Friday, November 21, 2003

Breaking News - Report: Toronto may get Bulls' Rose in multi-player deal This has also been reported on, and supposedly on WGN and WSCR radio in Chicago. There are two proposals being tossed around. Both include Rose being traded for Alvin Williams, Jerome "JYD" Williams, and Morris Peterson. One version also has Donyell Marshall going to Toronto with the Raps adding Antonio Davis to the deal. I'll have more on this if and when it becomes official. UPDATE(9:54pm): Well it looks like Jalen Rose started tonight's game against the Lakers. So obviously this trade isn't as close to done as reported.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Nothin Doin' But I thought I'd be nice and throw something out there: -Tyson's back is really worrying me. If this were a blog about back injuries, then I'd probably have more to say about that. -K.C. Johnson has his mailbag column up. There's some good stuff in there, and of course the obligatory E-Rob cheap shot at the end. Although its hard to regard anything about E-Rob as being 'cheap'. -In case some of you don't know what I'm talking about when referring to 'Media Powerhouse'(tm) WCIU, I found their website. In my delusions of grandeur, there are people from all over the country reading this, not just my dopey friends. -What can you say about the Laker game? Granted the Lakers aren't playing all that well, but they still have 4 hall-of-famers in the lineup. It'll be interesting to see if Eddy Curry can get pumped to hang with Shaq as well as he did last game. And it'll also be interesting to see if Kirk Hinrich can handle the defense and trash-talking of Gary Payton. I'm thinking not, but hey he's got a sneaker deal. That's what I call improved street cred.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

0-28 Another West Coast loss last night, this time against the Suns, in which was arguably the most winnable game on this trip. The game wasn't on TV here (you know why), but I see that Jalen Rose shot 3-16 (he's shooting 38.7% so far folks), and Tyson Chandler was limited to 19 minutes, and is scheduled to see a back specialist today. As Scooby-Doo would say, "Ruh-Roh". I'm sure I'm not the only one who's starting to get worried about this. In other injury news, Crawford still isn't practicing, and Marcus Fizer was activated from the injured list and replaced by Linton Johnson. Fizer went on to score 10 in 17 minutes. ESPN's Dr. Jack Ramsay has this week's 'prescription' for the Bulls. Get it? cause he's a doctor. Its a short read, not really informative though...lets take a look:
The Bulls' record stands at 4-7 going into a five-game trip through the West. They've yet to win two games in a row, and, statistically, they rank 20th in points scored (88.5), 27th in points allowed (98.0), 29th in 3-point percentage defense (.428), 24th in field-goal defense (.442) and 28th in turnovers (18.9 per game). They also commit four turnovers more than they force from opponents and are out-rebounded each game on average at both boards. Those are not numbers associated with winning teams.
Well to be honest, the only one that's suprising is the 88.5 points scored, but those defensive numbers are really awful. You'd expect some improvement with Pippen and Gill coming in. And, well, maybe the kids learning some defense.
As I watch the Bulls now, Cartwright appears to have given in. He sits impassively as they commit careless turnovers, take bad shots and play soft defense. He needs to take the Bulls by the horns and assert himself again. Next, he needs to establish a starting lineup and stick with it. That lineup must include the five most talented players who play together best at both ends of the floor. Crawford and Rose should be among them, although both need to upgrade their games. Pippen should come off the bench. Scottie is a great player to settle the team, but he is no longer capable of starting or playing extended minutes. Hinrich isn't ready to start in the NBA. It's difficult for the offense to function properly when the point guard commits more turnovers than assists, as Hinrich has. Cartwright then needs to tighten his rotation off the bench to eight players -- or nine at the most. These players need to know when they are going to play and for approximately how long. He needs to stay with those decisions long enough to determine whether or not they fail or succeed.
This has been a rallying cry against Cartwright for some time now, figuring out a rotation and sticking with it. While its nice to cause a 'shakeup' after getting blown out a couple of times, it's still important for players to know their roles. But this year I'm giving Cartwright a pass on this. The team just hasn't been healthy all season. While this doesn't excuse their record, it does excuse the lack of a set rotation. Now with Chandler's back getting worse and Crawford still days from coming back, it doesn't look like lineup consistency is going to be happening for a while. I still expect the Bulls to steal one or two games on this trip. And for a Bulls' Fans' prescription while watching the games, do what I do: drink heavily.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I'm Sorry, the Doc is no Longer In Doc Rivers got fired today as coach of the Magic. (see Orlando Magic Fan for the best perspective) The Magic are 1-10, 0-6 at home, injured, undermanned, bad bad bad. So this is actually a blessing for Rivers, the one time coach of the year will have little trouble finding another job. Because...well I don't know why, he hasn't exactly WON anything. But Chad Ford has the Bulls as a possible destination:
The Bulls offer Rivers his best shot of winning. The team is loaded with talent, has plenty of assets and is underachieving at the moment. Rivers always has yearned to have more than just one superstar on his roster. In Chicago he'd have three potential ones. To make things even more interesting, remember that Rivers is an Illinois native. He played high school ball at Proviso East High in Maywood. Don't count out the glory factor, either. Whoever gets the Bulls to the playoffs after the five-season drought will be a hero in Chicago. The Bulls have the raw pieces, they just need someone to put them together. Coach Bill Cartwright has done an admirable job, but he's had an uneasy relationship with several of his younger players. New GM John Paxson probably doesn't want to fire Cartwright, but the opportunity to get a name coach like Rivers might be too good to pass up. Paxson has made it clear the Bulls need to make the playoffs this year. You've got to believe Rivers gives them a great shot.
I don't think there's any question that Rivers would love the Bulls job, especially if his other choices include the Knicks and Hawks. But isn't Rivers the same kind of coach as Cartwright? not much of a tactician, more of a motivator and a former player who can 'relate' to the kids (you know, them kids with their rap music..the hippin' and the hoppin' and the bippin' and the boppin'). I don't know, just doesn't seem like its worth replacing mid-season unless you're bringing in a superstar coach. Like Fred Carter (i'm kidding. but it appears he's been excommunicated from ESPN). Read your local papers (links on the left) for all the gloom and doom you could ever want regarding this upcoming road trip. I won't be able to see the game tonight, thanks to Media Powerhouse(TM) WCIU.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Thank you Barnum, Bailey, and the Brothers Ringling ::cue circus music:: It's time for the "Annual Circus Road Trip of Death"(TM), a make or break time for every Bulls season the past 5 years. And every year they've broke. Nah I suppose its too early to start saying 'make or break'. Well, unless you're My Man Sam.(TM) First let's go for a recap of what's been going on the past few days. For someone providing the world with in-depth Bulls analysis I sure don't catch a lot of games. In fact I've probably seen more Warriors games over the past week than Bulls games. First there was a heartbreaking loss on thursday night to the Timberwolves that was on Media Powerhouse (TM) WCIU. (Yes, I'm trademarking all of my inane sayings). And Jamal Crawford landed oops upside his head, but he's alright folks. The team hasn't announced a return date, but here's hoping if they're planning on keeping him out for several games they just put him on the IR. I would rather have Roger Mason taking some of the PG minutes than forcing Pippen to play as much as he's been playing lately. I genuinely worry about the minutes he and Marshall have been forced to play this early in the season due to injuries. Then there was Saturday night's game against the Sonics, and I missed that because...well because I was out. But I guess some guy was at the game. So in what I thought was a very favorable early-season schedule, the Bulls are 4-7 heading into this West Coast swing. Why is it called the "Annual Circus Trip of Death"(TM)? , well lets look at the past 4 years: (thanks to for allowing me to re-live the horror)
1999: 0-7 2000: 0-7 2001: 0-7 2002: 0-6
That's what I call a not-so good success rate. And this year's trip? At Phoenix(11/18), the Lakers(11/21), Sacramento(11/23), Dallas(11/25), and San Antonio(11/26). prognosis negative. But, there's always the opportunity that a western powerhouse could have a letdown game against the Bulls. I looked through the 6 teams' schedules to see if any of their respective games against the Bulls were on the wrong end of a back-to-back, but unfortunately there aren't any. Theres reason for pessimism, but I still believe that if the Bulls play good ball they can win a few games. But they also need to be healthy, meaning starters minutes for Chandler and Crawford. So all I can do now is cross my fingers and watch the games unfold as streaming text on my computer screen, because it seems like Media Powerhouse (TM) WCIU has bought the rights to 70% of Bulls games this year. :)