Tag:Bulls
Posted on: August 20, 2010 8:53 am
Edited on: August 20, 2010 8:54 am
 

Shootaround 8.20.10: Grant Hill, tambourine man

Carmelo and LeBron's loyalty, Greg Oden's return timeline, and Grant Hill is a tambourine man.
Posted by Matt Moore


Troy Murphy is thrilled to be playing for the Nets. And he should enjoy this opportunity. For a full season. Because when his contract expires, he likely won't be able to enjoy the beautiful vistas of New Jersey unless it's on vacation.

No wonder everyone freaked out when Anderson Varejao was injured. The video of the injury was signficantly worse than the result. X-Rays and MRIs were negative, and he's day-to-day for Brazil. Odds are that won't make the Cavs feel totally fine with Varejao playing so much this summer.

Basketbawful points out how a delightful quote from Carmelo that harkens back to another person that claimed loyalty to his team: LeBron.

You know the best way NOT to use PER as a useful statistic? Compare those whose PER is similar to a player to conclude that player should take more shots. The end result? Don't try and tell Amir Johnson to take more shots. That just won't work out well. I'm a numbers guy, and even I know I don't need a formula for that.

I'm not saying this is the last time you'll see Daniel Orton in a Magic uniform this year . I am saying this very well might be the last time you'll see Daniel Orton in a Magic uniform this year.

My favorite listing of things Phoenix Suns did this summer ? Grant Hill played tambourine on his wife's album. Yeah.

There is no time frame , at least publicly, for Greg Oden's return. I'm sure this makes Blazers fans feel just fabulous. Oden's also off the radar and his trainer isn't talking. The only time you don't share that kind of information is if either the news is not good, or you're trying to take what is perceived to be too much pressure of an injury-prone guy that's struggling to get back.

An appeal to approve the application for Wilt Chamberlain to have his own stamp .

There is so much "UGH" about this .

Derrick Rose likes Skittles so much they sent him his own custom Skittles vending machine . It has every type of Skittles ever made. According to sources, his mom is really worried he'll ruin his appetite before dinner.

Posted on: August 5, 2010 7:53 am
Edited on: August 5, 2010 10:54 am
 

Shootaround 8.5.10: Candy kids

Posted by Matt Moore

The Pacers continue to search for a point guard option . There comes a point where you just have to recognize you can't go forward without a positional upgrade and you have to commit the resources necessary to acquire one. The Pacers have hit that point, but now there aren't really many options. However, if Lance Stephenson can just show a baseline of point play like he did in Summer League, he could be an option. I never would have thought that a reasonable match, but Stephenson looked like a better combo point than several attempted hybrids have.

Consider this. With Shaq signing not only with Boston, but in Boston for a two-year deal , the odds are high that his last NBA game will be as a Celtic. Try and wrap your brain around that.

Almost everyone agrees that Mark Cuban, for all his antics, is a great owner. But after Cuban lost the bid for the Texas Rangers last night, one reporter thinks his heart wasn't in it to begin with, and has some harsh words . It's hard to imagine Cuban doing the bidding of anyone, and the fact is that Cuban has been one of the best stories in sports ownership over the past decade. Committed not only to winning, but not throwing out money to ridiculous personnel like New York.

The Suns signed Matt Janning who looked good in Vegas Summer League . This brings their total number of goofy looking white point guards to three.

Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian want to have children . Tremble for your world, ye children of men.

Bulls blog Bulls by the Horns points out that Joakim Noah has improved his jumper . That's a fairly siginificant step for a player just to become decent and another sign that Noah is still even better than we think he is, and at this point we think he's pretty good.

In a lot of ways, Ben Wallace is the anti-Shaq. Doesn't say much. Does his job. Re-signs with the team that he's loyal to . You know, those kind of things.

Shannon Brown thinks playing time, more money, and a system that fits his skills are all fairly useless things . Why be a prince in an upcoming neighborhood with tons of potential when you can be a lapdog in Bevery Hills? Wanting to stay where you had success is nice, as is the loyalty factor, if that really is part of it. But Brown is poorly suited for the triangle and has more value elsewhere than he does in LA, walking the ball up as a third stringer and sitting in a corner waiting for a three. He's a slasher, a driver, a creator. But hey, his career. And the rings are always nice.

Bill Walton is working with Roy Hibbert, which can only lead to good things . My question? Where's Rik Smits?!

Sharks + Thunder= Thundersharks .

Posted on: August 3, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 11:31 pm
 

NBA's 2011 MLK day is stellar as usual

Posted by Matt Moore

Along with the Christmas and opening day schedules released tonight by the NBA, the MLK Jr. Day schedule was also revealed. And just as in years past, the slate's pretty solid. If only we had a trusty NBA blog to run down the games that day.

Wait, we do have a blog like that! It's this one!

Okay, I'll stop. Here's the rundown.

1PM EST, Bulls at Grizzlies:

The Grizzlies had a huge win last year on MLK day over the Suns, a team much better than them in 2009-2010. And they'll find themselves in a similar situation this year. Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer make the Bulls a much better team than they were last year on paper. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have only added a shooting guard they can't come to terms with despite the existence of a rookie pay scale. So they've got that going for them.

But still, this should be a good matchup, if the Grizzlies aren't on a back-to-back. Marc Gasol and Joakim Noah are very different but nearly equal players in terms of production and skill. Zach Randolph is the flip side of Carlos Boozer. More consistent, less injury prone, and continuosly hammered for his locker room cancerous behavior. Not that Boozer is a saint, he's just somehow been excused regularly despite his contract situation being a distraction for Utah the last two years. But their production is similar so that's nearly a wash as well. Rudy Gay is a better but younger version of Luol Deng, and O.J. Mayo's scoring punch and perimeter defensive speed counters Kyle Korver/Ronnie Brewer's specific but limited skill-sets. Unfortunately, that Derrick Rose guy exists. Advantage: Bulls.

Let's not even talk about the bench diffferential, which is considerable. Like I said, back-to-back for the Grizz would be a bad, bad thing here.

4PM EST, Kings at Hawks:

The Hawks got ran last MLK by an up and coming Western Conference team in the Thunder. So naturally the league scheduled them against a similar, and only slightly worse in the Kings. Joe Johnson versus Tyreke Evans should make for a good theater, and Al Horford versus DeMarcus Cousins could be one of the most bizarre conflicts of style and personality among players under 25 all season. And hey, what says Martin Luther King Jr. Day more than Omri Casspi and Zaza Pachulia?

8EST, Magic at Celtics:

You don't really expect me to provide you with a preview for the estimated 22nd meeting of these two teams in three years, do you? Because if you do, you expect way too much out of me.

Oh, hey, something-something, Shaquille O'Neal versus Dwight Howard. Boom.

10:30PM EST, Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers:

This is likely going to be a back-to-back for the Thunder. That's generally how these things work. But in what could well end up being an MVP season for Kevin Durant, it still should be incredibly fun. As we saw in the playoffs, these two teams are extremely well matched, and even with the Lakers' upgrades off the bench, OKC's continued development should make for a strong foil to their heavily favored position.

Plus, Cole Aldrich versus Pau Gasol could be high comedy.

Posted on: August 2, 2010 9:54 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 10:09 pm
 

Report: Bulls-Knicks Christmas Day

Posted by Matt Moore

When the NBA decided to try out this whole "let's make revealing the schedule a big event on NBATV!" thing, there were a few things they were going to have to manage. The biggest of which was trying to contain leaks of the schedule to reporters, considering the massive number of people the schedule will arleady have been released to. So far, the league has not exactly shown itself to be an impenetrable fortress of information.

After today's slip of the Orlando-Heat game for October 28th, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News has our first Christmas Day release . Isola reports that Bulls-Knicks will play on December 25th, with LeBron James' first trip to the Big Apple with the Heat on December 17th.

The sheer number of people that already have access to the schedule means that keeping a hold on its release was highly unlikely. But they, they did a pretty good job. They managed to keep it under wraps for an entire weekend in which no one was working. It took reporters more than twelve hours to start getting information...

Yeah, not exactly NSA here.

The Chicago-New York match is interesting. It's a rivalry day, and building a New York-Chicago rivalry is pretty genius. Both teams feature improved rosters, and counter each other well. And by that I mean, Chicago will stomp them because Derrick Rose is much, much better than Raymond Felton. But two big markets back in the spotlight on Christmas Day? That's just what the league thinks is best.

Update: Isola also reports the Knicks will open play against Toronto on October 27th. An interesting note, this means the Orlando game againt the Heat will NOT be the season opener as previously reported. This likely indicates that the season will begin as it has s the past few years on a Tuesday, the 26th.

Posted on: July 27, 2010 7:56 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2010 7:57 pm
 

Video: Offseason review - Central Division

Posted by Royce Young

The Central was the center of free agency this offseason. LeBron's decision, the Bulls multiple moves and plus, some other interesting transactions. It's all been graded and broken down , plus here's some talking about it as well.


Posted on: July 27, 2010 6:12 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 8:30 pm
 

Offseason Reviews: Central Division

Posted by Matt Moore

With only a handful of free agents left on the market and with summer league over, we thought we'd take a look at how teams in the Central Division did over the summer in negotiating their moves.

Chicago Bulls

Added: Carlos Boozer (sign-and-trade), Kyle Korver (free agency), Ronnie Brewer (free agency), Kurt Thomas (free agency), C.J. Watson (trade)
Lost: Kirk Hinrich (trade), Hakim Warrick (sign-and-trade), Brad Miller (free agency)

Philosophy: "Why have excellent when you can have above-average?"

Well, hey, they didn't get LeBron. Or Dwyane Wade. Or Chris Bosh. Or Amar'e Stoudemire. But they got Carlos Boozer!

And sure, they didn't get Anthony Morrow. Or J.J. Redick (though they tried). But they got Kyle Korver!

And that's pretty much the Bulls summer. The Bulls swung out on the big boys and got the next best thing they could rustle up. Boozer's numbers are good, and he certainly solves a lot of their needs. That's really what it comes down to. All of the Bulls' signings were exactly what they needed, they just weren't the best guys they could get. Carlos Boozer gives them a low-post power forward with offensive versatility. He's just not Amar'e Stoudemire or Chris Bosh. Kyle Korver adds three-point shooting,and was a better option than even Anthony Morrow would have been. Ronnie Brewer may have been their best signing. They essentially took Kirk Hinrich, a defensive combo-guard that can't really shoot anymore (I'll never figure out where his shot went), and his considerable salary and moved him for Brewer, a defensive combo-wing that can't shoot.

It's hard to knock the Bulls, since they did at least stay aggressive, and did make moves. And trying to grade them based on expectations in this competitive of a year is tough. But with one of the biggest markets, cap space, and a handful of advantages, you still have to look at their moves and ask "Really?"

Grade: B-

Cleveland Cavaliers

Added: Ramon Sessions (trade), Ryan Hollins (trade), Christian Eyenga (draft)
Lost: LeBron freaking James (sign-and-trade), Delonte West (trade), Sebastian Telfair (trade), Zydrunas Ilgauskas (free agency)

Philosophy: "Not with a bang, but with 'The Decision'"

Yeah, I think this pretty much sums it up .

How do you judge them for this? How do you evaluate them after losing the most important player in franchise history in one of the most embarrassing ways possible? Can you blame them? Can you exonerate them simply because of James' classless behavior? At the end of the day, it's the responsibility of a front-office to make the team the best it can be. And in this case, it didn't. Whether there were forces beyond their control or foresight is irrelevant. We are judged by our performances, and the results sadly speak for themselves.

Sessions is a great pick-up, though, and Hollins has some potential outside of the triangle.

Grade: F+

Detroit Pistons


Added: Greg Monroe (draft), Terrico White (draft), Ben Wallace (re-signed)
Lost: none

Philosophy: "Running in place is good for the soul."

Such a wasted opportunity. Rip Hamilton, out there to move, with teams who missed out on the Big 3 needing impact players. Tayshaun Prince, same deal. Rodney Stuckey, conceivably expendable. Instead, Joe Dumars and company elected to simply do nothing. No additions, no trades, no moves. Just the consistency of mediocrity. Perhaps the idea is that things could not go as badly as they did last season. And it's hard to argue against that, with all the injuries. But the problems remain with an ineffective frontcourt and an inconsistent backcourt. There was still a lot Dumars could have pursued, he's pulled off those moves before. But instead he seems convinced that this roster as constructed can get the job done.

The shining light? Greg Monroe looks good. Really good. The kind of low-post player they've needed for years and have been getting by with Kwame Brown for. The wasted opportunity docks them, but their draft was solid enough to save them to a degree.

Grade: C-

Indiana Pacers


Added: Paul George (draft), Lance Stephenson (draft), Magnum Rolle (draft)

Lost:
none

Philosophy:
"The vague semblance of a plan."

The Pacers did the same amount of stuff that the Pistons did, so they get the same grade right? Sadly, no. Fair is not always equal. The Pacers get a much improved grade from years past thanks to their willingness to go away from what has been their calling card. Instead of opting for big-resume players from major programs in college and veteran marginal free agents, the Pacers went with talent. Best talent available. And now? They have a roster with movable veteran pieces (Ford, Murphy, Foster), with replacements in place for them, and have managed to get involved in multiple talks for Granger without losing leverage.

Lance Stephenson, even if Summer League was a complete mirage, has long-term value to be able to invest in at both the point guard and combo-guard position. George has long-term development potential. Roy Hibbert has been given opportunities to develop and showed signs last year, and they didn't do anything in the draft or free agency to interfere with that. Even Magnum Rolle looks like a decent backup prospect.

I don't really know how to live in a world where I'm about to give this grade, but I'm going to.

Grade: B+

Milwaukee Bucks


Added:   John Salmons (re-signed, Drew Gooden (free agency), Corey Maggette (trade), Jon Brockman (trade), Keyon Dooling (free agency), Larry Sanders (draft), Darington Hobson (draft), Tiny Gallon (draft)
Lost:   Luke Ridnour (free agency), Kurt Thomas (free agency), Royal Ivey (free agency), Charlie Bell (trade), Dan Gadzuric (trade), Darnell Jackson (trade)

Philosophy:
"LOCK AND LOAD."

I love what the Bucks did. I hate what the Bucks did. I totally understand what the Bucks did. I'm completely baffled by what the Bucks did.

Okay, here's what we know.

John Hammond believes this roster can contend. Andrew Bogut, when healthy, can be the cornerstone. Brandon Jennings will only get better. They have movable assets of value. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is versatile and talented at multiple positions. They needed scoring. A high-volume, high-usage, efficient shooter that isn't named Michael Redd Who Has No Legs. So they got Corey Maggette. Nice. That works. Sure, Maggette's a defensive question mark, but we've seen terrible defenders become semi-decent in good systems, and the Bucks have one of the best around. They re-signed Salmons, for a lot less than I thought he would garner in this market. They now have offense and defense.

But in addition to that, the Bucks got gluttonous. Drew Gooden, for the amount of money he was signed for is fairly unforgivable. Three days later, Hammond got Salmons back for a quality price. It was like every move they made, they followed with one on the other end of the sense spectrum. One thing is for certain: the Bucks are good at power forward. After watching Larry Sanders look fairly incredible at Summer League, I'm ready to commit to a bet that the Bucks will lead the league in blocks next season. With Bogut, Gooden, Mbah a Moute, Sanders, and whoever else gets in on the act, I think they have a good shot at that.

The question is if the unbalanced nature of their acquisitions (all high-usage players) will maintain a balance with their defense to ensure they reach last year's performance and exceed it. And on that front, it's a mixed grade.

Grade: B-



Posted on: July 12, 2010 2:00 pm
 

Report: Quentin Richardson to sign with Orlando

Posted by Royce Young

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reports former Heat guard Quentin Richardson will sign with the Magic under a multi-year deal. Money terms haven't come out yet.

Richardson, 30, averaged 8.9 points per game and shot almost 40 percent from 3 in 76 games for Miami. And with his signing, two things possibly happen: 1) The Magic don't match on J.J. Redick's offer from the Bulls and 2) Matt Barnes might say peace out from Orlando.

Or I guess three, the Magic pick either Barnes or Redick to keep with Richardson. Common sense says Orlando doesn't have use for all three. Orlando's entire offensive scheme is built around the drive-and-kick and Richardson definitely fits that mold, clearly moreso than Barnes.

But if signing Richardson means the Magic lose Redick, that just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. One shooter on the way out, while the other is finding his way. Obviously if GM Otis Smith decided to go that way and keep Richardson, it has to be a money decision.

Who would've thought Quentin Richardson could set off such a chain reaction?
Posted on: July 10, 2010 12:05 am
 

Report: Bulls sign J.J. Redick to offer sheet

Posted by Royce Young

The Bulls may have held back a large sum of money for LeBron, but that doesn't mean they're just going to hang on to it. Hours after signing Kyle Korver for $15 million over three years , the Bulls have also inked sharpshooter J.J. Redick to a three-year, $20 million offer sheet , Chad Ford of ESPN.com reports.

Redick is restricted, so Orlando has seven days to match. And most expect the Magic to match the offer and keep Redick in Orlando, but GM Otis Smith has said he won't overpay for him . Is $6.6 million a year overpaying for Redick, a guy that averaged 9.6 points per game? I guess that's up to Smith to decide. However, with Orlando just signing Chris Duhon this week, maybe that was a contingency plan in case the Magic lost Redick and needed backcourt depth.

But if the Magic don't match, Chicago would have a pretty impressive sharpshooting duo in Korver and Redick. It's not hard to picture Derrick Rose penetrating and kicking to either one of those guys for an open 3.
 
 
 
 
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