioned throughout the replies to justify the teams that don’t fit the criteria explain why the Bulls have a good chance of winning it all. Total team defense and depth with great coaching. This is your reasoning behind the Pistons and Joe Dumars then why couldn’t this years Bulls and Deng be another example of that. And as far as alpha dog wasn’t Boozer an alpha dog on a Utah team before this.

      Posted by nvyrugby | May 16, 2011, 10:03 am
  13. Are people really wondering if Ginobili is going to make the HOF? I’ve considered him a lock for awhile now…it’s the BASKETBALL Hall of Fame, not NBA. He’s one of only 2 players to ever win an olympic gold, Euroleague Championship, and NBA Championship. He was also the #1 option for the first two.

    I have no doubts Ginobili is a HOF talent. He likely could have put up 20/5/5 type numbers as a starter and focal point of the offense for a different team/in a different situation.

    Neither necessarily “road Duncan’s coattails” either, considering they both were go to options down the stretch of games, they were the ‘closers’. You can’t say the same about any of Rose’s teammates here.

    Posted by JWiLL | May 16, 2011, 5:40 pm
  14. Do the Bulls NEED a #2? Or can they get by with 2 2.5-3.0s (whatever you want to call Noah/Boozer) and above average role players?

    If you’ve won the most games in the regular season with the current setup, and you’ve made it to the ECF and are a game up, why change the formula that has worked for you?

    The current matchup between Chicago and Miami is a perfect example of #1 and a bunch of good dudes VS #1/#1A/a posing #2.something and guys off the street (aka ring whores).

    We’ll see after the series is over if the formula for success has evolved.

    Posted by J | May 17, 2011, 12:09 pm
    • Thanks for the read J – Given that it has happened before, a team can absolutely get away with #2.5s and #3 level role players. My stance is simply that it has rarely happened in the last 50-60 years.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 17, 2011, 2:50 pm
  15. I think in essence this article is right but overstating one aspect. I think “#2 HOF” should be phrased a “#2 all star” because – like other’s have said – it’s all taken in perspective with regards to HOF admission. But rarely has a team won a title with 1 real all-star. The Bulls could make a case that Deng is an All-star. Noah could be an all star center (much like Rodman was for PF) and Boozer has made the all star team.

    Posted by Adam | May 17, 2011, 3:36 pm
  16. i’m not sure if the bulls really need that solid #2, defensively thibodeau has a really solid system, very good team defense.

    offensively rose needs to know when he should dominate the ball and score, and when to involve teammates.

    of course, even rose is gonna have his bad games, and thats when you really need that #2, which i don’t think boozer can bring, but their defense is solid enough they still have a chance

    Posted by mzez | May 17, 2011, 8:50 pm
  17. how bad does this clown look now that the bulls blew out the heat

    Posted by daniel | May 18, 2011, 12:47 pm
  18. Realist:

    Good Post. I however would argue that Rose needs a #1. This is no a conclusion that I recently came to. I really think Rose needs a Durant, Wade, Lebron, Melo, Amare type to win. Thus, making him a #2 and there is nothing wrong with that. If the media didn’t force feed Rose as the next super star no one would stomp down the opinion he is in the class with Deron Williams, CP3, or Russell Westbrook. He’s very good and no better than these guys, all very good players. You guys even did a colunm comparing he a CP3. The only other comparison to make would be Allen Iverson and I don’t think he is that prolific a scorer or has as good a jump shot. Therefore I would go this far. Isiah Thomas maybe? Well in their championship years he at least had equals as far as offensive options in Dumars, Dantley and Aguirre (in spurts). I don’t know just thoughts not sure if he is a super star thats all. Nothing wrong with being an allstar.

    Posted by no fan be objective | May 26, 2011, 12:50 pm
    • NFBO – Thanks for the read and the kind words.

      Really interesting take. Is Rose really a #1? Or, as you suggest, is he really a #2 who can occassionally wear the hat of a #1?

      At this juncture, I still believe he is a #1, but the fact that he does not have a prototypical championship caliber #2 to validate raises doubts. Throughout history, most teams that have won, have sone so with multiple stars, and Boozer, Deng, Noah are not #2s. Moreover, there is no Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol, etc.. to offload the pressure from Rose. However, the jury is still out and the only way we will find out for sure is if the Bulls can somehow maneuver a trade to bring in that second star.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 26, 2011, 1:36 pm
  19. THE BULLS ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!

    Posted by Dennis Green | May 26, 2011, 8:24 pm
  20. have noah/boozer/deng been elected to hof yet? just checking getting my travel plans in line for hof induction lol

    Posted by He Hate Me | December 8, 2011, 10:32 pm
  21. I notice that people shut up after Miami won the next 4 games. And although Rose will only get better(and I do believe that within the next 4-5 years he will be the best point guard in the NBA), without a legit number 2 option Chicago will keep crashing and burning when they come up aganist teams like Miami, Boston or even OKC.

    Posted by nightbladehunter | December 9, 2011, 7:39 am

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