All Bull - Chicago Bulls
Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 04/06/2009 - 22:16
Even without reading every story written about the Bulls this season, most fans have probably noticed that first-year coach Vinny Del Negro hasn't opened up on many topics. He's had a tendency to throw out a string of cliches and repeat himself frequently. “No easy answers” may be closing in on its 100th usage since October.
He's also referred to Kirk Hinrich as “Kurt” all season, but that's a little off-topic and I have no explanation for it.
The point is, Del Negro was asked Monday about how he's evolved as a coach in the past seven months. He started with a joke -- “More gray hair, not as much sleep, very tired” -- but eventually gave a decent answer.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Sun, 04/05/2009 - 23:52
Michael Jordan will be announced as a 2009 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday, an accomplishment that should be bigger news than it is.
The Basketball Hall of Fame just doesn't get the same respect and attention as its counterparts in baseball and pro football. As I've pointed out before, I think the reason is because the Basketball Hall isn't limited to the greatest players. It's open to just about everyone.
When Jordan is inducted, he'll stand alongside Dick Vitale, Mendy Rudolph, Dave Gavitt, Hortencia Marcari and Lynette Woodard. Those were some of the people added to the Basketball Hall of Fame in the past five years.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 04/03/2009 - 23:40
The Bulls have had a quiet few days, filled with a couple of brief, short-handed practices. They had one of their periodic autograph sessions on Friday, where the players sit down to sign basketballs and other items assembly-line style.
Meanwhile, Charlotte's loss to Miami on Friday dropped the Bulls' magic number for clinching a playoff spot to 5, though the Bobcats will have a chance to cut into their two-game deficit when they visit the United Center next Saturday.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 03/31/2009 - 01:05
Ran across an interesting item in the Miami Heat game notes last week. It listed the league leaders in steals plus blocks, which are obviously the two main defensive categories.
The Heat wanted to point out that Dwyane Wade ranks a close second in the category to Orlando center Dwight Howard 275-262. In that loss to the Bulls last Thursday, the Richards High School product became the first player listed at 6-foot-4 or smaller to record 100 blocks in a season.
Beyond that, LeBron James ranked third in the category at 217, followed closely by the Bulls' own Tyrus Thomas in fourth at 216 (135 blocks and 81 steals).
The best I could tell, Chris Paul ranks fifth with 193 steals and 9 blocks, then Jason Kidd and Denver's Chris Andersen.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 02:14
The Bulls are 9-1 at home since the all-star break, with an average margin of victory of 14 points and seven of those wins coming against teams currently in playoff position.
So it's logical to wonder if the Bulls are strong enough at home to pull an Atlanta. In other words, win three home games and force a Game 7 against one of the best teams in the East, the way the Hawks did against the Celtics last year.
Remember, Atlanta finished the regular season 37-45 last year while Boston had 66 wins. Chances are, the Bulls will be much closer in record to their first-round opponent.
Their three potential first-round opponents pose different problems and the Bulls are long shots to win a series against anyone. The question is how long they can stay in the fight.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 18:42
Here's a quick injury update: Derrick Rose will play tonight against Miami, but will come off the bench while Kirk Hinrich starts.
Rose missed his first game of the season on Tuesday against Detroit due to a bruised right wrist. He suffered the injury the previous night in Washington when he banged his wrist on the rim during a missed dunk attempt.
Rose said he took between 60 and 80 jumpers this morning at the Berto Center before determining that he's ready to play.
“I can't follow through all the way, but I'm fine,” Rose said. “I'm not going to be scared to shoot.”
Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 23:55
Bulls general manager John Paxson had a nice long chat on WMVP's Lunch with a Legend series with Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman. Before we get into some excerpts, there are a couple of scoreboard issues worth noting.
--Charlotte and Milwaukee both lost again Wednesday night, so the Bulls' lead over the Bobcats for eighth place is 2 ½ games. I'd say if the Bulls win their next two home games, against Miami and Indiana, then can get one on the road against either Toronto or Indiana, a playoff spot is pretty much certain. The only question to follow would be if its the No. 7 or 8 seed. Detroit hosts the Lakers on Thursday, then has a bunch of road games to follow.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 18:36
Derrick Rose was scratched for Tuesday's game against Detroit because of a badly bruised right wrist suffered during the win at Washington on Monday. This will be the first game the No. 1 draft pick has missed all season.
He walked into the United Center with his right wrist heavily wrapped. At one point, the Bulls called his injury status a game-time decision, but in the final analysis, he was never close to playing. His status for Thursday's game against Miami is in question.
“I had X-rays and I had an MRI this morning,” Rose said. “They said it’s a bruised wrist. It really hurts. Trust me, I can take pain. But it really hurts. I can barely turn a door knob. (Trainer) Fred (Tedeschi) told me to sit out for a while, like two to three days and let it heal.”
Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 03/23/2009 - 00:37
By the end of the week, we should know how serious the Bulls are about making the playoffs.
With four winnable games coming up, they could seize control of the eighth spot in the East and worry more about moving up than looking back. Or they could choose not to walk through the wide-open door and spend the final days of the regular season scoreboard-watching. Here's a game-by-game preview:
Washington, Monday: The Bulls have had some brutal losses this season, but it doesn't get much more embarrassing than losing 113-90 to the lowly Wizards with President Obama, a self-described die-hard Bulls fan, watching from the front row on Feb. 27.
Posted by mikemcgraw on Sun, 03/22/2009 - 01:03
Funny how there could be so many positives for the Bulls in a game where they were overwhelmed in the fourth quarter by a lineup of Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic. Those three paced a 28-5 Lakers run that turned an 8-point Bulls lead into a 15-point deficit. The Bulls lost 117-109, snapping their seven-game home win streak.
The Lakers reserves had been blamed for a recent spate of squandered leads, but there was no reason for the Bulls to feel this group wasn't capable. Farmar scored 12 points against the Bulls in the Nov. 18 game at Staples Center and the outside shooting of Vujacic was a key to last year's playoff run.