Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bulls (and some NBA) Links

Kmart and I were both disappointed with the old-news, over-used "Shaq v. Kobe" Christmas day game, and we weren't the only ones ...
Reactions to NBA schedule -
5. Dear beloved NBA, can we stop the ill-advised Kobe-LeBron and Kobe-Shaq fascination?

Do the league's schedulers need to be reminded that few games in the last five years featuring these supposed rivalries have been competitive?

If you're excited about the Cavs-Lakers Christmas battle, you cannot attribute it to the quality of the basketball.

The Lakers manhandled the Cavaliers by an average of 13 points in both meetings last season, and were the only team to beat James' squad at Quicken Loans Arena when he played—the other home loss came against the Philadelphia 76ers in which the Cleveland starters rested.

Those two contests, televised on TNT and ABC, respectively, showed James' shortcomings more than his brilliance.

Top 10 PGs -
Dropping in at number seven in the countdown is the young developing superstar Derrick Rose.

Rose was the first pick of the 2008 NBA draft and he certainly lived up to the honor as he took home the Rookie of the Year award and lead his team to the playoffs despite being only his first year.

Rose finished the 08-09 season with averages of 16.8 ppg, 6.3 apg, and 3.9 rpg. He then raised his level of play in the playoffs with averages of 19.7 ppg, 6.3 apg, and 6.4 rpg showing his excellence in all parts of his game once again despite his age. In his playoff debut, he finished with 36 points, 11 assists, and 4 rebounds while shooting 63 percent from the field. The 36 points tied him with Kareem Abdul-Jabar as the most points scored by a rookie in his playoff debut.

The Chicago native's blazing speed and freakish athleticism for a 6'3 guard ensures his future is bright. With the departure of Ben Gordon, look for Mr. Rose to increase his shots per game and also take on the leadership role full time in Chicago.

I (and most analysts will agree by February) would have put D-Rose in the top 2.

Big Fil always points out that D-Rose was not the most obvious choice for Pax. I counter that it was an obvious choice if you actually watched Beasley play, because he was not the low post scorer/presence that the Bulls needed, but more of a 3 in the NBA. ANyway, here's someone else that says it wasn't the easiest choice at the time -
Hindsight is always 20/20, so I try to evaluate past moves through both the lens of how reasonable the situation looked at the time and how reasonable the decision looks after time has passed. Here's a review of all major moves in the past year that will effect the Bulls going forward.

Drafting Derrick Rose #1 overall. Many felt this was the obvious choice, but there were plenty of reasons to take Michael Beasley who would have fit in perfectly with the Bulls existing core while Rose forces the Bulls to recycle much of their roster. The decision clearly looks like an A/A as Derrick looks to have the highest ceiling of his draft class.

Offseason pressure on D-Rose -
rookie of the year Derrick Rose has had a busy offseason.

The NCAA investigated the University of Memphis for academic violations during the one year Rose played at the school. An Internet photo surfaced with him flashing a gang sign. And his backcourt mate with the Bulls, Ben Gordon
, has signed a big deal with the Detroit Pistons.

Rose says he's not worried about the situation at Memphis, and he's apologized for the photo. But he'll definitely miss Gordon, the Bulls' leading scorer over the previous four seasons who headed to rival Detroit for a five-year, $50 million-plus contract.

"Ben is a great player, one of the best scorers I ever played with, a great guy. He had to make a business move and went to Detroit," Rose said Thursday at his summer basketball camp. "I'm going to miss him a lot. He took a lot of pressure off me last year."

Pressure seems to be the theme for Rose these days.

In a letter to Memphis, the NCAA said an unknown person took the SAT for a player - with his knowledge - and that the player used it to get admitted. The governing body says the athlete played for the Tigers in the 2007-08 season and the 2008 NCAA tournament. Only one person fits that description - Rose.

Rose said he talked about with former Memphis coach John Calipari about the situation.

"I know I didn't do anything wrong," Rose said. "That was up to Memphis, what they had to do. Coach Cal told me not to worry about it. I definitely wasn't worried about it."

Rose apologized earlier for the photo that was taken at a party while he was at Memphis.

Rose denies wrongdoing in SAT "scandal" -
Derrick Rose learned a lesson this summer that all young adults must learn at some point: He's got to grow up.

[+] EnlargeDerrick Rose
Nick Friedell for ESPNChicago.comAfter wrapping up his camp on Thursday, Derrick Rose spoke to the media for the first time since being involved in two scandals.

Since the Bulls were ousted from the Eastern Conference playoffs earlier this summer, the 20-year-old point guard has found himself in two major controversies. First, he had to deal with being at the center of an academic scandal involving Simeon High School and the University of Memphis. A few weeks later, a photo surfaced of Rose allegedly flashing gang signs at a party while he was a student at Memphis. On Thursday, the NBA rookie of the year spoke publicly for the first time since the controversies, and he admitted that it's been an interesting couple of months.

"I'm not a kid anymore," Rose said, after his basketball camp at the Joy of the Game Gym wrapped up for the day. "I'm always in a spotlight. [I'm] the leader probably of this team, [I] gotta be the leader of this team, and I can't do foolish things anymore."

While Rose acknowledged making some bad choices, he denied that he did anything wrong regarding the SAT scandal.

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