Because the last handful of games have been completely hopeless -- as my friend Art said following the Orlando game, it's like watching a 1-seed versus a No. 16 -- I decided to scour the comments of several posts and respond to them as if I had a fan base. Enjoy.
WHY IS HE TAKING A FUCKING TIME OUT????
-- jamaica876 on Mar 16, 2010 9:32 PM CDT
This was in reference to Vinny Del Negro's attempt to stem the momentum in the Bulls 104-97 loss to the Grizzlies on Monday that extended the losing streak to eight games. Unfortunately, the momentum he was trying to stem was the Bulls'. Beginning with Memphis leading 93-80 in the fourth quarter, these were the plays prior to the timeout:
|4:54||Acie Law makes driving layup||93-82|
|4:48||Mike Conley bad pass|
|4:37||Brad Miller makes 23-foot three point jumper||93-85|
|4:18||Zach Randolph makes 1 of 2 free throws||94-85|
|4:11||Hakim Warrick makes slam dunk||94-87|
|3:47||Ronnie Brewer misses 19-foot two point shot|
|3:39||Jannero Pargo makes driving layup||94-89|
|3:39||Jannero Pargo makes free throw 1 of 1||94-90|
|3:15||Grizzlies shot clock violation|
With your team on a 10-1 run over the prior 1:39, what could possibly possess you to call time out? Even Chris Webber cannot imagine a situation where you would want to call a timeout less than right there. The home team is reeling. The crowd is getting tighter than Eddy Curry's warmups. Memphis was in the process of blowing a 25-point late-third-quarter lead, as the Bulls weren't just on a 10-1 run, they'd also scored 27 of the previous 36. Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins should have been jumping out of his suit trying to get a T.O., but instead Vinny calls one and completely lets them off the hook.
Not surprisingly, Memphis put the game away by scoring the next six points after Vinny's rally-killing decision. Look, I'm not saying the timeout lost the game, one a Bulls team minus four starters had no business being in. But they did have a tiny sliver of a chance to steal it there at the end, and the timeout sure as shit didn't help. So to answer your question, Jamaica: I wish I knew. I wish I knew.
Is Bosh the Answer? (What's the Question?)
-- leeac on Mar 14, 2010 6:32 PM CDT
Alright, so I stole that from someone else's actual blog entry; I'm sorry that I can't even abide by my own ridiculous premise. Anyway, unless the question is, Who would be your third choice among the soon-to-be free agents? then I don't think Chris Bosh is the answer.
No, that's not entirely fair. Bosh would be a great guy for them to land, someone who, while not a super-duper star, is still worth the max in a league where lesser guys like Rashard Lewis have gotten it. But I'd still want LeBron James and Dwyane Wade first.
LeBron is the no-doubt-about-it #1. No matter what a team's roster looked like -- I don't care if they already had Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant -- they'd still have LeBron as their first priority. Because LeBron is not only far-and-away the best player in the NBA, he's also one of the most versatile. Regardless of the current depth chart, LeBron would find a place to fit in and instantly make any team a legitimate title contender. He's the first choice, and it's not even worth discussing.
Although I get the feeling the general perception is that Wade is much older than Bosh, it's only by a little over two years. Wade will be 28 at the beginning of next season, Bosh 26. Neither guy has exactly been a paragon of health; Bosh has played more than 70 games in just one of the past
five four seasons, while Wade has missed at least 20 games in three of his seven years. Bosh would be a great fit position-wise -- I wish he had a bit more of a low-post game, though that's quibbling, really -- but that and the age are about the only things he has over Wade.
Now I understand that Wade isn't the ideal fit next to Derrick Rose, who would be better served having a Ray Allen-in-his-prime type shooter next to him. But what's best for Rose isn't necessarily what's best for the Bulls, and Wade would them far better than a Joe Johnson ever could. He is a transcendent player, a true franchise-carrying guy. Bosh, for all his talents, isn't; he's surrounded by far better players in Toronto, yet Wade's team has the (slightly) better record.
I think most people would rank Bosh somewhere in the 10 to 15 range if they were asked to list the NBA's best players. But you'd be hard pressed to find a single NBA observer that wouldn't have Wade in his/her top five. In his contract-drive season, Bosh has a career-best 25.60 Player Efficiency Rating this year; Wade has finished with a PER of 27 or better in all but one of the last been five seasons, an injury-plagued '07-'08.
So no, I don't care that Wade can't shoot the 3 and has a game somewhat similar to Rose. A good coach would figure out how to make it work. And hopefully a good coach is exactly what the Bulls will have come next season.
You watch games in your bedroom!?
-- CrashDavis on Mar 11, 2010 7:55 AM CST
Yes I do.
Though I am not morbidly obese, I do most everything from my bed: watch Bulls games, eat meals, write inane blog entries, yell at my dog to leave me alone, all of it. That's just how we SKIAs roll.
But since all of one person seems interested, if you want to read a story from my personal life (and see why I haven't posted here in a while), click here. For one from someone else's (Tiger Woods') personal life, try this.
Why does everything always have to be Tyrus vs. Taj? Weren't they on the same team?
-- MrSportsKnowItAll.com on March 17, 2010 6:06 AM CST
Well would you look at that! A comment that so perfectly encapsulates what I want to write about, you'd think I posted it just for this piece. Well I resent that implication, sir. (Or madam, I suppose. Do I have any women reading this crap?) It was a perfectly-appropriate comment in regard to this post, and that thread in particular.
Anyway, I think one of the worst developments of this Bulls season is that if you liked Tyrus Thomas, circumstances dictated that you became anti-Taj Gibson, because Gibson was the one that took his job, and received a ton of praise for supposedly having all of the desirable attributes that Tyrus was perceived to be lacking.
And that was entirely unfair to Taj. You know, kind of like losing your starting job to injury.
Say what you will, but people that didn't like Tyrus had their reasons; I would say they were misguided, but there were at least reasons. Things like, he plays too out of control and makes stupid decisions. Or he's a lousy help defender and disappears for stretches on offense. I don't agree with most of it, but I can at least see why thinking that would make someone dislike a player.
But most Tyrus fans -- okay, my sample size is one -- dislike Taj for basically four reasons:
|1. He's not as good as Tyrus|
|2. Vinny insisted on starting him, the lesser player|
|3. They've had an assfull of the hard-hat-and-lunch-pail crap|
|4. They find the Taj backers to be insufferable|
And really, those could be combined into two reasons; regardless, none of them are Taj's fault. All Taj has done is gone out and played hard. It's not his fault that Stacey King yammers on and on about how workmanlike he is, or that others talk about how smart he plays. Taj never proclaimed that he was better than Tyrus, or that Vinny needed to start him lest he demand a trade. He's just a young player trying to establish himself in the league, and it's tragic that he's largely viewed as the villain among us Tyrus fans.
Ideally, the Bulls would've found a way to make it work with Tyrus and Taj, and there was no reason why they shouldn't have. Given that so many teams go small in today's NBA, I thought those two and Noah would've make for a pretty good three-man rotation at the 4 and 5. But it didn't work out that way, not because of the players necessarily (and certainly not because of Taj), but because of failures of the organization and coaching staff. That's who completely gang-raped the pooch on this one.
As I've said before, good organizations value players based on what they do well; crappy ones only see them for what they can't do. So the Bulls focused on Tyrus' flaws instead of his assets, and decided he wasn't worth the trouble. This is what leads to mediocrity, as well as big contracts for guys like Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich -- even though neither of them do anything particularly well, they don't have any glaring weaknesses, either -- while someone with a legitimate NBA skill (shot-making) in Ben Gordon is let go.*
* For the record, I supported the Bulls' decision not to re-sign Gordon. First off, even though he is a great long-range shooter, I didn't think that he was a particularly good fit next to Rose because of his defense and tendency to dominate the ball and/or lose control of it while attempting to dribble, and $58 million for five years was ludicrous. But more importantly, since the Bulls already had Deng and Hinrich under crazily-termed contracts, signing yet another non-elite player to a lucrative long-term deal didn't make a whole lot of sense, not with the looming extensions to Rose, Noah, and (ahem) Thomas. Now if you had asked me to pick one of Deng, Hinrich, and Gordon, it definitely would've been Gordon. But the organization had already made its bed with Deng and Hinrich, and it just didn't make sense to have over $30 million per season committed to a trio of barely above-average players.
If you had told me that Taj Gibson would be averaging eight-and-a-half points and seven rebounds 66 games into his rookie season and a huge chunk of fans (including me) wouldn't like him, there's no way in hell I would've believed you. It sounds totally insane. The truth is, we should all be reveling in his surprisingly-productive rookie season, but instead too many of us are letting our affinity for Tyrus get in the way.
This same sentiment goes for the other side of the coin (the Taj backers) too; just because you like the way Taj plays doesn't mean that Tyrus was a flaming turd. You may think that Tyrus had the dreaded low basketball IQ, but you should also acknowledge that did some things very, very well. Because he did, and to deny it just makes you seem horribly biased.
May you please post less?
-- Super-Structure on Feb 23, 2010 11:01 AM CST
By the time I saw this comment, some people had already jumped in to defend my posts, which I really appreciated. But I believe Super-S was misinterpreted. As his subsequent comments still rather-cryptically indicated, I don't think he wanted me to post with less frequency, but rather wanted my entries to be shorter.
To be honest, almost every time I sit down, I say to myself, Well this'll be a nice, short one. Then eight hours and several thousand words later, I've got yet another 15-minute-commitment piece. Sorry for that.
But to answer your question: I'm trying.
Come back tomorrow (or whenever the hell I get to it) for Part II, which was originally supposed to be included in this entry before it ran far too long.