All Bull - Chicago Bulls
Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 11/04/2009 - 01:10
Boy, it’s tough to tell what to make of the Bulls’ massive comeback and narrow escape 83-81 victory over Milwaukee at the United Center on Tuesday.
From about the five-minute mark of the third quarter to almost blowing it in the final 1:20, the Bulls outscored the Bucks 44-19. They moved the ball well, made plenty of outside shots and used their defense to create fast-break opportunities – everything we expected to see when the season began.
Before Jannero Pargo got the comeback started by hitting a 3-pointer at the 5:19 mark of the third quarter, however, the Bulls were shooting 26 percent from the field in this game. They were also a robust 7 for 47 (14.9 percent) from 3-point range on the season.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 19:40
Tyrus Thomas is out sick and won’t play tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks, which means rookie Taj Gibson will get his first official NBA start.
Thomas showed up at the Berto Center this morning for shootaround, saw trainer Fred Tedeschi and was sent home. Coach Vinny Del Negro said Thomas saw a doctor in the afternoon.
“He’s not feeling very well right now,” Del Negro said.
Thomas sat out the fourth quarter against Miami, which probably made the timing of his illness seem suspicious. Asked if he had any complaints about Thomas’ play in the first three games of the season, Del Negro dodged the issue.
“I’m unhappy with our play as a team,” he said. “I’m not going to talk about guys individually like that. Everyone needs to pick it up a little bit.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 11/03/2009 - 17:06
The end-of-game lineup against Miami didn't produce a win, so it's easy to second guess. Coach Vinny Del Negro used a smaller group featuring Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, John Salmons, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. Brad Miller replaced Noah for a few offensive possessions late in the game.
There was plenty of logic in that lineup. Hinrich is the Bulls' best option to defend Dwyane Wade, while Deng and Salmons were both shooting the ball well.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 11/02/2009 - 01:23
Watching the Bulls lose a very winnable game in Miami on Sunday, I wondered if they’re just not in synch yet or if they’re not good enough to finish off a decent team on the road.
This debate might continue through the end of November since the Bulls have so many tough road tests coming up. Derrick Rose is clearly not quite himself after missing most of preseason with an ankle injury. Also, the John Salmons-Luol Deng combo is something the Bulls rarely used last season.
Down the stretch, the Bulls just didn’t look like a very confident team; not quite sure what to do. The funny thing is, Dwyane Wade scored just 1 basket in the fourth quarter, plus a couple of late free throws. Miami had a variety of guys knocking down big shots, especially Udonis Haslem and Carlos Arroyo.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Sun, 11/01/2009 - 17:48
Things were pretty quiet in Miami before the Bulls-Heat game on Sunday. The only real news was Heat guard Daequan Cook will probably sit out with a shoulder injury.
That might mean something to the Bulls. Cook won the 3-point contest last year. Watching him the last couple years, just when I start to ask what he’s doing in the league, he’ll hit 2 or 3 in a row from 3-point land. He’s also a decent defender at a very long-armed 6-feet-5.
--Dwyane Wade doesn’t talk before games. There doesn’t figure to be any revealing thoughts on his free agent plans next year, but he vowed to have fun with the subject this season, so we’ll give him a try.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 18:44
Before Friday’s playoff rematch with the Bulls, Boston coach Doc Rivers revealed that he thinks the Bulls are much better this year, even without leading scorer Ben Gordon.
“I think they’re a better team,” Rivers said. “I think they’re longer, I think they’re a better defensive team. I think they fit. That’s taking nothing from Ben, he was phenomenal in the playoffs last year. But so was Ray (Allen). We thought they had a UConn deal going to get each other off (scoring).
“I think now their team does fit. (John) Salmons is at two, probably what he is. (Luol) Deng gives them more length at three. (Kirk) Hinrich is playing one and two. I just think they’re a better fit.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 10/30/2009 - 00:20
To me, the highlight of Thursday’s season-opening win over San Antonio was the post-game hug between Brad Miller and TNT analyst Cheryl Miller in the Bulls’ locker room. I’m sure there’s an explanation beyond the last name they share.
There really isn’t much need to dissect the 92-85 victory. The Bulls showed nice balance and played good defense – the same positive trends from preseason. Luol Deng (17 points, 9 rebounds) looked very much like his old self, while Derrick Rose (13 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds) showed that his ankle problem should be history.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 01:16
The day before the season opener, the Bulls held a light practice Wednesday at the Berto Center without much news to report.
Coach Vinny Del Negro confirmed that he plans to start the same group we expected all along: Derrick Rose, John Salmons, Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah.
Rose had one interesting quote on the eve of Game 1: “We're looking good right now, so people better watch out.”
Rose also said the Bulls are having trouble scoring against their own defense in practice, which could be good or bad.
Here are some quick observations about the first two days of the NBA season:
--After seeing the new referee shirts, I’m convinced that wearing those had to be the sticking point in contract negotiations.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 10/27/2009 - 14:52
When the Bulls open the season Thursday against San Antonio, it looks like playing time of the two first-round draft picks will be decidedly different.
Power forward Taj Gibson figures to get at least 20 minutes per game early in the year, thanks to his strong preseason. He was hurt by foul trouble, but Gibson was a smart, steady player in preseason who played dependable defense and knocked down most of his open shots.
Forward James Johnson, meanwhile, displayed an interesting combination of skills and athleticism, but was a little erratic in preseason. He’ll probably be the 10th man in the rotation and could collect a few DNPs.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 10/26/2009 - 14:48
The Bulls completed their second of four “continuity practices” Monday at the Berto Center. This was supposed to be a chance to get the whole team working together for the first time since early in camp.
There was one mishap, though. Jannero Pargo made it through about three-quarters of practice, then tweaked a back injury, which he says is more of a hip problem and a result of overcompensating for a sports hernia that required surgery in June. No telling yet if he’ll miss any more practice time.
Here are some other issues from Monday's practice: