Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some Random Thoughts About A Nice Win

* After watching the Bulls break 100, I was a bit concerned I'd wake up this morning and the sun would be rising in the west, the sky would be black as night, and the U.S. Senate would be a functional institution. But no, everything still seems normal. Maybe the Bulls can keep trying this.

* It helps that the Kings are terrible defenders, particularly when decimated by injuries (although it's not like Martin and Nocioni would really help much on that end, either).

* Since I bemoaned our lack of Morris Peterson, Salmons has had two nice games. And even though Kirk shot like crap last night, he defended well, which, so long as Salmons and Deng are both hitting shots, is really all we need from him.

* I'm struggling to come up with the right nickname/metaphor for Pargo. He's not quite Halley's Comet, because his offense does show up a little more regularly than once every 76 years. Maybe Old Semi-Faithful? You can basically count on him to have an absurdly hot 3-minute offensive stretch about once every five games. Outside of that, he's totally useless; but those three-minute stretches really do help! Anyway, if you can come up with a proper metaphor for him, let me know.

* I think James Johnson has one of the weirdest games I've ever seen. He's definitely talented and skilled, but those talents and skills are almost completely at odds with the normal skillset of someone with his size (and at odds with what the Bulls really need from someone with his size). He's kinda like the inverse of a great rebounding point guard who has a nice post-up game. His handle looks pretty incredible, which, y'know, is great, but a power forward with a great handle isn't really all that necessary when you've got Derrick Rose. But I'm still intrigued by him. If utilized correctly, he could be a tremendous asset, but I think at the moment, utilizing him correctly would require making him too much the focus of the offense, which, at this point, probably isn't worth the tradeoff (on both the defensive end and in taking the ball out of Rose's hands).

* Speaking of Rose, he is obviously still injured, and all the people freaking out about any regression on his part need to recognize that. What made him so amazing last year was his explosiveness (particularly around the rim) and he is showing almost no signs of it right now. He looks...ordinary. To judge from last night, I would say he's at 80 percent, tops. Which leads to the question: Should the Bulls just sit him down until he completely heals? Not being a doctor or sports trainer, I have no idea. If there's even the slightest chance that he could permanently damage his ankle, then I would say, yes, absolutely, but that would mean flushing this season directly down the shitter, leaving an already-thin team absolutely threadbare. Though I often have my doubts, I'm going to kindly assume that the Bulls' organization isn't totally idiotic and that if Rose was in any jeopardy of causing any permanent damage by playing, they would make him sit. (They actually did this with Jordan when he got injured in his second year, and though he loathed and resented them for it, it was obviously the right call.) Which to me means that rather than gnashing our teeth about the lack of Rose's development, we should instead appreciate that he is on the floor every night, gutting it out, doing what he can. He's been a grinder, very much like this team, which is playing very good defense and is now at 6-4 (considerably better than what I thought they'd be at this point). Outside the Boston game and the 4th quarter of the Raps' game, they've been fun to watch, and I'm starting to focus less on what this team doesn't do (which is still considerable) and to appreciate more of what they do very well.

(P.S. Noah is totally awesome.)


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