Monday, December 29, 2008

Stat of the Night

Second Half Minutes

Tyrus Thomas: 4 minutes, 15 seconds

Lindsey Hunter: 8 minutes, 12 seconds

Christ, I don't even care that (somehow) they won. Throw in Thabo logging some significant minutes at PF, and come on: I have zero interest in watching this team. If for some reason Tyrus mouthed off at VDN again, who could blame him?

La Plus Que Ca Meme...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Players in the Box Score May Be Shittier Than They Appear (And Rookie Coaches May Be The Shittiest)

Reading the box score from last night, you might think Drew Gooden had a good game: 14 pts. on an efficient 7/11 shooting, nine rebounds and four assists in 32 min. And yet---aside from the ref who whistled Rose for that horrible phantom foul on Augustin's three---I'd say Gooden had more to do with the Bulls' loss last night than any other person (with the possible exception of Vinny Del Negro, who I'll get to in a minute.)

First, let's look at the 4th quarter play-by-play. Even here, Gooden appears to have played pretty well. His line: 2/2 from the field, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 0 rebounds, and 2 fouls in 11+ minutes. His plus/minus for the quarter was +2.

Right away, you notice that he had a hand in six points, almost one-fifth of the Bulls' total in the quarter, which is decent. And while the two shots he took were pretty horrible (two long jumpers; one highly contested, one super early in the shot clock), he did make them both, so let's give him a pat on the head for that.

But look at the rest of that statline, particularly within the context of the game, and the small negatives really, really add up. His two fouls both came early in the quarter (in the first four min.), and both were shooting fouls, leading directly to three FTAs. (They made two, and missed an "and one.") It's true, Nocioni's terrible D on Carroll put Gooden in a tough spot on one of those fouls, but even granting the perils of being hung out to dry by Noce, Gooden's own defensive positioning on that play was still pathetic. Indirectly, you can add two more Charlotte FTs to Gooden's early fouls, b/c Deng's non-shooting foul on Augustin to stop a fast break with 3 min. left to play was the Bulls' fifth, putting the Bobcats in the bonus. (Augustin sunk them both.)

Meanwhile, Gooden's turnover at the 5:20 mark was jaw-droppingly stupid, a lazy pass to Rose in the backcourt that Augustin easily picked off. What's more, it came immediately after the Bobcats had cut the Bulls' 4 pt. lead to two. So instead of playing in control of a 1-2 possession game, the Bulls were suddenly on their heels, facing a potential tie. And in the extra Bobcats' possession directly following that bone-headed TO, Gooden's zero rebounds came into play. At 5:03, Diaw missed a jump shot, but Gooden didn't box out Okafor, who tipped it in over him. In 25 seconds, the Bulls' four-point lead was evaporated, due in no small part to Gooden.

Then there's the stuff that doesn't show up in the box score or play-by-play, or at least only shows up under "Rose: Turnover." I am talking, of course, about what seems to be one of VDN's favorite plays, the two-man game at the top of the key with Rose and Gooden. This is utterly infuriating; stupidity of Blagojevichian proportions. If I have to watch it for much more this season, I'm either going to end up electrocuting myself by taking a golf club to the television, or wandering mindlessly through the wintry streets of Chicago, garments rent and raving madly like Lear.

If Gooden actually played the pick-and-roll (instead of his much preferred pick-and-pop), that might be one thing. Perhaps Rose could then find him cutting to the hoop for an easy bucket. But Gooden being who he is (and he's a multi-year vet at this point; he is who he is), this play-call late in games is tailor-made to result in Rose being double-teamed and forced to give up the rock to Gooden for an open 20-foot jumper. If our power forward was, say, Tim Duncan, or Kevin Garnett, or Rasheed Wallace, or Amare Stoudemire, I might happily cheer such devious play-calling, cackling in delight at such crafty forcing-upon-the-defense to "pick its poison." But our power forward is Drew Fucking Gooden, and there isn't a defense in the league that wouldn't love to have him shooting 20-footers all night, particularly when the other option is Derrick Rose wreaking havoc in the lane and taking it to you like some goddamn monster.

You've gotta feel sorry for Derrick. He forced some things last night, but Vinny was repeatedly putting him in a position to fail (or, at any rate, in a position to repeatedly pass to Drew Gooden for open 20-foot jumpers, which is pretty much the same thing). Surely what added to Derrick's frustration is that he remembers what I remember: Him, last March, during the NCAA Tournament, playing against Texas, being guarded by Augustin, and absolutely ABUSING him by going one-on-one in open space, starting at the top of the key and then using his combination of quickness, hops, and upper-body strength to muscle his way to layup after layup after layup.

It was while watching Rose simply obliterate Augustin (who many had previously been touting as Rose's equal) during that game that I first realized for certain he was going to be something else in the NBA, sui generis. A lot of people are surprised by how well he's playing; I can honestly say that I'm not, because my eyes were opened during that game. It would be nice if Vinny could track down a tape of it and watch it, and maybe get a sense of how to effectively use Rose. But then again, who'd want to watch Rose's athleticism and creativity in full, unfettered blossom late in the fourth quarter, when you can gaze in love and affection instead at the beauty that is Drew Gooden, jacking up 20-footers?

UPDATE: Henry appears to agree

Monday, December 15, 2008


To all those people who are always like, "d00d, Da Bullz totally need an All-Star!!!111!!! 4 reelz": Would you trade Derrick Rose for Allen Iverson? Or maybe Luke Ridnour?

If your answer is no, then, please, do kindly shut it. Thanks,

The TYI Management

Friday, December 12, 2008

Stat of the Night

4th Quarter Shot Attempts

Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose Combined: 5 (2 with under 30 seconds left)
Andres Nocioni and Drew Gooden Combined: 8

Nocioni also added 2 fouls, 1 rebound (0 defensive), 1 turnover, 0 assists, and 1 goaltend in his 6 minute stint. But I'm sure he's much more of "a professional" than Tyrus.

Give. Me. A. Fucking. Break.

UPDATE: Luol Deng's three fucking rebounds (1 defensive) in 37 minutes didn't fucking help, either.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Short Docu-Drama in One Act

(BenGo07's cell phone rings. He looks and sees it's Coach Skiles.)

BenGo07: Yo, yo.

Coach Skiles: What's up! I'm on the Larry Hughes Bandwagon!

BenGo07 (clearly stunned): Really?

Coach Skiles: No. In fact, if I ever say that again, it means I'm in a hostage situation and that's the code phrase for the sharpshooters to take me out.


All Nocioni (-10) and no Tyrus make BenGo07 something something.

Go crazy?



Monday, December 08, 2008

K.C.'s Irony-Free Zone

From K.C. Johnson's article today:

The creator of the hilarious Web site has posted only two entries since the February trade that sent Larry Hughes from Cleveland to the Bulls.

The self-described Cavaliers fan claims his work is done now that Hughes plays elsewhere. But even if the witty site were still being mined for material daily, the serious truth is Hughes wouldn't be giving anybody much with which to work. [Emphasis mine]

I don't know, K.C. Hell, in this very article, there's this:

"I always try to keep my teammates before me on the court. I try to help guys out, get guys in their groove because I feel I can always find my groove."

Says the dude averaging 2.1 assists per 40 minutes!!!

As the late, great Bill Hicks said, "It's irony, at a pretty base level, but I like it!"

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Charting Individual Defense

Schulyer Davis over at Basketball Statistics is charting and attempting to quantify the Bulls' individual defense this year. His categories seem a little arbitrary and subjective to me, but that's sort of the nature of the enterprise. (And what, no Closeout category?) In any event, I'll be interested to see what comes up with...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mm-Hmm, Yes...

...Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook are very similar players, if you overlook that pesky 13-plus percentage difference in eFG% between the two and the fact that, having played 162 more minutes than Westbrook, Rose only has two more turnovers. Yup, very similar.

Look, I'm not even hating on Westbrook; I think he's already a nice player, who could become very tough if ever he gets a jumper. He might very well be the best player Presti could have drafted at that spot. But don't seriously attempt to compare him with Chicago's Own. That is a recipe for disappointment, Thundercats.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Random Thoughts

1) Does Tyrus Thomas intentionally throw in-bounds passes under his own basket directly to defenders, just so that he can pad his block stats? I'm pretty sure he's done it three times this year, and in each of the three cases, he subsequently blocked the stealer's would-be lay-up. I feel like such plays are emblematic of Ty's play this year, simultaneously frustrating and awesome, negative and positive, so that his net contribution is basically null. Still, I think he's playing better lately.

2) This 2nd quarter sequence tests the boundaries of my ability to explain my man-crush on Derrick Rose through the use of funny and outre metaphors. For example, I could say that that sequence made me want to fly to Scandinavia and undergo a sex change, so that I could totally have Derrick Rose's babies...but even that, which is so far out that it's creepy, still doesn't convey how totally fucking awesome Rose can be and how much pure fucking happiness his play brings me. His play at times is ineffable, simply sublime. And, somehow, he's only going to get better.

UPDATE I was remiss in failing to mention Gray's Adventures With Inbounding, in which he received an inbounds pass from Derrick Rose, then proceeded to walk out of bounds with it so as to re-inbound it to Rose.

Goes without saying, but unlike Tyrus' adventures, this had no redeeming facet, and is thus emblematic of Gray's wholly negative contributions to this team.