All Bull - Chicago Bulls

All Bull - Chicago Bulls

Tyrus making it tough to pull the trigger

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 01:59
One obvious thought following the Bulls' wild and crazy 107-102 comeback victory on Red Kerr night was how Tyrus Thomas is not making trade decisions easy. Thomas had some silly turnovers, 5 total, but once again made a huge impact. He finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 3 steals, while turning in some clutch plays down the stretch. During the Bulls' game-ending 17-2 run, Thomas scored on an offensive rebound and blocked a Rodney Stuckey shot. With the Bulls badly in need of a basket, Thomas reversed roles and used his own penetration to set up a Derrick Rose jumper that closed the gap to 100-99 with 1:14 left.

Suns may prefer Tyrus over Beasley

Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 02/10/2009 - 00:33
In a somewhat surprising development Monday, several sources indicated the Phoenix Suns do not have much interest in Miami's Michael Beasley and would prefer Tyrus Thomas in a trade for all-star power forward Amare Stoudemire. In my view, Beasley has star potential and tremendous scoring ability. There's little chance the Bulls will ever regret choosing Derrick Rose with last year's No. 1 pick, but Beasley (the No. 2 selection) is going to be good. The chatter on Monday, though, suggested the Suns aren't convinced Beasley would fit into their offensive system and they don't want to take back Marion, even for less than half a season. Marion has a $17 million expiring contract and was sent to Miami for Shaquille O'Neal a year ago.

Looking forward to the Red Kerr tribute

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 02/09/2009 - 02:57
The stereotype of sportswriters being jaded, cynical, joyless people is often accurate. But there is bound to be plenty of emotion Tuesday night when the Bulls honor longtime broadcaster Johnny “Red” Kerr at halftime of the game against Detroit. Personally, I think an appropriate ovation would be something similar to the one given Michael Jordan when he returned to the UC with the Washington Wizards in 2002. One of the privileges of covering the Bulls for the past 10 years has been getting to know Kerr. Now 76, Red is in poor health, but he's expected to attend the tribute. The guest list includes Jordan, Scottie Pippen, former Syracuse teammates Dolph Schayes and Al Bianchi, former Suns president Jerry Colangelo, among others.

Miami the early favorite for Amare?

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sun, 02/08/2009 - 03:52
The Amare Stoudemire watch picked up on Saturday and it probably won't fade until the Phoenix Suns all-star power forward is sent elsewhere or the NBA trade deadline expires on Feb. 19. ESPN.com suggested that the Bulls and Heat are showing the most interest in Stoudemire, which is easy to believe. One theory has Miami offering Shawn Marion and Michael Beasley, which sounds like it might be a winner. If, that is, Heat president Pat Riley is willing. By accepting Marion back (he was traded for Shaquille O'Neal a year ago), the Suns would get a $17 million expiring contract. They'd also get some real star potential in Beasley. Phoenix would have to throw in a couple players to make the salaries match. Matt Barnes and Alando Tucker should work.

Hold the Amare; bring back Tyson

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 02/07/2009 - 01:00
There have been a some rumors lately involving Hornets center Tyson Chandler and here's why: New Orleans is looking at a luxury tax-triggering payroll of $76 million next season when Chris Paul's salary jumps to $13.8 million. If Jerry Reinsdorf hates the idea of paying the luxury tax, imagine how Hornets owner George Shinn feels, playing in a small market and trying to survive post-Katrina? New Orleans will keep all-stars Paul and David West. No team wants to take Peja Stojakovic's $14.2 million salary. So Chandler is the best option to trim payroll. We've heard suggestions of Chandler to Detroit for Rasheed Wallace and Chandler to Miami for Shawn Marion. But those players won't stay in New Orleans.

Gordon's 3-point contest bid shot down

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 02/04/2009 - 17:42
The NBA announced the participants for the 3-point shooting contest during all-star weekend and once again, it was snub city for Ben Gordon. The contestants are Toronto's Jason Kapono, Orlando's Rashard Lewis, Indiana's Danny Granger, Atlanta's Mike Bibby, San Antonio's Roger Mason Jr., and Miami's Daequan Cook. I have no problem with Lewis (2.9 3-pointers per game, .419 pct.), Bibby (2.4 per game, .409) or Mason (2.1 per game, .450). Granger is averaging 2.7 per game and shooting just above 40 percent, which makes him a viable candidate. Kapono is a two-time defending champion, so he has to get an invite, right? Craig Hodges must have set the precedent on that one. Too bad Kapono makes just 1.1 per game while shooting .419 this season.

Gordon deserves spot in 3-point contest; Chris Paul hurt

Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 02/03/2009 - 02:40
No one seems sure when the 3-point contest participants will be released. But it should be any day now, since the event is less than two weeks away. Bulls guard Ben Gordon hit a slump in January, but he still deserves his first invitation to the all-star weekend event. Gordon ranks fifth in the league in 3-pointers made, trailing Orlando's Rashard Lewis, Boston's Ray Allen, Indiana's Danny Granger and Atlanta's Mike Bibby. In 3-pointers made per game, he's tied for eighth behind the same group, plus New Orleans' Peja Stojakovic, New York's Al Harrington and Miami's Daequan Cook.

Coaches work it out; Amare trade talk

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sun, 02/01/2009 - 02:59
PHOENIX -- The Bulls have had a good week. Three straight wins on the road following a 1-point overtime loss at Minnesota. The toughest opponents are yet to come, though, with Houston, New Orleans and Dallas on this week's itinerary. The Bulls are going to stay in Phoenix for a Super Bowl party and Monday practice before heading to Houston. --I'll write more about the coaches in Monday's column, but here's what Vinny Del Negro had to say when I asked if it took a while to blend well with assistants Del Harris and Bernie Bickerstaff: “Maybe a little bit,” Del Negro said. “I think that just goes with having a new system, a new staff, getting a feel for the players. The guys have had a very good effort. I think the mindset, the intensity's been better.”

Bulls have issues, but season is far from disaster level

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 01/31/2009 - 02:24
SACRAMENTO, Calif., -- The biggest Bulls news on Friday wasn't their 21-point romp over the Kings, it was chairman Jerry Reinsdorf blasting his team. Reinsdorf called the Bulls season a disaster, embarrassing and said he's felt like standing up and booing his players along with the rest of the United Center fans. There have been some brutal moments this season, no doubt. But overall, I'm surprised Reinsdorf was so negative during an appearance on “Monsters In The Morning.” The Bulls showed plenty of life early this season and sported a 13-14 record after beating Utah on Dec. 20. That's when they hit a slump, right around the time all three captains – Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng and Drew Gooden – were out with injuries.

Bulls enjoy practice day in Commuter Heaven

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 01/30/2009 - 14:42
Sorry this is up later than intended. The Internet connection at the hotel wasn't quite right last night.. The Bulls had plenty of energy following their 20-point win over the Los Angeles Clippers. For their first practice of a nine-day road trip, they invaded the Sacramento Kings' facility on Thursday. After a noisy 90-minute workout, the team bus departed for the hotel and left about half the players behind -- intentionally. The younger guys hit the weight room, Lindsey Hunter ran some sprints and Larry Hughes performed a road ritual. Hughes has an assistant who often travels with him. When the court was empty, the guy led Hughes and Tyrus Thomas through a rigorous shooting workout, dragging garbage cans onto the floor to serve as screen-setters.