All Bull - Chicago Bulls

All Bull - Chicago Bulls

Bulls, Sixers swap roles a second time

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 12/01/2008 - 23:31
The Bulls played in Philadelphia last season on March 26, just when the 76ers were catching fire and moving into position to earn a surprising playoff berth. At coach Maurice Cheeks' pregame news conference that night, the mood was absolutely giddy. One questioner after another set out to chronicle the tidings of joy. “Mo, are you surprised this team is playing so well?” “Mo, why do you think this team is playing so well?” “Coach, when did you first get an inkling that things were going to turn around?” “Can you believe things turned around so quickly?” You get the idea. Most reporters don't openly cheer for the teams they cover – I take that back, a couple do – but when you watch a team's every game, the experience is more pleasant when things go well.

Circus travelogue: Searching for the Bulls' best big man

Posted by mikemcgraw on Sat, 11/29/2008 - 02:04
Nothing real interesting to report from the road other than the Bulls' win at Utah was something to behold, with its 10 lead changes in the final three minutes and no timeouts during the final 51.8 seconds. There was one memorable fan performance in that game. A guy wearing a Florida T-shirt chased down Joakim Noah's autograph before the game and yelled nonstop for four quarters for Vinny Del Negro to send Noah back onto the floor. Then after Larry Hughes knocked down the game-winner at the buzzer, the same guy leaned out over the tunnel where the Bulls headed toward the locker room and screamed that Utah was missing three starters, so the victory meant nothing. I counted just two Jazz starters missing, but you've got to love the enthusiasm.

A few miles short after 43 good minutes

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 11:38
Should the Bulls be encouraged or discouraged by Sunday's 114-101 loss in Denver? Probably more encouraged, I'd say. They put together a nice effort for 43 minutes and held a lead on the road against a good team with five minutes remaining. What happened after that can be chalked up as a lesson to be learned for the Bulls. A couple of veterans, 12th-year guard Chauncey Billups and ninth-year forward Kenyon Martin, turned up the volume and the Bulls lost their poise. The visitors were clearly confused on defense late in the game on a few simple pick-and-roll plays. “We didn't communicate,” said rookie Derrick Rose, who was targeted by the opposing offense, as usual.

Going down in a Blaze of glory

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 04:44
--The 42-point pummeling in Portland was a rude wakeup call for the Bulls, but it probably won't alter the course of the franchise. This was the worst Bulls defeat since March 28, 2003 when they lost at Indiana by 51. There are knowledgable people who swear it was no coincidence Jerry Krause stepped down as general manager a few days after that debacle. John Paxson is secure in his job for now, I think.

Late show in L.A.

Posted by mikemcgraw on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 04:35
I'd say the target number for Bulls wins on the circus road trip is 2. Accomplish that and they would be 7-10 at the end of November after playing the league's toughest opening schedule. The thing is, their two most difficult games might come right off the bat, because the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland have so much size inside. The Bulls' lack of strength, experience and talent among their big men was unmistakable in the 106-99 loss to the Lakers on Tuesday night. Keep in mind, the 7-point final margin was the closest the game had been since the opening minute of the third quarter. The Bulls spent most of the second half trailing by anywhere from 10-20 points.

Bulls to sign Lindsey Hunter

Posted by mikemcgraw on Thu, 11/13/2008 - 11:42
The Bulls decided to add some help in the backcourt after all and signed veteran Lindsey Hunter today, prior to hosting Dallas at the United Center. The 6-foot-2 Hunter, who turns 38 on Dec. 3, will begin his 16th NBA season once he signs with the Bulls. He spent the past five years with the Pistons, averaging 2.4 points in 24 games last season. Originally drafted as a point guard, Hunter became more of a 3-point shooting specialist early in his career, then in recent years turned into a savvy defensive stopper. The Bulls will be without Kirk Hinrich until mid-February because of a torn ligament in his right thumb. Larry Hughes has been out with a dislocated right shoulder, but is expected to return Saturday against Indiana, if not sooner.

Stern needs to stand up for fans

Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 11/11/2008 - 00:16
Two weeks into the NBA season and already I'm disgusted by a lack of respect shown to fans. I'm talking about a new trend of players on the bench feeling an inexplicable need to stand up for long stretches of games. The Cleveland Cavaliers provided an atrocious example of this on Saturday at the United Center. Their entire bench, which included 7-foot-3 center Zydrunas Ilgasukas at the time, stood for most of the fourth quarter, thoroughly blocking the view of a couple hundred fans who spent a hard-earned $155 for their tickets (this was a premium game, after all) so those players could build an extra garage to store their collection of Range Rovers and Rolls Royces. Or some similar expenditure.

Bulls seem OK with Obama tax plan

Posted by mikemcgraw on Tue, 11/04/2008 - 17:13
Former Bulls center Tyson Chandler blogged last month about a chance encounter with presidential candidate Barack Obama. Chandler's New Orleans Hornets were in Indianapolis for a preseason game and an Obama rally was being held across the street from their practice site. So he and a few teammates checked it out. A large number of NBA players seem to be in Obama's corner, but one of the Illinois senator's most repeated promises is to raise taxes for the richest Americans, those who make more than $250,000 per year. The subject came up at the Indiana rally. “He says, 'If you make under $250,000 a year, raise your hand,'” Chandler wrote. “And everybody there raised their hand, except for this one small section of guys. That was our section.”

Pistons add Iverson, flexibility for future

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 11/03/2008 - 19:07
Pistons general manager Joe Dumars announced at the end of last season that he didn't think the team could get back to the Finals with the same successful nucleus it had carried for the past five years. So does Dumars believe Allen Iverson will be able to boost Detroit beyond the Eastern Conference finals? I doubt it. Monday's surprising deal that sent Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess to Denver for Iverson appears to be more about the Pistons creating flexibility for the future. That's because Iverson has a 21.9-million expiring contract. Add in the fact that Rasheed Wallace's deal also ends this year and the Pistons have the potential to free up around $18 million of cap room next summer.

Of Mice and Misery: Bulls return to Orlando

Posted by mikemcgraw on Mon, 11/03/2008 - 16:44
The Bulls playing in Orlando on Monday offered a chance to reflect on visits to Central Florida in the past year. Over the summer, my family visited Disney World for the first time and every day was hot and rainy, yet magical. Then there were the two Bulls-Magic games last season, which were sad and miserable experiences. The game in Orlando last Jan. 15 was probably the low point of the Bulls' transformation from rising contenders to Team Misery.