Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rose & Bull

The Rose paragraph in here is pretty accurate - "At just 20 years old, I'm not sure we are really appreciating enough what this kid is doing. Playing for a terribly coached team of misfits, Rose is scoring 17 points a game and is one of the top assist guys in the East with over 6 per contest. An assist/ratio of 2.4 is good for a point, off the charts for a rookie point, and unheard of for a college sophomore starting in the NBA. He gets the spot over my top two guard snubs Nelson and Williams because he's putting up the same numbers but is the guy on that team unlike either of them."


I still say we wait til next year when his expring deal is worth something back, but Hughes wants out - "Yes, that Larry Hughes, the one who hasn't played in eight straight games, has made clear his desire for more minutes or a trade and has been called unprofessional by some. Granted, Hughes has his moments—he barely participated in a morning shootaround Jan. 14 in Toronto because of his displeasure with his role—but the veteran guard wants people to know one thing."


Amare on the Bull? - "Amare Stoudemire and Leandro Barbosa for Drew Gooden, Tyrus Thomas, Kirk Hinrich, Thabo Sefolosha and a draft pick?
Would you do it?"
Not sure why, but I would hesitate at pulling the trigger. Actually I do know why, I never want to see TT tearing it up in another uniform.

VDN

In trouble? - "When asked during the interview if the players are being coached, Reinsdorf stated a few things that may start some second guessing around first year head coach Vinny Del Negro."

Friday, January 30, 2009

D-Rose & Bull

Too humble? - "Derrick Rose is a breath of fresh air. In a world of sports in which athletes continue to stray more towards the selfish attitude of putting themselves before the team, having a kid as young as Rose act as if he's completely unaware of how good he is presents a nice change of pace."

Luol having a good month - "As the Bulls play their next-to-last game of the month, Deng will attempt to continue the pace he has set in the nine games since he returned from a sprained left ankle. In January, Deng leads the Bulls with 17.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and, perhaps most tellingly, 1.89 steals per game. He also is shooting 50 percent this month."

Pax's job is safe (probably only because 1.7% happened to work out).

Wow

It's no good when a terrible team wants to turn things around against the Bull.


Blazers looking for PG and SF. I feel the same way as Blogabull - "If it's Nocioni: good. If it's Deng: bad."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Busy weekend for D-Rose

Playing in the Rookie/Soph game and participating in the Skills Challenge.

Here's why I like the D-Rose to CP3 comparisons - "Chris Paul is developing into one of the all-time great players in NBA history. It’s not a stretch to start thinking of him in terms of players like Magic, MJ, and Bird. Yes, Paul is that good."

Happy to be a part ...

... of D-Rose making this list.




Rose & Durant headlining the Rookie/Soph game, but the jerseys look terrible.


Looks like the economy hasn't slowed the fans of the Association - "Teams recognized this year for the highest group sales were Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Indiana and Washington. Through Jan. 19, the NBA is averaging 17,244 fans per game, up 0.9 percent to date from last season."

Bull win over Clips

Did the Bull win, or the Clips lose? - "As hard as it might be to believe, the Bulls actually found an opponent struggling more than them."

Rout and laugher aren't usually used to describe a Bull win - "Taking advantage of a woebegone and injured Clippers team, the Bulls snapped their five-game skid with their largest margin of victory this season, a 95-75 laugher before a pro-Bulls and smallish crowd at Staples Center."



And something to consider from the game preview at Blogabull - "There aren't many teams who have been worse in the last month than the Clippers and the Bulls. After a win on the 20th of December, the Bulls were one game below .500 at 13-14. Since then, they are 4-13. The Clippers have 2 wins in the same time period, and the Grizzlies, Wizards and Kings are the only other teams that have been anywhere close to that bad. The Clippers of course, have played all of those games without Kaman and Randolph, most without Davis, and a few without Camby. What excuse do the Bulls have?"






Look at Durant's January numbers, and he's only 20 years old. (Note: Per game it is - 27.7; 8.7; 3.7), and Dr. Bill said vehemently disagreed when I said I would take him over Oden b/c he'd be 30ppg in his 4th year in the league.

Interesting debate: Superman or LeBron?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Can the Bull be fixed?

Sort of states the obvious: build around Rose, TT and Luol, but still a good read - "The Chicago Bulls are in trouble. There's just no way around it. A team that came together and really overachieved two and three seasons ago now looks like a league doormat despite having considerably more talent than some of the league's other bottom-feeders.

So what's the deal? And what can be done to fix up the franchise?"

Rose

Remember when Kevin Durant got all that love his rookie year when playing for a terrible team, out of his natural position? Why doesn't D-Rose get similar props for playing for a rookie (terrible, clueless) coach. Instead, he slips to 5 in these rankings.

Great summary ...

... of this embarrassment of a team (from Blogabull) - "It's gotten comically bad in this 5 game losing streak, and after not seeing Friday night's game, I couldn't say I missed watching the team play. Apparently they lost to Toronto after giving up 31 points in the 4th. At least that seems easier to swallow than the late-game execution miscues and lineup strangeness that gave them close losses in the other contests, culminating in a final play in Minnesota two days later that had the star point guard (and apparently everyone else) looking completely confused. And then further confused as to whether they even practice such things or not.

That followed off-court issues, specifically Ben Gordon and Vinny getting in a shouting match in front of the media over a fine. This is Ben Gordon, one of the few established professionals on the team(almost to a fault). Vinny then compounds that misjudgement (that was the best way to enforce and levy that fine?) by spouting completely embarrasing spin that the argument was good because 'it shows fire', and normal because he's Italian. This was said by the head coach of the Chicago Bulls."



There's no other way to hype the game tonight [I'll be watching LOST instead)] - "Still, there is a bit of added drama to what would be an otherwise ordinary January game between the struggling Chicago Bulls and the floundering Clippers tonight at Staples Center.

How about a showdown between standout rookie guards Derrick Rose of the Bulls and Eric Gordon of the Clippers?"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wow

I barely have time to sleep with the new puppy, so I have been slacking on my Association reading. But here are some rookie rankings - "#1 (1) – Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls (18-26) – 16.8ppg, 6.3apg, 3.5rpg
No team relies on their rookie more than Chicago, and no rookie has shown such potential for superstardom as Bulls stud Derrick Rose. With Kirk Hinrich back his scoring has gone down a bit, but his assist numbers have gone up since December. He's learning the intricacies of playing NBA point guard incredibly quickly, and by year's end he should still be on top of his class."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pic of the new puppy ...


WILLY!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Late post because I got my puppy today!

The BG / VDN tiff - "So eager to see some sign of life in his listless team, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said Friday morning that he actually appreciated Ben Gordon's apparent show of disrespect the day before."


Loss to Raptors = fail - "After another uncomfortable week for the franchise that included three straight losses, a stinging review of the team by general manager John Paxson and an open debate over the relationship between players and coach Vinny Del Negro, the Bulls simply needed any kind of pick-me-up."



"And nothing is what the Bulls delivered defensively Friday at the United Center in a 114-94 loss to the Toronto Raptors, who snapped a seven-game losing streak.

Not that the Bulls' offense was much better, given their 23 turnovers that the Raptors converted into 27 points.
"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Game preview on Blogabull

I posted my game preview for tonight v. the Raps.

Bull Bull Bull and LOST

We can all see the on court problems, but now there are off court issues with VDN also? - "The Bulls fined guard Ben Gordon on Thursday for missing the team deadline for a flight, and the typically stoic guard expressed his displeasure during an animated conversation with coach Vinny Del Negro.

The incident took place after Del Negro addressed reporters and had answered a direct question about whether players respect the rookie coach by saying this: "They should. They better. But you ask the players that."

Del Negro declined a request through a team spokesman to address the issue further. Reached outside the Berto Center, Gordon said the incident was no longer an issue and he had no problems with Del Negro.

Gordon did not curse his coach directly but used profanity to emphasize his frustration, believing he had been falsely accused of the transgression."


Another take - "When Ben Gordon angrily confronted the coach Thursday over a fine for being late for a team flight, swearing within earshot of the media, you know it's a sign the inmates are starting to run the asylum.When Ben Gordon angrily confronted the coach Thursday over a fine for being late for a team flight, swearing within earshot of the media, you know it's a sign the inmates are starting to run the asylum."



A good reason to focus on the game - "Del Negro is intelligent, articulate and knows the game. Let's talk basketball. The Raps and Bulls are desperate for a win and this is a big game for both teams."



Good start to the Bull mailbag - "It's my turn for a question: How in the name of James Naismith can Bucks guard Luke Ridnour more than double Derrick Rose's vote total in All-Star balloting? OK, I feel better now. Time for some answers."



I hope this is not true, I want all the D-Rose I can get - "The league has extended an invitation to this year's [skills challenge] to Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, but the rookie hasn't decided if he'll accept."











Non-sports related note: The LOST premiere was ridiculously good. I won't waste your time analyzing when there is already a great blog with pre-episode analysis / guesses, instant reactions, and thought out analysis (not posted yet).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Game preview preview

Check out my game preview on Blogabull tomorrow afternoon (it's not up yet, but should be posted sometime after lunch - I will link to it).

I started writing this, but cut it because it has nothing to do with the Bull v. Raptors (so I'll put it here instead) ...

Without getting too far into trade talks, I never thought that I would be against trading Larry Hughes for any reason. But why trade him to get nothing back? Shouldn’t we just send him home and trade him next season when his expiring contract will have some value? If the thought is freeing up money to sign BG, I have to hesitate. An NBA roster can really only handle 3 near-max deals – we have Luol and Rose (in a few years). So if we give BG a near-max deal, are we ever winning a title when 2 of our top 3 players are BG and Luol?? (NO!)

Bull

"Bulls general manager John Paxson is not happy.

Not with his team.

Not with himself.
"

Hughes trade - He's ready to go, but problem with salary?

Midseason awards

They all got the ROY right.

And D-Rose is back on top here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thoughts on the Bull

"The Bulls don’t have a go-to guy. Ben Gordon isn’t it, and Derrick Rose won’t be until he starts getting whistles. And they don’t have any end-game offensive sets that can produce anything but low-percentage jumpers under pressure."



"As currently constructed, the Bulls’ absolute ceiling is the Hawks. The teams are very similarly built. They both are solid defensive teams that could be upper-level if they give consistent effort. They both could be successful if they ran a little bit more. The main difference is that the Bulls play a good game 40% of the time, and the Hawks play well 60% of the time.
More problematic is that neither of these teams is going anywhere. The Bulls, obviously, have wasted another half season due to Del Negro’s resistance to playing Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah extended minutes. While Aaron Gray played well in his stint in the first half, keeping the Bulls in the game for stretches, he’s maxed out his potential, whereas Thomas and Noah have the chance to be key pieces to a team. Per 36 minutes, both Noah and Thomas perform well, but they are desperately in need of a coach that will push them to try hard. That sounds silly; these guys should both know that when they play hard, they play a lot, and in turn play well. However, VDN’s annoyingly merit-based rotations leave players in fear of making mistakes, lest they sit for quarters at a time."

Rough finish v. Hawks

"The Bulls have been in more stretch runs than a thoroughbred racehorse this season, blowing fourth-quarter opportunities more often than not."

"Too many mistakes and too much Mike Bibby combined to boost the Bulls' losing streak to three games after a 105-102 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night at the United Center."

Never would have guessed ...

... that I'd be opposed to a Larry Hughes trade. But the rumored trade with the Nets is terrible. If we are getting nothing back, shouldn't we just wait until next year when his expiring contract is worth something (like a draft pick). The only obvious benefit is ridding ourselves of Larry Hughes, and possibly freeing up cap space to re-sign BG, or go after Boozer (note - I don't want Boozer because we have TT at the 4).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More trade talk

Noc on the way out? - "The big talk is whether the Bulls will make a major trade. I'd doubt it, and I believe it will be difficult to deal Larry Hughes until after the season or during next season when his contract finally is expiring. I expect the Bulls would send him home once the trade deadline is past if they cannot trade him. His contract remains too much of a potential asset to release him. If there is a trade, I think it will be looking toward the future and the first one out, I'd guess, would be Andres Nocioni."

And Hinrich is not on the way out (same link as above)- "My guess is Hinrich stays for now unless the Bulls are knocked over with a package of young players and picks, which seems unlikely. Del Negro has been involving Joakim Noah in more specialized defensive situations, though Noah also needs to work on his game more. I'm not sure what coaching he is getting as the Bulls moved away from the big man coach again. But if Noah can keep from bringing the ball down so much and get in the kind of shape to hold his position and run himself into some scores, he'll be worth keeping and the Bulls need to get a better look at him and continue to play him."

Rose and possible trade

Rose at MSG - "And on Monday, barely two years removed from his high school days, Rose took the Garden stage for the first time as a professional, the cream of this season’s rookie crop. With his baggy Chicago Bulls jersey hanging out of his shorts, Rose has looked so comfortable in the league — and under the Garden lights — that he even surprised himself."

Finally trading Hughes - " ... Chicago Bulls and the New Jersey Nets are contemplating a swap where the primary names involved are Bulls guard Larry Hughes and Nets forward Bobby Simmons."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Loss to Knicks

"Strong performances by Luol Deng (20 points, 10 rebounds), Tyrus Thomas (19, 10) and Joakim Noah (season-high 18 rebounds) put the Bulls (18-24) in position to win, but they couldn’t finish the deal."

Gooden on the trading block - "Gooden's production and persistence, not to mention his expiring contract, should make him an attractive asset as the Feb. 19 trade deadline approaches. He has been traded three times in six seasons, so he isn't fazed by the possibility."



Rose is back on top in these rankings, but #4 in these.


These rankings say we still have a shot at the playoffs, but these odds say it's only 20% chance.

Boring day -

Bull play the Knicks this afternoon in a battle of mediocrity. (What could have been with D-Rose and D'Antoni ... ) And Bron v. Kobe.

All-Star jerseys are out.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bull and Random

My power was out for the 3rd quarter and cable was out for the 4th last night. Looks like I would have been disappointed.

"The Bulls' bid for a third consecutive victory -- something they haven't accomplished in 1½ seasons and nine tries -- ended with this 92-87 loss Saturday to the San Antonio Spurs (26-13)."

"The loss marked the ninth straight time since April 2007 the Bulls have failed with a chance to post a three-game winning streak, though with a gritty, if sloppy, effort."



From the Weekend Dime on ESPN -
"West scout on why Chicago's Derrick Rose should be leading the Rookie of the Year race:

"Every time I see him, he's unbelievable. He can get anywhere on the floor with the dribble when he turns on the jets. And I think [Kirk] Hinrich coming back really helps. It helps Rose save energy and learn from a very good, disciplined, basic point guard. And then when it's winning time, he's got the ball in his hands and he's making all the plays.

"Just wait until he becomes a consistent jump shooter. It's just a matter of time; his jumper doesn't look broke to me at all. And it'll make his life so much easier. Look how much he's able to get to the rim now when people are playing him to drive.

"I keep saying that I want to see Rose, Chris Paul and Deron Williams play in a one-on-one tournament. It would be awesome. [Rose has] the size, quickness, same type of handle. He's got enough skills to play with those guys and would not be embarrassed at all.""






Amare is frustrated. Maybe he wants to play with D-Rose in 2010?

Superman impersonating the Governator.

"Luol Deng said his is an understated leadership style as one of the Bulls' three captains."

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Trade rumors

I've been saying Gooden is tradeable - "While Gordon has an expiring contract and two more years remain on Hughes' contract, one other player may entice some offers: Drew Gooden.

Like Gordon, Gooden's expiring contract – not to mention his trademark toughness – makes him an attractive addition for a handful of teams around the league. It all comes down to the trade value Paxson seeks in return. "



The midway point - "The 41st game seems an opportune time for reflection, given that the Bulls have lost to the league's worst team and beat the league's best in the span of just six days."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Great night of hoops

Two great games tonight, featuring the top 4 MVP candidates -
Cavs v. Hornets
Lakers v. Magic

Personally, I rank them:
4. Kobe
3. CP3
2. Superman


(Those first 3 aren't even close ...)




1. LeBron



And some analysis of playing Kirk and Rose together - "The Bulls finish +7 with Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich on the court together. It's no coincidence that the two stretches during which they cooperate most in the halfcourt produce positive results."

More good stuff

video



" ... Thursday's Bulls national TV 102-93 win over the Cavs was the high point of this thus far somewhat disappointing season and filled with positive signs that this Bulls team isn't quite as dead in the water as it's seemed lately in losing to Minnesota and Oklahoma City.

By the numbers, the Bulls got 22 points, eight rebounds and four steals from Luol Deng, who has returned from a sprained ankle in the body of Luol Deng of 2007, cutting hard, shooting and scrapping. The Bulls got 16 points and six assists from Derrick Rose, who despite a poor shooting game never quit and broke down the Cavs defense throughout the overtime in finding Deng and Kirk Hinrich for wide open threes to win the game. And the Bulls got 12 points, five assists and three three pointers from Hinrich, who returned from his thumb surgery as some sort of cross between Doc Rivers and Richie Guerin, a tough, active and vocal hard playing guard to complement Rose."

Quick Q&A with D-Rose - "Q: Has playing in your hometown of Chicago helped with the adjustment or made it harder?

A: Helped. I can see my family and friends. I don't have to worry about being homesick, so that's good."





And just in case you forgot - before beating the Cavs, the previous high-point of the year ...
video

Bull

Honoring Johnny Redd Kerr - "Kerr earned NBA Coach of the Year honors in 1966 as the franchise's inaugural coach, and he served as business manager for two seasons and as a broadcaster for more than 30. The Chicago native will be honored by dignitaries including Neil Funk, David Stern, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen."

Let's hope the comparison's to CP3 never stop - "It's not very often that a 23-year-old player gets handed the keys to a franchise, and it's even rarer for that franchise to be considered a championship contender. That's what's happened in New Orleans, however, where Chris Paul is not only leading the team, but has them among the upper echelon of the tough Western Conference."

Quick reaction from Blogabull - "Injuries took out the rest of the Cavs, but it's still a good win. Now just need to trade Noc (played the whole 4th and OT again) for more Noah time (must've been real unprofessional between saving the game last night and tonight) and the season can be restarted. With Derrick Rose taking over 4th quarters again and everything."



Rose, Kirk and Deng (now if we could get consistent minutes for TT and JoaNoah) - "Deng's defense down the stretch was pivitol. He had two steals in the final 73 seconds of regulation, one which came with 28.1 seconds left. Deng grabbed a pass from Daniel Gibson intended for Mo Williams (26 points). After a Bulls time out, Williams fouled Derrick Rose, who made both free throws with 17.1 seconds left to tie the game at 87.

Rose rebounded from early shooting struggles -- he missed 11 of his first 14 shots -- and drove for a three-point play for the first score in overtime. The Bulls never looked back. Deng's defensive rebound on the ensuing Cavs possession started a fast break which Kirk Hinrich finished with a three-pointer. Deng then buried his two threes."




Rose, Kirk and Deng, again - "Derrick Rose's drive and conventional three-point play with 4 minutes 8 seconds left in overtime wasn't nearly as dramatic.

But it kick-started a 12-1 run followed by three-pointers from Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng and then Deng again."

Beat the Cavs? ... Beat the Cavs!

Three telling messages I received after the game last night:

"It's nice to see Luol's two annual three pointers come in overtime against the best team in the east." - Goat

"King James can eat D-Rose's nuts." - RSmith

"High water mark for the season." - Kmart

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rookie Ranks

Rose at #2 on this list. Maybe he missed the 17 point domination in the 4th last night.

"2. Derrick Rose, PG, Chicago Bulls

Rose has already become the new "face of the franchise" in Chicago, and his stellar play early in the season raised expectations probably beyond what is reasonable for his rookie year. However, Rose is the real deal who has all the qualities to be an All-Star, championship lead guard. The fact that he is demonstrating those qualities on a team as directionless as the Bulls is even more telling of his talent level. Rose has great command of the ball and can go anywhere he wants with it. He has fabulous acceleration and body control, and can be a ferocious driver into the paint. His passing ability and talent to create for others has been stifled somewhat by the Bulls purposeless offense and poor shooting by his teammates. Expect his jumper to get better with each successive season to make him even more difficult to defend. This guy was the right pick at #1."

Just in case ...

... We were getting too excited about the Bull: Paxson's worst draft picks.



And for the first time in forever, a non-Bull post: The Sock signed Bartolo Colon

Plenty of good Rose

"Best of all, obviously, was Rose making like Michael. His ball, his quarter, his game, his team."


Too soon for this question?? "After watching my boy Derrick Rose destroy the Craptors down the stretch last night, I gotta ask if you were starting a franchise today would you go with Rose or CP3?

There's no question that CP3 is more established right now and has already had a minor taste of playoff success, but he's also surrounded by better players instead of the pu pu platter that John Paxson has put together in Chicago.

Name me another point guard that has come into the NBA in the past two decades and dominated out of the gates like Rose? I mean he's breaking kids ankles who are playing five feet off of him!!"

"There is little that LeBron James still has to learn on a basketball court. Derrick Rose is following a similar learning curve."


Even Toronto thought D-Rose was wonderful: "Chicago rookie point guard Derrick Rose was primary reason for Toronto's latest missed opportunity. The 2008 first-overall pick was sensational, scoring 17 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter. He added 10 assists to just one turnover."


Blogabull liked the win, but still wasn't happy with VDN's gimmick lineups most of the game: "I decided to still side on wanting the Bulls to win. No matter how embarrassing Vinny is (and each game is an opportunity to top the last), he’s not getting fired this season.

And with a tenuous 4-point lead in the final minute and a half, Vinny did bring Thomas and Noah back into the game. And they got two stops (Toronto got a transition layup when the tiny lineup wasn't able to be subbed out between timeouts, whoops!), a big one of those being Noah blocking Chris Bosh on a potential game-tying final posession for the Raps."


And some exceptional non-Rose Bull news: "It's clear Larry Hughes is out of the rotation as the Bulls continue to shop him in advance of the Feb. 19 trade deadline."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WW-VDN-D?

Apparently tonight against the Raptors, Vinny did something right. I was very happy to see two things in the fourth quarter: the crunch time lineup (D-Rose, Captain Kirk, Luol, TT and JoaNoah), and D-Rose straight dominating (17 points in the fourth).


Here's a ranking that I don't agree with at all.

Problems with the Bull

"Two Different Speeds: ... While those are legitimate issues that need to be dealt with, another issue is the composition of the team and the skills they posses. There are two sets of players on this team: the ones who are better pushing the tempo and the ones who will never be good playing at high speeds.

The uptempo side is led by rookie point guard Derrick Rose. Watch him play one game, see how fast he gets up the floor with the ball and you'll understand. Guard Ben Gordon is a good fit with him, as is forward Tyrus Thomas.

The better-at-the-halfcourt-game side is led by most of the big men – Drew Gooden and Joakim Noah. Both players can be contributors, but in an uptempo game they tend to get left behind.

In the middle you have players that might lean one way or another, but still are a relatively good fit either way. These players include Luol Deng (leans uptempo), Kirk Hinrich (ditto), Larry Hughes (ditto), Thabo Sefolosha (ditto), Andres Nocioni (leans halfcourt), and Aaron Gray (ditto).

Anyone else see the problem here? With the Chicago Bulls it's not just an issue of whether or not they get post production from their big men, it's the fact the majority of them simply won't be able to keep up with Derrick Rose and the rest of the guards on a consistent basis. True, big men will always lag behind the little guys, but at the same time the gap can't be as wide as it is with the Bulls.

It's a given this is Rose's team, as well it should be. However, General Manager John Paxson has his work cut out for him when it comes to giving any Bulls coach, whether it by Vinny Del Negro or someone else, a team capable of playing a cohesive tempo for long periods of time. He needs to switch out the team's current big men for not only ones with a few more offensive skills, but some who can keep up with the likes of Rose, Deng and Gordon."


"Chicago Bulls lacking leaders ... "I don't think that's one of the team's strengths right now," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "Our younger guys will develop into that, Derrick [Rose] especially.""

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rose and Rankings

ROTY Watch - Rose #1

Bull still in the bottom end.

Never be another ...

MJ will always transcend the game.


I "loved" it live last night - but hate might be a better word. The first quarter looked like 2 NBA teams, then Vinny attempted to make each lineup more miserable to watch as the game progressed. We don't have the personnel to win this year, but VDN puts in these miserable, unwatchable lineups to try to squeak out 3-4 more wins this year? Why not play the young guys and see if they can develop some sort of flow with ROse? Keep TT, Luol (b/c we have to after over-paying him last summer), Noah (b/c he might be a decent 5 in a fast-paced lineup someday, and it's a better option than Gray), Captain Kirk, and Rose. Trade the rest of this scrap heap for expiring contracts, draft picks, and young talent.
I cannot believe how irritated and angry D-Rose must be to have to drive to the basket and then pass the ball to this bunch of jackals.


Blogabull also was not impressed: "However it still led to some fun Vinny-ness. The Bulls are beyond bad and approaching fun-bad at this point, no?"


"The question is whether the Bulls have hit their lowest point since that run to the second round of the playoffs in the spring of ’07?"


Everyone was back, but it didn't help: "Kirk Hinrich returned Monday against the Portland Trail Blazers for the first time since surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Luol Deng was back after an eight-game absence due to a sprained left ankle. Thabo Sefolosha was back after missing one game because of the flu."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

terrible game

Though I'm either hungover or still drunk, I am still mad about the game last night. There were 2 (almost) back-to-back plays in the third quarter that were infuriating.
First, Rose started a 2-on-1 by flipping to Hughes, who was headed up the left side. Rose went out wide right, and was open for a bounce pass/layup or an oop/dunk. Selfish Hughes took it right at the defender, using his right hand from the left side to barely graze the rim with his pathetic layup attempt.
Another fast break, almost immediately after - Gordon and Rose. This time Gordon doesn't even get out wide to the left, so there is poor spacing as he comes down the middle of the lane. Rose came in from the right wing and was open for a bounce pass/layup. Instead, Selfish Gordon faked a chance pass and ran into Russell Westbrook to draw the charge.



postgame recap ...
"It's a miracle the Chicago Bulls didn't lose this game by more than they did. If this wasn't literally the NBA's team worst team, Vinny Del Negro's team gets trounced by 30. The glaring number tonight was that Oklahoma City out-rebounded the Bulls 54 to 36 (and the differential was even worse than that in the first half), including an overwhelming onslaught of offensive boards by the Thunder. There's a while there when I wasn't sure the Bulls could box out anymore, and that something Del Negro really focused on in his post-game news conference."


"The Bulls finally showed life on the boards and on defense in the fourth and rallied for a 90-85 lead with just under six minutes remaining. But the Bulls managed just four points the rest of regulation, sending the game into overtime. The Bulls never led in the extra session.
Oklahoma City put the game away with seven straight points to snap a tie at 96. The Bulls were outscored 15-4 in overtime."




Captain Kirk might play Thursday.
Maybe then Pax will pull the trigger on trading Hughes (or Noc, Thabo, etc.) for a bag of basketballs.
Plus, isn't Gooden tradeable for some useful (young and talented) assets? He is a legit backup at the 4/5 for a contender, plus a $7M expiring contract. We let PJ Brown go without getting anything back for his expiring deal, we will lose Gordon for nothing, so we should get something for Gooden. And this season is already a lost cause, so it doesn't matter if we lose the "most consistent 'post-player.'" Use the minutes to develop TT with Rose, or see if Joah Noah will ever be legit. (Personally, I think Noah and TT would be a great 4/5 combo for a fast-paced offensive team, plus they can anchor the at-the-rim defense).



award watch (MVP)
There shouldn't even be talk about other candidates right now, Bron Bron is a lock for MVP.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

captain kirk back ...

Kirk Hinrich is shooting the basketball, and looking pretty good doing it. Tape wrapped around his surgically repaired thumb, The Captain took several shots before tonight's game against the Thunder in what was the first "public" showing of Kirk's jumper since the injury (at least that I've seen).

normally ...

don't read sam smith - but this is good stuff about the upcoming trade deadline ...
The Bulls seem better positioned now that it appears they do have a future star in No. 1 overall draft pick Derrick Rose. But having someone like Rose, do you build with him now with some well placed trades and not risk waiting until 2010 and maybe being shut out? Or give up one season with the chance to get a true star like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire, and suddenly be a serious championship contender with enough decent pieces that will have been cultivated by then? Of course, you could do all the right things and it still may not work. It's why the sports business is easier to second guess than manage.

...

And so we get back to the Bulls.

They are in position for three options:

1. Identify a core now, perhaps Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Thabo Sefolosha and Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah, or some combination, and trade Kirk Hinrich, Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden and maybe their No. 1 draft pick for players. One team you could see entering in a deal with the Bulls would be Charlotte, and maybe you go for the defensive big man in Emeka Okafor and give them the kind of hard playing types Larry Brown would prefer like Hinrich, Nocioni, Sefolosha and maybe Noah. You might take back someone Charlotte doesn't desire like Adam Morrison. Those numbers don't work yet, but you could find something. Though that's just one potential example.

2. Let go Drew Gooden and Ben Gordon after the season, trade Nocioni and Hinrich for expiring deals and make a free agency run this summer for someone among those who could be free agents, including Carlos Boozer, Lamar Odom, Al Harrington, Mehmet Okur, Anderson Varejao, Shawn Marion, Allen Iverson, David Lee, Ron Artest, Rasheed Wallace, Jason Kidd, Michael Redd and Chris Wilcox.

3. Cash it all in while marking time next season and try for the big strike in 2010 with money to go after at least two top players to go along with Rose among LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Dirk Nowitzki, Ginobili, McGrady, Steve Nash, Marcus Camby and Ray Allen all potential free agents. Or one to combine with perhaps someone picked up this coming summer, like the Magic hoped would work in a second run at Duncan.






rose won rookie of the month again ...

Rose ranked second among rookies in scoring for the month of December (16.3 ppg), first in assists (6.2 apg) and second in minutes (37.3 mpg). The first-year guard led the Bulls in assists in 12 of their 15 games for the month and tallied double-figure scoring efforts in all but one contest. Rose became just the fifth rookie in Bulls history (joining Kirk Hinrich, Michael Jordan, Reggie Theus and Jay Williams) to record a 20-point, 13-assist game when he accomplished the feat on Dec. 29 at New Jersey.

rose, non-bull, bull


great pic was on the chicago tribune website today.



thought this was an interesting idea when bill simmons brought it up the other day. did steve nash really deserve two MVPs??



bull managed not to blow it last night ...

They wouldn't be these Bulls if they didn't make things more difficult than necessary.


Thomas then went out and proved his mouth isn't the only thing that's big about him. In another active performance, the 6-9 Thomas delivered 16 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Don't look now, but Thomas is averaging 11.7 points, seven rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.8 blocks in his last nine games. Dare it be said that the third-year forward finally is flashing some consistency as an NBA starter?


bull game tonight could be three in a row ...

The Chicago Bulls have spent the last few days beating up on the league's bottom-feeders. They get another chance to do more of the same on Saturday before kicking off a much tougher four-game stretch.

Friday, January 9, 2009

interesting

after an article said the bull should get rid of noah because he is not productive, numbers show noah is the most productive player on the bull ...

Unfortunately for the Bulls (of the players who have played 500 minutes this year) only Aaron Gray is more productive than even an average player. And Gray plays the same position as Noah (and he’s not offering as much as Noah). At every other position, the players getting minutes are below average. In other words, every other player getting significant minutes is “not good” (at least, not so far this season).

To be fair, Ben Gordon, Derrick Rose, Drew Gooden, and Larry Hughes are not far below average (in fact, if you wanted to think of these players as essentially average, you would be fine). Still, none of these players have actually been “good” this year. And Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, and Andres Nocioni have clearly been below average. It’s the play of these players - players who are getting more minutes than Noah - that are primarily responsible for Chicago being a below average team in 2008-09.







the bull haven't traded for brad miller yet b/c they want spencer hawes? why didn't they just draft him?

Trading Miller for Hughes would be an immediate improvement, and would fill that need the Bulls have had for so long -- a halfway decent frontcourt scorer. Coupled with Joakim Noah, Drew Gooden, and Tryus Thomas, Miller could be a great way to for the Bulls to use their leverage and make something happen.

If they're trading with "franchise direction" in mind, though, Hawes is the real gem. At only 20 years old, he would be a franchise building block to set alongside rookie point guard Derrick Rose, the sort of player the Bulls could both rebuild around without having to wait too long to win. (Hawes also has a totally killer Myspace, too, bro.) A quick look at Hawes' per-36 numbers at Basketball Reference reveals a player ready to contribute now, at least in rebounding, with a developing offensive game in tow.

great news

Hughes Given Permission To Shop: The Chicago Bulls have given Larry Hughes and his representation permission to shop the league for a trade.

Larry Hughes has been traded twice during his 11-year career, and that number will grow this season if the Bulls and Hughes get their way.


semi-entertaining, but mostly worthless bull chat ...

There are good moves and bad moves by all GMs. Paxson has made both. What I would like to see is a more definitive plan as to how to get Rose help, but I think that could be coming between now and the Feb. 19 trade deadline. My own take is give Paxson a season or two to build around Rose and try to recover from his 2006 missteps.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

rose +

nba chat ... with this highlight:

q: OJ Mayo or Derrick Rose? Who would you want on your team?

a:Mayo is a great player; solid defender; good passer; good hoops IQ. But I'd take Rose. Rose's upside is scary. Mayo came into this season far more NBA-ready than Rose, but Derrick is still holding his won. Rose's unlimited upside is downright scary.

and discussion of d-wade to play with d-rose ...
q: Seems like your fellow columnist Pree believes D-Wade will join the Chicago Bulls in 2010. Do you think this could happen? Rose and Wade is flat out scary.

a: It wouldn't say it is likely, but it is a definite possibility. The Bulls will have some cap-room and money to play with in 2010. There are currently 5 Bulls contracts which extend into the 2011 season: Hinrich, Deng, Nocioni (27 million committed to those three), as well as Rose and Noah's rookie's deal. If they extended Ty Thomas, that would also eat into the cap. Obviously Chicago would prefer to move Hinrich at some point between now and then to clear cap-room.
The appeal to Wade would be coming home. As a Chicago kid, it's not unreasonable to assume that playing in Chi-City (alongside Rose) would certainly be appealing. But Wade also seems happy in Miami and will have every team in the league laying out the red carpet.




bull not waiving ruffin or hunter. it's not worth it b/c ruffin would still be owed some coin and hunter has been great for d-rose

plus, hunter enjoys being a mentor ...
Now Hunter is returning that favor, giving back to the game, in Derrick Rose's ear as much as coach Vinny Del Negro—offering pointers, cajoling, supporting.




and i love anything scathing about vdn or the bull organization ...

The Bulls lose six of seven, including one big pukefest to the Timberwolves, and these guys don't have energy?

Man, you'd think they'd have a bunch of energy with all the pregame eating in the locker room going on.

That, too, is such a joke, as is the so-called coach. Players obviously have no respect for Vinny Del Noexperience, Vinny Del Boylan, Vinny Del Doormat -- whatever you want to call him. If they has a Twinkie's worth of respect for the guy, they wouldn't break rules so blatantly.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

more rookie rankings

and d-rose is #1

battle of trade partners?

brad the bull?

The Bulls have other options - most notably trying to see if the Clippers will make Chris Kaman available - but this deal with the Kings is starting to make more sense as the season wears on. Both franchises will be committed to these large salaries anyway and swapping these players may actually help.

tuesday's worst

check out noc on the right

still managed a W -
''It was an ugly win, but we got it done,'' said Drew Gooden, who returned to the lineup after eight games due to a sprained right ankle and had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Calling the recent stretch of six losses in seven games and three consecutive dreadful performances "a little slippage" is like saying Gooden's beard is normal. Even in victory, the Bulls weren't exactly doing cartwheels over their performance.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

rookie wall?

In the last three games, standout Chicago Bulls rookie Derrick Rose is averaging just over two assists per game and shooting only 39.5% from the field. Take away a hot second half Saturday night against the Timberwolves, and he's only scored 14 total points in the two games preceding the embarrassing home loss.

gooden might play v. the kings tonight, so that could take some offensive pressure off the backcourt


home and road, the bull are the most watched team in the association

rookie ranks @ hoopsworld

d-rose still #1

Monday, January 5, 2009

random bull

scathing review of the organization (highlights below) ...

I’m thoroughly convinced that John Paxson and owner Jerry Reinsdorf are incapable of wiping their asses after taking huge shits after shits on this franchise.

...

D-Lightning doesn’t deserve any of this. What did he do so badly in life to be put on this crappy organization? There are so many better things to do than watching the Bulls play to lose. Go play in traffic, piss on snow, throw darts, go clubbing, smoke weed, whoop that trick, lift weights, or simply watch the games from home. How stupid can they be? I mean, really.

...

Pax recreated what he inherited. He basically recreated the 2003 Bulls except they have Derrick Rose. Any other GM would have been fired. It’s time to step down Pax because you compounded the mistakes by recreating this crap.

...

Just as bad as last season except Rose is entertaining to watch. Just like Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich selling Obama’s senate seat, Jerry Reinsdork sold the coach’s seat to the cheapest bidder, rookie Vinnie Del Negro.










Opposing defenses have focused all season on containing the Bulls' potent backcourt of Derrick Rose and Ben Gordon. The duo accounts for nearly 40 points per game, and each is shooting better than 45 percent.


The Bulls are floundering, as anyone unfortunate enough to witness Saturday night’s 102-92 loss to the hapless Timberwolves can attest. With the exception of the continued development of rookie phenom Derrick Rose, the Bulls remain the same nameless, faceless bunch that they were last season.



interesting thoughts from truehoop

hate the celtics

doesn't this ... make this seem even more ridiculous

great summary ...

... from blogabull

Because honestly: Rose is tremendous, Gordon's playing some of the best ball of his career, Tyrus has had a very solid December (even when not getting his minutes jerked around for 'matchups'), Noah's actually doing better this season than last (when he was that crappy team's MVP)...get Deng back (and involved), make a trade for any vet big man who can clog the lane and hit a jumper (hell, I'd settle for either of those things), and trade away (or at the least, de-emphasize) the nonessential and mostly harmful contributions of Hughes, Nocioni, etc...and this team is pretty good.