Coaches have their reasons why certain players do not play during the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Maybe they weren’t playing well leading up to the playoffs. Or, perhaps it’s that they never play.
In the case of former BYU star Jimmer Fredette, it seems to be the latter -- because there doesn’t seem to be any other reason he isn’t playing for the Chicago Bulls. Just as Jimmer has hardly played for the Bulls in the regular season, the same rings true in the postseason.
On Tuesday, April 22 Jimmer was once again a DNP-CD (Do Not Play - Coach’s Decision) on the scorecard against the Washington Wizards. The Bulls lost their second game in a row and now face a 2-0 deficit as they'll head to Washington to continue this best-of-seven first-round series.
Chicago fans are now calling for coach Tom Thibodeau’s scalp -- as evidenced in this passionate fan blog on Wednesday, April 23. They would also like him to play Jimmer a lot more -- since the former BYU star can do one thing well, and that’s shoot the basketball.
It doesn’t make sense why Jimmer hasn’t played against Washington. Thibodeau seems to be obsessed with playing a seven-man rotation -- a system he has used throughout the regular-season and now into the playoffs.
"That's what we have done all season; that's what we have to do now,” Thibodeau said after the Bulls’ Game 2 101-99 loss to Washington.
Is the head ball coach oblivious to the fans cries for Jimmer -- or rather, for anyone on the Bulls squad who can shoot the basketball reasonably well? The Bulls shot a horrendous 29 percent from three-point land in Game 2 on Tuesday.
The only treys came from guard D.J Augustin -- who gobbled up 40 minutes of playing time -- as he had four makes, while forward Mike Dunleavy chipped in one. Otherwise, Chicago got nada. (Augustin also led the Bulls in scoring in Game 2.)
As for Game One, the Bulls shot 25 percent from behind the arc in a 102-93 loss to Washington -- worse than Game 2. But the one thing that Jimmer fans -- and Bulls fans -- can’t seem to get their heads around, is why he isn't playing more.
Jimmer was brought into Chicago from Sacramento specifically to fulfill one need, shoot the basketball -- particularly from behind the three-point line. If the coach's only argument rests on Jimmer shooting just 20 percent from three in five shot attempts during the only true action he has had -- a 31-minute, 17-point outing against Orlando -- then Thibodeau's argument is pretty weak.
This may have more to do with Thibodeau’s reluctance to play Jimmer, period. Of course at this point, Thibodeau doesn’t really look like he has a choice in the matter -- because the Bulls are now facing two do-or-die games they must win in the nation’s capital later this week.