Open Game Thread #80: Bulls vs. Orlando Magic

[ed. note: Thanks to chgobr for today's game preview. -Matt]

A loss tonight ties us with Charlotte and puts us two games behind Jersey with two games left.  Tie breakers are broken by drawings so we will not be penalized by having won the series with Charlotte 3-1.  The 8th pick is possible.  

We have a disease.  Noah discusses how it can spread. You gotta love this guy.  

"It's a disease, and it spreads throughout the whole team," Noah said calmly. "It's just really, really hard right now because regardless what we do, there's no light at the end of the tunnel, especially for this season.

"We're not really playing with a lot of pride and respect for the jersey. It's just hard because you can't point at anybody individually. It's just our togetherness as a team is just bad. You can talk about Florida. But if you're a Bulls fan, I'm not a champion anymore. We're losers. We lose. That's all we do. That's all there is to say."

My recurring nightmare - the disease spreads to next season. We need infectious disease control.

RANDOM TOUGHTS as we enter the most important part of next season:

1.    The obvious - Find the right coach.  Rick Carlisle's name is popping up in the New York Post

Walsh is not bent on seeking an experienced coach, otherwise Rick Carlisle and Scott Skiles would be favorites. Carlisle is being pursued by Milwaukee. Skiles is at a terrible disadvantage because Curry and Jamal Crawford both dislike him - and the feeling is mutual.  and in the Milwaukee Journal . Carlisle would win soon. He won big very quickly in Indiana and Detroit, where he once worked with Hammond. It would seem like a natural fit. But Carlisle will be in great demand. Chicago and New York may want to hire him. It's time for the senator's wallet to again compete with the big boys. Carlisle is incredibly demanding, which would be perfect for this undisciplined team. He also struggles with people skills, which was a reason why he was fired after winning 50 games for two franchises. Maybe he has learned from those experiences. Even if he has not, that's OK, because the short-term tradeoff for this organization would be worth it. The Sun-Times quote below has a different take on Carlisle, Skiles and New York. I believe the New York Post on this one. The belief in New York is that Walsh has decided to make a change. There's already talk about who will replace Thomas. Former Bulls coach Scott Skiles is thought to be the front-runner, with former Knicks guard Mark Jackson, Boston Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau and Knicks assistant Herb Williams as possible other candidates.

2.    Don't overpay Deng.  
3.    Gordon playing for the one year qualifying offer of $6.4 is a good deal for the Bulls.  We get to evaluate him for another year before deciding what to do with him.
4.    Attempt to move one or both long-term contracts of Hinrich and/or Nocioni.  Maybe we can get a 2009 1st round pick and a better contract.
5.    Moving Hughes contract is mission impossible without taking on a worse contract.  Contingency plan - attempt to coach Hughes into a defensive stopper.
6.    Get lucky in the draft.  With almost 400 comments in our endless draft thread I'm totally confused who we should take at the 8-9 pick.  It seems to me there isn't much difference 3-12, but what do I know.
7.    Is DeSagana Diop someone we should consider? I believe he will be a free agent.  Can we get him for a reasonable price?  He could back-up Noah.  Gray becomes the third option.  

Oh yes - we play the Magic 6 PM tonight.  The game is on Comcast.   Can you resist watching when there are only three games left?

Orlando Magic Blog
SB Nation Magic Blog

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