SPORTS

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March 1, 2002

Ben O'Glasser is wrong!

First, I'd like to start off by reviewing the trade made between the Pacers and the Bulls and its impact. If anybody thinks that the first three-game winning streak pulled off by the Bulls since February 2000 means that the trade was good, I'd recommend you look at the scores. Let's think of whom the Bulls played in these three games. First, the New York Knicks. I haven't seen a bunch of sissies put into one team ever since my middle school basketball team. After watching the Lakers-Knicks game last Sunday and the level of enthusiasm shown at Madison Square Garden, anybody can tell there is no future for the New York Knicks and their overpaid, unproductive asses (highest salary cap over the crumbling Portland Trailblazers and about $25 million over Philadelphia who has the third highest). Second, the Phoenix Suns. After their trade with the New Jersey Nets (you can easily see who got the better deal), Marbury has lowered the morale of the team thanks to his selfishness that he can't back up. Third, the Warriors. Well, they're too young and inexperienced; they're also in a process of rebuilding. As a consequence of this trade, the Bulls have gained offense (app. +10 ppg after trade) but sacrificed defense (app. + 10 ppg after trade) which still leaves the same differential. Relying only on offense will put the team in bigger jeopardy especially if the offense really isn't that strong. Rose himself is not strong enough on offense to decrease the differential between points given up and points made, and this differential needs to be in the positive in order for the Bulls to make it to the playoffs. The Pacers on the other hand had a reverse effect, losing offense by a little bit but having Reggie Miller step up along with Brad Miller contributing as well to compensate for Rose's loss and with more defense thanks to Ron Artest. They kept the explosive L.A. Clippers to only 88 points and won the other night while earlier in the season they were massacred brutally. Also, Artest was able to contain Kobe, while Latrell Sprewell of the Knicks, known for his abilities to shut Vince Carter completely down, didn't have a prayer against Kobe the other night. The difference is that Artest's absence cannot be compensated, and the Bulls have to live with a burden of a very lax defense; the Pacers on the other hand can compensate for Rose's loss with Reggie Miller, who was overshadowed by Rose, Brad Miller, Jermaine O'Neal (two good rebounders), and with the addition of Ron Artest on defense. In this perspective, the Pacers have a much more solid and complete team after the trade compared to the Bulls and have thus benefited the more. Though one can make the argument that the Dallas Mavericks employ a similar strategy, their defense is their explosive offense, and they have players to back it up. Also, by the employment of Raef LaFrentz, they have a shot blocker; the Bulls, however, do not have an explosive offense, which forces them to play defense in order to have any chance of winning games, and this is where Artest could have helped. The Lakers are a top-notch team, because they have good defense, led by the very talented Kobe Bryant. In order to survive against good teams (mainly western teams), the teams need defense to hold back the explosive energy of other western teams, because it's hard to win an offensive game, especially against the Mavericks who are filled with explosive energy.

I agree wholeheartedly that Ron Mercer had to go, since the guy could not shoot worth shit, and Rose would fill that role much better. However, I really question whether obtaining Rose and throwing Artest away solved the Bulls' problem in the big scheme of things; I believe there was a better solution to this trade.

While Rose is capable of winning games as Mr. O'Glasser cites an example of how he led a barrage to come back against the pathetic New York Knicks, Rose is just as easily capable of losing games as well. Remember the Wizards/Pacers game a month back? Rose was ejected for taunting, right when he was on fire, hitting shots left and right. Steve "Snapper" Jones is right — you're not supposed to taunt when your team is down 19 points at the end of the third quarter; the ejection blew away any chance for the Pacers to come back into the game. These emotional instabilities are costly, as we have seen in cases of Bonzi Wells and Rasheed Wallace in the downfall of the Portland Trailblazers. This might be one really crazy proposal, but if the Bulls traded Mercer for Hedo Turkoglu of the Kings, the Bulls wouldn't have had to sacrifice as much. The only problem is that Turkoglu doesn't have much experience, but Rose is about as immature with his sad performance against the Wizards as cited above. My point is that the Bulls can use any other player as a go-to guy since everybody else sucks on offense. The Bulls really didn't need to "wish upon a fallen star" to help sustain their team if they wanted to think about the future and develop players. They made that mistake with grumpy old Charles Oakley. The four former starters didn't need to be sacrificed just to get Jalen Rose. Let's face it, the Bulls won't get to the playoffs within the next twelve years, especially under Krause's judgement, because who knows what the hell he'll do? He might even give up Jalen Rose just like he gave up Elton Brand, and if this were to happen, the big trade was a big waste. Realistically, in order to make it to the playoffs, the Bulls have to do better than the 76ers, and in order to do so, the Bulls need to develop their defense, because they cannot win an offensive war. I really have not seen any progress of rebuilding over the last few seasons; instead, all I saw was a lot of shuffling around and confusion. So, Mr. O'Glasser, I think you should stop idolizing Jalen Rose and start analyzing the effects of this trade more carefully. I really recommend you watch some western conference teams to understand the makings of a good team, because if you watch too many eastern conference teams, you won't know what the word "team" means (except New Jersey). And Mr. Yeah, I recommend you write an apology letter to Mr. Krause ... for not bitching him out as much as he deserves.