Thursday, February 05, 2004

The 2 C's

That's right, its only 2. I can do without Jamal Crawford, and now I'm almost hoping he's moved before the trade deadline Feb. 19th. This is not even as much disappointment in his play, because his numbers are solid. He's proven he can score in this league, albeit not consistently. This basically stems from simply a desire to finally move on:

  • Kirk Hinrich is the point guard of the future, and that seriously diminishes Crawford's value to the Bulls. A 6'6" point guard is more valuable than a 6'6" off guard. And other teams see Crawford as a point, which helps.
  • That said, Crawford isn't a prototypical 2-guard. He can't take the punishment that a bigger guard can handle, which includes defending and attacking the basket. I want a bigger guard like Quentin Richardson.
  • He's a restricted free agent after this season. That means that its extremely possible that he's gone in the summer with nothing in return. After hearing comments by both Crawford and GM John Paxson, it seems less and less likely that Crawford is going to get the contract extension he likes. As stated earlier, as a pg he'll be highly sought-after, and at a price the Bulls may not be willing to pay.

So I'm not hating on Crawford, but if the right deal comes along I am willing to stand behind Paxson. I'm sure that comforts him. Now the 2 big fellas are a different matter. Their value is low right now, and not worth trading. And maybe I'm being swayed by a recent string of good games, including last night's blowout win at Utah (the best of the year), but Eddy Curry really seems to play better when Tyson Chandler is around. And as much as people think a 'change of scenery' will help them, isn't it just as likely a summer under Scott Skiles will help them just as much? I'm willing to take that chance for yet another year of the twin towers.

In other news:

  • The Tribune is reporting that the Bulls are interested in trading for and subsequently signing Brent Barry. His contract(that I believe Jerry Krause signed?) runs out after this year. He's a nice role player to have, but I don't think he'd be the right scoring 2-guard for the team to play alongside Hinrich. Better off getting a Marco Jaric type for less and get a real scoring threat on the wing somehow.
  • Eddie Robinson is really playing well lately. Getting minutes after Kendall Gill went on the IR probably helped:
Last 14 Games 14 23.6 0.512 9.9 1.059

            Not $6 million dollar good, but not bad.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

West Coast Basketball

Which I suppose in the Bulls case means losing basketball. The losing has continued on the west coast road trip, dropping decisions against Golden State, Portland, and Seattle.3 teams that can actually be considered the lower class of the Western Conference. Although that means they'd probably be the 5th seed in the East.

The past couple games did mark the return of Tyson Chandler, and giving coach Skiles a full deck (unless you really miss Corie Blount) for the first time all season. While the games haven't produced results, its come to the point where any improvement is nice to see. And the Bulls offensively start to be playing better, with 95 points in Portland and 97 in Seattle. But just like their west coast counterparts the defense was nowhere to be found. Eddy Curry has been showing those teasing flashes of dominance lately, averaging 26 the past 2 games. He made a remarkable spin move to the basket against Seattle that was so impressive for a man his size. Its moments like that when I sit back and hope Paxson never trades him. But after failing to get rebounding position for 6 straight possessions, I'm willing to send him to the Magic for the rights to Stephen Hunter. But such is life for a Bulls fan. Every jaw-dropping Crawford drive (including ESPN's dunk of the night last night), every unblockable E-Rob jumper, and every shot altered by Chandler just makes it harder to watch the losses knowing how much talent really is there. Maybe giving Chandler time to play again with Curry for an extended period of time will help both twin towers grow and have a strong finish to the season. Oh wait, weren't we at this point last year?

On the trade front, I haven't come across anything beyond the Clippers rumors lately, but it was made official today that Jay Williams has been bought out of the remainder of his contract. The move does save the team some money, as he's getting only 3 million of what's left of his 16 million dollar rookie contract. If you remember Williams was in violation of his contract and could've simply had it terminated. The settlement was basically a PR move for the Bulls, and reportedly part of the deal is that the team will have first crack at resigning Williams if he can ever overcome his injuries. The timing of this settlement was to open up a roster spot for GM Jim Paxson, allowing him to take an extra player in a trade, or failing that someone off the NBDL scrap heap.

And as a closing note, I submit to you my observation during the game (it helps deal with the losing..) that Sonics underachieving center Calvin Booth looks like Presidential hopeful John Kerry.



Well...I see the resemblance.