Friday, June 18, 2004

The new first round

This conversation was today:

Me: "With all the whining about international and high school players in the draft, there isn't one projected in the top 10."

My Dad: "What are you talking about? what about Howard and Livingston? and Biedrins will probably be in there as well"

Me: "oh...well, besides those guys"

Dad: "get a job."

The draft has finally come to the point where a mental lapse like mine this morning can interpret only 2 prep prospects in the top 10 as a victory for the college basketball faithful. Or I'm just a moron.

Nowadays, a freshman like Luol Deng is noted for his experience, and a prep prospect like Dwight Howard is on equal footing with a college standout like Emeka Okafor. This is nothing that hasn't been said over recent years, but what I think this years draft will be known for is the mid-to-late first round.

In years past, those picks were lucky to get a team someone to fit in their rotation. The fact that the teams with the low picks were playoff teams made the pick even more marginal. For an example of low first-round picks, take a look at the Bulls dynasty drafts

  1.  Mark Randall
  2.  Byron Houston
  3.  Corie Blount
  4.  Dickey Simpkins
  5.  Jason Caffey
  6.  Travis Knight
  7.  Keith Booth
  8. Corey Benjamin

Sheesh. But in a draft like this years, there is so much depth (or should I say uncertainty), that a top international or high school prospect can fall to the low first round. Prospects like Sebastian Telfair, Dorell Wright, and J.R. Smith could all fall to a playoff team can take the risk and spend a few years developing them.

Yes, they could turn out to be busts, but projecting on raw talent and youth they could also be stars. And they have more of a chance at stardom than Dickey Simpkins ever had.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


This site passed 10,000 hits sometime last night. I'm sure only about 4,000 were from me, so to the rest of you, thank you very much for visiting over the past year. Keep leaving comments and emails, it really adds to the fun of writing.

On a more down note, I finished last in Knickerblogger's NBA playoff bracket. My true downfall was my undying faith in the San Antonio Spurs, and some weird feeling that the Kings were gonna string together a few wins. So in the tradition of being in last in the playoff predictions, and also finishing last in the EotB NCAA pool, I will now look into my crystal balls and proclaim the Bulls to win this year's Eastern Conference title.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Reinventing Eddy

Thanks to reader Dave for pointing out this interesting piece by the Southtown detailing the new, improved Eddy Curry. I know, I know.... Bulls fans have heard it before, but is this time different?

He recently fired his old agent from big-timers SFX, and now hired a newbie to the business. And this new guy's convinced Eddy to ditch the cornrows, quit buying new cars, pull up his shorts, and be 'a professional'. It all sounds good, but I want to see him be a pro on the court, I really don't give a damn what his hairstyle is. (Although I never liked it when he had them braided up lookin like pigtails) Rebound, Defend, be in shape....that's the important thing.

But then you also read in the article that after 2 weeks of training at the Berto Center (he had previously been working with famed trainer Tim Grover..supposedly), he decides to spend this week taking a cruise. So I wouldn't call him a changed man just yet.

There does seem to be a noticeable difference this summer though, of which I can't complain. But I'll defer to Coach Skiles here with his money-quote: "I don't want to be too congratulatory to somebody who is just doing their job."

Rumor Update:

Just to keep things up to speed, I should mention that in addition to the Al Harrington trade talks, the Bulls are also supposedly making overtures to the Wizard's Jarvis Hayes.

The Bulls initiated the talks, sources said, which in one scenario had the teams swapping first-round picks [the wiz have #5] and Hayes coming to Chicago in exchange for Chris Jefferies and salary-cap filler, likely Paul Shirley or Jannero Pargo.

Hayes was the Wiz' first-round pick last season, and while he had a nice rookie campaign, it was nothing spectacular. I still cannot believe that the Wizards would give him up to move up 2 spots in this draft. But, then again, they're the Wizards.

Out with the Old...

I'm a little late with my Pistons thoughts. So I'll bring in some of my favorite quotes from around the "basketball blogosphere":


You won't be the lovable underdogs, but the favorites. We won't turn a blind eye to all the physical contact that goes uncalled against our team. What was seen as confidence will now be perceived as cockiness. By the time you reach the playoffs, everyone will be aiming for you.

Scott at RaptorBlog:

Darko vs. Melo debate is now officially irrelevant. Joe D saw that second overall pick for what it was — a free play. You know, like in football when there's a flag on the defence during a play and the quarterback throws a Hail Mary because he knows that even if it gets intercepted, they're getting 10 yards? Darko is that Hail Mary. Carmelo wasn't the final piece in Detroit's championship puzzle. Rasheed Wallace was.

The HoopsJunkie:

Detroit dominated the vaunted Lakers, a suppossed Team For The Ages that turned out to be little more than an aged team

And for a first-hand view, vicariously enjoy the moment through Dan at DetroitSports.

For me,  this whole series boiled down to my Laker-Hate, and not much more. I had been lamenting the possibility of the deconstruction of this dynasty since the Derek Fisher shot, so it will be nice to finally see. The win by the Pistons also shows execs around the league that you don't necessarily need a superstar (or 2) to win a championship in this league. But... I would still say its the best route to go if you want one.

Now for my favorite quote so far about the finals, which came through my radio this morning, from Terry Boers (I'm paraphrasing here):

For Bulls fans, what you saw last night was the dynasty Bulls if they had stayed together, if they were wearing Laker uniforms.

Think about it...I'll be back with draft speculation soon...

Monday, June 14, 2004

Shirley, you can't be serious

I had written down my projected Bulls' expansion draft protection list last week (scroll down), and totally missed something.

While that list is the same as what Chad Ford (I sure quote him alot) projects, there was one name I totally forgot about: Ronald Dupree. All of this expansion draft listing is speculation, since the NBA is keeping it secret until after the NBA finals. But all of the sources I have read have Paul Shirley on the protected list instead of Dupree.

Paul Shirley? I understood the need for his type to be on the list, to have moveable contracts in future trades, but Dupree has that same quality. And Dupree can actually play. In fact, I'd rather have him on the squad than Linton Johnson.

So I wouldn't be surprised if Dupree gets selected by the Bobcats. And that also means they can't take E-Rob off our hands.