They were beaten about as soundly as a team can be beaten. They barely avoided season-lows in scoring (79) and field goal percentage (31.4). They bumbled the ball away 18 times that the Magic turned into 21 bonus points. Mind you, Rashard Lewis (Orlando's second-leading scorer) went 0-for-9 and Hedo Turkoglu (the Magic’s third-leading scorer) didn't even play. And the Bulls lost by 28. Yeah. It was that bad.
WHY IS TYRUS THOMAS SHOOTING JUMP SHOTS?! This man is driving me crazy. He's having a love affair with his jump shot, only his jump shot is like a secret girlfriend who doesn't really exist. In addition to going 4-for-13 from the field -- and his 13 shots were a team-high, by the way -- Tyrus finished with only 5 rebounds (none of which were offensive) despite playing a game-high 37 minutes.
And that brings us to Tyrus Thomas. I’ve tried to be patient with him. I’ve tried to defend him. I’ve tried to embrace the notion that he is part of The Future in Chicago. I’ve pleaded with Vinny Del Negro to give him minutes, to work with him, to focus on his development. But I’ve got to tell you: Tyrus is driving me nuts. He took 13 shots against the Magic. Two of them were attempted within his range (i.e., at the rim) while 11 of them were jumpers. Quick quiz: Is Tyrus Thomas a jump shooter? Quick answer: NOOOOOOOO! (For further reading, see Not Qualified To Comment.) Why is he so quick to chuck it up from the outside? Dwight Howard was in foul trouble for most of the first half, but instead of taking it to Howard and trying to get him off the floor, Tyrus was content to just let ‘em fly.
Ty’s coverage on pick and rolls was almost as awful as his shot selection. His lackadaisical help on the pick and roll led to three wide open layups for Rafer Alston during that killer third quarter. Tyrus honestly looked like he had no idea what to do in that situation. He didn’t crash the offensive boards either. He finished with a measely 5 rebounds in 37 minutes. It was a lifeless performance. I was honestly ready to trade him for Gortat, straight up, after the game.
I hate to dogpile on Tyrus, especially on a night in which the Bulls dropped a collective, colossal stink bomb. But that kid needs to get it together. None of these mistakes are one-game abberations. They happen over and over. But then, repeatedly making the same mistakes is a group habit this season.
Luol Deng's injured right tibia could have international ramifications.
Britain granted Deng's family asylum when it fled war-torn Sudan, and Deng has become the face of Britain's national team as it tries to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Last summer Deng helped Britain qualify for EuroBasket 2009, critical games in Poland in September. Even if Deng is able to avoid surgery for his stress fracture, he will have to manage his health this off-season.
ow as a temporary starter for the Chicago Bulls while Luol Deng heals, Salmons is taking his career high 18+ points per game average to a -caliber team—something he hasn't had the opportunity to do in quite a while."It's just fun to play meaningful games," Salmons admits. "It's great being on a team where you know you can win on any given night. That's a great feeling knowing you can go out there and compete with the best teams in the league."Salmons' new , Vinny Del Negro, speaks highly of his new swingman, saying, "He's got good versatility, and he's another scorer on the court. I like his defense because he can guard a couple different positions and can take guys off the dribble and make plays. John's been a nice player for us, and as he becomes more comfortable he'll become even more productive."That whole "getting comfortable" aspect of the midseason trade that brought Salmons and Brad Miller to Chicago from Sacramento in exchange for Andres Nocioni and a few other former Bulls has gone pretty smoothly. Salmons approves of his new digs.