LOS ANGELES—It's 72 degrees and sunny without a hint of humidity in LA. And I'm sitting in a dark, greasy diner downtown answering your questions.
ust to clarify: I'm drinking black coffee, not something stronger.
Considering how abundantly and splendidly JNo has improved this season, has he joined DRose as the only untoucha-Bull (sorry, I couldn't resist) on the roster when it comes to trade talks? I have to admit I audibly groaned on draft night when the Bulls picked him, but now I really think he could turn out to be our best big man since Horace Grant. -- Robert Bresson, Leeds, Ala.
You think you groaned. Remember the Tribune's headline? "You must be Joakim." Although, in defense of our fine editors, that was a play on words about the seersucker suit and bow tie Noah wore on draft night.
JNo, huh? The way he's playing, we might need to come up with a better nickname. I don't think there's any question Noah is playing himself into a longterm contract extension when his rookie contract ends. I keep coming back to this about Noah, too: The way he plays, the longtime knock against the Bulls not having a true lowpost scorer gets far less important. Noah fits great with Rose moving forward in that he can run, catch and pass. And he's obviously been a beast on the boards.
Did the Bulls give up too quickly on Thabo Sefolosha? He seems to be thriving as a perimeter defender on a rising Oklahoma City team and has even developed an accurate 3-point shot. Who do you think the Bulls would rather have at this point: Thabo or Taj Gibson? Dan Brecher
I go with Taj.
Thabo always seemed to be the odd guard out and wouldn't he be again? From my view, he'd still be the fourth guard behind Rose, Salmons and Hinrich. And how much does Jannero Pargo play?
The Bulls, like a lot of organizations, try to help players who aren't fitting into their longterm plans and found Thabo the perfect home where he can play a lot of minutes and grow as a player. It freed up some money that they might've needed had they, say, traded Hinrich and tried to re-sign Gordon. And when they decided to keep Hinrich, they drafted a player who looks like he can have a solid, if unspectacular, NBA career. Just like Thabo probably will.
I'm originally from Chicago and miss the beef goulash and the congested traffic. Anyway, who do you think will have a better career, Brandon Jennings or DRose? To me, it seems like Jennings has a sense of urgency and is more of a leader than Rose. Can this determine how their careers will end up? Ivan C. Sheboygan, Wis.
You're originally from Chicago and I played with four college teammates from the Sheboygan North basketball program. Small world. And that's why I printed your question representative of, say, the 10 I received comparing Rose to Jennings.
C'mon people. Jennings has a chance to be great. Rose has a chance to be great. It's early. (Does everybody already forget Rose in Game 1 of last year's playoffs?) Yes, Rose is off to a slow start. Give him time.
I do think people with natural leadership qualities can have an edge over players who are more reserved and subdued. But I also think Rose will be just fine.
It is obvious that Rose, so far this season, is not the same player as last season. I am sure the ankle has something to do with it. However, it also seems that the sets that the Bulls run restrict Rose's ability to control the ball and the game. It just appears to me that VDN's style does not allow Rose the same freedom that is allowed other elite PGs around the league--i.e. Paul, Williams, Rondo or even Jennings in Milwaukee. Am I right about this or do my eyes deceive? Eric Harrell, Crownsville, Md.
I think your eyes mostly deceive. Do you see how many screen-and-rolls the Bulls run for Rose? Also, part of this falls on Rose. The coaching staff has been imploring him to become more aggressive in transition, where he was dominant at times last season. Yes, there are times where Rose hands the ball off on the wing and runs to the corner. But you can't call every play or give every shot to Rose. Salmons and Deng need their perimeter touches too.
Who is the offensive coach for the Bulls? Who makes up the play where Derrick Rose dribbles past the timeline and passes it off and goes and hides in the corner, while Noah or Miller operate the offense from the high post? The Bulls seem to run that play 30 percent of the time. I have never seen Chris Paul, Deron Williams, DWade or any other explosive player run a play like that. It doesn't take a basketball genius to realize the utter stupidity of this play. Tony, Memphis, Tenn.
Perfect timing there, Tony, given my above answer. Vinny is the main offensive coach.
Again, don't other players need touches? A lot of these actions showcase Deng coming off a screen and slashing into the lane. And if the Bulls don't call those plays, then people ask why Deng isn't slashing into the lane. You can't please everybody all the time.