Friday, November 9, 2007

Eastern' Thrilla For The Week of 11/3-11/9: Tyrusaurus Rex

(Ed. Note: If you're looking for actual intelligent, thorough Bulls analysis, check out Blog-A-Bull. We have a soft spot in our hearts, but those guys are intense.)

I've been big on Ty Thomas a long time. I'm one of those that falls for the highlight potential, for the big athletic big guy that can run, for the all-around potential guys that usually end up falling into nothingness. Even when Ty made that ridiculous, insulting comment about the Dunk Contest last year, I still pulled for the kid. All through his young career, he's shown flashes. A dunk here. A solid rebounding performance. Effort on the defensive end. Only one thing stood in his way. Scott Skiles.

Don't label me a Skiles-hater. Quite the opposite. I think his brand of no-nonsense without being a lunatic is great. I love the discipline. I love the focus on speed and perimeter defense. But his track record has not been great with young big men. Tyson Chandler. For the most part, sucked it up in Chicago. Goes to NOLA. The kid is flourishing there. Tim Thomas. He's been all over the map, so I don't know if you can pin it on Skiles. But he was worthless in Chicago, and he's been a huge part of the Suns team in 2005, and the Clippers team in 2007. How about Eddy Curry? I know he was young, and the heart problem thing, but do you see a pattern forming here?

The other night when the Bulls lost to Milwaukee, Thomas went out with 7:47 remaining in the fourth and stayed there for the entire game. Thomas wasn't having an especially good game. But as well as Joe Smith has played, is a lineup of Hinrich, Gordon, Deng, Nocioni and Smith really what you want out there when inside buckets are vital? Here's a shocker. The Bucks got 4 offensive rebounds during this time frame. Now, I haven't seen the tape, so I can't tell you if they were long rebounds or not, but still. Don't you think it might have helped to have Thomas out there?

Last night was the best example I can provide that Skiles needs to let Thomas see the court. He showed up big against the Pistons with 19 points and 14 rebounds, a lot of them in crunch time. Add on to that the fact that he was put right up against Sheed in crunch time and played him tight and well, and you have to give the kid credit. And you'll notice the guys that pay close attention feel the same way. Thomas was everything the Bulls needed him to be last night.

Oh, yeah, and anybody that think that Kirk Hinrich is a weak link on this team needs to get an MRI. Gordon trying to run the offense is like me trying to drive home after five stouts. Not a good idea.

Add to Technorati Favorites