Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Can't we play six at a time?

With full disclosure that I am unabashedly biased towards the leagues/conferences/divisions that my teams play in, I largely agree with Dr. Lawyer IndianChiefs' post over at Free Darko. While his case against the West isn't that convincing (Denver is far from a mess and Golden State has had the Mavs' number this whole season, for example) he lists a few compelling story lines east of Ole Muddy.

A potential Dwight Howard/Shaquille O'Neal matchup at some point.


The Raptors.

LeBron James playing the part of Carmelo in the 2003 NCAA tourney.

The Pistons actually becoming a pleasure to watch, as a result of Webber's passing.

Not to mention, "Chris Webber: REDEMPTION" as he leads the Pistons to the finals.

The Gilbert-less Wizards flailing around the court.

At least one huge scoring night from Antawn Jamison.

Jason Kidd in the playoffs.

Tyrus Thomas in the playoffs. TYRUS THOMAS IN THE PLAYOFFS.
For any Bulls fan, Tyrus in the playoffs is clearly the topper. Which brings us to Matt's post over at BlogaBull.

"Tyrus Thomas: 20min +10
Andres Nocioni: 8min -12

Ah well, can't win 'em all. But I did find it strange when the game was spiraling out of control at the end of the 3rd quarter that Tyrus wasn't put back in. Maybe he (and the other returnees) weren't fully up to speed yet."

Noce coming back so shortly before the playoffs presents an issue. It seemed that Skiles had finally settled on a moderately steady rotation, allowing Ty some tick in the clutch, which he relished on more than a few occasions. His presence also got us away from the dreaded three-guard line-up -- which proved to be horrifying -- and the current group is playing great ball (17-7 since the break if I'm not mistaken).

Deng has been too good this season to sit for very long, which means Noce and Ty will battle for time at the four. It seems easy to forget Andres' brilliant play down the stretch last season, when he provided some grit and timely scoring. Hopefully, he will start to play at full strength, giving the Bulls even more depth, especially in the front court. I guess that is a good problem to have. But sitting Tyrus right at the time he is hitting his stride is problematic. Let's hope Skiles comes up with a good plan and sticks to it.

Huge game tonight, not only to get the taste out of our mouths from the weekend, but to stay ahead of Cleveland too. Ping pong balls are on the line, let's not forget, either. Also, it was nice to see Contreras bounce back last night after the opener. Enough worries; the top three starters will be fine. It's Danks that scares me.