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Posts Tagged ‘Golden State Warriors’

Chicago Bulls Beat The Detroit Pistons, But Have A Hard Time With Everyone Else

Posted by sportsmaven on January 21, 2008

I sometimes have an enormously difficult time figuring out the Chicago Bulls. Take Friday night, for instance. The Bulls play a talented but beatable Golden State Warriors team that provided match up difficulties and the Bulls were actually winning by 14 points in the second half, but were upended 119-111 by sketchy play down the stretch. The next night, on the second game of a back to back, which the Bulls are something like 2-9 on the second game of a back to back, beat the Detroit Pistons 97-81, arguably the best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.

Bulls Beat Pistons 97-81

(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

The Bulls played a terrific game against the Pistons, defined by a very strong 4th quarter performance. The next 10 games are vital for the Bulls, for they have to have a stretch of winning to get to the .500 level. That should be their first goal. The next should be to position themselves as the 5th or 6th seed in a very weak Eastern Conference. If they are a 7 or 8 seed, the Bulls will have very little chance of advancing in the first round of the playoffs. But they have to get there first…..

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The Bulls Are Not A Good Team….And Time Is Running Out

Posted by sportsmaven on January 19, 2008

Watching the Chicago Bulls play the Golden State Warriors tonight in a 119-111 home loss, it occurred to me that the Bulls are flat out, not a very good team. And that’s about as polite as I can get about a team that really lacks game-breaking talent or any semblance of leadership, organization, or passion. The Bulls also lack a clear identity and that’s been a long running problem for this team and organization. The Bulls have somehow figured out a way to take two and a half steps back on the path to reclaiming their glory days of the Michael Jordan years.

Bulls Lose To Warriors 119-111

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

It appeared that the Bulls were assembling good, solid, fairly skilled players that are fundamentally sound and would be great complementary pieces to a marquee free agent signing. The Bulls then signed F/C Ben Wallace and paid him a boat load of money, but I’m still not exactly sure WHY they signed him. He was a high profile name, coming from a successful, NBA Champion pedigreed team in the Detroit Pistons, and seemed to be high energy with the heart of a gamer. A closer look at Ben Wallace shows an undersized F/C that was clearly on the downside of his career, a defensive stopper with no offensive game, a free throw shooter on par with Shaquille O’Neal, in short, not the marquee name to slide into the star role the Bulls sorely lack and need.

Future drafts and free agents signings brought in good, talented players from successful college programs. The Bulls were assembling more complementary talent, that I was sure was earmarked for a trade to bring a game-breaker or two. Then the Tyrus Thomas pick….GM John Paxson moved off the playbook and drafted for potential, bypassing C LaMarcus Aldridge for a more athletic, less fundamental, sky high potential of a freak athlete with only two years of college basketball under his belt. Then the whole thing blew up under the weight of high expectations following a 49 win season in 2006-2007.

After tonight’s home loss the Bulls record stands at 14-22, 8 games under .500 and having a very Chicago Bears-like season. The Bulls, owners of a win streak no longer than two games, are a mess. The Joakim Noah farce was the latest in a turbulent season that has seen gross underachievement, the firing of very successful head coach, Scott Skiles, on Christmas Eve, nonetheless, the two day pause in naming Jim Boylan as interim head coach (as if Skiles was fired with no plan for a replacement in mind) and now G JamesOn Curry developing a urination problem that required resisting arrest and an overnight stay in a Boise, ID jail cell.

The record and poor play would have been more than enough to dislodge the faithful. Add in the endless public relations nightmares, repeated over and over again, the lack of any clear direction or vision for this team, and the lack of any action to forge an identity (pointing out lack of pulling triggers on trades for Memphis C Pau Gasol, C Kevin Garnett, SG Kobe Bryant, or any other playmaker that can make a difference). Now there is talk that the Bulls may be interested in Tracy McGrady. Please. The Bulls are turning into the New York Knicks, and doing it so well, that people are forgetting about the real New York Knicks. Only in the NBA Eastern Conference, would a team like the Bulls be sniffing a playoff spot with this kind of karma……Note to Ben Gordon and Luol Deng: you should have signed those contracts.

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Chicago Bulls Unleash New Secret Weapon: Tyrus “The Microwave” Thomas

Posted by sportsmaven on March 1, 2007

Well, maybe we’re going a bit overboard on this one, but what a game for the rookie, Tyrus Thomas, who heated up off the bench in relief of PJ Brown to pop off a career high 14 points. I can say the same for the other Bulls rookie, Thabo Sefolosha, who had an even better night, dropping a career high 19 points on the hapless Golden State Warriors (well they didn’t play like warriors tonight) in the Chicago Bulls 113-83 victory. The Warriors started F Kelenna Azubuike, fresh from the NBADL. He may be the poster child for the NBADL as the Bulls allowed Mr Azubuike to hang 23 pts. on them. A shrewd move by Warriors coach Donn Nelson to start Azubuike, of whom the Bulls apparently didn’t get a scouting report. This guy was 20% of the Warriors offense tonight!

Tyrus Thomas Dominates WarriorsThabo Sefolosha Beats Down Warriors
(AP Photos/Nam Y. Huh)

This game looked over after a third quarter push by the Bulls. It looked like neither team really wanted to play the 4th quarter. If they could, the Warriors would have called it a night after three and went home with the whipping from a Bulls team with the personality of Sybill. Adrian Griffin even scored 17 points tonight. He may have not scored 17 points all season.

Lose 2, win 2, lose 2, win 3. This appears to be how the Bulls plan to approach the next few weeks of the regular season, at least until they decide to flip the switch for the 10-1 run into a 6 seed in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs. Maddening inconsistency, that’s our Bulls team motto. Steve Schanwald, this marketing tidbit is on the house, courtesy of the Sports Maven. It’s has to rank right up there with The Playoff Payoff.

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Chicago Bulls Crush The Hapless Phoenix Suns?

Posted by sportsmaven on February 12, 2007

Our road weary Chicago Bulls finished their 7 game road trip on a very strong note by beating the Phoenix Suns 116-103 tonight. I was shocked to see that this was the Suns first double digit loss this season, after 51 games played. This bested the record of longest streaks to start a season without a double-digit setback held by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls record of 45 games.

Bulls Beat Suns 1Bulls Beat Suns 2
(AP Photo/Tom Hood)

Of course, the Suns were playing without G Steve Nash and F Boris Diaw, which makes playing this game a bit easier, but the Suns still rolled out a strong lineup with Amare Stoudamire and Leandro Barbosa each racking up 26 points. Amare also had 10 boards to go along with those points. The Bulls came out HUGE tonight with Kirk Hinrich scoring 29 points, and Luol Deng having another monster night with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Ben Gordon added 27 points. Tyrus Thomas also started the game tonight, scoring 9 points and grabbing 4 rebounds. This win was a bit of a shocker to me. This is a good Phoenix Suns team and the Bulls were coming off very poor losses to the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors and playing 3 games in the last 4 nights.

Another couple of factoids for this game: G Jalen Rose played 6 minutes and scored 3 points in this game, his average for the season. This was Jalen’s second game in the last 15 the Phoenix Suns have played. Also, this game marked a reunion of another ex-Bull, G Eric Piatkowski. Eric logged a DNP – CD (Did Not Play – Coaches Decision for those acronomically challenged). Eric has played exactly 1 game this season for the Suns, 4 minutes on 11/11. This guy must be worn out from those tough Phoenix practices that wore out Tim Thomas last season.

This is yet another maddening chapter in this season’s version of the Chicago Bulls. The inconsistency of this team is unbelievable. If they ever put it together, get some consistent scoring, and play at another level offensively, this team is a leading contender in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls have beaten the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat twice, Washington Wizards, and the Los Angeles Lakers, all strong playoff contenders. Their losses? They have lost to the Philadelphia76ers, Sacramento Kings twice, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the New York Knicks, and the New Jersey Nets twice, blowing 18 point leads in both those losses. All these teams are well under .500. Consistency, consistency, where are you, consistency?

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Chicago Bulls Not In A Very Golden State

Posted by sportsmaven on February 10, 2007

Who are these Chicago Bulls? I hardly know these days. This Bulls team is an enigma, an inconsistent enigma. The Bulls lost a very winnable game tonight to the Golden State Warriors. A game where they led by 14 points going into the 4th quarter. A game where they scored 93 points through 3 quarters. The Bulls lose 123-121 in OT, guaranteeing a losing road trip.

Bulls vs. Warriors
(AP Photo/George Nikitin)

It figured that the Bulls would struggle, as they have not won in Golden State since the 1998 championship season. When asked about the game, Bulls coach Scott Skiles commented:

“We built a nice lead,” Bulls coach Scott Skiles said. “We just lost focus.”

Nice. These are the games the Bulls will look back on at the end of the season and say that they should have had this. This Golden State team is struggling. They were 23-27 going into tonight. This was the Bulls game and they let it get away. Lack of focus? This Bulls team cannot afford lack of focus. They are not good enough to be able to turn it on and off on a nightly basis. When this team works hard and is very focused, they are difficult to beat. When they are lacksidasical and unfocused, they are their own worst enemy. The Bulls beat themselves tonight. As of this evenings results, the Bulls are holding the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, which is not home court advantage. The Eastern Conference is once again, a weak conference this season, but teams like the Bulls, who many consider to be the best team in the East, underachieve, making the Eastern Conference race wide open.

As the trade deadline approaches, the Bulls need to consider how to improve this team. Again, I have been a stong backer of a Kevin Garnett deal. I am really hoping that it’s not a Pau Gasol deal. Kevin Garnett in Chicago equates to the Bulls being the Eastern Conference frontrunners and a definite NBA title contender, but the question is, at what price?

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