Friday, February 27, 2009

Talk About A Bad Day for Chicagoans...

Two Bulls' legends die, the weather turns crap-tastic, and fuckin' Fast Eddie walks.

Still, this was pretty sweet:

After all this, if they don't come out and wallop the Wiz by 30 tonight, this team has no soul.

UPDATE: This Joravsky piece on Van Lier is simply phenomenal. (H/T Crash Davis) I mean, seriously, if you don't read this, you're not only missing out, but are probably an asshole.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Could 'Space Chimps' Be Any Worse Than Watching Hinrich in the Fourth?

Not entirely original (and boy am I missing the Hot Shit these days), but this is very, very funny.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Two Things

1) This late-game preference of Hinrich over Rose has to stop. Now. (And I know Rose hasn't been playing all that well of late. Doesn't matter.) If it doesn't, some sort of collective action by Bulls' fans might be necessary.

2) The next time your shooting guard is 9 for 11 at the half with 22 points, let's make sure he gets more than ONE FUCKING SHOT in the third quarter. Un-fucking-believeable.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Good News/Bad News

The good news is that the Bulls might have lucked out by not trading for Amar'e Stoudemire, who appears to be out for the season with a partially torn retina.

The bad news is that the Bulls do not have a player on their roster (even an injured player) who can score 42 points on 15 of 20 shooting and pull down 11 rebounds with a fucking partially torn retina!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why Two Semi-Crappy Contracts Are Better Than One Hugely Crappy Contract

Scoff all you want at the news that the Bulls are trading Larry Hughes for Jerome James and (ha!) Tim Thomas, but keep in mind that NBA teams need to carry a minimum of 13 player contracts. Paying James and Thomas roughly the same as Hughes (actually, about $600K less) means that the Bulls now have 10 players under contract at basically the same salary that they previously had nine. That means only three roster spots need to be filled within a limited amount of cap space, as opposed to four.

It's not much, but considering we're talking about Larry Hughes, every little benefit counts. (Morrissey, however, is probably pissed.)

UPDATE: The addition of Roberson makes this even more salient. Assuming they pick up Roberson's option next year--he sucks and was an absolute cancer on the Gator teams he played for in college, but is cheap roster filler--that means only two more roster spots need to be filled.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Financial Ramifications

Some of my quick cap math (which is notoriously bad, so please take with grain of salt):

**As noted below, this deal actually saves the Bulls some money this year, around $1.5 million. UPDATE: (Not exactly true; turns out Salmons has a trade kicker in his contract, meaning the Bulls have to pay him $2 m. more this year; if the Bulls agreed to that, it makes me think a Hinrich for parts deal is likely, as that would offset some of that kicker this year.)

**If that Hinrich deal doesn't go down, that means the Bulls are looking at $65.4 m. on the books for next year, with only 9 players signed. Assuming the lux tax limit is roughly the same as this year's (and assuming that IT MUST NOT BE BREACHED!), that leaves only $6 m. to spread around a minimum of three (and likely four or five) roster spots). And that means, adios Lil' Ben.

**However, if Hinrich is traded for, say, the expiring deals of Jason Collins and Rashad McCants, that opens up an additional $9.5 million next year. Presume we sign Gordon for something close to 5 years, $50 million (which might be possible given how many teams are taking a bath in this economy), and the Bulls now have nine players at $64.2 million. That would leave them both in better shape financially and as a team on the court. (Unless you think Hinrich is a better player than Gordon, in which case, kindly piss off.)

Quick Trade Reaction

1) I like it. Miller is both a nice complimentary piece to Ty and Noah, and an expiring deal in the much-anticipated "Summer of '10" (TM). Salmons is having a career year this season, and will likely never play this well again, but as a backup to Deng (who is actually quick enough to guard SFs, unlike Noce) and possible 1-year Gordon insurance (he'd be a slow defender at the 2, but he's tall (!!) and has actually been a decent shooter the past three seasons), he's fine. What's more, he's owed considerably less than Noce, which is fantastic. Plus, I'm obviously pleased that I don't have to watch Gooden and Noce any more.

2) I'll like this deal even more, if Pax pulls off the rumored Hinrich to T'Wolves trade for two expiring deals, which would at least make the possibility of re-signing Gordon this summer feasible. But if that doesn't come off, it's bye-bye, Ben, which obviously wouldn't please me.

UPDATE: Also, this deal gets the Bulls' fully under the luxury tax limit this year, so dear ol' Jerry won't have to pay $300K in luxury taxes. Thank the lord.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Farewell to a Mensch

Will the Bulls get Amar'e? Camby? Kaman? Is Pax really going to quit in the coming weeks?

To be honest, we here at TYI could really give a shit at the moment. Over the weekend, we said our goodbyes to Coach Skiles, one of this humble blog's founders and indeed the inspired creator of our very name. This morning, the Coach officially left the frigid flatlands of Chi-City for the warmer, more non-linear climes of his native North Carolina, and though we understand and support his decision, it doesn't change the sad fact that we're losing a worthy adversary/teammate on the pickup court, a wry, oft-hilarious voice on all matters of current events, and a very, very good friend. (To say nothing of the gaping hole his absence will leave in the Deadline Dogs' outfield/batting order this summer.) He'll be more than missed.

(The Coach (middle), at the Weegee's shuffleboard court this past weekend for his going away party, reacts to the exhortations of BenGo (right, pointed hand) that they immediately partake in a round of Jameson shots to properly mark his departure from Chicago. The Coach, of course, kindly accepted.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Logic of Amare'

Now that there's talk about trading him for Stoudemire, I've been getting a kick out of the sudden influx of Tyrus love. Where are all those people who once bemoaned our lack of LaMarcus Aldridge, and demanded that Tyrus' minutes be given to the hustling Noce?

No doubt much of the new-found adoration stems from T-Dub's recent five-game stretch (the best of his career), in which he's averaged nearly 18 points, 11 boards and 2 blocks, while shooting 50% from the field and getting to the line more than seven times a game. That this stretch also corresponds with the best five game stretch of his career in terms of minutes played--38.6 a game--is no surprise to some of us. Indeed, his career numbers projected at 36 per come out to 14, 9 and 2.4, with 5.4 FTA, so while Ty's recent run demonstrates real improvement, it's by no means jaw-dropping.

So why, in spite of all this, would I be willing to trade this budding young hoss for an apparent malcontent/head-case who "can't rebound"? Because that malcontent can really, really score, and I agree with Kelly Dwyer that the root of the Bulls' recent problems are much more offense-related than defense-related.

A couple things first: While Amare' has never been a great rebounder, it's only this season where he's been hanging around the dreaded Aldridge line of 12.8% TRB. Indeed, throughout his career, Amare' has been an adequate-to-good defensive rebounder (career DRB 20.1); it's only at the offensive end where his boarding gets suspect. That doesn't concern me too much as, so long as any deal does not include Noah, Amare' will be playing alongside one of the best offensive rebounders in the league.

I also wonder if Amare's offensive boards don't suffer from the fact that he is very, very good around the rim. Indeed, compare the eFG% of his Close and Dunk Shots to Tyrus', and you find Amare' more than 13% points better on Close shots, and even nearly 8% points better on Dunks. (He's also 10% points better than Ty on Jumpers.) Less misses mean less chances to rebound those misses. [But obviously doesn't mean less percentage of real-existing offensive rebounding chances, thereby making my original point idiotic. Still, I'll keep it as it shows just how much more an efficient offensive player Amare' is than Ty.]

Indeed, even factoring in how well Tyrus has been playing as of late---and I think he's been pretty phenomenal---I can't imagine him ever being as much of an offensive force as Amare'. This is no knock against Tyrus. Amare' is one of the most efficient scorers to ever play the game. Two years ago, he became one of only two players in NBA history to average 20 points while taking less than 13 shots a game. (The other is Dwight Howard.) Last year, he joined Charles Barkley as the only other player in NBA history to average 25 points while taking less than 16 shots a game. This year, a supposedly bad and distracted Stoudemire is still putting up a TS% that is among the Top 20 of all players (and 7th among players averaging more than 30 min. a game).

I might not be so beguiled by Stoudemire's offensive ability (or deem it more worthwhile than Tyrus' defensive skills) if the Bulls had locked up Ben Gordon for the next few years. But as they didn't---and, with Toronto's O'Neal trade, it becomes likely that the Rapts could sign BG up long-term---the Bulls are really going to need another offensive threat to pair alongside Rose in order to compete night-in and night-out. Amare' would also firmly cement Luol's place as the team's third offensive option (behind AS and Rose), which I think is exactly where he belongs. With a frontcourt of Deng, Stoudemire, and Noah and the PG manned by Rose, I think I could live with Kirk Hinrich playing the two next year, which appears to be where we are heading regardless of whether this trade gets made.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

For The Record

TYI's official stance on the Amare trade is:

**If it's Gooden, Tyrus, Sefolosha and a draft pick, pull the trigger.

**If Steve Kerr actually expect you to add Noah to all of that, laugh in his face.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Learning Curve

I'll bow to no one when it comes to my unhealthy man-crush on Derrick Rose, but since I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere, honesty compels me to note that he was absolutely MIA defensively on Kidd's game-tying three the other night. Check the tape:

It would be one thing if he'd been doubling down hard and trying to tie up Nowitzki and/or Barea. (It would be stupid with a three-point lead, but at least he'd be involved in the play.) Instead, he is simply watching the play unfold in no-man's-land, completely losing track of his man in the process.

This isn't suggest Rose shouldn't be on the floor at times like this; he MUST be, and VDN's recognition of this is one of the few things he's gotten right this year. But it is to suggest that the Bulls played a pretty nice game overall for 47 minutes and 47 seconds, and that Rose's defensive brain-fart cost them a chance to lock down the W. It really doesn't matter much this year, but in the future, hopefully, it will. And if Rose is ultimately going to become the type of franchise cornerstone that we all hope/believe he can be, he's going to have to eliminate these crunchtime lapses in concentration completely.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Can You Say Chi-City?

Come on, Henry: What team is going to top a backcourt of Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade?

Add in Kevin Garnett at the 4 and Corey Maggette at the 3, and it doesn't matter that we're starting Eddy Curry at center.

(And Julian Wright representing Big Sweet's own Flossmoor is a pretty nice sixth man.)

Monday, February 02, 2009

If By "Positive" You Mean "Sucky"...

I know I just need to get over this already, but it's clear that K.C. Johnson and I live in two different worlds:

Making Monday's practice even more positive was the fact veteran big man Drew Gooden participated.

Less minutes for an improving Noah and Tyrus so as to make room for the guy who endlessly launches 20-footers, plays terrible defense, and has no future in the organization? Why, that is positive!