Saturday, June 04, 2005

Skiles watch is covering the Scott Skiles contract negotiations like Kirk Hinrich on Ray Allen. Go here and here.

Update(6/6): Even more here.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

"Radio's best combination of Ritalin, diddlin' and country fiddlin'"

I have to mention this great writeup in the Trib about my favorite sports radio show, WSCR's midday show hosted by Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein. For those who aren't in Chicago (the station sadly is not listenable online) there really isn't a great way to describe it, but to me it serves as a refreshing departure from the banality that encompasses most of sports talk (especially local programs). The article does a good job of capturing the tone behind the show, which can be summed up as: intelligent, hilarious, and slightly odd.

They are unique in another way as well since they actually follow and enjoy NBA basketball. In a Bears and Cubs town, its hard to get the knowledgeable and insightful Bulls discussion on the radio that these two provide. This strength comes from their backgrounds, as Boers used to cover the Bulls for the Sun-Times back in the Reggie Theus years, and Bernstein worked for several CBA teams and at a time called play-by-play for DePaul.

Nearing their 1500th show, its almost frightening(in a 'wow-I'm-a-dork' way) to look back on the past 6 years and think of how many hours I've spent 'with' them. They're not universally loved in Chicago, due to their outspokenness and inability to suffer fools gladly. To the latter point Bernstein lays out one of the show's main principles in the article: "The customer is not the caller, the customer is the listener, we're not going to indulge some caller who is a dope."

The customers are rewarding the hosts' philosophy, as they are the second-highest rated sports show in the market, and lead their 10-2 timeslot. And it's good to know that there are others like me who enjoy smart sports talk with some silliness replacing seriousness.

I'm not saying I always agree with them, but even when I don't I'm always entertained. Hopefully for 1500 more.

Disclaimer: I promise these types of fluff posts won't happen often. honest :-p

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Carnival of the NBA #10

Is up at the prolific Off Wing Opinion. Even though its a hockey blog at its core, its a daily read for any sports fan, and Eric did a fine job with the Carnival. So check it out.

I'm not gonna do..

What everyone thinks I'm gonna do...and just freak out.

Honestly, I'm not that worried. Yet.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I got needs

Over at DraftCity, there's a long and comprehensive article by Tim Reistetter. I'd select some passages but they don't allow it, the jerks. I will point out that he underestimates the Bulls need for the Mythical2GuardwhocanDefendandShoot (M2GwcDaS....good luck getting that acronym to catch on) by pointing out how well the Bulls defended the 2 that year. But as we know that was Hinrich's doing, and he needs help.

At Chicago-based, there's a two part column on the same subject, and really takes it to Chris Duhon (even more harshly than I usually do):

The playoffs should have shown Paxson and Skiles one thing; Chris Duhon cannot guard the point guard position well enough at the NBA level. According to, opposing point guards had an average PER of 15.8 against the Bulls, and scored 20.1 points per game. It is tough to determine how much of that defensive load was placed on Duhon versus Kirk Hinrich, but considering Hinrich always guarded the better scorer, it is fair to say that he guarded the shooting guard more often than not.

With the Bulls already having Kirk Hinrich playing out of position at shooting guard, they need to realize that their defense and offense will not improve if Duhon is not starting alongside Hinrich. You are obviously not going to move Hinrich, and some team will probably pay more than they should for Duhon (read more than $1 million per season for three years), so unless you can get Duhon for 3 years and a little over $3 million for the entire life of the contract, you should let Duhon walk. That way you can focus on getting what the team truly needs, a player that can defend at the shooting guard position.

No arguments here. In lieu of supplementing the columns I linked, I'll keep my thoughts simple. Top priorities (from outside the organization) are a better version of Adrian Griffin (the M2GwcDaS), and a better version of Othella Harrington. Both of those two have been mentioned as possible returnees by John Paxson, but whether they return or not that won't change the fact that their getting older.For the regular rotation better options would help, and the elders can shift a few seats down the bench.

Meanwhile, the Bulls' mini-camp roster has been announced, with the usual names of fringe NBA-ers and 'remember that guy in college?' names that nomadically pop up in various leagues chasing the dream. One name that caught my eye was former Spurs (and Xavier) guard Romain Sato, a 24 year old guard with good size who may help. Someone emailed me a few months ago suggesting his name, so we'll see if Sato can make any noise at the mini-camp. And look who else will be there, our old friend Mario Austin!

Note: Carnival of the NBA #10 will be hosted at the fantastic Off-Wing Opinion. If you've read or written a quality NBA post lately that warrants attention, go let Eric McErlain know by Wednesday night (6pm CentralTime). ::cough:: mention Bulls Blog ::cough::


Monday, May 30, 2005

Fun with similarity scores was very quick to get the 2005 regular season stats up, which means that their similarity scores are up too. Go here for the full definition, they basically compare a players' season with anothers at the same age using a variety of physical and statistical factors. So the players' best comp means that at that age they had the most similar season, NOT that they've had the most similar career up to that season.

With a young team like the Bulls, these can serve as an interesting look into the potential future of their core. Obviously a career path can take multiple directions at such a young age, so these aren't meant to inspire or depress (based on the comps), just found them interesting...



Best Comp

Similarity Score  
Andres Nocioni 25 Chris Carr 852  
Kirk Hinrich 24 Winston Garland 884 *Also most simlar at age 23
Chris Duhon 22 Lee Mayberry 896  
Eddy Curry 22 Maurice Taylor 878 *Also most simlar at age 21
Tyson Chandler 22 Shawn Bradley 836  
Ben Gordon 21 Ray Allen 812  
Luol Deng 19 Josh Smith 823  

If you look at the full explanation, there are obviously some limitations. First off there is only one comparison listed, there may be several other good/poor players that have had nearly as similar seasons to the best cops. As far as the method, there is little consideration to defense outside of fouls and blocks, and every factor of the player is weighted equally. I'm not going to pretend *I* know how to do it better, I just am trying to look for any reason to avoid visions of a Bradley/Taylor frontcourt. However, that Ben Gordon comp (while with a low similarity score) looks awfully good, so I guess you take the good with the bad.

Either way, poke around, you can line up the seasons if you like and see just how similar they were, and do a whole bunch of other neat stuff. That's right I said "neat".

When John Hollinger releases his new Basketball Forecast, I'll let you know what his findings (he computes these scores under a different forumla) were.