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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Gordon’

Chicago Bulls Pull One Out On The Detroit Pistons

Posted by sportsmaven on May 13, 2007

Game 4 of the Chicago BullsDetroit Pistons playoff series was about one thing, and one thing only: Did the Bulls have any heart? I think the answer to that question was a resounding yes. As we have been reminded time and time again, no team in NBA history has come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series. None, nada, zippo. Heck, teams with a 3-1 defecit have come back to win the series a total of 8 times in 162 tries. So, nearly impossible?  Today’s 102-87 victory over the Pistons is a good start.
Bulls Beat Pistons 102-87

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Logic is telling me that the Bulls will meet their demise in Game 5 of this series, as the locale moves back to Detroit, but there is a growing part of me that thinks, “Someone has to be the first team to win a series being down 3-0, why not the Bulls?” So what will it take for the Bulls to win this series? Well, frankly, a miracle, but miracles do happen, but the Bulls need more. They need to:

1. Keep moving through the Pistons zone defense – The Bulls did this quite effectively today, but inexplicably, they stopped doing it during most of the 4th quarter. When they stopped being aggressive with their cuts, Detroit came back. Same thing happened in Game 3, and before we knew it, 19 point lead and the game were history.

2. Limit turnovers – The Bulls must drastically limit the amount of turnovers, with the main culprit being G Kirk Hinrich. Hinrich’s drive and dump passes have been sloppy, with the Pistons taking advantage to run their limited fast breaks. The Bulls did much better today in limiting the amount of devistating turnovers, and will need to continue this trend to have a chance.

3.  Ben Gordon, Hinrich, and Luol Deng need stellar performances — not one of the three, not two of the three, but all three need to step up and lead for this team to have a chance.  Deng dropped 25 pts. on the Pistons today with Hinrich and Gordon netting 19 each.  If the Bulls can get the same amount of production from their Big 3, that will go a long way towards getting back in this series.  If even one falters, go get the golf clubs.

4.  Play with energy, emotion, and intensity for 48 minutes – this is the Tyrus Thomas  rule, for he is the only Chicago Bull that has faithfully followed this rule whenever he steps on the court.  The Bulls need to, at minimum, match the Pistons intensity and more like exceed their intensity and energy to have a fighting chance.  The Bulls came out today and did that for most of the 48 minutes today.  They will have to continue this trend to continue playing on…

5.  Play for today, don’t look beyond today’s game — have to take it game by game, even quarter by quarter.  Small victories, win each quarter.  Look beyond any of that and y0u are dead in the water…..

So maybe the Bulls don’t have a chance, but maybe they do.  Which team will show up in Detroit on Tuesday.  The Bulls have nothing to lose at this point, so play all out and play hard.  Don’t leave anthing on the court.  That’s how you get back into the series.  It’s not going to be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is….

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Chicago Bulls Absorb Yet Another Terrible Loss

Posted by sportsmaven on March 21, 2007

Tonight, I was able to watch most of the Chicago Bulls game versus the Los Angeles Clippers and at the end, I was not sure exactly what happened or why the Bulls lost to this sub-.500 team that is barely in playoff contention in the NBA’s Western Conference. All after the previous day, Scott Skiles lit into this team for potentially being too young not to recognize that good playoff teams that have title aspirations need to win games like this game and the Memphis game on Saturday night.

Bulls Absorb Yet Another Terrible Loss
(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

The Bulls team that I watch mystified me in many ways tonight. First off, G Ben Gordon had an off night, which happens to players over the course of an 6-8 pre-season games, 82 regular season games, and if you’re lucky, more than a few playoff games. What I didn’t see is Ben Gordon adjusting his game, contributing in other significant ways, attacking the basket when his jump shot left him. Ben Gordon didn’t step up tonight and that was one of the reasons the Bulls are sitting at home wondering what happened.

Another reason to look back upon is the sloppy play, too many turnovers once again, and virtually no defense played, especially in the 4th quarter. Coach Scott Skiles virtually implied that the Bulls didn’t follow the game plan, which is absolutely amazing to me at this point in the season. The Bulls are a talented team, but will only go as far as their defense takes them. The lapses in these past two games, including losing at home tonight to a Clippers team that won only 9 road games all season, is inexcusible. Was it only 3 days ago that F Luol Deng made his now infamous proclamation that the Bulls could win every remaining game on their schedule? I believe since that comment was made, the Bulls haven’t won a SINGLE game, losing to the dregs of the NBA. The Bulls goal of a 50-win season seems far fetched. They wil have to finish 11-2 to do that. Avoid double digit losses at home? The Bulls will have to go 7-0 in their remaining home games to accomplish that.

My suggestion for the Bulls is tighten up that defense and play hard for 48 minutes. The Bulls looked like they tried to turn it on and off in this game and they are not nearly good enough a team to do that. The Bulls were terribly dominated in the 4th quarter of this game. They gave up 20+ points to three different players on the Clippers. They lost a chance to pick up a game on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the standings in the quest for home court advantage. Now they face a dangerous Denver Nuggets team on Thursday at the United Center. The end of this season gets tougher and tougher….

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Chicago Bulls Welcome Chandler Back With Open (More Like Closed) Arms

Posted by sportsmaven on March 4, 2007

Last night was Tyson Chandler’s first game in Chicago since he was traded by the Bulls to the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets during the past offseason. Believe it or not, Tyson is actually giving Kevin Garnett a run for the NBA rebounding title this season averaging 12.2 rpg this season. He also entered last night’s game with 10 double doubles — not for the season, but in a row. That’s impressive production for a guy who couldn’t do a thing last season for the Bulls. Glad Tyson is finally thriving, now he just needs to learn to shut up and play basketball and he wouldn’t be so misunderstood or misquoted in his interviews. By the way, is it just me, or are the Hornets trying to rebuild with former Chicago Bulls during the Bill Cartwright/Jerry Krause heyday loaded their roster with ex-Bulls Jannero Pargo, Linton Johnson III, in addition to Chandler. This can’t be a good sign for the depth of the Hornets bench.

Tyson Chandler Returns to ChicagoChicago Bulls Kirk Hinrich Torches Hornets
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Tyson did pretty well last night for Tyson, scoring 10 points and grabbing 13 rebounds, statistically outplaying Bulls C Ben Wallace. Tyson did get to watch his three former amigos, Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, and Luol Deng put up 27, 22, and 24 points respectively in the Bulls 104-93 win. The other notable of the game was that F Tyrus Thomas of the Bulls logged his 4th start of the season and finished with a decent line of 10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and a not so good 7 turnovers. He did have the sequence of the game though with a second quarter shot block followed by a one handed flying jam on the other end. I like that the Bulls are giving Tyrus Thomas a chance to play more, even to start, looking more and more like F Michael Sweetney is a goner at the end of the season.

One final note, providing a little bit of reality as a reminder of the past, Tyson did attempt a one handed jam with 44.2 seconds left in the game — and whiffed. Now that’s the Tyson I know and remember. Thanks for the memories, big guy.

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Chicago Bulls Bring Big Ben Back to Detroit

Posted by sportsmaven on February 26, 2007

It was a homecoming of sorts for Ben Wallace yesterday in a rare afternoon matinee as the Chicago Bulls fell to the Detroit Pistons 95-93. The Bulls had a 16 point lead in the third quarter, but as history has reared it’s ugly head, the Bulls have blown yet another 2nd half double digit lead (note the 2 18 point leads lost in back to back games against the New Jersey Nets eariler this season). This game had all I love and hate about the NBA and pro basketball. The love: good intense physical basketball with two solid contenders in the Central Division, good mix of athletic, inside/outside play and a good matchup. What I hate: Chris Webber getting away with a blatant push to put back the game winner ( I didn’t realize that Chris Webber got the same respect from the refs as say a Kobe Bryant), the Bulls allowing Detroit 20 offensive rebounds (any one of which cost them this game) and the fact that Ben Gordon still can’t hit a game winner (4th one he’s missed as of late).

Ben Wallace Returns to Detroit
(AP Photo/Gary Malerba)

This game, shown to a national television audience, shows how far apart the Bulls and Pistons are as the class of the Eastern Conference. The Pistons seem like they haven’t missed a beat in losing C Ben Wallace, while the Bulls haven’t closed much ground in acquiring Wallace. The Bulls were content to let the trade deadline pass without making a deal, which I believe was the smart thing to do given the outrageously high price that the Memphis Grizzlies put on C Pau Gasol and the apparent unavailability of Minnesota Timberwolves C Kevin Garnett. F Luol Deng is emerging as a budding superstar in his 3rd year in the NBA and he definitely would have been a part of a Garnett trade scenario, but wisely, wasn’t part of a Gasol scenario.

The Bulls are on pace to finish between 44 and 47 victories this season, which would probably put them between a 4 and 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The New York Knicks have been playing improved basketball as of late, so their pick may just fall out of the lottery. This offseason will be key for the future direction of the Bulls. They need an inside scoring threat/skilled big man to move to the next level….will it be too late?

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NBA Invades Las Vegas — It’s a SLAM DUNK!

Posted by sportsmaven on February 18, 2007

The NBA wrestled and wrestled with this decision, but it finally named Las Vegas the host city for the 2007 All-Star weekend and what a great place to showcase the pizzaz and razzle dazzle of the best athletes in the world. Is Vegas not the perfect place for this event? The NBA should go ahead and announce that it will play all it’s all star games in Las Vegas, like the NFL does with it’s Pro Bowl in Honolulu. This is not a weekend of serious basketball, but rather, a weekend of fun, excitement, and a display of athleticism like no other. And Sin City is the perfect atmosphere to display the pricess wares of the NBA.

Jason Kapono Wins 3-Pt Shooting Contest at 2007 All Star weekendDwayne Wade Wins Skills Contest at 2007 all star weekend
NBAE/Getty Images

On a Chicago note, I wrote in an earlier blog posting that Tyrus Thomas would be the first NBA player to have to pay to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, and sure enough, that almost was the case. After taking 4 tries to make his first dunk (and then drew a score of 37 out of 50), Tyrus was cooked. His second dunk was actually pretty good — he leaped over Ben Gordon and dunked LEFT-HANDED, and ripped the net off the rim, but the judges game him a 43 (Gerald Green did the same dunk on his second dunk, jumped over 5’9″ Nate Robinson and dunked with his RIGHT hand, and got a 47) I believe Tyrus’ comments when named to participate in the slam-dunk contest hurt his scores, although clearly, he was at best, the third best, and most likely the 4th best dunker in the contest.

Tyrus Thomas at 2007 NBA Slam Dunk ContestDwight Howard Dunk at 200 All Star Slam Dunk Contest
NBAE/Getty Images

The player that definitely got ripped off was Dwight Howard. Howard had the single best dunk in the contest when he did put the sticker of himself on the top of the backboard with his left hand while dunking with his right hand. That dunk was SICK, and should have gotten 50 pts, but only received 42 pts. Nate Robinson was what I thought the third best or even the 4th best dunker, but somehow made it to the finals. I’m saying it right here — Dwight Howard, you got ripped off. You were MY Slam-Dunk Champion…

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