All Bull - Chicago Bulls

All Bull - Chicago Bulls

Rocked in Cleveland

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 01/03/2009 - 10:12
Watching the Bulls these last two games get throttled by Cleveland and Orlando, it's easy to get the impression that the players don't care very much. I don't think that's true, but the lack of effort is difficult to comprehend. After trailing the Magic by as many as 33 points on Wednesday at the United Center, the Bulls should have been determined not to let it happen again, knowing they had a very tough task awaiting in Cleveland. But they sent the Cavs to the foul line four times in the opening 3:10 and fell behind 17-8. The one sign of life came when they closed the gap to 4 points a couple of times, but trailed 32-17 by the end of the first quarter and never got back in it.

Bulls travelogue: Insults, injury and bad defense

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 12/29/2008 - 03:01
One pertinent question from last weekend is whether the Bulls should feel more insulted by a 20-second timeout taken by Miami coach Eric Spoelstra with 30 seconds remaining in a 13-point Heat victory or by a tomahawk dunk from Hawks scrub Mario West with 6.8 seconds left in a 12-point Atlanta win? I suppose they could have done something to stop the dunk, but chose not to, whereas the timeout was completely out of their control. To be honest, I can't get worked up about Miami's late timeout, not even in a “I'm going to pretend this is a big deal because it might make a good story” kind of way. Some of the Bulls assistant coaches were glaring and talking to the Heat bench when it happened.

Bulls already feeling the Heat in Miami

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 12/26/2008 - 16:43
The Bulls have played in Miami plenty of times over the years when it was unseasonably cold in South Florida. Today is not one of those days, with temperatures in the low 80's this afternoon. It's always cold, though, inside American Airlines Arena. Sometimes I wonder if the Heat is trying to make all the Northerners sick. Anyway, here are some thoughts before the Bulls battle the Heat today.... --Miami is getting credit for being one of the league's most improved teams. And they are, having already equaled last season's win total of 15. But the Heat has also taken advantage of a soft schedule. How soft? The Heat has yet to play a single game against the three best teams in the East – Boston, Cleveland or Orlando. The Bulls are 0-5 against those three teams.

Small lineups and other snowy day topics

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 12/19/2008 - 18:11
This entry is dedicated to everyone who couldn't find their newspaper this morning in the large pile of snow at the end of the driveway. WHEN SMALLER ISN'T BETTER One thing I found interesting from Wednesday's overtime victory over the Clippers was coach Vinny Del Negro's insistence on using a small lineup late in the fourth quarter, which nearly cost the Bulls the game. I think for the most part, Del Negro has shown a good feel for lineups in his first season. But in this case, he may have been asking too much from his undersized front line.

Bulls can't blame disputed foul

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 12/17/2008 - 00:01
There figures to be some focus on the controversial 3-shot foul against Derrick Rose with 19.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls did everything they could to lose to Charlotte on Tuesday and end the Bobcats' seven-game losing streak. With everything working in their favor, the Bulls tried to sleepwalk through a winnable game and it finally caught up with them at the end. Two factors were more important to the outcome than the foul against Rose, which did appear to be a bad call. First of all, the Bulls resorted to their “do nothing” offense. This used to happen when Scott Skiles and Jim Boylan coached the team and it makes no sense.

Quiet night in Memphis and other stories

Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 12/16/2008 - 00:28
Memphis must be a fun place to visit in the summer, because Beale Street is loaded with large spaces for outdoor patio seating. The Bulls are usually sent to West Tennessee in December or March, though, and at those times of year, the silence in the city is nearly deafening. World Famous Beale Street, home of the Fed Ex Forum, is close to deserted, even though live music can be heard coming from every doorway. One interesting story I saw was about a group of area high school students who decided to make Grizzlies games a social destination. So they bought $5 walk-up tickets, dressed crazy, then stood and yelled organized cheers throughout the game.

Derrick Rose not pulling in the votes

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 12/11/2008 - 14:59
I thought there was an outside chance Derrick Rose would challenge for a starting position in the NBA All-Star Game. Fans vote for the starters and Rose has had a large number of impressive highlights during the first six weeks of his rookie season. An all-Chicago all-star backcourt of Rose and Dwyane Wade would be an impressive achievement fo the city. Maybe it will happen someday. But the first returns were released today and Rose is well off the pace in eighth place. Wade leads the East guards in votes, followed by long-time fan favorite Allen Iverson and a couple of well-known veterans, Vince Carter and Ray Allen.

Noah wants you to know he does care

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 12/11/2008 - 00:45
Joakim Noah had plenty to say in a one-on-one interview following Wednesday's practice and there wasn't room for it all in the story written for the print edition, so I'll add to it here. The storyline is after starting 10 games this season, Noah did not play at all against Washington last Saturday after being replaced by Aaron Gray in the starting lineup. The second-year center from Florida returned to post some good defensive numbers in Tuesday's win over the Knicks, recording 5 rebounds, 4 blocks and a steal in 19 minutes. When I asked Vinny Del Negro about it on Wednesday at the Berto Center, the coach offered some strong words directed toward both Noah and Tyrus Thomas, who sat for 48 minutes against the Knicks.

Rose takes back seat to Hughes

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 12/10/2008 - 13:39
A couple of sideshows worth mentioning from Tuesday's 105-100 victory over New York: --The announced crowd was 19,519, making it the smallest Bulls crowd since Jan. 4, 2006 against Seattle when they drew 19,418. Not a big deal considering the snowfall, although every professional sports team is bound to feel a pinch from the economic downturn. Even if NBA revenues drop, causing the salary cap to fall next summer, the Bulls are still locked into several long-term guaranteed contracts. --At halftime of Tuesday's contest, several fans ventured over to the owner's suite to pose for photos with future vice president Joe Biden. It was an odd sight for a Bulls game.

Bulls roll in green; turmoil in Toronto

Posted by mikemcgraw on Fri, 12/05/2008 - 00:20
Two interesting bits of NBA news came up on Wednesday. This first item is no surprise, but Forbes Magazine released its annual list of estimated franchise value. The fact that the Bulls are third, at $504 million, behind the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers is no revelation, considering Chicago is entrenched as the third-largest market in the U.S. But according to Forbes, the Bulls were the most profitable team in the NBA last season, with estimated operating income of $55.4 million. This is also business as usual. The magazine believes the Bulls have been the most profitable NBA team this decade. The estimate may not be completely accurate, but it makes sense because the United Center is usually full and the Bulls haven't paid the NBA's luxury tax.