Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some Random Thoughts About A Nice Win

* After watching the Bulls break 100, I was a bit concerned I'd wake up this morning and the sun would be rising in the west, the sky would be black as night, and the U.S. Senate would be a functional institution. But no, everything still seems normal. Maybe the Bulls can keep trying this.

* It helps that the Kings are terrible defenders, particularly when decimated by injuries (although it's not like Martin and Nocioni would really help much on that end, either).

* Since I bemoaned our lack of Morris Peterson, Salmons has had two nice games. And even though Kirk shot like crap last night, he defended well, which, so long as Salmons and Deng are both hitting shots, is really all we need from him.

* I'm struggling to come up with the right nickname/metaphor for Pargo. He's not quite Halley's Comet, because his offense does show up a little more regularly than once every 76 years. Maybe Old Semi-Faithful? You can basically count on him to have an absurdly hot 3-minute offensive stretch about once every five games. Outside of that, he's totally useless; but those three-minute stretches really do help! Anyway, if you can come up with a proper metaphor for him, let me know.

* I think James Johnson has one of the weirdest games I've ever seen. He's definitely talented and skilled, but those talents and skills are almost completely at odds with the normal skillset of someone with his size (and at odds with what the Bulls really need from someone with his size). He's kinda like the inverse of a great rebounding point guard who has a nice post-up game. His handle looks pretty incredible, which, y'know, is great, but a power forward with a great handle isn't really all that necessary when you've got Derrick Rose. But I'm still intrigued by him. If utilized correctly, he could be a tremendous asset, but I think at the moment, utilizing him correctly would require making him too much the focus of the offense, which, at this point, probably isn't worth the tradeoff (on both the defensive end and in taking the ball out of Rose's hands).

* Speaking of Rose, he is obviously still injured, and all the people freaking out about any regression on his part need to recognize that. What made him so amazing last year was his explosiveness (particularly around the rim) and he is showing almost no signs of it right now. He looks...ordinary. To judge from last night, I would say he's at 80 percent, tops. Which leads to the question: Should the Bulls just sit him down until he completely heals? Not being a doctor or sports trainer, I have no idea. If there's even the slightest chance that he could permanently damage his ankle, then I would say, yes, absolutely, but that would mean flushing this season directly down the shitter, leaving an already-thin team absolutely threadbare. Though I often have my doubts, I'm going to kindly assume that the Bulls' organization isn't totally idiotic and that if Rose was in any jeopardy of causing any permanent damage by playing, they would make him sit. (They actually did this with Jordan when he got injured in his second year, and though he loathed and resented them for it, it was obviously the right call.) Which to me means that rather than gnashing our teeth about the lack of Rose's development, we should instead appreciate that he is on the floor every night, gutting it out, doing what he can. He's been a grinder, very much like this team, which is playing very good defense and is now at 6-4 (considerably better than what I thought they'd be at this point). Outside the Boston game and the 4th quarter of the Raps' game, they've been fun to watch, and I'm starting to focus less on what this team doesn't do (which is still considerable) and to appreciate more of what they do very well.

(P.S. Noah is totally awesome.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sign of the Apocalypse: Peterson Envy

To piggyback on my last post: Writing about the firing of Byron Scott, Matt Yglesias notes:

Paul, Okafor, and a bunch of average guys could make the playoffs. But these are not average guys. Morris Peterson is shooting .341 from the field and .269 from three point land.

For comparison's sake: Kirk is shooting .346 and .222 from 3 land; Salmons is at .306 and .262.

My Kingdom For A Two-Guard!

Only caught the fourth quarter, so it's kinda funny in retrospect that throughout it, I was so disgusted by Kirk's play that I was screaming at the TV, "Where the hell is Salmons?! Put in Salmons!!," blissfully unaware that the subject of my desire was himself mired in a 1 for 11 game. (Then again, at least he had no turnovers, compared to Kirk's four. And my God, was Kirk fouling up the offense in the 4th! Dribbling to nowhere, stupid passes, forced shots. Just putrid.)

Anyway, you can't win when your two-guards score 16 points on combined 4 of 21 shooting against the worst defensive team in the league. The good news was that Hinrich and Salmons managed to hit 2 of 7 threes, thereby raising their 3 pt. FG percentage thus far to a stunning 24.6.

In other news, there's some guy playing the two for Detroit who's putting up 24 points a game, hitting 37% of his threes (still a career low), and getting to the line 7 times a game. (Our two shooting guards don't get there five times a night combined.)

But hey, why cry over spilled milk? Jerry Reinsdorf made a lot of money by letting that guy go, and we fans should like totally appreciate that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dates To Remember: 12/7/41, 9/11/01, 1/5/09

In light of this, let us never, ever forget: Rick Morrissey is a douchenozzle.

Ten months ago, this guy wanted to cut Joakim Noah while admiring Larry Hughes' game, and he now thinks that eating a newspaper in public will somehow atone for his stupidity. Of course, when you churn out crappy columns every week without shame, what's a little more public humiliation?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Another Bouquet for Noah

He's been getting props all over the place, but take a look at Hollinger's PER leaders among centers.

He's third, behind only Howard and Duncan. And looking at the rest of the list, I'm not sure if there's another center on it who I would prefer over him. Maybe Lopez, maybe Horford, but while not as skilled offensively as those two, Jo rebounds and passes better than both of them. (And probably is Lopez's near equal in blocking shots.) Oden, of course, still tantalizes with his potential, but given his injury history and how much trouble he has staying on the floor, I'm not sure I'd even take him over Noah.

Anyway, those are the only three possibilities coming to mind; any others?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Just So We're Clear...

...I'm not saying that Jason Goff, Sarah Spain, and Steve Rosenbloom are involved in some sordid love triangle that may or may not also include bestiality. I'm just saying that it's "awfully convenient" that all three of them made dark insinuations about Tyrus Thomas' flu without a scintilla of evidence.

Of course, just as Ockham's razor might suggest that, lo and behold, Tyrus Thomas actually had the flu, one might also deduce that these three are just terrible journalists.

Monday, November 02, 2009

A Little Unsettling...

Keeping in mind the GIGANTIC caveats that a) it's a totally worthless three-game sample size and b) the Bulls' three opponents thus far are among the league leaders in defensive efficiency (and will likely remain among them even when they're not playing the Bulls), is anyone else a little concerned that the Bulls are in the league's Top 5 in both offensive rebounding and smallest turnover ratio, and yet are the league's third-worst team in offensive efficiency?

I suppose the glass-half-full way to look at this is that all the Bulls really need to do is improve their shooting, which is (maybe) unlikely to remain this bad. The glass-half-empty view is that if there is any decrease in offensive boards and/or increase in turnovers, this offense could become historically shitty.

(But, hyuk, hyuk, Ben Gordon's really short, chortle, chortle...)