Chicago Bulls- The Coach has to go.

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Chicago Bulls- The Coach has to go. 

Finding his place

Thomas trying to earn coach's trust

January 7, 2010, 7:49 PM

By: Nick Friedell

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Tyrus Thomas

Sam Sharpe/US Presswire

Tyrus Thomas has struggled to get back on the roll that he started off on since returning from a broken forearm two weeks ago.

DEERFIELD, IL. -- Is it a coincidence that the Bulls have lost two in a row and Tyrus Thomashasn't played a significant role in either game?

It depends on who you ask.

The only thing that is clear surrounding the Bulls right now is that Thomas has struggled to get back on the roll that he started off on since returning from a broken forearm two weeks ago.

"I don't think he's been in as good of a rhythm as he was the first few [games]," Bulls head coachVinny Del Negro said after practice. "He gave us such a big boost when he came back. He'll be fine. I thought he had an excellent practice [Thursday]. We need his activity and his shot blocking. Running the court and doing the things he's capable of. He gives us more of a shot-blocking presence in there. We'll get him back on track [Friday] night. The more consistent he is on the court, the more minutes he'll get just like everybody else. We need him to play well and he knows that."

While Del Negro seems confident that Thomas can get back on track quickly, if you read between the lines, it's clear that Thomas is a little confused by the entire playing time situation. When asked if he was frustrated by the team's recent two-game losing skid, Thomas said that he was "very" frustrated.

"For different reasons than others," Thomas added, "but we just got to get back on the same page and just keep playing hard."

When asked whether or not he was still a little rusty, Thomas said he was about "90 to 95" percent and then added that he was, "once again trying to find my niche on this team."

That has been a running theme for Thomas over the past few years.

In this particular case, it seems that Del Negro simply has more confidence in rookie Taj Gibson at the moment. The USC alum was recently re-inserted back into the starting lineup and has played very well over the past week, averaging nine points and seven rebounds over his last eight games. When a reporter floated the idea that a bounce back into the starting lineup might give Thomas a boost the same way it did for Gibson, the second-year head coach seemed to dismiss the idea. While he has said repeatedly that the starting lineup is not set in stone, it doesn't appear that Thomas will be there anytime soon.

"I just feel that Taj has earned every minute and with Taj and [Kirk] in the lineup we seem to have had a little bit better starts at times," Del Negro said. "Guys are going to get their minutes if they're productive and if they execute the game plan and know what we're doing. I'm happy with the starters right now and there's no reason to change anything until I feel differently."

Thomas is just hoping he can change his coaches' mind some time soon. In the meantime, he is just trying to earn Del Negro's trust.

"I think I have a pretty positive effect on [the other players]," Thomas said. "I haven't really put my finger on what it is but I feel like as long as I'm on the floor we have a pretty good chance at winning."

That was true for four games recently.

You'd have to think Del Negro would try out that theory again if his team can't turn things around soon.


OK Now Let me say what I need to get off my chest lol...

I feel Del Negro needs to be fired ASAP.  Here is why...

He obviously thinks Taj Gibson is better than Tyrus Thomas.  Well he is WRONG

He obviously thinks starting Taj Gibson & Kirk Hinrich is good for the team.   HELL NO

Vinny...please lay off whatever you are smoking.

Player A-  23 minutes per game, 10 points, 7 rebs, 1.4 asst, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 2 TO, 2 Fouls

PER 16.3, 43% FG, 64% Free Throw 

Player B-  25 minutes per game, 8 points, 6 rebs, 1 asst, 1 steal, 1 block, 1.4 TO, 4 Fouls

PER 13.2, 50% FG,  56% Free Throw

In my eyes Player A should not only be starting but also be playing significantly more minutes than Player B.  Player A is Tyrus Thomas, B is Taj Gibson.  Give 30 minutes a game to Tyrus & 18 a game to Taj & see what happens.  Overall the stats support my opinion but more importantly if you watch the Bulls play you can clearly see that Tyrus Thomas has a much bigger impact on the game.  He is simply the better & more talented player of the two.  Plus Tyrus is more experienced.

In games this season where Tyrus has played at least 26 minutes, the Bulls are 4-0.  When Tyrus plays less than 25 minutes, the Bulls are 2-4.  When Tyrus was injured & couldn't play at all, the Bulls were 8-15!  You get the picture. 

As for Kirk Hinrich, he has no business starting.  I think he should be traded asap.  His contract sucks, he is overpaid & has several years left on his contract making roughly $9.5 million a year...that is ludicrous.  Hinrich plays 30 minutes a game which is just flat out stupid.  Look at what he gives you with all that playing time:

9 points, 3 rebs, 4 assts, 1 steal, 2 TO, 3 Fouls, PER 9.4, 36% FG, 36% 3 point 

That doesn't look like a starting caliber player to me. 

I know effeciency ratings are just a small piece of the puzzle.  However the league average PER is 15.  As you can see from above both Gibson & Hinrich are below average.  Yet, both of them are starting.  No wonder the Bulls are struggling.   

I think it is pretty clear Del Negro doesn't make the proper decisions the majority of times. I'm not sure if this is because he is very inexperienced or if he is playing favorites.   Regardless I would like to see the Bulls make some changes.  Starting off by firing the Coach.  Making a few trades would be beneficial too.

Go hire an experienced coach that understands talent. A coach who realizes better players need to play more minutes than lesser players.  A coach that understands game strategy. A coach that can come up with an intelligent gameplan & that can make key adjustments during the game. I could go on & on...

Gatorheels...dropping that knowledge haha. 

Sorry I wrote a book...Starbucks always gets my mind going.

Man, it is snowing in Kentucky.  I'm ready for the Spring 

TaylorCondrin's picture
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i agree del negro is one of

i agree del negro is one of the worst coaches in the league...they need to send hinrich to the heat for daequan cook

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please let him go. with this

please let him go. with this talent we should be a better team. rose has superstar talent, salmons is under achieving but is talented. deng has all star talent at his best taj is a good rookie noah has allstar talent, maybe not on offense but defense and rebounding

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The Bulls as a team are just over matched. I think they had a lot of hype after overachieving last year in the playoffs against a Celtics team that wasn't even healthy. They don't have much of a coach or talent. As for starting shooting guard, they don't have many options. Hinrich and Salmons took a big step backwards this year, they had some injuries, very little depth and they lost their leading scorer. Not sure why anyone would have expected something huge from them this year. The ONLY guy that looks any better from last year to this year is Noah. I'm not sure why people still think Tyrus is so great. He's as inconsistent as ever. Him, Bargnani and Aldridge have to be 3 of the most frustrating people to watch because you always see glimpses of what could be, but none of them have put it together. No one thinks Taj is better than him, but you always know what to expect and you always see him out giving his best effort. At the very least with Tyrus's athleticism he should be a lock down defender and top notch rebounder. Once out of every 4 or 5 games you see that.

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The NETS need to find a

The NETS need to find a COACH too like the bulls. Bryon Scott what happen to him since being fired?

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Vinny is a joke lol

Vinny is a joke lol

gatorheels's picture
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"It's impossible to

"It's impossible to definitively predict the Bulls' salary cap situation for next summer, but one very important moving part is John Salmons' player option. Should Salmons exercise his $6.7 million option, the speculation is the Bulls wouldn't be able to offer a maximum contract to any of the big names in the most decorated free agent class in NBA history. That isn't entirely accurate. But if Salmons opts in, achieving that optimum financial flexibility becomes more difficult and might involve renouncing the rights to restricted free agent Tyrus Thomas

above paragraph is from the Chicago Tribune.  I wish Salmons would opt out.  This is a slim chance in my opinion though because he has played poorly this season.  I doubt a team would be willing to pay him more than 6.7 million.  I really don't want to see Tyrus go but if it happens I hope he goes to a contender.  Rockets send T-Mac to the Bulls for Brad Miller & John Salmons.  That would be a trade I would love to see happen. 

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