Thursday, April 30, 2009


Brad Miller (or, as I've taken to shouting his name upon his hitting of an open three, Brad Mill-AH!)...WOW!!

Joakim Noah...WOW!!! (AND FUCK YEAH!!!)

John Salmons...WOW!

Looking at the box score, it's hard to figure out how they won. The Bulls were out-rebounded (by seven on the offensive end), had four more turnovers, and were outscored by three at the charity stripe. I did the math, and efficiency-wise, the Celts actually outscored them per 100 possessions, 111.4 to 109.4. But ultimately, Boston had Ray Allen, Glen Davis...and that was it. Remove Ray from the equation, and they shot 2 for 13 from 3 pt. land. Meanwhile, Salmons and Miller combined to go 7/11 from long-distance. (Just imagine if this team still had Nocioni and Gooden...shudder!)

I know it won't happen, but if someone could explain to me why Rondo shouldn't be suspended for Game 7 for his cheap-shot (and then sucker-punch) against Kirk, I'd appreciate it. I'm still trying to figure out how he stayed in this game. I'd say there was no justice on this earth, except tonight, there was. Now come on, Karma Police...arrest that man.

UPDATE: By the way, if the Bulls are up by three points in Game 7 with less than 24 seconds left and VDN chooses not to foul, I am going to figure out a way to murder him. If that's not justifiable homicide, then nothing is.

Vinny out for game 6 with Swine Flu?

One could only hope.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brad Miller...

...we still love ya, big fella.

Now let's go take these motherfuckers out in seven.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Game 4: Bulls Overcome Celtics, Del Negro

Don't have too much to say about the game, other than that Vinny better be kissing Ben Gordon's ass the rest of the week. That big-balled shot probably made it possible for most of the media to overlook his a) playing John Salmons at the 4 during crunchtime and b) at the end of regulation, failing to put Ray Allen in the "fifth row with the popcorn man." (And the same goes with Rondo at the end of double OT; that he wasn't fouled before passing the ball to Pierce is unbelievably egregious.)

Aside from that, Hinrich, Miller and Noah all had nice games, and, turnovers aside, it was absolutely a brilliant game by Derrick, who not only fucked around and nearly got a triple double, but also answered my prayers on the glass. Indeed, overall, it was a much tidier job by the Bulls on the glass; if they can limit Boston's O rebounds even somewhat, they're going to knock this tired, whiny, old-ass team out of the playoffs. It just sucks they have to overcome their coach, as well.

Oh, and I can't find it online yet, but when it hits YouTube, I promise to embed Gordon's OT game-tying shot and his "check out my huge nuts" reaction to it on national TV. That pretty much made my weekend.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Derrick Rose Has To Do A Lot of Things

For full-on post-mortems, read Matt (who's right about everything except John Salmons) and KD (who's right about everything.)

Derrick Rose has to do a lot of things on this team. He has to be the primary ball-handler, he has to run the break (and know when to run it), he has to initiate the offense (such as it is). He has to be a big-time scorer, and a big-time facilitator. He has to get into the lane, he has to finish in the lane, he has to get to the line, he has to knock down the mid-range jumper. This is a lot of stuff to make a 20-year-old rookie do, and he's pretty much done it all with an almost eerie nonchalance.

But, I'm sorry to say, there's one more thing Derrick Rose has to do: He has to keep Rajon Rondo off the mother fuckin' offensive glass! Everybody and their mother could see that the Bulls got killed on the offensive boards last night, but what I didn't notice until today was that Rondo got 1/3 of Boston's offensive boards. And yes, Perkins got another third, but if we all agree that Noah has to do a better job on the defensive glass, the fact remains that it's even more important for Derrick to do a better job as well. Because (though I'm coming to totally loathe him) Kendrick Perkins is a helluva lot bigger than Noah and one of his main jobs out on the court is to attack the glass. If dude gets some O-boards, it may be frustrating, but it's at least understandable. Whereas with Rose, there's absolutely no reason he should be allowing Rondo to get seven offensive boards; he's bigger than him, he's stronger than him, he can leap higher than him, and he's just as lightning-quick.

Anyway, I don't have much else to say about Game 2, other than I found Boston's (and Kevin Garnett's) trash-talking throughout the game pretty fucking ridiculous, considering they needed a miraculous three to win one game against a .500 team on their own homecourt. To me, it looked like so much raging against the dying of the light, and I'm fully expecting things to get pretty frickin' dim for Boston at the UC. But we'll see.

UPDATE: It went without saying, but for posterity's sake, I should add that Ben Gordon is a motherfucking g.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More Moderated Post-Game 1 Thoughts

First off, if you haven't read Kevin Arnovitz's breakdown of Derrick Rose and K.D.'s breakdown of the whole game, thou shalt remedy that. (Although KD should've noted that Rose actually committed only four turnovers; the "charge" that Ray Allen drew against him in the third quarter was total bullshit.)

Just want to echo KD's point that the Bulls should've won that game, and that looking ahead, there are plenty of reasons to worry. Not only is Allen unlikely to go 1 for 12 again, but the Bulls are unlikely to out-board the Celtics by 8 again, Rose is unlikely to play that fuckin' good again, and Pierce is unlikely to take only four shots in the first half again (as well shoot 38 percent from the field again). Meanwhile, it's frighteningly likely that Vinny will continue to allot Brad Miller 10 minutes in the fourth and Tyrus only two minutes, and that Salmons (no matter his shooting %) will continue to jack up contested threes.

That said, Gordon's jumpers might not keep spinning out, Miller might not continue shitting the bed, and Noah's offensive tips might start going in. And hell (though it's been the trend in April), maybe Salmons' jumpers will start going down at a better clip. (I know, I know, he's injured; but if that's the case, he needs to recognize that and not take 16 shots.)

In other words, a lot of things went the Bulls' way in Game 1, but there was also a lot of room for feasible improvement. Color me cautiously optimistic.

Oh, and by the way, after the game, Derrick Rose watched three movies: "The Mummy, Coraline and a 'hero movie'--he forgot its title."

Not only is he one of the most exciting young players in the NBA, but he's absolutely adorable.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Derrick Rose Is A Mother Fuckin' G

(And so is Tyrus.)

That is all.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Obligatory Bulls Playoff Post

Not sure if we have any readers left since I've been treating this poor blog like a leprous, red-headed stepchild, but seeing as the Bulls summoned the energy to make the postseason, I should summon enough to make some comments/observations/predictions. So in no particular order, here are some jumbled thoughts.

1) I've got to say, there's a part of me that likes what the Bulls have done over the past month or so, aside from the fact that they went 12-6 in their last 18 games. Rather than accept their status as a middling offensive team (they finished 19th in the NBA in Offensive Efficency) and a middling defensive team (they finished 18th in Defensive Efficiency), the Bulls went to the extremes in their last 18 games. By my calculations, during that span, their Offensive Efficiency shot up to 109.5 pts. per 100 possessions, which, over the course of the full season, would've ranked them 5th in the NBA, between Cleveland and Dallas. (Before the last two sub-par offensive games, they'd reached as high as 110.7, which would've ranked them second in the league.) In other words, they became an elite offensive squad, which, y'know, is exciting and fun to watch.

At the same time, though, they became one of the worst defensive teams in the league, allowing their opponents to score at a clip (again, by my perhaps-dodgy calculations) of 109.9 pts. per 100 possessions, which would've ranked them fourth-to-last in the NBA, not quite as porous as Golden State, but not as staunch and lockdown as the fearsome Minnesota Timberwolves.

On just a cursory examination, what accounts for much of this (on both ends) is another statistical extremity: offensive rebounding. Again, the Bulls are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the league, ranking 6th overall. But as good as they are on the offensive boards, they're equally bad at rebounding on the defensive end.

None of this portends well against Boston, which is third in the league in defensive rebounding and just behind the Bulls (tied for 7th) in offensive rebounding. Garnett's absence will definitely help the Bulls' offensive rebounding (he's one of the best defensive rebounders in the league) but defensively, the Bulls are really going to have to keep an eye on Leon Powe, who, with all apologies to Kendrick Perkins, is in fact the the true beast on the boards. (Although Perk is no slouch himself, on either end.) On the plus side, at least we don't have to worry about Dwight Howard.

2) It's probably been talked about a bunch already in a bunch of places, but the thought of a gimpy John Salmons trying to stop Paul Pierce is pretty terrifying. What's worse, you know the absence of KG is going to motivate Pierce to prove he can put the team on his back, and I just don't see the Bulls having any answer for him. (By the way, with all the Deng-hating going on in this city, I'll note it would be very helpful to have him healthy right about now.) I give Salmons props for gutting it out the past month, but I fear he's going to be completely overmatched against Pierce. It might be interesting to see what Tyrus could do on him, but if he wasn't doing so while playing on a frontline alongside Miller and Noah, that switch would cause all sorts of other problems down low. And that would leave no room at the inn for Tim Thomas, which might just about break poor Vinny's heart.

3) I heard on the radio today that Big Baby had been playing real well for Boston lately, so I was a bit surprised to see Matt pooh-pooh him in this post. I looked into it a little more, and it turns out Matt is pretty much correct. Yeah, his minutes have gone up and his shooting % has improved somewhat, but he's still a terrible overall rebounder (though pretty good on the offensive boards), a sub-par free throw shooter, and a non-entity as a shot blocker. But what shocked me was when I compared him with Tyrus. At first glance, nothing's too surprising, but check out their career minutes per game: 17.8 for Big Baby vs. 19.9 for Tyrus. (And that factors in Tyrus' 27.5 mpg this season.) In other words, a team that starts Kevin Garnett has somehow found a way to get almost equal minutes for a young, early 2nd-round player as the team that has started Drew Gooden, Joe Smith and P.J. Brown has managed to get for the second overall pick in the draft. I know, I know, it's crying over spilled milk, but my God, what a fucking waste.

4) Anyway, the only hope I see for the Bulls in this series lies in three possibilities: 1) Ben Gordon shoots the lights out; 2) Tyrus, seeing no KG, goes bonkers; and c) Derrick Rose says, "Fuck it, I'm winning this series." It's that last possibility I'm most intrigued by. Defensively, Derrick could have plenty of trouble with Rondo, but potentially, there's nothing this kid can't do. Bouncing the defending champs almost single-handedly is certainly too much to ask of a rookie (any rookie), but at times, Rose makes me think anything is possible.

So fuck it: Bulls in 6.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Noah's value?

Ok, Los Bulls have made a nice run and won't play the Cavs. Thank God.

I haven't seen much of the Bulls lately, mainly just peeping the box scores, but I have to give it up to Noah. A big question mark coming into the season I now feel comfortable with him as a solid 5 for the next phase of the Bulls, whatever that is.

Thoughts on the Bulls chances versus the Celts or Magic?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bulls Basketball: It's Markedly Efficient!

A great post by Kevin Pelton over at Basketball Prospectus sums up his research on Marginal Dollar per Marginal Wins throughout the NBA in recent years. Over the past four years, the Bulls rank seventh (if the expansion Bobcats are excluded) with $650,000 spent per win.

My thoughts? Great news for Jerry Reinsdorf, middling news for Bulls fans, who have been treated to a team of scrappy young underpaid players (and the occasional overpaid stiff) play slightly-above-mediocre basketball in recent years. I'm feeling the excitement; aren't you?