I hope all you mockers are happy. I hope all you backpack-wearing lovers are happy as well. Thanks to the mad genius of inside guy Adam Caldarelli (a fellow Evanston Township grad), you guys have backpacker wallpaper.

What's funny---for those coming late to the party---is that I never have worn a backpack in my entire life except for the three weeks I was in China for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In fact, that very ample backpack sits in our bedroom, collecting dust, while my wife mocks me for traveling to road games with a computer bag and plastic Jewel bag for my change of clothes and toiletries.

That's probably too much information for you. But here's some more:

I know it's still very early in the season and Bulls aren't 100 percent but outside of some decent defensive rotation against San Antonio, the defense doesn't seem much better than it did last year. What happened to that offseason dedication to defense? By the way, backpackers are respected in the hip-hop community. You're like the Kanye West of beat writers. Marlon, Chicago

Thanks, but I think I'm more like the John Denver of beat writers--a little granola and way geeky.

All teams make an offseason dedication to defense. It's typically forgotten by about the sixth game. The Bulls will stay with theirs because it's the only way they're going to get better. The offense certainly isn't cutting it thus far.

I do think Rose, once completely healthy, will make a jump this season. Noah has looked better. And Brad Miller is still a wily veteran. Through four games, the Bulls are allowing 94.8 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting. The second number is too high, but the first isn't awful. They rank 11th as of this writing. Let's see it play out a bit more.

So I was reading today about DWade saying that he's not a fan of the tight rims at the UC and it got me to wondering about why rims appear to vary from stadium to stadium. I mean, it's not like they are manufactured by hand in some picturesque back alley in Sicily by artisans and so each one has its own unique characteristics and flaws, is it? They must be mass produced somewhere using the same metals, the same processes, etc. So why would the rims at the UC differ from the rims in Miami or LA or Boston? And if they suck so much that it keeps DWade away, I have a suggestion for the Bulls: Change them now. Oh. And beef goulash. Bill, Chicago

That beef goulash promise is going to haunt me. Wait, let me change that verb tense. That beef goulash promise has haunted me.

Indeed, the rims aren't made in some back alley in Sicily but I can tell you that players talk all the time about how rims are more forgiving in some arenas than others. Surely you know that complaining about the UC rims goes back to Jordan. Even Jay--or is it Jason again now?--Williams piped in on the issue.

The United Center rims are known as tight rims. Maybe Benny the Bulls can break out a stepladder and address that. But if you think rims are going to make or break DWade coming here, your brain is made of beef goulash.

You've written a lot about your illustrious basketball career. Can you shoot 3-pointers? Might you be an improvement to the Bulls' 3-point shooters? If not you, who? Are the 3-point woes really from Derrick Rose's recovery and lack of time for the shooters? Pargo just seems so rushed when he jacks them up so far. -- Lyn Fox, Naples, Fla.

Hard to call a career illustrious when it ended like this. True story: My last play of my college basketball career came during the 1989 NCAA Division III Tournament when I got dunked on, fouled out and the dude made the free throw for a game-turning three-point play. But, yes, I can shoot the three. That's about all I can do.

(Ed. note: Enjoy the following video chronicling K.C.'s comeback attempt.) Obviously, Pargo caught fire a bit in the Bucks' victory. But, yes, he had looked off until then. And I think lack of 3-point shooting will be an issue for this team even when DRose gets completely healthy.

We found ways to get rid of Corey Benjamin, Eddie Robinson, Jamal Crawford and other me-first players with great "potential." We surely can show Tyrus Thomas the door as well. Waiting on potential to develop cripples teams. There is a big difference between having potential and being held back by learning curves, and then having potential but not having consistent effort/concentration. Tyrus has always been the latter and the latter is inexcusable. This is in no way a guy I'd want to invest a large amount of money in. Three-plus years is more than enough time.

Because Tyrus was MIA in MIA (often the case, regardless of the venue), we were playing Rose, Hinrich, Noah, Deng and Salmons for long stretches in the fourth. Deng at the 4? PLEASE. They had Haslem, O'Neal and Beasley out there and were entirely controlling the paint.

Tyrus The Impostor. Cedric Benson him out of town now, for I don't care what player he becomes. Let it be elsewhere.
Danka Shane

I'm still not sure which is more impressive--the use of Cedric Benson as a verb or the opening line with Corey Benjamin and Eddie Robinson in the same sentence. Sometimes, sadistically, I miss covering those teams.

Plenty to chew on here, but let's start with that fourth-quarter lineup in Miami. My only issue with it was that the Bulls never tried anything differently. I understand wanting to have Kirk on DWade down the stretch. But you're right: Miami still drove and got kick-outs at will and why not throw Tyrus out there against Haslem for a stretch to see if that slows him down?