Thursday, May 31, 2007

Random Run-Down

**I'm tired of talkin' Kobe, so let me re-iterate that I want Taurean Green to replace Chris Duhon as our backup point guard. Ivan Carter feels me.

** This Michael Miner piece brought two thoughts to mind: 1) Despite all the shit I give him, it is nice that Sam Smith doesn't treat the NBA like some Homeric epic. (Now if only he'd stop suggesting we trade Ben Gordon for Gerald Wallace!) And 2) Basketball bloggers have really stepped into the space of intelligent sports commentary that's been created by the media's promotion of bonehead columnists like Telander, Morrison and Marriotti.

**That leads nicely into the shoutout I want to give to "sbulls9030," one of the rare Blogabull side diarists who I don't think would send Nocioni into a fit of despair over the broken condition of humanity. (He can be a bit sensitive about these things.) His (or Her) statistical breakdown of our Big Three has been really interesting, and if y'all haven't done so already, definitely check it out. I learned quite a bit from it and have started questioning a few of my player assessments on account of it. (I'd say it's possible I've been underestimating Kirk and overestimating Luol). I'm most happy I found it, though, because he (or she) led me to this, which'll probably now eat up way too much of my free time.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Wallace might have reservations

If you skip ahead to the 30 second mark, Youtube gives us some reason to believe that Wallace would be less than thrilled to see Kobe everyday in practice.

Like BG posted, Ty might be the key to any deal. If he's not included, it'd be tough to turn down. That being said, a Gordon/Farmar backcourt, even with some cap space and two first rounders, isn't all that appealing for the Lake Show. But would they have any other options?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Black Mamba A Bull?

Word is, Kobe may want out of L.A., and the Toros are the team with the pieces and cap space to make it happen. So assuming all this is true, uh, would we want to?

Color me unconvinced. I gave it a go on ESPN's Trade Machine and here's the best I could do. I'm assuming with a sign-and-trade of my namesake (and maybe our No. 9 pick instead of Thabo or Tyrus), it would look a little different, but ultimately pretty close to this. If we could keep Tyrus, I'd be a little more amenable. Quite frankly, a starting lineup of Kirk, Kobe, Deng, Tyrus and Big Ben is pretty fucking tasty, a decimated bench or no. (With our mid-level, we should be able to sign somebody halfway decent, and with one of our two picks late in the second, we should be able to net a Du-like backup at the point. Maybe Mean Mr. Green?)

Still, even if this deal's possible, I think I'd rather use it as leverage with Minnesota and let 'em know that this is their last chance to get anything approaching market value when it comes to Freeing Kevin. I've also gotta say that I'd find it very weird cheering for a team with Kobe Bryant.

Of course, I felt the same thing about Shaquille, back in the days when I was a full-on, unadulterated Heat fan. And, y'know, that turned out okay.

UPDATE: To quote the late, great Bill Hicks, "it's irony on a base level," but I fucking love it that Kobe is bitching about the Lakers' GM failing to build a championship contender when KOBE was the one who insisted on breaking up their championship contender. I think if Kupchak took a shotgun to him, it could arguably be justifiable homicide.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Let's Go Buffalo (and Jo Noah)

So ESPN says the odds of the Bulls getting the top pick are the same as the Bills winning the Super Bowl.

Well, y'know, I'm thinking it's possible: J.P. Losman could make a quantum leap this year, Marshawn Lynch could be the Second Coming of Walter Payton, and Randy Moss could cause the Patriots all sorts of cancerous problems. And indeed, primates could also presumably take flight from my rectum.

That said, I'm okay if the Bulls end up staying where they're currently projected, because the recent draft boards that have Joakim Noah falling to the Bulls at the ninth or tenth spot have me pretty excited.

I know, I know: All things being equal, Noah's Gator teammate Al Horford would be much more preferable, an already fairly polished post presence at the 4, who can also hit the 15-17 foot range jumper consistently. I agree; Horford could jump in right away and answer our immediate needs, uh, immediately. Meanwhile, Noah's post game still needs a lot of work and may never come around, while his jump shot is hideous and his free throw form looks downright Biedrinsesque.

Granted all of that, I ask you to look two years down the road and imagine a starting five of Hinrich, Gordon, Deng, Ty Thomas and Noah. Outside of Phoenix (and by this time, Nash'll be getting pretty long in the tooth), is there a single team in the NBA that can run the floor with that group? (That team also could play some serious defense, with shots getting swatted like flies.) As for Noah's mediocre offensive game, keep in mind Sekou Smith's take on Big Jo:

Do you have any idea how much scoring Noah will be asked to do on the NBA team that drafts him? Hardly any. In fact, his value is greater in my eyes because he’ll be a guy that can do all the other things. There are a handful of players on every NBA team [who] can score major points for their team on a given night. Scoring is the least of the NBA’s problems.
But highly skilled big men who can run the floor, play with passion, pass effortlessly, handle the ball far better than someone his size should, defend around the basket and do all the little things are far more valuable to NBA teams than a guy who’s No. 1 marketable skill is scoring (on inferior competition in college but not so much in the league).
Seriously, if Noah’s available anywhere after Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, the teams that passes on him is absolutely NUTS!

Also, while there's certainly something to the argument that NBA titles are ultimately won by superior talent, not teamwork, Henry Abbot's thoughts on Noah are also worth keeping in mind.

Quite frankly, if we can get him at the ninth or 10th spot, he would be a major steal, enough so that Dreams of What Might Have Been With Greg, or Kevin, or even Big Al might one day be forgotten.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Most Disappointing Stat of the Night

Kirk's 3 of 13 shooting is disappointing, but the Cap did go for a double double, dishing out 11 dimes with only 2 turnovers in 43 minutes.

No, far worse was Ben Gordon. Not his 7 of 18 from the field: 39 percent against a defender like Chauncey isn't great, but neither is it awful. What's unacceptable is going 1 of 1 from the line in 45 minutes. Forty five minutes and you get to the line once!

All things considered, I'm not too upset with this team. Their core is still really young and they had a decent year. But I hope this "exprience" teaches them not to be so gun shy in the future.

This is about all I can manage right now. A couple days of reflection are probably in order.

UPDATE: How depressing is it that if Phoenix loses the most exciting team left in the playoffs is fuckin' Utah? I'd say I'm pretty much done with the 06-07 NBA season.

Your Prayers, Answered

Bulls fans, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "I don't really want to watch the first half of Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semis, with our entire season on the line. I'd much rather attend a stimulating talk about basketball, as a way to ease into, intellectually speaking, what's sure to be an overbearingly visceral second half."

Well, ladies and gentlemen: You're in luck.

Seriously, though, this is a really great book, and while the timing couldn't be worse, the event should kick some serious ass. Mention TYI at the door, and not only do you get in for free, but you also get to join us afterwards, as we hurriedly rush Mr. Lane out the door and shepherd him to a nearby beer-and-sports emporium, where we will maniacally cheer along as the Pistons' noose tightens and the Bulls take Game Six.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Magic Number

You'd think Detroit, of all places, would know all about the Big Three.

You can say what you'd like about Ty's big night and Peej's nice game, but this was all Kirk, Ben G. and Deng. Combined, they shot 24 of 44, and combined for 65 points. (Kirk only shot 40 percent, but dished out 13 dimes.)

It's pretty simple, really. If those three can play at this level (or close to it), the Bulls can make NBA history. If not, they won't. All the pressure's off at this point, and actually should be for the rest of this series, Game 7 or no. They weren't supposed to make it there, so they may as well have fun, shoot the fucking lights out and see just how tight them Pistons' buttholes can get.

UPDATE: My namesake seems to agree about the lack of pressure now

Friday, May 11, 2007

If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say... to a post of Shaquille O'Neal pretty much threatening my most hated columnist.

Actually, going back through our archives, I realize I've already said (months ago) everything that needs to be said about this piss-poor series. Alternatively, you could read Matt.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Yesterday, our old friend Sam Smith dropped some knowledge about the Pistons elaborately named zone defense, which the Bulls haven't quite adjusted to yet.

"But the key has been the Pistons denying the Bulls their main strength of driving into the middle and then kicking the ball out to shooters. The defense packs it in more, which is not an uncommon tactic. But the Pistons are long-armed enough to stay with the shooters at the three-point line and, at least, stunt and force a dribble before a shot."

Smith presents a pretty convincing case, pointing out that the Pistons stuff the paint and we settle for bad shots. The answer, clearly, is better ball movement and the ability to knock down a few jumpers, forcing their two guards to step out further, opening up the middle of the floor. This seems to be on Ben and Kirk, who are capable of making shots with defenders in their face. Hopefully, playing in familiar surroundings will help. We will have to see.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Things That Cannot Happen In Game 3

1) Ben Wallace (9), Andres Nocioni (10) and, yes, Tyrus Thomas (9) cannot take more shots than Ben Gordon (7). I don't care if he was in foul trouble in the first half. He nailed a tough shot to start the second half, then didn't take another one for 3 minutes. Then he went another 4 minutes without taking a shot (a three pointer, which he nailed.) He averaged 17.5 shots a game against the Heat. Foul trouble, better defense and having to play defense himself notwithstanding, he needs to take more than 7 shots a game for the Bulls to have a chance.

1a) It would be nice if Kirk would also take more than 7 shots a game, but even if he's limited to that, he cannot throw up a bagel.

2) The Bulls cannot get outrebounded by 21 boards, nor give up 15 offensive boards to Detroit. That is unacceptable.

2a) Kirk Hinrich cannot have more defensive rebounds (6) than Ben Wallace (5). Doug Collins' endless praise notwithstanding, that too is unacceptable.

2b) Rip Hamilton cannot have 4 offensive rebounds. That is a joke.

3) Ben Wallace's need to cover for his teammates getting blown by notwithstanding, Chris Webber cannot shoot 10 of 11 from the floor and average nearly a point (22) a minute (27).

4) The Bulls cannot shoot under 35 percent, much less 25 percent, from the 3 point line. For the most part, these have been wide open looks. Guys, you're professionals. Hit a fucking shot.

5) Any Bulls fans reading this post and attending Game 3 need to make sure that the Pistons cannot hear each other when they're playing defense, much less whatever Saunders is yelling to them. Returning home from the game with your voice intact is unacceptable.

6) The Bulls cannot go down 3-0 to this team of bitch ass punks. Tonight they took cheap shots from Maxiell, McDyess and Rip. Have some fucking pride and slap the smug ass smiles off their faces.

That is all.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Is it Monday yet?

Well, the numbers speak for themselves. The Bulls shot 32 percent, even with Kirk making 6 of 7 and WALLACE shooting 4 of 5. And the debate over Noce or Ty goes for naught when they combine for 7 points on 1 of 12, 7 rebounds and 9 turnovers.

What bugged me the most was the play of Gordon. I know that players just have bad nights and I know that that second foul he picked up was questionable at best, but he has to regroup and get in the ole' 6th man mindset after sitting in foul trouble early. When he came back, he couldn't find any rhythm and was outclassed by Billups on the other end.

Let's move on. Steal game two and we're still in great shape.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Sexy time

Did I miss something? When did we acquire Borat?

"We are going to win," he said the other day. "We are going to win, of course. I believe we can win. We are going to play seven games, and we are going to win [Game 7] in Detroit. It will be nice. Nice."

It's not all that brash, but it's confident. And after the season series and the Heat sweep, why not show a little swagger?