Friday, August 31, 2007

The Army You Have?

In lieu of some of the discussions going on surrounding re-signing Ben and Luol, I found this post from Ira Winderman pretty interesting. He notes that if you look at the teams that really scored big in the uber-loaded 2003 Draft--Cleveland (James), Denver (Melo), Toronto (Bosh) and Miami (Wade)--their ability to sign free agents this summer has really been circumscribed by the cap space that was taken up by extending the contracts of those studs. It's not really a bad problem to have--those guys are all superstars--but, initially at least, it made me think about what the Bulls are committing to when they re-sign Deng and, even more so, Gordon.

By doing so, they are essentially committing to the belief that this core (Gordon, Deng, Hinrich and, to some extent, Nocioni) is good enough to contend for an NBA Championship, low post scorer be damned. Whatever parts they add in the future can only really be complimentary players like Joe Smith, who just take up the MLE. Personally, I'm okay with this: While a consistent low post scoring presence is obviously nice, I don't think it's absolutely vital to win a championship. (Obviously the Bulls teams of the 90s proved this, and the Jordan outlier aside, I think the more recent Piston teams have also demonstrated this. While Sheed is a nice low post presence, he does as much, if not more, damage from the three point line.)

In any event, I was initially going to end this post by posing a question to readers whether they agreed with the commitment that this core (and this core alone) can compete for the championship--hence, my Rumsfeldian title--but this astute, forward-looking post from Only the Bulls illustrates that my sense of utter finality should be tempered somewhat. As MrBerg notes:

Paxson hedged his faith by setting up a failsafe during the 2009 offseason. If it becomes clear that the team simply isn't cutting it, Paxson has the massive expiring contract of Big Ben and still some pieces with potential/value.

It's a very shrewd point in a very shrewd post, and I suggest you read the whole thing.

At least kids can buy his kicks

Big Ben comes in at number nine on The Sporting News' all-overpaid team.
9. Ben Wallace, Bulls. I'm a little torn because I know the Bulls brought in Wallace to solidify themselves in the middle and help them take the next step. Wallace's defense on Shaquille O'Neal in the first round of the playoffs in some ways justified the big contract. I knew some of Wallace's contributions would be intangible, but his production was very subpar (6.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks) and Wallace rarely looked like the guy the Bulls thought they were getting. At $15.5 million -- that's about 28 percent of the Bulls' salary-cap space -- it's impossible to keep Wallace off this list.
It was pretty clear we overpaid for Wallace the day he was signed. While that doesn't necessarily make it a bad decision -- Pax didn't want to eat the cap space and they thought he could add some experience down low -- it will probably prove to be one in 18 months. At least we don't have Wally.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another Retired NBA Player Rumored To Return

What's the drag scene like in Melbourne, Dennis?

Deadspin Interviews Dave Zirin

Read it here.

h/t to Noce, who should've cross-posted this to get in on our potential revenue-sharing plan.

Just Some Dudes Dancing In Wrigleyville

As much as I'd love to preach a message of acceptance and respect, these brahs are clearly trying to prove they're drunker and more annoying than the guy pissing in a bag.

You Can't Even Get A Fair Exhibition Game In China

As outraged as I am that the cruddy calls were against former Bulls center, Chris Anstey, it's not surprising there's another check in the 'dubious' box for basketball in China. If you're thinking, "Chris Anstey? The enormous Australian who was a dud in the NBA?" Check his resume. There's no way he fouls out in 9 minutes against a team that wouldn't be competitive in the NBL.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Let's talk a little beisbol

Cubs up, Sox down.

I know there's some excitement and non-excitement around.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Sports Stadium Financing 101

Apropos the big dust-up surrounding the Sonics, Henry says: "I also don't like cities competing against each other to hand ever-larger piles of tax payer dollars to very wealthy people. I'm not an economist, but no one can convince me this is not true."

On this issue, if not many others, it appears the economists and the public can reach a happy consensus. For a good primer on stadium financing, I recommend Neil DeMause's recent testimony to the House Oversight Committee. (Aside from being incredibly smart, Neil is also a great guy; everyone should check out his book, Field of Schemes.) Anyhow, in the testimony, Neil has a great quote from an actual economist--who, as TYI's own Nocioni once learned, is no wild-eyed lefty--who says, "If you want to inject money into the local economy, it would be better to drop it from a helicopter than [to] invest in a new ballpark.”

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mattoon Goon: NBA Is "a breeding ground for America’s Most Wanted"

Apologies to my TYI Overlords. I said I wouldn't be posting the bile and nonsense that filled my old blog, but the most putrid piece of sports journalism since Andy Rooney's dementia cleared up long enough to catch a few confusion free innings of the LLWS needs to be shared with the world.

CTC, Pax

That's what BG wants, before the start of the season.

"The Bulls have an opportunity to extend my contract with them this summer," Gordon said yesterday. "So I'm hoping something gets done and I won't have to wait another year to see what's going to happen. I've done everything possible I could have done to help my team get to the playoffs, and I think it's up to them right now to see if they want to make a long-term commitment."

There's been no indication that Paxson would bail on 'the corp' now, and Kirk got his, so we will see how it plays out.

Oxy and Moros

This sure is one way to describe PO-Z.

"Posey is one of the premiere role players in the league..."

I agree with internet columnist, Sam Smith, that Boston's new forward is less 'enforcer' and more blindsider. I doubt Doc Rivers will ask that Posey makes sure opposing players spend more time with their families anyway.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Couple o' Reads

I'm bringing roundball back to its roots this afternoon. I especially enjoy the idea of Steve Nash getting lost on the D up to Rucker.

Scoop reflects on HS hoops, Jazz, and Harlem

Do we think Phil Martelli led yoga sessions with Jameer and Delonte?

(h/t Slam)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Night Politcal Basketball Blogging

Well, he's our hometown boy and, more than the shot itself, I really like what he says at the end of this.

(h/t Yglesias)

That said (or, uh, embedded), the much-sought-after and possibly decisive TYI presidential endorsement is still being formulated. This type of rhetoric is also right in our sweet spot.

If You Want A Good Look Inside The Bulls Locker Room, Go To Argentina

I've always typed there's too much text here. Hey, Veektor can smile!

And the only time someone gets a pass for mispronouncing the Captain's name.

I'd like to thank the local media for portraying the PaxSkiles built, pre-Noah roster as a group of pouty introverts. Fans love stuffy.

From the AP Wire:

The TYI Bloggers further strengthened their roster last night when they coaxed free agent blogger Hot Shit College Student out of retirement. Terms of the contract were undisclosed, although it's believed HSCS can opt-out of the contract at any time.

"We're really excited about the signing," TYI General Manager BenGo07 said. "Coming off the links from True Hoop, we felt like we had a lot of momentum, but to add Hot Shit's shrewd statistical analyses and uncanny ability to unearth Bulls-related marginalia, not to mention he provides some of the snarkiest snark in the Bulls blogosphere, well, it makes our roster very formidable. Even if his playing time is limited, you know it's going to be efficient and highly productive. We're pumped."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tuesday Night Skiles Video Blogging

Obviously tired of our whole meta-schtick, the former blogger formerly known as Paxson Jackson emailed TYI headquarters to kindly pass on these clips of Skiles. Here he is cold rocking shit for Sparty back in the day, while unconsciously explaining the deep-seated psychological roots of his obsession with the hated Three Guard Lineup:

And here he is being wry and witty at the 25th anniversary celebration of his high school state championship team, while imparting the wisdom that life is about the journey, not the destination:

Thanks, HSCS!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thank You, Henry

I know it looks like a graph of the last 100 years of housing prices, but really, it's what happens when the Almighty True Hoop links to your humble servants here at TYI. I believe the term is known as "boom and bust." But anyway, thanks Henry. We appreciated your 2,200 readers almost as much as we appreciate the 35 or so who seem to kick around this place pretty regularly.


Uhhh...this is getting pretty, freaking Meta: So Henry links to this post thanking him for linking to this original post. The end result? Our traffic numbers jump up even higher. A LOT HIGHER:

Personally, I think this has moved beyond "hilarious and kind of amazing" into riotously funny and totally amazing. What do you say, Henry? You want to see if you can single-handedly crash Blogger?

Friday, August 17, 2007

What Do You Say, Cubs Fans?

How about you give the guy a break and stop booing Jacque Jones for a couple weeks? Or does a game-winning homer and game-saving catch not buy guys a moratorium any more? I heard some yahoos booing D. Lee after he struck out the other night, so who knows, maybe asking for sanity at Wrigley is a lost cause these days. (It's not like you Sox fans are any better, so don't get all high and mighty.)

Anyway, for the rest of this Friday Afternoon in the Universe, this blog is honorarily named Thank You Jacque.

More Deng love

A few points of interest in this nice BBC piece about Lu's attempt to make British basketball competitive on the world stage. Their coach -- although he's from the States -- is named Chris Finch. I wonder if he reads one book a week. Also, Pops Mensah Bonsu and Kelenna Azubuike are looking to join Deng and former Cal guard Richard Midgley on the squad. That's a decent front line.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Where art thou, Big Sweet?

I've been noticeably absent the last month or so from TYI, and while I'd like to use my contract negotiations as an excuse, that shit just won't fly. To get my ass back in gear, here are a few links for your reading pleasure.

**Lu dropped 24 on the Irish in his first game for the motherland. Crikey.
**I have a soft spot in my heart for Chevy Chase and I know Basden enjoys seeing Simon being humiliated in any way possible. (H/T Free Darko).
**Word is that Peej could resurface in Dallas, unless they orchestrate a sign-and-trade for CWebb, leaving the Pistons front court wide open for Nazr!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

You Know What I'm Really Looking Foward To Next Season?


First I heard David Thorpe tell Henry Abbott that he was watching him practice with Britain's team this year and was REALLY impressed with what he saw, and then I read this piece in SI, where Deng says:

"For GB this summer I'm playing the 1, 2 and 3, so I'm really loving the fact that I'm handling the ball so much,'' he says. "Drawing fouls is going to be a big factor, and so is improving my three-point range and playing in the post. I'm great at moving without the ball, but I'm talking about the last five seconds when you get the ball in your hands or you get the ball in an iso -- those kinds of things I have to improve on, because that's what great players do.''

Hell, I know this could just be talk, but given the strides he's made over the past two years, it's conceivable his ball-handling could really improve, which, if added to an improved extended long range game, would just make him deadly. I mean, he showed in the Heat series that he could be dominating, even with some considerable holes in his game. If he can close those gaps even somewhat, look out.

Anyway, I'm excited about him, and I think his being immensely underrated is why so many folks are sleeping on the Bulls this year. I just don't think people realize that, despite how good he is now, there's still a lot of room for improvement in his game. (And I think one thing we've learned (at least thus far) with Deng is that he does improve, significantly, during every offseason.) With the possible exception of LeBron (who could possibly crystallize his greatness into diamond-like perfection), I don't think you can say that about any other significant player on any other Eastern Conference contender. The upper limits of their players' talents have been reached, and Deng, I think, hasn't even come close to his yet. It's all very saliva-inducing.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Heat offically give up before '07-'08 season begins

Penny. They signed f-ing penny!

Ok, I'm gonna start taking bets on a playoff appearance. Is
there a certain Heat fan out there who wants to defend this signing?

Seriously, they need guys who have been good this century.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Democracy In Action, Part Deux

A couple of us TYIers are mulling over the 11-game Bulls plans and we've run into a bit of a dilemma. Plan A obviously has little to offer outside of the chance to see Durant play live, the chance to see whether Iverson and Melo can make it work this year, and a Jan. matchup against the Pistons. But Plans B and C are both pretty intriguing and hard to choose between. Here are each plan's merits:

Plan B: It kicks off with the early November matchup against Detroit that already has Basden licking his chops. We then go to a matchup against the Hawks (enh, although as a Gator fan, I'd like to see how Big Al's progressing), followed shortly thereafter with a nice test against the Mavs. That's followed by a New Year's Eve afternoon game against Rashard and Big Dwight, and then comes the always enjoyable opportunity to boo the Knicks while showering Zeke with our eponymous gratitude. There's a dud game in late January against the T'Wolves (although again, Gator fan, Brewer, etc.), but that's followed up by a Valentine's Day matchup against the hated Heat (and Shaq might be coming out of his hibernation about this time). In March, as the playoff race is heating up, we get Lebron and the Nets, and in the April homestretch, we get to check out the newly revamped Celtics, which is then followed up by one of (if not the) last home games against an improving Raptors squad, which could have some serious playoff implications. Like I said, not bad.

Plan C: Starts off slow against the Brand-less Clips in early November and the Bobcats on Dec. 1. On Dec. 19, we get the Lakers--might Kobe be playing for us against them?--and on Dec. 28, a Bucks team that I think could be intriguing rolls into town. Things start to heat up considerably in January, however. On the third, HCO (Here Comes Oden). On the 18th, last year's playoff darlings Golden State shows up with their up-and-down style. Nine days later, we get a chance for some revenge on a Sunday afternoon with a (presumably ABC telecast) game against Nash and the Suns. February's quiet, with only Agent Weirdo coming to town on Leap Year Day, but that may not be all bad. (Will I want to be trekking to the UC in February?) Things get really exciting in March, as we got two more matchups against the West's best with Utah and Deron Williams followed up by the Spurs. Then on April 11, in a game with potentially MASSIVE inter-division consequnces, we go up against LeBron.

My personal feeling is that Plan B is more enticing overall, but that the highlights of Plan C are pretty high (and it also gives us more chances to see how the Bulls measure up against the best in the West, and thus, the best in the league). I think this is win-win, but if you readers have any preferences, by all means, pipe up in the Comments.

Monday, August 06, 2007

What is Kobe worth to the Bulls (and you as a fan?

As reported on True Hoop and other sites Kobe isn't happy in Lakerland. The Bulls are his rumored destination, so what would you give up for Kobe?

It would probably take Duhon, Gordon, Deng and Ty, Krappy
and a first rounder. (I think that something close to what we offered for Garnett last year, so God knows what superstars can get these days after the Celtics deal, for sure Kobe has more value than Garnett, but still.)

I don't know if I'd want to do that - Kobe might make us legitimate contenders this year, but I'm not sure we're that far away; I'd sure miss watching Ben, Ty and Deng play together.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Circle November 8th

With the 2007/08 schedule out in full force, I hope that Skiles and Co. have their sights set on the 8th of November. In what looks to be a relatively painless first two weeks of basketball, Thursday night with Chuck and Kenny is going to be the most important game of the month. Hopefully the Bulls can set the tone against an aging Pistons team, make up for Game 3's debacle, and go into the usually tumultuous early West Coast swing with some swagger.

I know I'll try to be at the UC.