Friday, August 15, 2003

I'm officially in the Chad Ford fan club after reading today's NBA Mailbag
Q: I'm struggling to figure out how veteran teams like the Hawks and Knicks made your "worst" list, but the Bulls didn't? Their only significant offseason signing was Scottie "Crypt Keeper" Pippen. I think that the loss of Jay Williams for the season makes that, at best, a draw. Do you really see Eddy Curry, Tyson Chandler and Jamal Crawford improving THAT much? -- Steven Anderson, New York FORD: Yes. The Bulls played .500 ball over the last 14 games of the season and they did it, in large part, because of the contributions of Curry, Crawford and Chandler. Crawford averaged 16 ppg and six apg as a starter last season. In April he averaged 23 ppg and 6.5 apg. The key for Crawford was getting consistent minutes without having to compete with Williams for playing time. I think he's ready to bust out this year. Curry showed a similar breakthrough at the end of the season. His average for April was 20.3 ppg and 6.5 rpg. In March it was 17.4 ppg and 6.7 rpg. All the while he was shooting over 60 percent from the field for the last two months of the season. Chandler's improvements were more modest. He upped his averages to 12.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg and 2.2 bpg in February, and in March his numbers were 11 ppg, 10 rpg and 1.7 bpg. Put those three together with Jalen Rose, Donyell Marshall, Pippen and newcomer Kirk Hinrich and I think you have a team that could win between 40-45 games next season and break a five-season playoff drought.
I was so happy when I read that response. especially since the question was from a typical delusional Knicks fan.