Man, not only a post on the weekend, but in bullets...
- After reading the game thread comments, I taped the replay of the Bulls/Cavs game from Friday night. Unfortunately ESPN cuts up the replays so I didn't get to see everything, but it was a fun game to watch considering how well Tyrus and Noah played, especially together. Unfortunately it was all in extended garbage time, the kind where Luol Deng attempts 25% of his season total in 3-pointers, so while I'm not surprised they can play well together, I won't proclaim it proves they're the ideal frontcourt. They do need a 3rd man (who starts or sits, as a non-Boylan coach could figure out how to give everyone minutes) in the rotation to take the pressure off those two when they're overwhelmed physically. Drew Gooden's good(en) enough. Nocioni isn't. Aaron Gray neither.
- Speaking of Red Kerr's binkie, he was the subject of some KC Johnson bias this week. I used to really like KC's work at the Trib, and missed it when he took a year off the beat, but the more I read or hear his 'opinions' instead of straight reporting, the less I'm liking that reporting. And it seems that since Sam Smith has left, the Trib's figuring to save money by having one part of KC's job blend into the other. First it was the consecutive days where Tyrus Thomas was referred to as 'who will be shopped in the offseason' (one instance was in a game story), and the implication that it's unknown whether Thomas will work hard in the offseason because he didn't tell KC as much. Contrast that with the glossing over an example of Noah's lack of professionalism while praising his professionalism, and I notice a suspicious lack of recognition concerning Aaron Gray's lapses in that department, considering he had his own blowup with Boylan, and hasn't been keeping weight off during this season.
Do I notice (or imagine) this because I'm fearing the organization's using the media to grease the wheels for a Tyrus exit this offseason? Yes. I'm not sure it's an irrational fear, however.
update: Forgot to throw this in as well: after Thomas' nice game on Friday, both the Trib and Sun-Times gave implicit credit to the Pete Myers motivational toolbox.
- One coach may be unavailable in the Bulls' search this offseason, as the Bucks have hired a GM out of the Pistons front office, and he may hire an ex-Piston head coach, Rick Carlisle. (via MLive.com).
- Why is Chris Duhon playing, at all? After the latest snooze-button fiasco and subsequent 'illness', coupled with knowing he's an unrestricted free agent this coming offseason, he was all-but forgotten for good and didn't play from March 7th to the 26th. But Bulls coaches just can't quit him, as since then in the subsequent 9 games he's averaged 13.5 minutes a game. And this is in the midst of a supposed logjam of guards on the team. As Tyrus is 'who will be shopped', Duhon is often named 'who's not in the Bulls future plans'...although now I have to wonder. And it makes me ill.
- Two instances of strategies I only thought the Bulls bizarrely liked: sitting your best scorer (he'll thrive against second-teamers!), and acting as if there's only 5 fouls allowed a game as an excuse to sit young talent.
- Back to Friday night's game: every once in a while I'm awed that a team with this much talent could win so few games. It truly is a testament to awful coaching (and maddeningly absent GM involvement) to let it happen. There was speculation (courtesy of WSCR's cruddy Bulls sources) that Paxson's tenure is as long as he wants it, yet he may not want it anymore. Not that I believe he will quit this offseason when he has a chance to swiftly right this ship and look like a genius again, but I do think he more-or-less quit on this season when he hired Boylan and gave him free reign. It's a decision that's as awful as any he's made in his tenure.