John Lucas III: Chicago Bulls Point Guard Makes Me Eat Crow

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIMarch 20, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 18: John Lucas II #15 of the Chicago Bulls goes up for a shot against Jordan Farmar #2 of the New Jersey Nets at the United Center on February 18, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Nets defeated the Bulls 97-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I've been critical of Chicago Bulls point guard John Lucas lll practically since he joined the team. After much thought, and listening to my readers, I will now admit I was wrong.

I'm not sure what exactly changed my mind, but after scoring 20 points in a little over 21 minutes against Orlando on Monday, I now see his value.

Shooting 8-13 against the Orlando Magic, including 4-7 from the three-point stripe, Lucas III helped propel the Bulls to a 85-59 butt-whipping of Orlando. To go along with his 24-point performance against the Miami Heat last week playing in place of the injured Derrick Rose and leading the Bulls to a shocking 106-102 win, he's now responsible for helping the Bulls win three games this year.

In January, he scored 25 points in a 78-64 victory over the Washington Wizards.

You can say he had a good week and that's it, but that would be denying how he has helped the club.

This isn't a sudden case of "Linsanity," though he might be getting more publicity outside of Chicago if he played in New York.

With Rose out and C.J. Watson hobbled, someone needed to step up and he has done that. He's not shy when it comes to shooting. You can question whether all of his shots are smart ones, but he has made enough to make an impact.

What I didn't like about his game were those moments when he took the ball across half court, dribbled out high and wasted most of the shot clock without initiating the offense. He doesn't seem to be doing that much anymore, and that's a good thing.

He still doesn't get his teammates involved as much as I would like. Last night he had only two assists, and for the season he is averaging 1.8 per game.

He looks for his shot more than he does his teammates, but if that helps the Bulls win while Rose is out, how can I argue?

He's doing what's necessary to win games, and right now, that's all that matters.

I still don't like his game. He reminds me of a rec league player who hogs the ball all the time, but that's what the Bulls need with Rose out. As long as Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has no problem with it, I shouldn't either.

I'm not changing my opinion of him as a player. I'm changing my opinion of his value.

People said I was too hard on him, because after all, he's just a third-string point guard. Somewhere around the 157th time I read the same comment from someone, I think it sank in.

He's a third-string guard. How good is he supposed to be? Right now he's good enough for the job at hand. I don't want him playing much when the real games start in the playoffs, but for now, I'm done criticizing him.

Crow doesn't taste too good. I wonder if Stacey King can provide me with a little hot sauce.