Chicago Sports Inside and Out – The Chicago Sports Maven

Bringing Chicago sports to the world!

Posts Tagged ‘Kobe Bryant’

SportsMaven Returns With A Flourish — Chicago Bulls Crush the Washington Wizards

Posted by sportsmaven on April 16, 2007

Hello loyal readers! The SportsMaven is back from a break and ready to catch you up on all things Chicago sports! In my absence, a lot of things have happened in the Chicago sports world, but I wanted to kick off my return post beginning with the Chicago Bulls. I attended today’s Chicago Cubs game against the Cincinnati Reds this afternoon. I actually attended the entire three game series this weekend, but today’s game was on one of Wrigleyville’s famous rooftops (thanks to the folks at Beyond the Ivy). More to come on the Cubs, but one of the cool things about going to a rooftop game is the fact that I was able to watch both the Cubs game live and the Chicago Bulls play the fading Washington Wizards in an all important game for the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

bulls-beat-wizards-4-15-07.jpg

I’m happy to note that the Bulls looked OUTSTANDING again today. They are peaking at the exact right time of the season. After today’s 101-68 blowout of the Washington Wizards, the Bulls are on track to finish their season with 50 wins and the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference. The beauty of the situation is that the Bulls are getting better and better as the season goes on. With each passing day, the Bulls are proving that they are a strong contender for the Eastern Conference championship and a shot at the NBA Title.

A win on Wednesday against the New Jersey Nets will seal the #2 seed in the East and a date most likely against the same Nets team or possibly the Wizards, who are in a free fall and predicted to be a quick exit from this year’s post-season. I LOVE the Bulls chances to get to the Finals this season. The Eastern Conference is wide open and the Bulls have beaten the conference’s top team, the Detroit Pistons three of four games this season. If all things hold true, look for a classic Bulls-Pistons matchup that has more sub-plots and drama than a good Shaquille O’Neal – Kobe Bryant feud.

Posted in Chicago Bulls | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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?

Posted in Chicago Bulls | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tyrus Thomas Is The New Rod Tidwell

Posted by sportsmaven on February 6, 2007

I am sure Cuba Gooding, Jr. is available to play Chicago Bulls F Tyrus Thomas in this next movie. Tyrus, poor Tyrus. After the NBA graciously invited Thomas to the NBA Slam-Dunk contest, Tyrus got a bit of Rex Grossman-itis. When asked if he was pleased about the invite Thomas graciously replied:

Tyrus ThomasRod Tidwell

“Not really,” Thomas said. “I’m just going to go out there, get my check and call it a day.”

Asked if an opportunity to rub elbows with some of the game’s greats could be beneficial for a rookie, Thomas kept unlacing.

“I’m just into the free money,” he said. “That’s it. I’ll just do whatever when I get out there.”

With Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Julius Irving, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter as judges, you can be sure that Mr. Thomas would be denied the ball from any of this group, just to teach him a lesson. My prediction for the Slam-Dunk contest? Tyrus, you finish dead last.

Oh, by the way — Mr. Paxson wants you to show him the money in tune to a fine of $10K. This could be the first time in league history that a slam dunk contestant actually has to pay to be in the contest. I am sure glad that Tyrus Thomas is a baskeball player and not my stockbroker…..

Posted in Chicago Bulls | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Chicago Bulls Swept Away in Utah

Posted by sportsmaven on February 6, 2007

The Chicago Bulls continue their march through the Western Conference on their current 7 game road trip. They must have taken some cues from their football bretheren in Chicago, as the Bulls were beat pretty handily by the Utah Jazz 100-95. Coach Scott Skiles said the Bulls played hard, but not smart. (sound familiar?). Basically, they could not keep up with 6’11” Jazz C Mehmet Okur yet again. The book is out on the Bulls – exploit them in the middle, especially late in the game. The Bulls still lack a back to the basket post-up player.

Bulls Lose to Utah

With the trading deadline a couple of weeks away, I can tell you right now that I don’t like a Pau Gasol trade at all. He couldn’t cut it in Memphis. Some believe that he doesn’t want to be “The Man” and that going to a team where he can be a second or third option would benefit his game. My feeling is that the Bulls have enough guys on the team who are second or third options. What the Bulls need is someone who is feared, someone who can take over when the game is on the line. Seeing as guys like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Gilbert Arenas, and others are locked up with their perspective teams, it only makes send to go after a guy like Kevin Garnett, to be that go-to guy. Meanwhile, the Bulls are 28-21 and 2-2 on the 7 game road trip.

What do you think about a Kevin Garnett scenario to the Bulls? It’s got to be better than Pau Gasol……thoughts?

Posted in Chicago Bulls | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »