Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Lean Cuisine with a side of Curry

Heard a lengthy interview with Eddy Curry on The Score and he claims he is around 285 lbs, which is what management targeted over the summer. If you remember a couple of weeks ago he was reportedly up to 325lbs (he admitted to being over 300), so it seems that he has at least shown some commitment.

The rest of the interview he remained positive: he was gonna try and turn his career on the right track, he understands the trade of his friend Jamal Crawford, and he knows how much he means to the organization. But he has always said the right things, all the Baby Bulls do (or in Jamal's case, did). And we know how his good intentions have turned out in the past. Time for results young man.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Fine Tunin'

As KC Johnson wrote monday morning, Bulls GM John Paxson still has some ideas concerning what to do with the roster. After Paul Shirley got waived (weeks ago....who knew?), here's how the team stands:

PG: Kirk Hinrich/Frank Williams/Jannero Pargo/Chris Duhon
SG: Ben Gordon
SF: Andres Nocioni/Luol Deng/Eddie Robinson/Chris Jefferies/Scottie Pippen
PF: Tyson Chandler/Othella Harrington
C:   Eddy Curry/Antonio Davis/Dikembe Mutumbo/Cezary Trebanski

That's 16 players listed, although Pargo and Duhon have not signed contracts yet. Like I said earlier you would think only one out of those two will make the team. Jefferies and Trebanski have a guaranteed year left in their deals, but are relatively inexpensive. If there are no deals they can be included in before the start of the season, I wouldn't be surprised to see Jefferies waived and Trebanski sent back to whatever Soviet Bloc hellhole he calls home.

There will undoubtedly be some kind of buyout situation with Pippen. The only reason it hasn't happened already is Pax is still holding him as a possible trading chip. It would be a huge surprise if he is on the court for the Bulls this season.

And that glaring hole in the SG spot is still there, so the reported Mutumbo deal for a tall-ish shooting type to fill that void could very will still happen. Eddie Robinson could potentially be that man to take that spot, but as shown by his 'dedication' in the past, he'll probably be sitting in his reserved seat in coach Skiles' doghouse.

This is all of course contingent on no major happening. For the umpteenth time: don't trade Curry or Chandler. Mostly because of their obvious lack of value. The team will get back players that are nowhere near what these to *can* be if they make 'the leap'. I know I'm probably in the minority when I say this, but lets give this baby Bull experiment one more ride, ok?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Viva Nocioni

Over the weekend, I watched the USA-Argentina game in its entirety, as well as the Argentina-Italy gold medal game. As you can tell, I lead quite the life.

I can honestly say I liked what I saw of Andres Nocioni:

  • He could step out and shoot, although only making 1 of 3 3-pointers in the game against the US. Not sure if he can consistently make an NBA-3..but after hearing time and time again how much better the Euros are at shooting than Americans, he should have no problem, right?
  • He was aggressive on both ends of the floor. On one play he had the much smaller Stephon Marbury posted up, and wasted no time with a spin move and attack to the basket. Was also active on offensive and defensive boards. He is NOT a typical soft European player.
  • This guy is gonna piss some people off in the NBA. He flops constantly, he complains to the refs, and he is not afraid at all to mix it up on the court. One play had Marbury driving the lane, with Nocioni firmly planted in the lane obstructing his path to the basket. If Nocioni had stayed there and flopped like usual he would have drawn the offensive foul. But instead he turned his head and leaned into the leaping Marbury, effectively undercutting him and sending him tumbling to the floor. The play was made in front of the American bench and almost caused them to storm the court they were so upset (especially after no foul was called). I'm not condoning this kind of play or anything, but it reinforced the opinion that the man won't be intimidated when he gets over here. 

All in all, especially after seeing the rough play on Marbury, Nocioni to me is the kind of guy I would want on my team instead of the other side. An aggressive role player, who can put the ball in the bucket and get under opponents' skin. And while he was busy helping Argentina to a gold medal this summer, in the fall he will be on our side.

He probably wouldn't be a starter on a good NBA team. But luckily for him he'll be playing for the Bulls.