Friday, February 29, 2008

Commit To The Jourgensen?

Ministry and the Blackhawks. I think my brain just melted.

Via Idolator.

6-1 Isn't A Car

The Sundsvall Dragons signed the original Andre Barret to a one-dayer (that's Euro-jargon). The recent Scottie Pippen appearance must have really packed in a crowd.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Road to the Playoffs

Just looked at the upcoming schedules through March for Philadelphia, New Jersey and Chicago. There's no reason the Bulls shouldn't be ahead of both of these teams by the end of these 17 games.

Out of the three teams, Philly plays the most teams that would currently make the playoffs (12)--and that obviously doesn't include their two games (1 home, 1 away) against the Bulls in this 17-game stretch. Nine of their 17 are on the road. They make a three-game swing out west that includes Golden State and Phoenix, and then, after an easy two-game break, have a brutal stretch where they gotta play home at Boston, @Detroit, @the Bulls, two home games against San Antonio and Denver, and then, finally, @Orlando. Personally, I think they'll be lucky to go 6-11, which would leave them at 31-43.

Like the Bulls, New Jersey plays 11 playoff teams in this stretch, and, again, that doesn't include their visit to the United Center. And after this Thursday's home game against the Bucks, the Nets have the hardest stretch of any of these teams. It starts with a home and home against the Spurs, the latter of which kicks off a 5-game road trip in which, Memphis aside, they also play Houston, New Orleans and Dallas. They follow that up with two tough home games against Utah and the Cavs, then are back on the road to face Chicago. Things get considerably easier from there, but again, 6-11 is well within the realm of possibility, which would leave them too at 31-43.

As for the Bulls, they only have 7 road games in this stretch, and while they play some tough opponents like the Cavs (twice), Boston, Pistons, Spurs, Jazz and Hornets, most of their games are against teams that are only slightly better (or slightly worse) than they are, such as Washington, Atlanta, Indiana, New Jersey and Philly. They have to win their home games against these squads, and if they can pick up a couple on the road, 10-7 is certainly feasible, which would leave them at 32-42, right in the thick of the playoff hunt.

God bless the Eastern Conference!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

BBR Blog Earns MVP Votes

Maybe this means I should stop harping on "everyone" saying/typing/screaming Kobe Bryant is the best player in the NBA.

Closing comments was definitely the right way to go.

What If There's Something To This Headband Rule?

Okay, there isn't, but Mike D'Antoni had his team take the things off so they wouldn't lose a game. Food for thought, fellas. Or not.

Look how happy Veektor was right before CSKA's head-dude, Andrey Vatoutin, tore up his contract with the Bulls!

UPDATE: Poking around the CSKA's website really paid off. I'm not going to watch highlights with soundtracks that include the "Red Hot Chilly Peppers," "Fall Out Boys," 2 different Rammstein songs, Busta Rhymes, The Beatles, and Elvis, but I like that they're all in one place somewhere.

SLAM's Beat A Dead Horse Policy Clearly More Annoying Than A No Headband Rule

Jim Boylan Explains His Master Plan

"I'm just throwing some stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks," Boylan said.
The eye-roller courtesy of K.C. Boylan's only been with the team since 2004, so give him a little more time for a good assessment of the backcourt. At least he doesn't have any truly impossible decisions to make.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sam Smith on Hoops Hype

Okay, I was going to stop posting today, but then I saw this and realized that if I posted it before Hot Shit saw it that would probably annoy him a little.

The Latest Addition to the TYI Blogroll

Because we need to do so now, more than ever.

Also (just because I'm pissed about this but don't want to write a separate post), Bill Simmons is a moron:

If you had told a Bulls fans two years ago that everything (and by "everything," I'm referring to a five-year odyssey spent stockpiling lottery picks and creating cap space) was leading toward a 2008 deadline deal that netted them Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden, they would have punched you in the face and then they would have punched you in the face again. But that's where we are.

Yeah, Bill, it's not like this trade enabled all those lottery picks to become our starting five while dumping one of the worst contracts in the league to a division rival. Why don't you stop writing inanities like this and go down on Tom Brady while Bellichek films it, ya dope.

The numbers speak for themselves

K.C. researches.
Not since Jan. 4, 1991, had the Bulls scored this many points. Not since Feb. 18, 1997 had the Bulls scored 30 or more points in all four quarters. Not all season had all five starters reached double figures. The Bulls also set a league season high with 56 field goals.
And then he makes the most obvious statement ever.
It's funny: So many critics accused Ben Wallace of playing little defense during his Bulls tenure. Apparently, he played a role in stopping Thomas and Noah.
But just when I was feeling good, we get this.
So, Larry Hughes, are you a starter?

"I plan to start," Hughes said.

So, Jim Boylan, is Hughes a starter?

"I don't know yet," the Bulls' interim coach said. "We're still working through all that."

Friday, February 22, 2008

What Is The Best Metaphor... convey the elation of being a fan whose team has just traded away its old, creaking frontcourt in order to play a young, dynamic one?

Is it:

A) Like being a heroin junkie who realizes that sobriety can lead to a fulfilling, productive existence?

B) Like being a hostage suffering from Stockholm Syndrome who tastes the ecstacy of freedom for the first time in ages?

C) Like being a battered wife whose abusive husband has been banished to prison?

D) LIke waking up in January 2009 with the realization that the President of the United States is Barack Obama, instead of George W. Bush?

or E) Something else.


Go Lick A Wheel Of Cheese, Wayne

"despite losing Ben Wallace and Joe Smith..."

Or something like that. Damn.

I've Now Read Every Reaction To The Ben Wallace Trade, And Would Like To Have My Day Back

It's not the first post-Wallace-trade-aftermath-blog-post that doesn't commend Danny Ferry for acquiring a real enforcer (of 2 game suspensions for talking down to a man... a Grown Man!), but it's the best one.

Just for funzies: I haven't linked to the Crucial Three in a long time.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Who We Got

The best thing about this trade, as sbulls9030 has pointed out, is that dumping Wallace is simply addition by subtraction. Maybe he'll be better for Cleveland, with his typical 2nd half improvement, playing alongside a true center and with someone who can get him easy dunks. None of that matters. We need to see what we have in Noah and Tyrus, and Boylan didn't seem inclined to do that until Paxson forced his hand. Thank God he did.

As for what we got in return, well, it's not great, but considering we only gave up two aging vets who combined are averaging 16 points and 14 boards, it's also not horrific. Larry Hughes is much-maligned and in a lot of ways rightfully so. He's absurdly overpaid, and any hopes that he can return to being a "20 point scorer" should be mocked as the ridiculous little pipedreams that they are. He's only done it once in his entire career, and it took him 18 shots a game to do so. (He averaged over 20 for a third of a season early in his career while at Golden State, and that was while taking 21 a game.) Needless to say, any team with Larry Hughes taking more than 12 or 13 shots a game is not going to be good.

HOWEVER, there's another interesting trend I noticed while going over his career numbers. In the one and a half seasons that Hughes averaged 20 pts., he also got to the line more than 7 times a game, and over his career, he's gotten there 4.5 times a game, which would lead all Bulls this year. So while Hughes is a pretty horrible shooting guard (he never shot over 41 percent from the floor as a Cav), he can get to the lane (and the line), and it could be interesting to see how he plays the point alongside a good shooter like Ben Gordon. Of course, Boylan will probably start him at the two alongside Hinrich, which seems to me a recipe for disaster.

Drew Gooden is putting up remarkably similar numbers to Joe Smith, but there are some important differences. He is a horrible jumpshooter, which could provide some problems in the Bulls' offense if Boylan doesn't adjust. (And again, I'm not optimistic.) However, Gooden is a better rebounder than Smith (particularly on the defensive end) and he also seems to be a better finisher inside than Joe, especially when he dunks. Whether those percentages will stay as high when he's not on the receiving end of beautiful open looks courtesy of LBJ, however, is an open question. I'm also a bit concerned that Boylan will try him out from time to time at center, as it now looks like it's either Noah or Grayboy there. That would be a mistake. If we're really in a pinch there, I'd much rather see Tyrus. And again, that's really what should be most hopeful about this deal: We should get to see a lot of Tyrus and Noah. Pax has done the best he can to make that happen. Now it's up to Boylan. Say a prayer.

Breaking Down The Ben Wallace Dump

I don't need to seek out in-depth analysis when Tony Rizzo is all over it in a chat room.

Finally Over

Thanks GOD I can finally go back to hating Big Ben again. And maybe Drew will bring back the duckbill? One can only hope.


I'm a bit more disappointed that Ron Artest probably isn't headed to the Nuggets (you try to find a ticket for Bucks v. Nuggs on Saturday, or have mine), but it's still a shame whenever my inner-genius photoshopper gets pick-pocketed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Spit on You, Jim Boylan

I spit on the minutes (or lack thereof) you gave to Luol Deng, who you sat idly on your bench, for all of the fourth quarter, and all of OT. I spit on your substitution patterns, in which I can discern not even the slightest hint of logic or forethought or strategy. One can't even call it chaos theory, in that a theory normally implies an "idea," and it is painfully obvious that you have none.

Oh, but wait: That is unfair. You have one idea. And for that, I snort deeply, gathering up all of the phlegm I can muster from the darkest reaches of my nasal cavity, and hock the biggest loogie of them all upon your crunchtime, three-guard lineup, in all its craptacular permutations.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Honor Him

Does Red Kerr deserve to be in the Basketball Hall of Fame? Is that even a relevant question?

Mike McGraw's Mute Math*

*Not an endorsement of keytar, spiritunality, or anything else. It's too early to pass over an easy alliteration, and I was the captive audience for a particularly awful concert DVD at 3am.

McGraw sez "stand pat," and I agree with the exceptions of dumping Wallace, Nocioni, Adrian Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge Joe Smith. Gordon, Deng, Hinrich, Thomas, and Noah aren't worth trading at the moment. Obvious stuff, obviously.

I am starting to lean in the direction of unloading a heavy chunk of the bad season blame on Paxson's lap. Not because he couldn't get Garnett, Gasol, or Kobe, but for setting the team up for failure before the season even started. McGraw's blame percentages sare tough to quibble with, but I would replace his misguided assessment of the less experienced players as non-contributors with preseason trade smoke.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Newest New Media Low

A pair of heart-shaped TYI mittens to whoever photographs Will Leitch outside a sperm bank. Leaving Deadspin off your blogroll isn't fooling anyone!

I'll Believe It When I See It (Tyrus Thomas Will Start)

Even then, I'm petty sure a quick foul will result in Thomas getting benched until the fourth quarter.

My daily Bulls junk mail says Tyrus will start with Joe Smith against the Heat. In the spirit of second-guessing everything, wouldn't Noah and Joe Smith be a more logical starting combo? And starting Duhon over The Wade-Stopper Hinrich is just Rossdale, man.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Distant propaganda without Buscapé.
"Sometimes, for example, I felt hungry in the middle of the night and the club sent people to buy me some western food.

"It really touched me."

It's not just a full belly that's helped Oyedeji play his best. He wants to succeed because Liaoning's coaches keep him involved.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nineteen Minutes

That's how much tick Tyrus has gotten in the past two games combined, since he single-handedly took over the 4th against Golden State. Three minutes and 43 seconds of it has been in the fourth quarter.

Jim Boylan: Please. I've tried cursing you. Now I'm just begging you. I want to stop sounding like a broken record. Help me stop sounding like a broken record! I can't do it without you. Please. Even if he utterly fails and the Bulls lose, I'll at least get to complain about something else. C'mon, man. Be a mensch.

Andrei Vatutin Channels Michael Heisley...

...and he's actually right.
"I think for Khryapa, the contract with CSKA is a step up in his career."

Monday, February 11, 2008

An Old Saw I Hope Is Untrue

You will be judged by the company you keep.

Because, really, my fellow TYIers excluded (as well as some important exceptions), Bulls fans are idiots.

For Serious?

Wowza! I take it the MSM slept through the Pro Bowl, and published everyone's dream journals.

Ben Gordon and Tyrus Thomas (or Joe Smith, whatever, there's no difference) for Al Harrington and Mickael Pietrus.
Larry Brown negotiating a head coaching deal with Bulls as we speak.
Thabo Sefolosha is the supah-star shooting guard the Bulls have been missing.
Bob Knight should move to Champaign, coach the area basketball team, and you're nuts if that sounds like a dumb idea.

It's days like these when my disdain for (the?) new media rests on the back burner, but it's possible the sports blogger rumor machine hasn't even turned over yet.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


This seems like a pretty solid deal, although that contract gets awfully hefty down the way.

God do I want Ben Wallace to exit my life.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Slide Rule Polishing Night!

Quite a few basketball related speakers at the MIT Sports Business Conference (Wyc Grousbeck, Jeff Ma, Rick Carlisle, Daryl Morey). David Pinto is there. So is THT's Sal Baxamusa, who noted an amazingly annoying/obvious/tired Rick Carlisle quote.

Via BBTF's Repoz.

UPDATE: A basketball blogger was there too. Good thing I held back a "all these basketball people in one place, and no one cares" rant last night.


Seeing as I gave Sam Smith some shit for failing to mention Tyrus in his recap on the GS game, it's only fair I recognize this column, (h/t Paxson43) which does exactly that. Much as I sometimes loathe him, Smith has never shown himself dishonest when it comes to the play on the floor, and I should have kept in mind the lateness of the game and deadline pressures before questioning his integrity. Since he doesn't read blogs, it probably doesn't matter, but for what it's worth, I'm sorry.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Dispatch from the Other Side

It's 63 degrees, green everywhere, organic eats by the dozens and I'm feeling mighty fine. Yes, I'm in a little place some might call C Du country, aka Oakland, California.

After last year's fantastic playoff upset of the hard workin', Skiles-esque Mavs and the good fortune of one of my good friends moving out here, I decided it was necessary to see Golden State on their home turf. And what better time than a miserable Chicago winter?

The Oracle Arena, which my friend swore to me would be raucous, is located right next to the Coliseum, where the A's and Raiders play. Food options are pretty United Center-esque, with the usual nachos/plastic cheese, "pizza," and some other unedible shit. Although they did have garlic fries, which I didn't get to try.

The best thing about Oracle, though, is the utter lack of corporate "synergy" those of us used to Reinsdorf venues know well. We were on the top level and the only ads I could ascertain were some non-LED, tiny KIA ads parked in a distant corner.  In addition, in-game entertainment is "refreshingly corny" (my friend's words), mostly consisting of some Warriors promo guy going into the crowd and interviewing fans over the PA. For example, they do a thing called "Meet the Season Ticket Holder" where they show the ticket holder on the scoreboard and talk about his favorite things (the friend sez B Diddy's dunk is everyone's favorite Warriors playoff moment of all time). But the best part was the music. Or lack thereof. Rather than force AC/DC or Guns N Roses down our throats at every possible opportunity, they would frequently turn off the music when the ball went in play. This meant that when Monta Ellis (!!) laid down a sick dunk, the enormous roar you hear from the crowd is well, organic. They only cue up the music after the fans give the play their seal of approval.

Thoughts on the game that haven't been said (h/t/ to Matt and BenGo and HSCS)? The Warriors' defense was pretty pathetic in person (just leaving Noc wide open for jump shots) but it was so much fun to see them go on a run. Except for Tyrus, we don't know anyone that can dunk like them. Webber looked even more gimpy, IMO, than Joe Smith, which is saying something (not saying Joe didn't have a great game, just that the man can't move one of his knees).
I don't know if TNT showed T-Time and Boylan arguing in the 4th quarter during some Warriors foul-shooting but it was great to see that happen and have Boylan leave him in the game.

Overheard lines walking out of the stadium:
"I can't believe we lost to a below-500 team." At least we're not Minnesota.
"The Bulls are such a shitty team."
And some others like that. Alright, I'm seeing GSW-Sacramento on Saturday, too but cheers on an awesome game.

How Is The Universe Still Here?

What's more unlikely: That the Bulls would beat Golden State on the road without Gordon, Deng, or Hinrich? That Chris Duhon would score 34 points? Or that Boylan would let Tyrus Thomas play an entire fourth quarter?

Can't say enough about Ty tonight: Simply dominant on both ends of the court. (That first block he had was just ill.) 11 of 12 from the line the last two nights. It's a shame it took the Bulls to get decimated by injuries to get him some serious crunchtime tick--and God knows if Nocioni was playing even mediocre, instead of like dogshit, he might not have gotten that--but you've gotta think Boylan will keep feeding him a lot of minutes from here on out.

Kind of a sneakily nice game for Noah, too, by the way. Ten boards in 15 minutes. Y'know, I like our young frontcourt. Let's play them.

UPDATE: You are shitting me. Guess whose name doesn't appear once in the Sam Smith recap. I'll grant you that Duhon and Smith played great, but c'mon...the fourth quarter was all Tyrus. Unprofessional, Sammy.

UPDATE NO. 2: See Ty's comment. (The fourth one). Sam pleads uncaring editors and time constraints, the latter of which certainly sounds plausible. I'll be even more convinced if we get one of those little features in the Trib in the next few days, talking about what a badass Ty is.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Maybe Paxson Thought Malik Allen Needed To Play More

Hopefully not the last time we see Veektor. I'm sure the emails exchanged after the buyout (lamer than jeans?) were heartfelt and sincere.

Adj. Plus-Minus

From the William S. Burroughs collection, Ah Gwildor is Here, "They are NOTHING to me! The universe is power! Real, unstoppable POWER! and I am that force! I am that power! KNEEL BEFORE YOUR MASTER! Fool! you are no longer my EQUAL! I am more than man! MORE THAN LIFE! I... am... a... GOD! Now. You... will... KNEEEEEL! KNEEEEL!"

(h/t to sbulls9030 for hitting refresh faster than me.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Wayne Larrivee Would Like To Kill People With Andres Nocioni

Link Hunting And Cherry Picking

LaMarcus Aldridge is finally a positive contributor for the Trail Blazers. Just shy of the formidable Channing Frye, and nearly even with a proven 19 and 14 guy, but better than the last time I checked in. Mr. Legit 20 and 10 is actually rebounding less, blocking less shots, turning the ball over more, and missing more shots than in his rookie season.

During a quick break from writing Chuck Goudie fan fiction, the TYII-Team™ discovered the last known whereabouts of a sorely missed basketball writer, but can't confirm that Steely Dan has fans under 50 years of age.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

That's what happens ...

when you don't make a field goal in the last five minutes. Ugh.

Sam Smith Explains It

Thank you, Sam.
Likewise, the Bulls were prepared to offer their lottery pick and young players and the expiring contract of P.J. Brown last year to Memphis. But the Grizzlies declined to deal Gasol then. When they got ready last month, the Bulls no longer had enough in expiring contracts. They could have tried to do a sign-and-trade deal with Brown, which is permitted since he last played for them, but it would have put the team well into the luxury tax and, in effect, cost $25 million to $30 million this season to have Gasol with money paid to Brown, the tax penalty and revenues not received from teams over the tax.
Take that, new media.

It's impossible to the blame the Bulls for refusing to pay that much for Gasol's services. Even with Gasol, it's highly unlikely the organization would be rewarded with a deep playoff run. The expected Deng/Gordon extension/sign and trade circus this summer means mixed expectations for 2008-09 as well.

Read The F.A.Q.

Hopefully your typing fingers will be slowed by your brain the next time you suggest the NBA institutes a soft cap, or anything else the CBA already has. Why not blog about trade demands hurting trade value? Or water being too wet?

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Dream (For Some) Is Dead

Gasol to the Lakers.

Put me in the "Meh" camp. At this point, thinking that Pau Gasol could have been the solution to this team's problems strikes me as borderline lunacy.

Humorless Beat Reporter Beats A Dead Horse

Brian Hanley must have forgotten the time Scott Skiles donned Eddie Robinson's do-rag (true story, check the Trib's archives), and everyone had a good, hearty laugh. Maybe Skiles has been gone so long Hanley is shaken that he can't even remember what the gritty coach looked like (boo-hoo).

Does no one realize I want a slice of the pie, not some goofball who doesn't like pie telling me it tastes like asshole?