Monday, March 31, 2008

At Least The Other Guy Isn't Chet Coppock

Investimagating K.C.'s Claim

Inspired by a true story.
Served as primary ballhandler for longer stretches than ever and continued to display poor decision-making. With size limitations, often got swallowed by double-teams.
Gordon played a higher percentage of his minutes at point guard this season, but his career low usage, career low 2.7 PF/36, and career low TOV% actually indicate improved decision making. Maybe. Low for Ben Gordon 16.9 FGA/36, and a career low 26.0 Usg% (again) show the possibility of a poor decision; Ben Gordon wasn't trying to score so much.

Much like his sophomore attempt to play effectively the entire game, and resemble whatever Scott Skiles thought a starter was supposed to be, Gordon reeled in his game. I never thought he had to, and drops in eFG%, as well as FTA resemble those second year mistakes. But the regression from 2006-07 hasn't been as bad as the forgettable 2005-06 season. Ben Gordon is finishing up his second best pro season with a 16.3 PER, and while it's been disappointing, it wasn't that bad.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Raptors Steal 10-Day Contract Specialist From Bulls

Linton Johnson III, keeper of a career 13.5 TRB%, is in Toronto to out-grit Bargnani, and barely out-rebound Jamario Moon. Whisperers close to Tom Dore report the big guy feels the Bulls' lack of "man's rebounds" could have been resolved with the addition of LJ3.

It's Really Easy To Catch A Cold At A Bowling Alley

Those places are germ factories. I'm like ten for ten the past five years. It's no surprise Jim Boylan wasn't aware of this, and Sham points out the latest camaraderie constructing field trip is not going on his resume. Larry Hughes sat out of the friendly competition because no one would step in front of him before he released the ball (not funny, but the real reason is).

Despite losing to Atlanta last night, there's still a 1.3% chance the Bulls will make the playoffs. Through thick and thin, it's history in the making!

Friday, March 28, 2008

No Man Is An Island

It could be worse, Bulls fans. Via Brew Hoop:

I originally thought this was pretty funny, but then I remembered Big Sweet (I think) telling me about a friend of his who lives in Milwaukee who almost skipped a semester in college so that the Bucks could pay him to hang out with and just generally be Andrew Bogut's friend. When considered in tandem with this clip, I find Bogut's loneliness and alienation from his teammates almost heart-rending.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Keep in mind I'm losin' mine

Is it possible to come up with 6 terrible variations of a Shaquille O'Neal nickname in one blog post, and have the worst blogroll on the entire internet? Yes.

This Explains It

About the Joakim Noah can't get a decent film sesh rumor in the latest Bulls Beat: Jim Boylan cut his NBA teeth as a video coordinator.

Chaos! Anarchy! Rebellion!

Read (and listen) all about it here.

There's some caveating about dude's "sources," but come on. Just like you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, you don't need any sources to realize that a) most Bulls players are unhappy and b) almost to a man they have no respect for Boylan.

At this point, the only question is just how deep down does the rot in this organization go? Will cutting out the cancerous Boylan be enough? Does it extend to Paxson? Or is the problem even deeper, somehow systemic, relating to the way Reinsdorf runs the team?

It seems to me there's a great, tragic book to be written that examines how this team went from being so promising to so dreadful in such a short span of time. I hereby nominate this guy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

In Which Your Humble Blogger Struggles To Make The Same Essential Point In New And Innovative Ways

Items To Be Placed In The Dustbin of History:

1) Communism: Check

2) Bell Bottom Pants: Check

3) The Coaching Tenure of Jim Boylan: Pending

New Coach Availability: Avery Johnson

The Dallas media (and Mark Cuban) are slowly turning on Avery. Cuban made what appears to be a rash, imprudent decision to jettison a young, above-average point guard for a very good one with ZERO scoring ability and I hereby predict the Mavs begin to implode, if they haven't already. If, thanks to the Diggler's injury, they go ahead and lose the next two weeks worth of games and fall out of the playoffs OR if they sneak in and lose to the Lakers/Phoenix in the first round, I can't see how someone like Cuban would hold on to his coach. Especially after they have clashed so clearly. Also,who hasn't wondered how Avery can deal with such an intrusive boss?

I'm scrambling for ideas on how well Avery would fit within the Pax-Reinsdorf vision but perhaps the esteemed TYI community can offer up some other reasons why this might or might not work.?
  • Intense defense.
  • Lots of cutting and pick and rolls.
  • Ablitily to turn under-appreciated draft picks into all-stars.
  • Skiles-esque intensity to scare the sh*t out of a team of nice guys.
Pax will surely put the laid-back Jim experiment to rest this off-season. This could also add an interesting twist to Cuban's impending Cubbies purchase.

This is getting ugly ...

WTF happened with Noce last nite? Just saw the WGN highlights and Roan said that he was kicked off the bench in the first half by Boylan and didn't return.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Your Dennis Rodman Still Can't Behave Update (Down Under Edition)

What (with video). A. Mess (with more video).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stay Free, Sam

I am sooo not looking forward to a chaotic offseason without Sam Smith making up trades involving 2 Bulls for every 1 Shareef Abdur-Rahim. If you expect to be as starving for rumors as me in the thin non-basketball months, bookmark this link, but do not read it (or scroll down) until then.

The Chicago Reader's Michael Miner points to 1997 for some of Sam's greatest hits.

What Smith has done in the Tribune is dedicate years of his life to trying to run my favorite Chicago Bull out of town. The Bulls-Jazz series barely got going before Smith was back on the case.

Smith, June 3: "Scottie Pippen was brilliant Sunday in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, if typically overshadowed by some Michael Jordan heroics.... So it's time to trade him."

Smith, May 8: "That's the remedy the Bulls are looking at now: Trade Pippen while he still has value."

Smith, July 15, 1996: "So this would be the scenario. Jordan finishes his career after one more season.... The Bulls then trade Scottie Pippen."

Smith, November 3, 1995: "The acquisition of Dennis Rodman...figures to make the Bulls at least the co-favorites to get to the NBA Finals this season. Which is why it's time to trade Scottie Pippen."

Smith, May 21, 1995: "Believe Jordan is sincere when he says the Bulls should retain Pippen. But believe just as strongly that Pippen will not be a Bull next season. Which is what's best for the Bulls and the path the Bulls should take."

Smith, November 23, 1994: "Trade Scottie! It's still the smart thing to do."

Smith, June 30, 1994: "Now the trouble really begins for the Bulls. That's if they don't trade Scottie Pippen soon."

Smith, December 7, 1993: "Trade Horace Grant? Forget it. It's a stupid idea. What the Bulls ought to do is trade Scottie Pippen."

"I like Pippen," says Smith. "I've never written trade Steve Kerr or Jud Buechler. The reason you trade someone is he has exceptional value."

I'm Not Very Bold

I don't want to throw in an imaginary MVP vote before the regular season is over, but I'll happily try to boost hits by putting a bunch of popular names in one post. I'd much rather take away than give, so eliminating a player from an individual race sorta works for an already semi-aimless piece of internet babble.

MVP yack is unfortunately filled with globs of superfluous guidelines that can make anyone's choice the right one. I prefer to keep the 'what it all means' aspect as simple as possible; whoever's having the best season deserves the award. It's a simple approach, and thanks to metrics that are adjusted for teammates, and competition, the best player on the best team nonsense can be flushed.

Determining the best season is the hard part. I can't simply add up PER, BoP stats, and adjusted +/-. I can interpret them, prove and disprove my visual (with my eyes) assessments of players, and make an educated guess. I can't say I'll make the right decision, but I'll be close.

LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudemire, and Chauncey Billups are at the top of the important leaderboards. Kobe Bryant is not. Kobe Bryant never has been. Kobe Bryant is not an MVP candidate. Kobe Bryant is 8th in adjusted +/-, 8th in PER, and 7th in Win Shares. He doesn't deserve consideration.

I've seen Kobe score a lot of points, and play good defense. I haven't seen him rebound, distribute, or do pretty much everything else as well as the aforementioned leaderboard toppers. Yes, Kobe is quite capable of filling up all sorts of non-scoring related box score stats, but he doesn't do it as well, or as much as other players. The logic based box score metrics prove that, and the non-box score metrics show that there is indeed more to making an impact on the court than scoring. The Kobester isn't even the scoring leader.

Woah, You Gotta Watch Out For Pargo

From the "poise factor" to Pargo, Jim Boylan's resume is going to be an incredible read this summer. Boylan strategitizing on how to defend Chris Paul:
"I know that there were a lot of people yelling for us to double-team him all over the court," interim coach Jim Boylan said. "That's easy to say and difficult to do.

"The other fact is Jannero Pargo was handling the ball quite a bit in the half-court and then eventually it would get to Chris. To go out and say we just need to be double-teaming him everywhere he goes is not very astute."
In an effort not to come off like a self-important asshead who misinterprets stuff, I am willing to admit that I am not an astute observer of the clipboard side of basketball. I realize double-teaming a player without the ball doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but wouldn't Peja's shooting be a better excuse?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thank You Isiah Thanks You, The Reader

Because it isn't everyday I find out you've been reading a Bulls blog in Portuguese instead of Thank You Isiah. 100,000 views elsewhere? Assholes.

The Jim Boylan Fan Club Continues To Seek First Member

From Marc Stein's Weekend Dime.
The story, as I hear it from one team insider, is that Thomas recently had witnessed heated confrontations between Bulls coach Jim Boylan and two of Chicago's more veteran players -- Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich -- that wound up pitting multiple players against the coaching staff. I'm also told that Thomas figured he was heading for a similarly nasty blowup of his own with Boylan but that he also concluded that the punishment for an argument with Boylan would be a lot steeper than what Gordon or Hinrich faced, given where he stands in the Bulls' pecking order and the growing stress of a tension-drenched season.
So the players don't like the fiercely stupid rotations? I guess things could be worse. Management and the coaching staff could be passing the buck and blaming players for not possessing the right intangibles to execute their brilliant plans. Oops.

Unlike Nocioni's history of +/- woes, I can't easily determine what's wrong. It's tough to figure out what leads to losing more: not playing the best players, or the best players not playing very well. It's probably both, and I hope I'm not ripping off AOL's Dean of Sports Blog Logic when I say the coaching problems are a lot easier to fix. (Stein came to the same conclusion. It's the new lowpost scorer!)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fuck this team

Fuck every single one of them except Thabo.

Can You Hear That?

It's the World's Smallest Violin, playing a slow, mournful dirge for the "funk" of Chris Duhon. O, to be back in one's halcyon days at Durham, with a beaming Coach K, and a bevy of spoiled white sorority chicks, eager to loose their inhibitions and transgress against the stolid, bougie morality of their suburban upbringings. O wicked Larry Hughes! O wicked John Paxson! Is there not one (besides K.C.) who can understand the cri de couer of Du?

Tiny Ball Pays Off For Opponents

If being ranked 25th in ORtg wasn't bad enough, the Bulls are second in an embarrassment stat, shots blocked. It doesn't appear to be entirely significant, but it's still pretty bad. The Bulls are 6-16 against teams in the shot-blocking top 1/3.

The Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell (via Bobcat Bonfire) isn't aware has block percentages for every team and player, but I'll let it slide for informing me of a truly Kurkjianian stat nugget.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Simmons' nonsense about the Bulls continues ...

A bite or two on Bill Simmons' assertion that Jason Williams would have been as good as
Chris Paul or Deron Williams over at the Chicago Reader's sports blog.

Go tell them that Simmons is wrong, as he almost always is, regarding the Bulls.

Maybe something we can win

Knick City Dancers v. LuvaBulls. Isiah has no chance.

Fossicking Through The Many Accolades Of Anstey

Chris Anstey is now a two-time NBL MVP. Thanks to a kind-hearted corporate sponsor he finally has an automobile built for a large, successful man, and eco-system destruction! All-NBL First Team honors, and Best Defensive Player were also awarded to the Lucky Country's greatest national treasure.

The only thing our hero doesn't have is a Grand Final victory. With one game left in a series that has featured a scuffle between coaching staffs and players, cheerleader harassment, and Chris Anstey's sweet brand of three-chucking big man basketball, we need to pull together and visualize a championship for the tall guy with an even taller heart. Tear.

Hey! This Gift Horse Has A Cavity!

Thanks to our searing hatred of all things Boylan, TYI makes No. 9 on these dudes' Top 10 Chicago Sports Blogs. And much weight are we supposed to place upon a list that places the Trib's Steve Rosenbloom at No. 1 (above Blog-a-Bull!)? That's the type of refined taste and judgment that gives the Best Picture Oscar to Shakespeare in Love over The Thin Red Line. I'm channeling somebody.

But, hey, at least some people are reading this fucking thing...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mr. Boyle, SportsCenter Is Not On Line 2

A few tips for CSN anchor-brah Pat Boyle:

1. Don't take tequila shots without lime and salt.
2. Soda should always have ice in it.
3. Fries taste great with ketchup.
4. Don't fill in at WMVP without a teleprompter, because "Client #9" is the worst goddamn nickname I've ever heard. Luol Deng needn't be concerned of that catching on.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The incompetence dodge

Pax and Boylan, continuing to deflect blame for the season's collapse, highlight the team's character issues. Here's Matt.
The organizational message is starting to get re-sent that it's 'character' that wins, and the lack of it has caused this derailment of a season. That may be partly the case, but it's an especially egregious failure in light of the preaching about how they've picked (and perhaps held on to) players based on this nebulous trait, which has turned out to merely mean not getting arrested.

It's the NBA's version of "the incompetence dodge"
Most liberal hawks are willing to admit only that they made a mistake in trusting the president and his team to administer the invasion and occupation competently ... The incompetence critique is, in short, a dodge -- a way for liberal hawks to acknowledge the obviously grim reality of the war without rethinking any of the premises that led them to support it in the first place.
The problem stems from the team's makeup and our two coaches' inability to play the right people. Sure, Hinrich sucked this year, but it was actually our character guys (ie Wallace) who quit on Skiles in the first place. I'd like to see someone with authority take a little responsibility so this shit doesn't happen again.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

An Even More Frustrating Season Comes To An End

David Simon and Scott Skiles. Bald men with expiration dates. Discuss.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Mixed Feelings

Hmmm...Don't know how I feel about this:

As Aaron Gray walked to the bench after Drew Gooden replaced him following a brief second-quarter stint on Tuesday, the rookie center, according to several witnesses, snapped at interim coach Jim Boylan.

"That's what I get for working hard?" Gray said.

A shocked Boylan snapped back and Gray, a second-round pick, played only the final 1:21 of a blowout victory over Memphis the rest of the night.

Now, on the one hand, I feel like Boylan would've been well in his rights to snap back, "Dude, you missed a shot and picked up two fouls in three fucking minutes! Not to mention you're slow as fuck. Sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up."

On the other hand, as a general rule, I feel inclined to endorse any and all slags about Boylan and his rotations, almost regardless of their merits.

Yup. This is a real tough one.

Famous Person Tests This Blogger's Fanship

You know what, Noah-Hater, I wasn't going to buy a reissue of Brighten the Corners anyway.

UPDATE: Stephen Malkmus called LaMarcus Aldridge soft. Forgiven!

Via Idolator.

Friday, March 07, 2008

I've Heard You Can Say Anything You Want On The Internet

So why waste time saying nothing?
6. Jose Calderon - Sure, he has low turnovers and he did an unexpectedly great job filling in for TJ Ford, but Calderon is not an MVP candidate. I actually saw seemingly legitimate sources put Calderon on the All-Star team over Paul Pierce! His adjusted +/- is +0.3. Calderon is not a difference maker.
7. PER (Player Efficiency Rating) - With all apologies to John Hollinger, this is just a garbage statistic that means very little. Current players in the top 50 include: Carl Landry, Leon Powe and Amir Johnson. Adjusted plus/minus is a much better indicator of player performance. For those truly interested in basketball stats, steer clear of PER and check out the stats on these sites: 82Games and BasketballValue.
8. Joakim Noah - I just hate you, Joakim. Please go away.
I doubt anyone (short of a Raptors message board user, who is probably a cousin of this guy) is seriously putting Calderon out there as the MVP, but complain your heart out. I'm not sure where that adjusted +/- number is coming from (-5.29 as of March 6), but JC's success sans Ford was hardly unexpected. The relatively simpler, less volatile +/- rating has Calderon second only to Bosh, and that should be proof enough that Calderon is a pretty big difference maker for the Raptors.

Describing PER as garbage after misinterpreting adjusted +/-, and using small sample sizes as straw men against the Mighty Hollinger. Free Darko isn't hiring, buddy. Ba-Zam!

I'm sick of a lot of things, but disdain for Joakim Noah just confuses me. Is it because he's not classically handsome, or won a bunch in college and isn't classically handsome? I suppose I'm not that confused anymore. At least Str8Hoops didn't compare Jo to Varejao.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Taking A Break From Tyrese Thomas

Reggie Miller can kill dead air. Shooting on Carl landry: "He is not a good rebounder for his size."

Landry 2007-08
6' 8.5" in shoes. 17.7 TRB%. 11.2 TRB/36.

Yao 2007-08
900' 3.2" in shoes. 16.5 TRB%. 10.2 TRB/36.

Yes, it's worth checking back on Landry's rebounding percentage with more Ming-less minutes.

I wore an onion on my belt....which was the style at the couldnt get those white ones, you could only get those big yellow ones...

"It's the Tribune vs. Chicago." And a total joke.

Another Chapter In The Lost Email Saga

File that grievance, Tyrus Thomas. I've had plenty of personal reasons to not watch Bulls games this season, I can't get salty over a man (a grown man!) trying to do the same.

On a more personal note, my representatives would like to file an official grievance against Jay Mariotti for name-dropping a respected guy who can't exactly deny that any such conversation took place.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tyrus Thomas Earns Suspension

Too busy celebrating Chris Singleton's departure from radio to make practice. 2 games with the Star Chamber dissolved!

Van Gundy on D in the NY Times

Your Chicago Bulls

Better than a trade-decimated Memphis squad.

Not quite what I was hoping for this year.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Now Being Served At The TYI Grill

Luol Deng: Three of 13 from the field, horrific defense on Lebron. Pay you 11 mil a year? Eat a dick.

Larry Hughes: Twenty shots!! Come off it, man. You are not LeBron James. Eat a dick.

Ben Wallace: Thank Jeebus you're clanking FTs and shooting fadeaways for another squad these days. But for that season and a half that you were a Bull: Eat a dick.

Jim Boylan: Hope you're hungry. Forty three minutes for Hughes?! Playing Deng at PF in the fourth??!! At the expense of Tyrus???!!! May you eat dick for every meal for the rest of your short-lived tenure as a head coach. It cannot end soon enough.

Great Expecations

Even after shitting the bed last game, I am reeeeeaalllllllly looking forward to this one. The only thing that could sour it is if Boylan plays Tyrus only nine minutes again, in which case I might very well stop watching the rest of this craptacular season. As if going up against Ben Wallace wasn't enough to motivate the T-Dub, Hubie Brown has has been talking some shit. Considering most announcers have been amazed at what Tyrus can do when give minutes, I'm salivating at the prospect of Ty treating Wallace like a ragdoll.

Please, Boylan. Please. Do not fuck this up.