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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Wallace’

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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Chicago Bulls Start West Coast Trip – Again

Posted by sportsmaven on February 1, 2007

The Chicago Bulls Struggle Against Clippers. The Chicago Bulls definitely do not like the West Coast swings on their schedule, ever. For years, we’ve experienced the marathon circus road trip in November that usually begins on the west coast. They came home from this year’s version of the circus trip with a 3-9 record and it looks like this 7 game west coast trip has all the trappings of being similar to the circus trip. The Bulls were in LA last night playing the mighty Los Angeles Clippers, who have been underachievers for most of the season, but have been on a bit of a run recently, winning their 7th out of their last 8 games last night. The Clippers beat the Bulls 110-98 at the Staples Center.

Bulls Struggle Against Clippers

Statistically, if you look at the box score of this game, it couldn’t have been any more even, with the exception of free throws, where the Clippers attempted 20 more free throws and made 19 more free throws than the Bulls. (this is a recurring theme throughout the season for the Bulls.) Watching this game on television though, it looked like the Clippers dominated the Bulls. The Bulls were consistently down double digits for most of the night. When they would fight back to close within one or two baskets, the Clippers would go on a run and extend the lead back out to double digits, and that was the real story of last night’s game.

The Bulls sorely missed Ben Wallace’s presence last night, especially in the paint. PJ Brown was just overmatched against Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston played out of his mind in the 4th quarter. He killed Kirk Hinrich in the last 6 minutes of the game, scoring at will and playing tough defense on Capt. Kirk. The Bulls didn’t have a go to player step up in the 4th quarter when they tied the game at 94 with 4 minutes left. The Clips just buried them, providing yet another lesson to the Bulls that they need to finish stronger. (Those Finish signs that are all over the Chicago Bears Miami hotel needs to be hung up all over the Bulls locker room.) The Bulls are in Seattle on Friday, Portland on Saturday and in Utah on Monday. I would be happy if the Bulls split the first 4 games of this road trip and they should if they play up to their ability. Of course, that remains to be seen at times. Inconsistency will prompt me to write a future post on this subject somewhere down the road…..

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Chicago Bulls Handle The Dallas Mavericks Handily – Frustrated?

Posted by sportsmaven on January 25, 2007

Tonight, I watched a Chicago Bulls team that has me maddeningly frustrated. Going into tonight, the Bulls were 6-7 for the month of January. They have last 4 games where they have had double-digit leads. They have lost to lesser teams such as the Indiana Pacers and two losses to the New Jersey Nets after building 18 point leads. So, enter the 35-8 Dallas Mavericks, arguably the best team in the NBA this season. End results, Bulls 96, Mavericks 85. This is the maddening inconsistency that has defined the season for the Bulls so far.

Scott Skiles proves with each and every day that he is one of the best coaches in the NBA. To have a team this inconsistent, with huge flaws, in the thick of the division and conference race, is nothing short of remarkable. Tonight, the Bulls outrebounded the Mavericks 59-45. They held the Maverics to 31.2% shooting, by far the Mavericks worst shooting game of the season. By far, their glaring flaws also stand out in a game like tonight: 66 of their 96 points scored by their perimeter oriented Big 3 highlights the Bulls top area of weakness, an inside scoring presence. Ben Wallace is an island, being asked to single handedly be the Bulls rebounding and interior defensive presence, like the last man standing at the Alamo.

Pau Gasol? Is he the answer? He could be, but personally, with the Minnesota Timberwolves firing Dwane Casey, if I were John Paxson, I would be speed dialing Kevin McHale to inquire about what it would take to get Kevin Garnett and get that done — now. The Eastern Conference is open and Garnett is the presence the Bulls would need to take the load off of Ben Wallace as well as provide the inside scoring presence the Bulls would need. Reggie Miller from TNT stated tonight that if the Bulls had Garnett, they would be the hands down favorite to win the NBA Title this season……

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