Friday, February 20, 2009

Loads of links

Linking again to my game preview on Blogabull.


BG interview
Is Derrick Rose the best rookie in the NBA?

BG: I think so.

What makes Rose so special?

BG: His poise and being able to come into the NBA and shoulder so much responsibility already have been impressive. He seems like he gets better with each game.


This might be overrating Salmons a bit, no? -

I guess among the bottom feeders Chicago did the best job in picking up John Salmons, Tim Thomas and Brad Miller. Miller will give them a threat to score as well as provide veteran toughness and smarts. Salmons provides the Bulls a player that has size in the backcourt and a unique ability to find lanes to the basket, which with Derrick Rose gives them the best twosome in the league at getting to the basket – other than Ginobili and Parker in San Antonio.


Similar reaction to everyone else

For starters, the Bulls are a better team now than they were two days ago. They've addressed two of the major problems they had to start the season -- a lack of big men and a logjam of imperfect players the wings. Miller, who was with the Bulls for a year-and-a-half, is a useful 7-footer who can score on the pick-and-pop with Derrick Rose and pass the ball well out of the high post. Such assets are rare, even at 32 years old.

And the Bulls have brought in Salmons, a very nice addition who carries one of the most cap-friendly contracts in the league at just $11 million over the next two seasons. There were at least six other teams (Cleveland, Denver, San Antonio, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Portland) hot after the 6-6 Salmons, averaging an impressive 18.3 points per game this year. As general manager John Paxson pointed out, the Bulls managed to acquire those two without giving up a starter, though Paxson did lament giving up the well-liked Nocioni.

"The two players we got in return, I think fit us really well," Paxson said. "We needed a big guy that fits everything we try to do offensively. And, Brad, we're comfortable with him. He has been here before. More than that, he is a skilled player, he is a very good passer and we run a lot of things at the elbow where the big man has to handle and pass and dribble hand-off. He is a veteran who has the experience and know-how of being in the NBA game. So, as we're looking at this year and next year, Brad, in my mind, will help our young bigs.


Negative reaction to the trade -

How do you feel about waking up to Brad Miller? Instead of a star, the Bulls got a guy who's about to turn 33, has started his decline, is slow and doesn't play defense. But he's tall and he can shoot well.

All that talk, and the Bulls get a journeyman-plus. Figures. General manager John Paxson never has been able to land a star without the luck of winning a lottery.

But that might not be fair to Paxson this time. It was unrealistic to expect he could trade off a bunch of scrap for Stoudemire. Only in this strange world of NBA trades and signings was that ever a possibility.


Two fun playoff predictors (both via truehoop)

- Hollinger at ESPN

- Kubatko at basketball-reference


More trade analysis from bythehorns -
Are the Bulls a better team today? Yes.

Look, Rome wasn't built in a day. In fact, that McDonald's down the street? It wasn't built in a day, either. This wasn't a dramatic 'Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to the Celtics' uber-makeover. (And how often do those even happen – let alone work out - anyway?) No, we didn't bring in a superstar. Or even a regular star, for that matter. What John Paxson did was address a few of the team's glaring needs while clearing future cap space for a strong run at a bona fide superduperstar in the [insert dramatic music here] Summer of 2010. That's win-win, right?

We needed more size up front, some interior defense and a center who can score. We got all that. Miller is hardly a defensive wiz, but he's at least got the bulk and veteran wiles to body up to opposing big men. He's not much of a post player, but he can shoot and pass as well as or better than most centers. And he seems genuinely psyched up about returning for a second stint with the Bulls...Miller's not a long-term answer. But he's a decent stop-gap. Especially if he's motivated, and it seems like he is.


Pax is staying, which is what Kmart suggested yesterday.


Supposedly, KD's-future-former-team got the better of the Bull in the Thabo trade. All these people have obviously not watched Thabo for the last couple seasons.


Missed trade opportunities -
Amar'e Stoudemire to Chicago – Once Terry Porter was fired in Phoenix it became clear that Stoudemire wasn't going to be traded, but before that point there were strong indications over All-Star weekend that STAT was Windy City-bound in exchange for Tyrus Thomas, Drew Gooden, Thabo Sefolosha, and a draft pick. Would've been a coup for Chicago, but the Suns are probably better off having stood pat.

Kirk Hinrich to Minnesota – Had Bulls GM John Paxson sent the Captain' packin' to the Twin Cities, he wouldn't have gotten much in return. Chicago was looking at Jason Collins with Rashad McCants or Brian Cardinal for Hinrich, not because those guys make the Bulls better, but because those guys' salaries don't commit the Bulls long-term the way Hinrich's multi-year, multi-million dollar deal does. That would've completed Chicago's reformatting, sending away all the bad long-term contracts not in Chicago's future (Hinrich, Nocioni) and all the veteran players who would take away minutes from the young guys (Hughes, Gooden). Oh well. Three out of four ain't bad, and Hinrich is probably the most helpful and talented of the quartet.


T-Woo is back. With a new swing.

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