Posted on: January 18, 2011 4:17 pm
Okay, it has been a while since I dropped a blog so I thought now was as good a time as any. I have always felt that the Hornets and Bulls of recent had some very similar teams, but I really think I struck something while researching a bit. This seasons Bulls team has a ton in common with the 07-08 Hornets and in a way I find is a bit scary, because the Hornets did lose in the 2nd round, but I could see the same thing happening to the Bulls. So let us take a look down memory lane and find some eerie similarities together shall we?
The Paul/Rose Factor. In 07-08 it was CP3 third season, just as it is Rose's third season, but that is just the cherry on the top of the cake. Paul had his breakout season that year with 21ppg, 11.6rpg, 4rpg, and 2.7 spg, just as Rose is having his with 24.5ppg, 8.1apg, 4.7rpg, and .376 3P%. At the time Paul was on the short list of players to become the MVP. I remember thinking he should have won the Award, but in the end Kobe became the MVP and CP3 finished 2nd in voting. Not to shabby for a 3rd year player. Paul became a household name. All of these things seem to be in the works for Rose as well. He is at the top or near the top of every MVP rankings I have seen, and while he may not be quite as good as CP3 was and is, Rose is certainly now a household name and a superstar. Rose will also be landing some votes for the MVP award if he continues to carry the Bulls. I just find this very interesting, that both of these players broke out bigtime in the third season, but this is only the begining of how the Bulls and Hornets mirror eachother.
The Rest of the Roster. Now comparing Derrick Rose and Chris Paul and what they mean/meant to their teams in the 3rd seasons is a bit creepy, but let's look at the other major players on these two teams. David West was in his prime this season and put up 21-9 for the season and was the post player that meshed so well with Paul. The Bulls have Boozer, who has been hurt, but in the 25 games that he has played he has averaged 20-10. West and Boozer are very much alike in many regards and both supply their teams with post scoring and 15 foot jumpers. Now let's look at the centers. Tyson Chandler had his best NBA season this year after being traded to the Hornets form the Bulls for P.J. Brown. Chandler was a double double machine and averaged 12ppg and 12rpg. He played above the rim and fit very well with Chris Paul. Now Noah is not really the above the rim type of player that Chandler was but both put up about the same numbers with Noah averaging 14ppg and 12rpg. Chandler was considered by many to be a top 10 center if not better at the time and Noah is also considered a top 10, if not top 5 center by many as well. Both are energy guys that play hard-nosed defense in the paint and both are very very vocal. It does not end there my friends. Let us look at the 3rd scoring options on both of these teams. The Hornets had the highly overpaid Peja Stojakovic and guess what? The Bulls have the highly overpaid Luol Deng. Both play the small forward position and both are known as streaky shooters that can light it up from time to time. Both have long histories of being injured and both put up very similar numbers. Peja with 16ppg and 4rpg and Deng with 18ppg and 6rpg.
The Records. This brings up another factor. What about the teams records? Well the 07-08 Hornets finished with a 56-26 record and the Bulls are now at the half way mark and sit on a 28-13 record. Do the math people. Yes, if the Bulls go 28-13 for the rest of the season they too will end up with a 56-26 record. Creepy. Now remember this is all in fun and I do understand that the Bulls play a defensive halfcourt game and the 07-08 Hornets got out and ran a lot more then the Bulls do, but the numbers are scary. The fact that the top 4 players on both teams were so much alike in so many ways is at the very least a bit weird. Now I certainly hope the Bulls end up doing better in the Playoffs this season but I could see the same outcome happening.
What this all means. Well if the 10-11 Bulls follow this pattern to the final outcome, then I for one will be freaked out. I could see it happening. I really could. The Hornets won there first round battle against the Mavericks. I see the Bulls, as do most, getting out of the first round. The Hornets then took the Spurs to an epic 7 games and a great series were the Hornets led the series early by winning the first two games before the wheels started to fall off. Well, what team in the east reminds me of that 07-08 Spurs team? Hmmmm. Maybe the Boston Celtics? Yes. If the Heat get the 1st seed and the Celtics and Bulls end up in the 2nd and 3rd seed(which they are both in now) then this would set up a 2nd round battle between the Bulls and Celtics. The Bulls and Celtics matchup very well on the floor and neither has played the other with a healthy roster this season. The Bulls took the Celtics to 7 games 2 years ago in perhaps the best 7 game series I have ever seen with a record 7 OTs. I could see the Bulls and Celtics putting on another show in the 2nd round this time and I could see it going 7 games. Sadly, I could see the Bulls losing that final game. Then the Bulls would be just like the 07-08 Hornets.
Posted on: March 2, 2010 9:49 pm
That is it. I am making it official. I do not want Dwyane Wade to join the Chicago Bulls. Call me what you will, but I have to stand my ground on this one. I understand that Wade is likely to remain with the Miami Heat anyways, but there has been and will continue to be Bulls fans dreaming about Wade returning home to Chicago. Listen up people. Wade is not the right fit for Chicago. He is not what the Bulls need to contend either and contending is what it is all about. You want to know my reasoning? Let us take a look.
1. Wade and Rose are to much alike. I am not saying that Derrick Rose is as good as Wade. I am not a fool, but they have similar games. Both are at their best with the ball in their hands making plays and driving to the hoop. I really think that Rose will become a player close to the level that Wade is now. Maybe not next season but by his fouth season I think Rose will be a solid 25-5-5 player or something close. A backcourt of Wade and Rose looks great on paper, but there would be serious chemistry problems. Who handle the ball? The Bulls do not need a shooting guard the caliber of Wade to be successful. They can do very well and even contend with a SG that can hit a high percentage of jumpers and hit it from beyond the arc. A max contract player at the two spot is a waste.
2. Spend the money on a real need. The Bulls have more pressing needs then a shooting guard. They still need a low post scorer. They had Elton Brand and traded him for Tyson Chandler. Sad. Then they had LaMarcus Aldridge and traded him for Tyrus Thomas. Those two moves set the Bulls back big time. Had we just kept Aldridge the Bulls would be a top 4 team in the east right now. But I have to let the past go and look to the future. The Bulls need a post player and Chris Bosh is everything that the Bulls need. If the Bulls somehow move past the Raptors in the standing then Bosh might have to ask himself why he would not want to just sign with the Bulls in the summer. Adding Bosh to the Bulls by itself puts them ahead of the aging Celtics and perhaps the Hawks. The Bulls would be a top 3 team in the east and have a real shot at making it to the ECF and beyond. With Wade I think they would be a 45-50 win team. With Bosh they would be a 55+ win team. If the Bulls get Wade they will still have a huge hole in the paint that Joakim Noah just cannot fill.
3. Wade's health concerns me. Wade has yet to play a 82 game season. He never will either with the style of game he plays. He is bound to start wearing out as his injuries continue to mount over time. I truly believe it would be a mistake to sign Wade to a max contract over 5 seasons. What ever team does this will be taking a huge risk. I do not think Wade will be near the player he is now in five years.
4. Johnson>Wade for the Bulls. Yes, Wade is the better player of the two, but Joe Johnson is a much better fit for the Chicago Bulls. He is a great jump shooter with outstanding range and would be a perfect fit with Rose. Derrick could run the offense and drive and kick to Johnson and Deng all night long. Heck, I even think a shooter like Jamal Crawford or Kevin Martin would fit on the Bulls better then Wade and would allow the Bulls to still sign a bigman like perhaps David Lee.
The Bottomline is that I want Bulls fans to understand that while picking up Wade this summer would seem great, in reality it would hurt the Bulls longterm. He is a gamble due to a history of injuries and not the best player to pair with Derrick Rose. Our money could be spent more wisely.
Posted on: October 12, 2008 11:49 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2008 4:36 pm
A person would have to be the captain of the championship debate team in order to convince me that the Southwest Division is not the best and deepest division in the NBA right now. With four teams that won more that 50 game apiece last season and each of those four look to win as many if not more again this year, it is hard to argue against the Southwest. Some of the best players of the past decade along with some of the brightest future stars reside here. The Hornets, Mavericks, Rockets, and Spurs are all but locks to make the playoffs again this year. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies they are still the blacksheep of the division, but there lies hope in some of their young talent.
It is a difficult task for one to attempt to wrap their mind around this season and just how the Southwest will play out. The Spurs have made no real roster changes, but are always a threat to make a run for another title as long as Tim Duncan is still wandering in the paint. The rags to riches team of last season, the Hornets, look like they will be even better with the addition of the gritty James Posey. This could be the Rockets' season to return to the Finals with the risky acquisition of Ron Artest, or will major injuries to either Yao Ming or Tracy McGrady hold those dreams in check? Will the Jason Kidd trade look like a great move as the Mavericks make it to the final dance, or will lack of defense and passion make the trade look like a mistake?
The only way to get to the bottom of these questions and many more is to take a good look into each team and try to seperate fact from fiction. Let the breakdown begin:
1. The New Orleans Hornets (60-22) (2nd Seed)
The only true challenge that faces the Hornets this season is if they are good enough to have another great season after surprising the league last year. They are no longer off the radar. Will they be able to step up and play against harder competition? I think they will take that step. My reasoning is simple. They have Chris Paul. To me Paul is the second best player in the league this year and if the Hornets are as good as they were last season, I think he will take home the MVP. Who is the best player you ask? Well, he is not in this divison so I will refrain from that agrument. Chris has that special talent that makes everyone on his team better. He is the ultimate team player. The Hornets also have a balanced team with David West, Peja Stojakovic, and Tyson Chandler. West is now considered one of the top low post players in the game and Tyson is a great defender and put-back man. The player that is standing out this preseason is Mike James. I understand that it is only the preseaon, but having another scoring threat on the floor only makes Chris Paul more dangerous. I also love the addition of James Posey. The Hornets will only benefit from having the tough as nails Posey around. Every great team has that player who can get under the opposing players skin. Think Rodman or Bowen. Posey will not put up big numbers, but will be responsible for more then a couple of wins. Overall, the Hornets have a great chance to go all the way, but so do three other teams in the division. I just think they have the most complete team with a superstar handling the ball.
2. The Houston Rockets (57-25) (3rd Seed)
I would love to see everything work out perfectly for this team, but something deep in the back of my head says something will happen to take the glory from McGrady's hands. I do not believe in curses, so I do not think that some force from the outside is toying with poor Tracy. What I do believe in is injury reports and history tells me not to put too many eggs in the Rockets' basket. With that being said, If the Rockets stay healthy, both Tracy and Yao, then they could very well make it to the Finals. Yao Ming is a top center and Tracy McGrady is one of the best players in the NBA period. With the addition of Ron Artest the Rockets could finally have all the parts needed to take that next step. I think Artest is a great player for the Rockets. He can drive a fan and a coach crazy at times, but if his talent is harnessed correctly he could be the key. The Rockets also have some other interesting players to consider. Brent Barry is a solid pick-up. He can open up the offense with his sharp-shooting. Luis Scola will only get better, and Shane Battier will always play smart ball whenever he is on the floor. Rafer Alston is a solid Point Guard and is able to run the team on the floor. Overall, The Rockets could be the best team is the league if they suffer no major injuries to McGrady or Ming.
3. The San Antonio Spurs (53-29) (5th Seed)
As much as I love to watch Tim Duncan and the Spurs, I truly feel they are starting to fade. It all started last year when they were pushed to seven games against a much younger and less experienced Hornets team. However, I can not just write them off. I think they will still be a top team and cause a lot of problems for other teams. At the end of the day though, I am not sure they have enough left in the tank to win another Championship. If somehow I am a fool and they do win another ring, then Tim Duncan will be the best Power Forward that the NBA has ever seen. Many already make that claim now, but nobody would be able to refute it if they win it all again. The other key factors on the team are also getting older as well. Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Michael Finley are all about ready to sign up with AARP. I thought the Spurs would make a splash in the offseason, but it never happened and now they face the season one year older. Tony Parker is the young guy on the team and he is certainly a superstar in the league, but he can only do so much. Manu Ginobili is now 31 and his body might start slowing him down. Will manu still have his quickness and in turn still be so effective? I am not sure. In many ways that is a good way to look at this team now. "I am not sure". In the end however, I can think of really no team that would want to face them in a seven game series. I just hope they get some more talent around Duncan before it is too late.
4. The Dallas Mavericks (52-30) (6th Seed)
Yes, I think the Mavericks will be a better team this year. Not a lot better, but a little better. I do think they will edge out the Suns for the 6th seed as well. Sorry Suns fans. Jason Kidd has much to prove and will play quite well this season. The thing is is that the Mavericks still just have so much talent that they can not lose. Will they play hard defense under new Head Coach Rick Carlisle? No. Will they score a lot of points and out run most teams? Yes. Dirk Nowitzki will do what he has always done. He will score like crazy from all over the floor. Jason Terry and Josh Howard will also just flat out score. This will work in most cases. This will get them into the playoffs. However, the Mavericks will never win the Finals without some more defense. The Mavericks are the best team in the NBA on paper, but only the tenth best on the floor. The Mavericks really should have made the trade for Ron Artest, even if it meant losing Josh Howard. The NBA is full of Josh Howard type players, but there is only one Ron Artest. Say what you want about Artest, but he would have been a nice fit on the Mavs. A bright spot in Dallas however is the young Brandon Bass. He looks like he could turn into a real monster down low. Overall, I really do not see the Mavericks making it out of the first round. That is sad because they ooze talent.
5. The Memphis Grizzlies (24-58) (miss playoffs)
This brings me to the bottom of the pack. The Grizzlies have a few parts, but let's face it, they are a long way from being any good. To top it off they are in the best division within the best conference. I gave them two more wins this year simply out of pity. Rudy Gay is the star of a one man show. Sure there is Hakim Warrick, Mike Conley, and the rookie O.J. Mayo to make things interesting and entertaining form time to time, but really this team is in a rebuilding period. Maybe even a promising one at that, but they are far from competing. The Grizzlies fan must sit back and not look at the wins and loses. He must look to see if the young guys are getting better. He must make a fist pump when Marc Gasol slams one home and jump out of his seat like a madman if Gay hits a buzzer beater. Take it from a Bulls fan, you must find some joy in the little things. The real doom of this team can be found on the roster. His name is Antoine Walker. I predict that he alone will account for at least 50 of the 58 loses. All kidding aside Grizzlies fans, you are the underdogs, so stand up and have some pride in yourselves. You are going to need it.
Well I hope this was half as fun for you to read as it was for me to write. I really like the Hornets this season to go all the way. They are the one team that really stands out to me from the rest of the pack in the Southwest. However, Anything can happen, as it often does, in this wonderful game we call the NBA.
Tags: Brandon Bass, Bruce Bowen, Chris Paul, David West, Dirk Nowitzki, Grizzlies, Hakim Warrick, Hornets, James Posey, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Josh Howard, Kurt Thomas, Luis Scola, Manu Ginobili, Marc Gasol, Mavericks, Michael Finley, Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rafer Alston, Rockets, Ron Artest, Rudy Gay, Shane Battier, Spurs, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Tracy McGrady, Tyson Chandler, Yao Ming