Friday, November 19, 2004

I would like a glass of 'scoring punch' please

Jannero Pargo has been activated from the IR for tonight's game at Denver, and is being replaced by Jared Reiner. Pargo probably would've started the season on the active roster, but Reiner got the final spot instead since Eddy Curry and Antonio Davis were suspended for the first 2 games. I, for one, would like to see Pargo get some burn tonight. Pargo isn't a classic point guard (if he was he wouldn't be the 12th man on the Bulls), but he has shown he can shoot. Given the alternatives of Chris 'warrior' Duhon and Ben 'bricklayer' Gordon, that's a skill in scarcity around here.

Also, the Trib is reporting that ComcastSportsNet has reached an agreement with Dish Network! That's good since I've missed a few Bulls games because of them, although I must say that so far I haven't exactly been 'missing' them.

If you came for a Sweetney v. Curry debate, just scroll down.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

A 'sweet' deal?

Oh lord, I really need to work on my headline writing.

As was reported in the Trib this morning (and bantered about in the comments of my previous post...I love when people leave comments!), Knicks GM Isiah Thomas has gone against earlier stances of his by admitting he'd now be willing to throw in PF Michael Sweetney in a proposed Eddy Curry deal. Sweetney is basically the only good young prospect the Knicks have, so I'm sure Bulls GM John Paxson was laughing at any other trash-combo that Isiah threw together previously for Curry.

Sweetney is kind of undersized and underappreciated around the league, but Knicks fans in the know really like him. Looking at his advanced statistics last year compared to Curry, you can see why:

Player Age G MPG FG% FT% P/40 R/40 A/40 PSA AST TO USG REB PER D-PER
Curry 22 73 29.5 0.496 0.671 19.9 8.4 1.3 1.08 5.5 14.3 20.4 12 14.78 1.1
Sweetney 22 42 11.8 0.493 0.724 14.5 12.7 1.1 1.09 6.6 15.1 15.4 18.2 17.13 2.22

All stats from John Hollinger's 2004-05 Pro Basketball Forecast.
PSA  - pts. per shot attempt (tops - B. Barry, 1.34)
AST - assist ratio (Damon Jones - 42.1)
REB - rebound rate (Fortson - 21.9)
USG - Usage rate (Iverson - 34.5)
PER - Player Efficiency rating (15.00 is an average starter)
D-PER - Defensive PER (which I haven't looked at much to be honest, and don't really trust yet)

Get the book, it'll explain everything a lot better! (and who else heard Kenny Smith at halftime talking about difference in number of possesions? Getting analytical on us Kenny, I like it)

These two are very comparable players since they have the same age and playing style, and these stats show some stark differences. Sweetney is the far better rebounder, and (from what I've read) also a better defender. He still needs to work on taking care of the ball, for if you're anywhere near Curry in those categories you need help. And probably doesn't have the post moves (or move) that Curry has, which accounts for Curry's higher usage rate.

I even tried to look at Sweetney subjectively tonight since they were on TNT, and at least saw that Sweetney wasn't half-retarded, which is a what I think the standard barometer should be when evaluating a Bull prospect from now on. Didn't get to see much of him, but noticed that for the most part he does look like he knows what he's doing, and the stats above seem to verify it too. Some other observations included seeing former Bull Jamal Crawford have a pretty good day, culminating in a bank-in three to win it, and ensuring that I'll get to hear a few "WHY DID WE TRADE CRAWFORD?!?!?!" calls to the radio tomorrow morning. 

Another observation was laughing at the Knicks' awful help defense. Curry won't help there, but sometimes Isiah sees something shiny around the league and must have it. After my initial look at Sweetney (and I would really like to hear a Knicks' fan's perspective) , I'm starting to hope that Isiah gets his man.  

This could all be Sam Smith-esque fantasy rumors. But it would be ironic if the Bulls traded Curry for Sweentey after they traded Elton Brand  4 years ago to facilitate Curry's arrival, when Sweetney basically maxes out as Elton Brand. But at this point getting that kind of talent for Curry would be pretty good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Unsolicited Dukie bashing

The Bulls are down by 12 at half to the Warriors. It was actually a lot closer for the most part, but the Bulls gave up 5 points in about 30 seconds as Deng threw a lazy inbounds pass to Jason Richardson for a 3. See the thing about that was Jason Richardson doesn't play on the same team Deng does. So Luol, don't pass it to him. Just a mistake though, Deng is still one of the few consistent contributors, unlike his Duke teammate....

Why does Chris Duhon get so many minutes? I'll probably delve into this later, but just for tonight he has played 13 in the first half, with a line of 2-6, 4pts, 0reb, 0asts, 2to, 2pf. He should only be on the court to spell Hinrich once in a while, and NEVER on the court with Hinrich. I don't see what he brings to the table as an off guard since he can't shoot. Gordon should be getting some of those backup PG minutes and Duhon maybe 8-10mpg, since at least Gordon (potentially) brings something to the table. What does Duhon bring? And if you say 'leadership', then I think Coach K is ready for his daily slurping, Mr. Vitale.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Every cloud...

Bad news: Bulls lose again. I'm not too upset about it, the Kings are good and the Bulls aint. I REALLY want this circus trip 'curse' to end soon though. For those unfamiliar with the Bulls November road woes (0-33 after tonight!), here's a great historical look and preview of this year's trip from the Trib's KC Johnson.

Good news: Lots of new links and toys for everyone! Enjoy.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Circus atmosphere

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 :-).