Tuesday, December 09, 2003

"No Excuses"? Ya know, It didn't really hit me until yesterday how poor the Bulls record really is. There's all the talk about how the new coach will help, the new players will help, they're injured, adjusting, etc. But at the heart of the matter, they still only have 5 wins. But I will make an excuse, these injuries are really killing their chances in these winnable games. Another one last night with the Spurs in town. The Spurs played as awful as the Bulls until the 4th quarter, when an 11-point run by Manu Ginobilli (yes, just him), sunk their hopes. Eddie Robinson returned last night, limiting the Linton Johnson minutes, which was good to see. But during the game Corie Blount had to leave after a knee injury and Kirk Hinrich played most of the game in pain while experiencing back spasms. The obvious bright spot continues to be Jamal Crawford, who is stepping up as the offensive leader of the team. He is taking over the Jalen Rose of taking those tough shots at the end of the shot clock, a situation that occurs with alarming regularity. But the difference is I feel confident as a fan watching him that he can create these shots. It shows the difference in coaching philosophy between Skiles and Cartwright when you see Jamal not getting pulled out of the game after a questionable shot or two. Some of the fourth quarter runners he made looked unguardable. I was screaming at the television form of Eddy Curry all night, who finally came up big with 16 points in the fourth quarter to finish with....16 points. While Crawford is playing very consistent, Eddy has been anything but. I have said this so many times already, but with Eddy dominating offensively inside like he can, the Bulls are a dangerous team. Otherwise, Crawford is the only bonifide scoring option, evidenced by the first 3 quarters of last night. Antonio Davis helped him out with 16 points of his own, but Eddy needs to be the focal point of the interior game. I still can't help but think what this team would be like if Tyson Chandler and Scottie Pippen played regularly. A stretch against Philly, New Orleans and San Antonio could have been 3-0 instead of 3 more losses.