K.C. Johnson's answers

With the emergence of Curry and Chandler, how do you believe the scoring distribution should be? Should Rose still be the one taking all the shots or should he back off and allow Curry and Chandler to score some points? Which way is better for development? Which way will result in wins? --Justin Cox, Huntington, W.V.

I think the Bulls play best when they follow a blueprint that they have several times recently--and that is when Rose allows the big men to get established early and he asserts himself late. I'm not making a direct analogy to this, but it's somewhat similar to the glory days. Remember when Luc Longley would hit four jumpers from the elbow in the first quarter--and then never score again? Chandler and Curry are better than Longley offensively. And Rose isn't Jordan. But when Curry and Chandler get going early and Rose gets going late, the Bulls usually win.

K.C., I've noticed that since the Bulls have switched to the new lineup, they play much better during the first and third periods while Crawford is in. I'm curious to know what the stats are when he is in the game versus Williams, for example FG percentage versus opponents' FG percentage and turnovers. I think the team plays better with Crawford in the game, and I believe we should trade Williams this off-season instead. --Tim Moore, Centerville, Ohio

I haven't crunched the numbers as to plus-minus differential between the two since the preseason, but I'm almost certain Jamal's is better. I can tell you for sure that the Bulls' plus-minus differential--if they've lead or trailed the opponent--was better in the preseason when Crawford ran the show. That's why Crawford's agent claimed the job got handed to Williams. I can also tell you that several players feel Crawford runs the offense better, but that's not necessarily a knock on Williams. Crawford has more NBA experience. I think if you can't find a way to play both of them together, you definitely move one of them so that they aren't looking over their shoulders next season.

Hey, K.C. , is Trenton Hassell's poor offensive play a result of the NBA catching up to him or that he is just in a season slump? Do you sense that he will be back next year? --Samir, San Jose

He'll be back, simply because he's the team's best defender. I think the biggest reason for his offensive woes is he isn't being asked to score much on this team. And when you don't get many opportunities, it's hard to stay fresh offensively. Last season, he got more plays called for him. But this team, especially with the emergence of Curry and Chandler, doesn't need him to score.

The pubic answer is "He is a point guard and not a shooting guard." The real answer is "Because our defense will be terrible." The question "Mr. Bill, why won't you play Crawford at shooting guard?" Opposing teams would be licking their chops seeing a lineup with Williams, Crawford and Rose. None of 'em is or ever will be a defensive stopper, which Mr. Bill wants. The mix just doesn't seem right and one of 'em should be moved. What do you think? --JimBo, Weston, Fla.

I've said all along this season that I don't think this competition is really benefiting either player. I understand your point about the defensive liabilities, but why not just try the lineup down the stretch here to see if it works or not? It's not like it'll cost the Bulls a playoff berth.

KC, why don't the Bulls play more of an uptempo game with Jay Will instead of the half court game? Is it because Jalen cannot play the uptempo? --Jordan, Niles

That's a big part of it. Another reason is because Cartwright is a big man's coach and he prefers to pound the ball inside and you need to be in the halfcourt sets to do that. Cartwright insists that the Bulls push the ball up when the opportunities are there. But with how young and athletic they are, I think it'd be a good thing to try it more often. You seem to agree.

K.C., I've watched a large majority of the Bulls games this year and, even with all of his shot attempts, cannot recall Jalen Rose ever dunking the ball in a game. He goes to the basket a fair amount but never seems to attempt to dunk. Even Hoiberg and J-Will have had a few breakaway jams this year. Jalen certainly has the size, but does he not have the hops? Is he any different in practice? --Brad, Annapolis, Ma.

No. Jalen's game is below the rim. It's why reason why he's been able to play so many minutes and so many games consecutively. He's a jump shooter, not a jumper. I think he does have one or two dunks this season. But his game is to shoot jumpers and the occasional floater. I've never seen him try to dunk on somebody. And that's fine. That's his game.

In a weird sort of way, could the Jay and Jamal show be benefiting Tyson and Eddy? For better or worse, the heat's certainly off them this season! --Curt Fieleke, Belton, Mo.

With all respect, I don't think that has much to do with it. I think the emergence of Chandler and Curry is simply a matter of maturity and work ethic. Now let's see them do it from the start next season.

Thanks for your questions. Talk to you next week,


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