Posted on: June 19, 2010 10:26 pm

Why There is No Respect for the 90s NBA.

          This is it. I cannot take it anymore. Too many people have no respect for the basketball that was played in the 1990s. False labels have been plastered on it from people who were not even old enough to have watched a single game from the decade. Some call it a soft decade were no defense was played. Other point that there were no other good teams except the Chicago Bulls. This is a heeping pile of bull crap! The 90s were full of great teams both in the east and the west and outstanding defense was still played because the newer rule changes were not in effect. Shooters were murdered on the floor. Hand checking was not even heard of. But I now know the real reason there is no respect for the 90s. It is quite simple.
        The reason for no respect is due to the fact that neither the Lakers or the Celtics were any good in that decade. Sure the Lakers were okay at the start of it when Magic Johnson was still playing. You see the NBA is so owned by these two franchises that as fans we simply believe that the 90s lacked any real competition for the Bulls because they did not have to face a good Celtics or Lakers team. This is crazy. The Knicks of the mid 90s were a great team. They played gritty and nasty defense. They were as good a team as any other team to reach the eastern conference finals in league history for the most part. People make it out as if the Bulls had it easy. False. The talent level was great in the 90s. The early part of the decade had the Pistons and the Cavaliers in the east for the Bulls to contend with. Then it was the Knicks, Magic, and Pacers. Even the Heat and the Hornets had good stretches in the 90s. 
         Out west there were plenty of good teams like the Trail Blazers, Supersonics, Rockets, Suns, Spurs, and Jazz. The Bulls were simply just better then the rest. Would the Bulls have won 6 Championships in the 80s with the team they had in the 90s. Most likely not, but they would have won 3 or 4 and maybe even 5. I never see anyone ask a question like, "Would the Kobe/Shaq Lakers win three in a row in the 80s?" or "How many titles would Russell have won had his team of the 60s played in the 90s?". Nobody asked these questions. Nobody dears to tarnish the legendary Celtics or the showtime Lakers. But the Bulls, well they were just lucky to have played in the 90s. There is no way they would compete in todays game or at any other time in NBA history. The stars in the sky were all just in the right spot at the right time. Also, Michael Jordan is not even a top 5 alltime player if you ask me. Also, I think Paul Pierce is better then a prime Scottie Pippen. Pippen was only good because of MJ. Whats that you say? Pippen had his best season ever without Michael and finished 3rd in MVP voting. Well that is just because Scottie and the Bulls were lucky to play in the 90s. Pippen is really just a roleplayer.
          I cannot take it anymore! The 72 win Bulls were the best team to ever step foot on the floor. One could argue they were the best defensive team alltime and they had the greatest player of alltime. Jordan(1x DPOY, 9x Defensive 1st team) Pippen(8x Defensive 1st team, 2x Defensive 2nd team) Rodman(2x DPOY, 7x Defensive 1st team, 7x Rebounding Champ). They simply shut other teams down.
          The bottomline to this insane rant is that the Bulls get no respect in the 1990s because the Lakers and Celtics were not good at the time. I would bet my life that had the Celtics had the Knicks' roster and the Lakers had the Jazz's roster in the 90s that there would be no debate. The Bulls 72 win Bulls would be the greatest ever, but because the Celtics and Lakers sucked at the time then so must have the Bulls as well. Dumb.
        Whenever the Celtics and Lakers go through a bad stretch of seasons at the same time you have people calling that a bad era in NBA history. What the hell is wrong with us. The world of basketball should not revolve around two teams should it? Do not get me wrong. I do not hate the Lakers or the Celtics as francises, but I do hate that their winning dictates great basketball, but if some other team is playing well then they are just lucky. That is a big crap sandwich and I am not hungry.
Posted on: June 3, 2010 5:22 pm

If I Were GM of the Bulls I Would...

         Okay, here we go. The offseason is almost here and if you are not the Celtics or the Lakers then you have been busy at work trying to figure out your moves for the offseason. Every fan of the game likes to play GM for their favorite team and I have a nice long history of doing just that on these boards for the Chicago Bulls. Of all the teams going into this summer some could say that the Bulls have the most on their plate. They have to hire a new Head Coach for their playoff caliber team. They have to spend 24+ million in cap money on free agents. They have the 17th pick in the draft to consider. The Bulls have a ton of options and this makes this offseason a wet dream for a fan playing the part of a GM. So what moves would I make? Let us take a look.
          You will quickly find that my idea of a great offseason is not that sexy in most eyes. I have a certain love for smaller moves that adds chemistry and depth. I favor a strong 7 man rotation over 1 or 2 superstars and a bunch of crap. It is a balancing act. You want to have a couple of go to guys. You want energy players and strong defenders. You want that guy that can light it up for 40 points. I think the Bulls are a solid team as it stands. They were in the 5th seed this season before the Noah injury and were playing their best basketball of the season right then. I truly believe the Bulls had a real shot at 48-50 wins this season had they not got hit with injuries to Hinrich, Noah, Gibson, and Deng down the stretch. But injuries are part of the game and they can dash any teams dreams.
          Building a contender can be done in two ways. The easy way is to get lucky and sign a megastar like LeBron James or the hard way by making multiple smaller moves that builds a more balanced team with depth and rotation options. However, before we attack which players to target we need to sign a Head Coach.
          In a perfect world the Bulls would lure Phil Jackson back to Chicago but that is not happening. Byron Scott and Avery Johnson seem like good choices on the surface but both have had issues with the players they coach and in my eyes are not the best options. Besides Scott is looking to take over the Lakers and Avery might sign with the Nets. Jeff Van Gundy would be a great fit, but I do not think he is leaving the broadcast booth anytime soon. The Bulls said they are looking for a Head Coach with Head Coaching experience and that leaves them with a short list of below .500 head coaches that I think we should stay away from. Maurice Cheeks is from Chicago but I am not sold on him being a longterm solution for any team. This leaves one option in my mind. Tom Thibodeau.
          Thibodeau is the defensive mastermind behind the Boston Celtics and is said to be very interested in the Chicago job. If Paxson has an ounce of brains in his skull he would go out and lock him up now. Thibodeau is not just a great basketball mind but his players love him and respect him. he would demend the respect of the Bulls players not just because he has a Championship ring but because he is one of those rare minds in basketball that can outcoach another teams coach. he is younger and has a long future ahead of him. The Bulls also have the players on their roster right now that would feed into his system. Kirk Hinrich, a favorite of once Bulls head Coach Scott Skiles, quickly comes to mind, as does Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson. He might also be just the coach that pushes Derrick Rose's defensive game from average to good. Speaking of Scott Skiles, I think that is good comparison to Tom Thibodeau except Thibodeau might be even a better defensive coach and still have the ability to relate to players. Scott Skiles gets the nod for his play calling which I still feel he is stellar at. So there we have it, a new Head Coach. Was that too hard?
          Now we move to building a roster. Sure I could simply say the Bulls should just sign LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh and call it a day, but to be honest the odds are against Chicago landing any of those three. There is still a chance LeBron stays in Cleveland with the Cavaliers. There also is an equal chance that he signs with the Knicks and still yet an outside chance he goes to the Nets, Clippers, or Heat. I say the Bulls have a 20% chance to land him and I am not liking those odds. Wade will likely resign in Miami. Bosh will either sign with Wade in Miami or follow leBron to the Knicks. This is just how a see the summer going. If Lebron goes to New York with Bosh then I see Amar'e moving to Miami with Wade. BAM! The four biggest free agents are off the table. that leaves Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer, and Dirk Nowitzki. I think the Bulls will then have to fight for one of those three and perhaps even offer a max contract which none diserve except for Dirk and I think he will head to the Suns if Amar'e is gone. Johnson is a nice player and would work well with Derrick Rose but why pay him a max contract. Let another team make that mistake like the Clippers or Nets. The same goes for the often injured Carlos Boozer. Let him sign elsewhere. You must now be in shock. Who is ChiTownCliff angling for. A cheaper option, David Lee. If I were John Paxson I would of course try for LeBron, Bosh, and Wade but if that does not pan out quickly then I would target David Lee with a 5 year contract for 13-14 million per.
          David Lee give the Bulls a cheaper version of Chris Bosh. Not bad if you ask me. Lee is a gritty player that cannot only grab rebounds, but can nail the open jumper and this gives the Bulls the perfect scoring bigman. He may not have a great back to the basket game but I think his scoring abilities fit perectly with the Bulls. The Bulls would surely lead the league in rebounds again but the real deal with signing Lee is pairing him with Rose. I think this is a great 1-2 punch. Imagine the PnP and PnR game these two could put on. Also, Lee's ability to hit long jumpers would draw defenders out of the paint and allow Derrick Rose to drive to the bucket and create. This signing also gives the Bulls room to sign yet another player that can have an impact. Enter Ray Allen.
          Say what you want I think this could happen. With Tom Thibodeau as the Head Coach Allen would at least consider it and there is a chance that the Celtics will let Ray go anyways even if they win another Championship. I understand that Ray is getting older, but he is one of those few athletes in the NBA that keeps himself in great shape. I bet he has 3+ good effective years left in him. He is a savvy veteran that fills one of the Bulls biggest needs, a deadly three point shooter. The Bulls lost Ben Gordon last season and his shooting was missed dearly. I think the Bulls could offer a 3 year deal at 8 million per and snag Allen as their new starting shooting guard. Now when Rose drives he will have a player out there that he can kick the ball to for 3. This makes the Bulls offense more complex and difficult to defend against.
          This leaves the Bulls with about 2 million in cap and I say they either resign Brad Miller to a one or two year deal or look for a backup point guard like perhaps Rafer Alston. I would rather resign Miller as he has stated he is very happy in Chicago and has made good friends with players on the team like Joakim Noah.
          When it come to the idea of making a trade I just do not see it happening unless it happens in a sign and trade for a superstar like Bosh or LeBron. I just do not see the Bulls being able t move Hinrich and his contract or Luol Deng and his massive contract. i think both remain Bulls for at least another season. The Bulls have no other players to trade aftre those two. they are not moving Rose and Noah and Gibson are cheap and quite good so you know they are staying.
          In the draft the Bulls will have only one position to fill. Either a backup center or a backup point guard depending on if they resign Miller or sign a veteran point guard. If they resign Miller then I think they should draft Eric Bledsoe. He is explosive and a solid shooter and could step right in and play a solid 10+ minutes behind Rose. If they sign a PG then they should draft Daniel Orton or Hassan Whiteside. I think Orton is the better fit of the two. The Bulls could also go the route of picking up another wing player to back up Deng. I understand the Bulls have James Johnson but they could use another option as Johnson can also play the PF role so perhaps a rookie that can play a little shooting guard and a little small forward would be wise. Xavier Henry would be perfect if he drops but James Anderson would be okay as well. I expect little from this draft pick but you never know. 
          By making these moves the Bulls have a strong starting five with a mix of defense, explosive scoring, veteran leadership, and chemistry. They also have a solid bench and depth at each and every position. The long NBA season is bound to bring injuries. I love the idea of Lee and Noah in the paint together with Deng slashing and Ray hitting jumpers off screens and Derrick doing his thing. Rose would have the firepower around him to get his assist numbers up around the 8pg mark. Ray Allen could rest and play only 30 minute per night or less with Kirk sitting on the bench.

PG. Derrick Rose/Eric Bledsoe
SG. Ray Allen/Kirk Hinrich
SF. Luol Deng/James Johnson
PF. David Lee/Taj Gibson
C. Joakim Noah/Brad Miller

          Maybe not the sexiest looking group of players or roster that you could imagine the Bulls having, but I think it would be very very effective on both ends and would contend for a top 3 spot in the east. Longterm the Bulls would have to move Kirk or Deng to make room to resign Rose or move both to sign future additions, but moving into next season this would be an ideal team. That is saying if we cannot sign LBJ, Wade, or Bosh. To be honest I might rather have Lee over Bosh.
          So what are your thoughts? What would you do as the GM for the Bulls this offseason or for your team for that matter? Thanks for taking the time to read this and i hope you enjoyed it.
Posted on: May 23, 2010 11:38 am
Edited on: May 23, 2010 11:43 am

Worst Playoffs in a Long Time?

             I do not know about you, but these playoffs lack any sort of excitement for me. Sure it was nice to see my Bulls get in and hold their own a bit against a heavy favorite, but looking at the big picture these playoffs have been a let down for the NBA fan. If your are not from Boston or L.A. you excitement level has to be in the cellar. I am not hating on those two teams, infact they both look great and when they matchup in the Finals I hope there is a true battle that is epic. Up until now however, these playoffs have been a real bore.

           There has been only one 7 game series and that was between the Hawks and Bucks. Even the four 6 games series in the first round were onesided. The second round was a complete joke. 3 sweeps out of four series and I would argue that the Cavaliers vs the Celtics series should have been a sweep. That series was not even close. So then we were all brought to the Conference Finals and the matchups looks really good on paper. The Magic had swept both series leading into their matchup with the Celtics who had just upset the Cavs. The Lakers and Suns both swept their 2nd round opponents and I was looking forward to a 7 game series in this matchup. I mean the Lakers and Suns is a classic matchup and there is always bad blood between these two.

          But it looks as if we might have another set of sweeps on our hands with both the Celtics and Lakers looking way to classy for their opponents. That would make a total of 6 series in these playoffs that did not reach a game 5. Is that unheard of? I do not know the record but I would have to think that a 2nd round with a total of only 18 games has to be a record and when you factor in how badly the Magic and Suns are playing we may end up with only 8 Conference Finals games. David Stern cannot be all too happy about this.

          I consider myself a real NBA fan. That is, I watch the playoffs even if my team is not in them, which was often after the Michael Jordan years. These playoffs are crap. I am sure even Lakers and Celtics fans are starting to itch for some real competition. I want to see some magic. I want to see some clutch performances and last second shots. I want to see a game winning shot get blocked. I want to see an inbounds pass stolen in the closing seconds. I want to see a player steal the ball and run the floor for a dunk and a free throw as the clock ticks down in a 3rd overtime for a win. Is this too much to ask for? Am I the only one sitting on their couch with a beer in hand wondering why you are even watching the 2nd half? Where is the heart? Where is the desire to win. 

         Am I alone in this, or is this not the worst playoffs that you can remember? I mean we have top teams that are not putting forth any effort. The 2nd round was a joke and these Conference Finals are even worse. So, how do you rank these playoffs so far?
Category: NBA
Posted on: May 12, 2010 2:50 pm

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

I thought I would start a periodical and I thought that the classic the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly format was perfect. It is a nice way for me to let loose my opinions on current stories in the NBA and allows me the freedom to pick certain stories to discuss. Feel free to give your own lists of the Good, Bad, and Ugly or comment on the topics I throw out there. I hope you enjoy the read.

The Good.

Magic making history. The Magic become only the 6th team in NBA history to start the post season at 8-0. Against the Hawks they were amazing, crushing them by an average of 25 points per game and handed the Hawks their worst home loss in the playoffs ever in game three, winning by 30 points.

2. Pau Gasol best bigman in the playoffs? Sure most will point to Dwight Howard, but Gasol is averaging 20.2 points, 13.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.9 blocks, while shooting .564 from the floor. He is 3rd in NBA efficiency overall behind Dwyane Wade and LeBron James and is 11 spots ahead of Dwight Howard.

3. Richardson leads Sun's charge in playoffs. Jason Richardson is the unlikely leader of the Suns thus far in the playoffs. His stats are way up from the regular season. He is averaging 6.2 more points and 1.2 more rebounds per game in the playoffs compared to the regular season and is shooting .510, up from .474. He has been the x-factor.

The Bad.

1. Bulls drag feet looking for new head coach. This could be good or bad I guess, but as a Bulls fan I do not want to see a repeat of what happened last time the Bulls were in the market for a new head coach. They waited way to long and got stuck with a coach with zero experience.

2. Woodson's remarks stike me funny. After being swept by the Magic in an epic fashion, the Hawks' head coach told the media that the Hawks were close to making a legitimate run if they were to add 2 or 3 key players. Wow, I think just about every team could say the same thing right? Just add 2 or 3 good players and we are a contender, silly. My Bulls would be the favorite in the east if they could just simply add 2 or 3 key players. Start packing your things coach.

3. Dampier to have knee surgery. Well, I think it is safe to say that the once effective center Erick Dampier is about as good as done as a starter in the NBA. Infact, he will be lucky to see garbage minutes the rest of his career. Getting old sucks.

The Ugly.

1. The human twig gets into a fight?
Memphis Grizzlies center is said to have gotten into a scuffle with R&B singer TID at a nightclub in Tanzania. His agent is denying the story, but does Thabeet need any negative press after averaging 3 points and 3 rebounds this season?

2. Happy times off the court for Wade. Dwyane Wades wife is arrested and held on bond after she failed to show up to court. How stupid do you have to be not to show up to court when you are trying to "get paid" in a divorce case? Hey! Mrs. Wade why not give Mrs. X-Jordan or Mrs. X-Shaq a call. I am sure they can give you some advise.

3. Cavaliers lose game 5 at home. Not only do the Cavs lose this very important game AT HOME, but they get hammered and LeBron James looks foolish the entire game. Perhaps the worst loss in Cavs history.
Posted on: April 12, 2010 11:25 am
Edited on: April 12, 2010 11:52 am

Playoff Success vs Player Loyalty

          Never before has the NBA sat at such a crossroads. I do not want to attempt to beat a dead horse here but I want to explore the inner minds and workings of this summers free agent class. With so much superpower available this summer the landscape of our beloved NBA is surely at stake. All fans are holding their breaths as their own team may go from a contender to a heap of crap with the stroke of a pen. Still others, like myself, are sweating from places they knew not existed in anticipation of a team altering signing.
           However, much balances on each of these free agents success in this seasons Playoffs. Never before has so much been riding on a team making it deep into the playoffs. Every Playoff series won is another cog added to the machine that will allow certain teams to retain the services of their Superstar. Every victory in theory becomes an increase in the percent chance that a player may resign. I thought this correlation needed to be explored a bit more. I have been thinking about this a lot over the past few days and even made up a few different charts that dive into this question. Now these are just my opinions below and I would love to see your feedback.

          Below are listed the top free agents for this summer and the percent chance they will leave for another teams based on how far they make it into the playoffs.

LeBron James. Lose 1st round=100%. Lose 2nd round=100%. Lose Conference Finals=60%. Lose Finals=25%. Win Championship=0%.
          Of all the free agents LeBron must cause the greatest concern for his fanbase in Cleveland. The Cavaliers almost have to win it all in my opinion to keep James in the fold. He is clearly the best of all the free agents and if the Cavs lose him they will become just an average team and that is it. James wants to become a legend. He will make it to the Hall of Fame as it is, but to be considered a legend in the likes of Jordan, Russell, Magic, Wilt, and Bird, he will have to add rings to his fingers. It looks like the Cavaliers have built the best team they can around him. Adding Shaq and Jamison were both solid moves and look like forward progress, but LeBron wants nothing to do with progress anymore. He wants what Kobe has. Rings and lots of them. he sat on the sideline and watched as the Bulls took out his supporting cast a few nights ago, and he must start to question if there is a better mixture of talent out there for him to join. I am not saying he will sign with the Bulls, but the seed of doubt must be planted. If he does not win the Finals I say the percentage is very high that he will leave.

Dwyane Wade. Lose 1st round=80%. Lose 2nd round=50%. Lose Conference Finals=30%. Lose Finals=10%. Win Championship=0%
          You will begin to notice a common theme here. If a free agent wins the finals they will stay. This is the case for all the free agents on my list except Boozer I will break down later. Wade is a big question mark to me. I just cannot put my fingure on him as to his thinking. he seems to love south beach and that might be hard to leave behind, but if this team does not make it far into the playoffs he has to start wondering. He could also stay with the Heat knowing that another star free agent is on the way. This would be the dagger for other teams trying to entice Wade to join them. Wade may have already talked to another of the free agents. We do not really know what goes on behind closed doors. The fact that Miami has the money to retain Wade and sign another max deal makes Wade leaving seem doubtful, but again you never know.

Chris Bosh. Miss Playoffs=100%. Lose 1st round=100%. Lose 2nd round=80%. Lose Conference Finals=40%. Lose Finals=20%. Win Championship=0%.
          The Raptors may not even make the Playoffs and the only way I see Bosh staying in Canada is if they reach the Finals and that will never happen. Bosh is as good as gone. There is no reason to stick around. Toronto has not done a good job of building a team around him. Adding Turk last summer has not worked out at all and while the Raptors do have some nice talent they lack toughness and that is what is needed to reach the next level. The Raptors with bosh simply are not contenders and Bosh knows this now. He almost has to leave. So say goodbye to Bosh Raptor fans because he is packing his bags as I am typing these words.

Amar'e Stoudemire. Lose 1st round=100%. Lose 2nd round=80%. Lose Conference Fianls=40%. Lose Finals=10%. Win Championship=0%.
          Stat is playing for a contract right now and any fan that has been around the NBA for any amount of time knows that. he is not playing at the level he is right now because he wants the Suns to win it all, but rather he is playing for the money. At the begining of the season most thought that Amar'e was not worth a max contract and I would wager that Amar'e thought the same thing. Now he is playing at the highest level we have seen in a long time. I remember when many coined him the best center in the league and then after Dwight Howard grew up he was a close second. He has not been that player the last couple of seasons but suddenly he is playing like a MVP. He will sign with whatever team is willing to hand him the most money.

Joe Johnson. Lose 1st round=75%. Lose 2nd round=50%. Lose Conference Finals=25%. Lose Finals=10%. Win Championship=0%.
          Joe Johnson is already in a good spot. He is on a young team with players he knows well. They are young and still growing and have the ability as a team to become great by just making a couple of smaller moves to add needed depth. Johnson might have to see his team get cremated for him to question leaving. There is however always the question of money these days and I could see Johnson jump ship if his team cannot make it past the 2nd round. Also there are quite a few teams with the money to offer max contracts and while Johnson may not really be max contract worthy he may be able to land that kind of money from a desperate team.

Carlos Boozer. Lose 1st round=100%. Lose 2nd round=90%. Lose Conference Finals=70%. Lose Finals=50%. Win Championship=25%.
          I truly feel that Boozer is in his last season with the Jazz. He is a bridge burner to say the least and seems to not think things out before he speaks. You should never tell people you want to leave in the way Boozer did when he said he wanted to go to Miami. There is no better way to have your fanbase turn on you. It also makes other fans of other teams not want you. Boozer has as many issues in his head as he does with his body but the one thing I do know is that he will be leaving the Jazz. The only way I see him staying is if the Jazz make it to the WCFs of even the Finals and only if Boozer is a big part of this success. Even then however I see him following the money.

         So there you have it. My breakdown of this summers festivities. Here is my overall list of who will leave their team in order of most likely to least likely.

1. Chris Bosh
2. Carlos Boozer
3. Amar'e Stoudemire
4. LeBron James
5. Joe Johnson
6. Dwyane Wade

Here is my list of teams these six are most likely to sign with if they do leave their own team in order of most likely to least likely.

1. Chris Bosh- 1.Bulls. 2.Knicks. 3.Heat
2. Carlos Boozer- 1.Heat. 2.Nets. 3.Knicks
3. Amar'e Stoudemire- 1.Knicks. 2.Heat. 3.Nets
4. LeBron James- 1.Knicks. 2.Bulls. 3.Heat
5. Joe Johnson- 1.Knicks. 2.Bulls. 3.Nets
6. Dwyane Wade- 1.Bulls. 2.Knicks. 3.Nets
Posted on: March 28, 2010 10:25 am

Bulls Might Still make the Playoffs.

         At this point there is really no reason for the Bulls to not try and make a push into the 8th and final spot in the east. Losing will not move them into the bottomline 10 in the league and therefore secure there lottery pick from the Bucks who have the rights to swap picks. The Bulls have an uphill battle however but they do have a strong history of finishing out seasons strong and slipping into the playoffs. Let's take a look at what needs to happen.

           First and formost Derrick Rose is going to have to step it up and play like not just and allstar, but a superstar. We need to see a lot more of the 27-7-8 that we saw against the Rockets. Derrick needs to score to make up for Deng sitting on the bench. The Bottomline is that the Bulls fate is rested on this young rising superstar's shoulders. Can he step up to the challenge?
          A close second in order of importance is the Bulls having a healthy Joakim Noah. With a healthy Noah and a determined Rose the Bulls can upset anyteam in the NBA. Without Noah the Bulls simply are below average, but look at what he can do with even 10 or 12 minutes. If he can start playing around 20 minutes strong in the last ten games then the Bulls have a real chance of sneaking into the playoffs. Taj Gibson has had a great year but he cannot be asked to fill in for Noah at this point. Brad Miller is flat out getting old. He looks good in small stretches and that is all the Bulls can ask of the savvy veteran.
          As is stands the Raptors are sitting at 35-36, while the Bulls are 34-38. The Bulls have 10 games left while the Raptors have 11. The Bulls simply need to win two more games then the Raptors to finish out the season. The Raptors hold the tiebreaker so the Bulls need a better ending record. A tie would mean the end of the season for the Bulls. 
         Of the ten games remaining for the Bulls only 3 or 4 look like sure losses. The Suns, Cavaliers, Celtics, and perhaps the Bucks will pose serious challenges. The other 6 games include the Pistons, Wizards, Bobcats twice, Nets, and the Raptors. The Raptors schedule looks about the same. They have the Cavaliers, Hawks, Celtics, and Heat to deal with.
          It is the home stretch and crunch-time. It is time for a team's star or stars to shine and lift their teams up and carry them. The Raptors have Bosh and we have Rose. The Bulls are at a disadvantage but there is still hope and if the Bulls can get it together and turn back into the team they were a month ago then they have a real shot.
Posted on: December 26, 2009 11:25 am

Breaking Down the Bulls: Solution #2

     First of all I would like to say that I wanted to add pretty pictures to these threads but for some reason this site will no longer allow me to do so. With that being said I will now actually have to write something interesting as I will not be able to fool you with flashy images. Well, on to the subject of this thread. A week or so ago a laid out a plan for the Bulls involving a trade for Chris Bosh and the signing of Joe Johnson. Most Bulls fans loved the idea, but thanks to S&H and his realistic mindset I have been haunted with pessimism. This is a good thing. I was forced to try and find a more realistic plan for the Bulls. So let us take a look.

     Why Boozer?
OK, for the big trade I think we could shift our focus away from Chris Bosh and towards Carlos Boozer. Boozer is a perfect sized power forward in the mold of Karl Malone. He has has a high level of back to the basket skill. Infact, he is much more of an interior scorer then Bosh. In many ways Boozer is a better fit for the Bulls. He is a brute and not afraid to get dirty in the paint. A combo of Joakim Noah and Boozer would leave other teams at a 10+ rebound deficit everynight. Second chance points would be crazy. They one glaring downside to Boozer is his injury history. He has missed a ton of games. That would be a risk but a solid gamble if you ask me.
     Now what would be a good trade for Boozer? Well the Jazz have a point guard in Deron Williams, but the rest of the team is just OK outside of Boozer. Boozer will leave Utah this summer so the Bulls still have a bit of leverage in that the Jazz will loose Boozer for nothing. If the Jazz want cap space they may not bother to make a trade however. I think Jerry Sloan has a man crush on Kirk Hinrich and Kirk's contract is an asset because it gets smaller every season. I wonder if the Jazz would move Boozer for Hinrich and rookie Taj Gibson, who has shown he is really smart and can start even on some teams. Hinrich would give the Jazz a solid 6th man or he could even start alongside Williams. That would be a scary guard combo. Now we would have to give up a pick in this senario or maybe we could swap Gibson with Tyrus Thomas and make a straight up swap of Kirk and Thomas for Boozer. We could throw in a 2nd rounder as well. Another option is to package Deng for Boozer but the Jazz already have Kirilenko and that would tie up about 27 million dollors in small forwards between Deng and Kirilenko.
     The bottomline is Boozer might be had for less then Bosh and in the long run he may be a better option if he can stay healthy. We could also wait until the summer and just try to sign Boozer straight up. If we can make the trades I layout below then Boozer may want to come play in the Windy City. Now we need a shooter to pair with Derrick Rose and Boozer.

The Bluelight Special. Yes, I am talking about Kevin Martin. He is just the type of scorer we need to replace Ben Gordon. Word is that the Kings are willing to move K-mart because of how well rookie Tyreke Evens is playing. Now we can go two routes for this trade. If the Kings want cap space then we offer up Brad Miller and our first round pick or if they want talent we could try and sell them on Luol Deng. Another option would be a combo of both like Jerome James and John Salmons and our pick. I could go on and on with trade senarios with the Kings because they make a very good trade partner for us. Another option I would jump at is Deng and Jerome James expiring contract for Martin and Nocioni. Nocioni is overpaid thanks to us and the Kings may want to clear up some cap and still get a solid starter in return.

Other Shooters on the Radar. If a move for K-mart fails we could move Deng and his large contract to the Suns for Jason Richardson. We would have to throw in Aaron Gray to make the money work, but Steve Kerr really likes Deng and he would be a nice fit for that team. The advantage on our end is we get a shooter with a shorter contract. Michael Redd is also and option but he is also a health risk. I also wonder if we could make a deal with the Pistons for Rip. With Ben Gordon on the team the Pistons may be willing to part ways with Rip. The issue with Rip is he is overpaid so Deng would have to be part of this trade and to be honest i would rather have Deng longterm then Rip. So scratch that idea. I will leave this open to you guys. Can you think of some solid Starting quality shooters that we could get that would fit in well with Rose, Noah, and Boozer?

The Main Idea Here... The idea of landing Bosh and Wade, or Joe Johnson, or even LeBron James might be out of the question. Boozer is a solid starting point for the Bulls in a realistic attempt he mend things on this team. Add a shooting guard that can score from the outside like Kevin Martin and you have a solid team. It is not a team as sexy as Bosh/Wade, but could very well be just as effective. With the right chemistry of players the Bulls can contend without having a household name type of player on the roster. We have some nice pieces that can be traded, now all we need to do is make the right series of moves and in the right order to attract veteran help in the offseason. If we can land Boozer/Martin this season or this summer then a player like Camby may want on board or another veteran or two. 

I hope you enjoyed the read and please reply with your ideas or thoughts. 
Posted on: November 7, 2009 11:58 am

Unexpected Observations Thus Far.

     I thought I would quickly point out a few interesting things that have happened so far this NBA season. We are only a couple of weeks in but a few things have jumped out at me. I am not saying these things will continue and set a trend but they are a bit shocking. Let us take a look.

1. Rockets are at the top of the Southwest division with a record of 4 and 2. The real shocker here is that the Spurs are in third with a 2 and 3 record. Not exactly what we thought we would see after the Jefferson trade to the Spurs.

2. Gerald Wallace is averaging 14.8 points a game and 14.8 rebounds a game though 5 games. I bit scary and reminds me of a young Marion with a better looking shot.

3. Bulls have the lead in the Central. I am sure the Cavaliers will take it back within the next week or so, but the Cavaliers have not looked that strong after snagging Shaq this summer. Could the Cavs be worse then last season for having made the trade? Infact if the playoffs started today the Cavaliers would not be in it. Strange. I am still sure they will end up in the top 3.

4. Kobe does not look any older. He is averaging an amazing 34.5 points per game. Looks like there is plenty of gas in the tank after scoring 41 in each of his last two games. Scary.

5. The Suns look great without Shaq slowing them down and have come out of the gates on fire. Nash is his old self and man do they look like they have depth. Playoffs for sure. I really thought they were going to be one of the westcoast teams fighting to make the playoffs.

6. Remove Chris Paul from the Hornets and they become the worse team in the league. The Hornets do not look very good at all but it is still early. Peja is ready to hang it up and this team really needs a shooter bad.

Well I could go on I am sure but I would like to hear from you. Are you shocked by the same things as I, or is there something else that has you doing a double take? 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com