[thanks to chgobr for the game preview -ed.]
Today's 11 AM game: I'm pumped. We looked great against Denver. TT (see update below) was a force and brought a big smile to my face. I particularly liked his huge rebound and 3 point play that sealed the deal in the 4th. We are young. We have Derrick Rose. TT is improving by the day. Paxson seems to have a good plan. We're playing well and today my Bulls play a depleted Indiana team. Milwaukee plays Denver at home. We win, Milwaukee loses we are in the 8th spot. Over the next few weeks it is possible for us to overtake Detroit and Philly and finish in the 6th spot with an outside chance of finishing higher. Hollinger's playoff odds have us in the 7th seed ahead of Detroit. Yes today is the perfect scenario for the Bulls to get blown out and rip my heart out!
TT update: KC in the Trib is reporting "After logging more than 44 minutes Friday night against Denver, Tyrus Thomas sat with a strained right hamstring. Del Negro said he wouldn't hesitate starting either Miller or Tim Thomas if Tyrus Thomas can't play. …" The Sun-Times is listing him as questionable because of a hamstring.
Indiana I thought was going to make the playoffs or be right in mix. They play with a great deal of energy. A number of heart-breaking losses and injuries have killed them. Two of their top players Dunleavy and Granger are out. They have one of the NBA's great hoodlums, Jamal Tinsley spending time in Marbury-land. Defense is the Pacer's Achilles-heel. They average 106.8 points-against. This is exceeded only by the three defensive gems of New York 107.5, Sacramento 108.8 and Golden State at the amazing number of 111.4. Indiana as a small market team has contract challenges beyond Tinsley. Troy Murphy is at $12 million 2010-11. T.J Ford has a player option through 2010-11 of $8.5 million and Dunleavy is at $10.5 million through 2010-11. Indy comes off a win against a Jeffersonless Timberwolve team. Marquis Daniels had a big game getting more minutes in Granger's absence. From the Indianapolis Star "Josh McRoberts, whose playing time might increase during the final 26 games, returned to the team after missing two games earlier this week with the flu . . . Foster missed his fifth straight with a sore lower back." The Bulls won the only game against Indiana this year November 15th at home 104-91.
Trade week: I'm still reeling from trade week. I have never seen so many posts as the trades unfolded. Wednesday' Noc/Gooden deal has 680 comments. Most within an hour. Then on Thursday we were able to jettison Hughes. That generated 456 comments. Matt did a great job organizing this for us. Thank God for the help of Sports2 and Doughthonous for trying to explain the James salary issues and the Ben Gordon salary cap challenges. I am certain quantum physics is easier to understand. I feel bad for Amare, but we mistakenly worried about his knees instead of his retinas. See the excellent BaB diary on retinas by T Thomas. Paxson had this figured all along. Paxson rocks!
Remember - game starts at 11AM on WGN