Friday, March 27, 2009

Highlight of the year?

The oop from Rose to TT was ridiculous. I cannot wait to see hundreds of these plays over the next decade.

The Bulls are the 7 seed in the East -
But it wasn't enough to topple the Bulls, who now are tied for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. It was Chicago's sixth win in seven games, and yet another victory at home. Tyrus Thomas was the epitome of excitement tonight, with 15 points and 12 boards, including an amazing alley-oop dunk from Rose in the second half and three blocks.
An interesting story—one of those Thomas blocks he sent flying into the stands, which drew "oohs" and "ahhhs" from the crowd, but didn't result in a change of possession. Miami got the ball back and scored, but Thomas knew he'd made a mistake as soon as he swatted it away. You could see him mouth, "My bad, I hit it too hard" to teammate Kirk Hinrich, showing that there's actually some strategy to blocking shots, not just athleticism. Tyrus is learning this stuff—albeit slowly—which is good.

Crazy that a Vinny-coached team is even in the payoffs -
For all the talk about who started Thursday night, the Bulls showed once again why finishing is most important.

Hours after coach Vinny Del Negro raised eyebrows by starting Kirk Hinrich for the banged-up Derrick Rose, the Bulls continued to turn the United Center into their house of pain with an aggressive 106-87 victory over the Heat.

With their sixth win in seven games and the Pistons' home loss to the Lakers, the Bulls are — brace yourself — tied for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

This is more the type of analysis (read: Vinny bashing) that I want to see after a game like that -

This game only makes me more frustrated that the Bulls aren't up for the 4th or 5th seed instead of 'surging' their way to a tie for 7th after tonight's win. The Heat are really not that good. The Bulls don't have Dwayne Wade (and that certainly means something, especially in the first quarter when he was doing everything including offensive rebounding, getting 31 points before pulled for garbage time) but they have a roster that's relatively stacked next to Miami's.

They're still not a coached roster, but they have nights like tonight where it doesn't matter: Miami was on the second of a back to back, packed it in when down in the 4th (real 'toughness' by Jamaal Maggloire with the flagrant foul while down 17. Veteran presence.), and did I mention they're not that good?

And the Bulls, especially (only?) at home, can capitalize on that. With Ben Gordon having an awful game (until some blowout-sealing 3s late), and the banged-up Derrick Rose coming off the bench and doing nothing in the first half, Kirk Hinrich made some big shots in the 1st. And then John Salmons was fantastic, 27 points with a stretch in the 3rd quarter that gave the Bulls the lead for good.

New book about the potential financial disaster that is the NBA -
... but how can you not listen to the sports-friendly, NBA-lovin' super agent David Falk? He has a new book out titled The Bald Truth, and the name isn't just based on Falk's famously hairless head but also on his frankly candid assessments.

Falk was once known as the "Bird of Prey" when he was the NBA agent of the stars who negotiated multi-million-dollar mega-deals for players such as Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley. Now, the Bird of Prey has become the voice of reason.

Falk rightfully says the NBA has a faulty financial structure and could be headed for a labor battle to end all labor battles. With the economy in turmoil, too many teams are simply losing too much money.

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