Man, Saturday night's game really hurt. Up by 20+ in the second quarter, the Bulls managed to find a way to lose to the Clippers at home, 97-96. Perhaps fueled by this week's criticisms, Eddy Curry (20pts, 11rebs) and Tyson Chandler (17, 13) produced. Its the kind of game where you catch yourself going "You know, they're only 22, and if they stay together....". Chandler especially looked good, getting out of the gate with a few nice jumpers. Late in the game as well he cleared everyone out and made a jump hook to keep the game close. His inside moves are still unorthodox at best (yet that makes him a foul magnet), but his jump shot has improved, I'm tellin ya.
Off games for Gordon and Hinrich, as well as being terrible again from the line (61%) didn't help matters. Perhaps what was the most glaring weakness was the lack of a 'closer' to hit big shots at the end of games. As I said in my season preview, the #1 question was who will score the points. While I was confident that Crawford's production was easily replaced, I forgot to mention that even when the Bulls had Crawford's points they were a terrible offensive team. Getting back to that level isn't going to cut it, and Ben Gordon especially needs to start stepping up. I'm not that worried about him, he is just a green rookie. Remember how bad Hinrich looked at the beginning of last season? I think just that the more they play together the better the offense will be, but it sure would've been nice to get wins out of the two close losses at home both this past Saturday and opening night.
Now off to the famed Annual Circus Trip of Death(TM). Here's the next seven games:
- Tue 11/16 @ Sacramento
- Wed 11/17 @ Golden State
- Fri 11/19 @ Denver 8:00pm
- Sun 11/21 @ L.A. Lakers 8:30pm
- Mon 11/22 @ Phoenix 8:00pm
- Wed 11/24 @ Utah 8:00pm
- Sat 11/27 @ Cleveland 6:30pm
Eep. Having that Golden State game on the second night of a back-to-back is a real kick in the teeth. Lets just hope they get that circus curse off their backs before the Bulls become this year's version of the Orlando Magic. Well....maybe getting away from Chicago will do them some good. There will certainly be less scrutiny with the Bears actually winning a few games.
note: Later this week I will have a links update, and I have already
received a bunch of suggestions. If you want to tip me off to a site you enjoy
by all means
drop me an email. Or just link to this site, I'll notice. Do it now before
the Bulls keep their slide to doom and nobody visits here anymore :-).