thecubsfan.com

out of sight

Mar
03

Two things I’m currently very good at at the moment

– writing a half of a post, thinking about it, and then just throwing it away. (Not as if it’s any better than the stuff that goes up)

– opting to skip out on games or leave early when something quite incredible is about to happen.

Don’t be like me.

In my defense, most of the people at the game were no longer AT the game. While the Bulls took two dumb fouls at the end of the 3rd quarter, the last among the stupidest things I’ve seen at a basketball game, the roaming Bulls pep squad succesfully started the wave. Anyone doing the wave when down by 15 isn’t there for the game (which is no different than most Bulls games – how come the Cubs fans have the rep and the Bulls don’t?)

After the person I was going with backed out at the last second (and I had no good ideas for alternates), I was there alone, exhausted from a busy day and running behind on sleep. I’ve been stuck a half hour in the United Center parking lot after a 20 point loss before, I could go without doing it again. As the person next to me got up to join in the wave, I got up to avoid seeing the last of the free throws and decided to watch the game from the second floor lobby, at least it got to 20.

Much to¬† my amazement, the Bulls creeped back in to it, and I starting debating if I should go back and sit down if they got under 10. That I was even having this debate meant I didn’t want to be there all that bad. When Ron Artest drove the lane and dunked, hard, to put up 15, I knew it was over – not just the game, but pretty much any hope for playoffs – and headed to the car.

It actually was a couple points worst by the time I got there. And then, the run, and me driving thru traffic while muttering ‘no way’ while Rose proved there was a way. I made great time, no traffic, and was on I-88 when they finally got the lead and won the game. As incredible comeback as the team has ever done, and I was far away.

At least I know Derrick Rose is for real. It’s nice to have a 1st rounder people aren’t making excuses for all year. And it turns out he’s pretty decent in the fourth quarter when they let him play.

Uncategorized , Comments Off on out of sight

The Battle For Two Extra Home Gates

Mar
13
       W  L  GB
New Jersey 27 38 ---
Chicago    26 38 0.5
Atlanta    26 38 0.5
Indiana    25 39 1.5
Charlotte  24 40 2.5
Milwaukee  23 42 4.0

Yea, this is not exactly the Western Conference. The team in the lead for the 8th spot has been taking for a month and still can’t get into the lottery. Indiana and Milwaukee are bad teams that just can’t find a way to lose out of this. Atlanta and Charlotte are not much better, but they both desperately want even a token playoff appearance. The Hawks even made a deadline deal to make it, and they still can’t do it (because they’ve played awful on the road.)

And then we have the Bulls. This season has been somewhat more miserable than the the 98-03 stretch. In between the unending losing, you could there were bursts of improvement and progress. No one ever got to the level they were drafted for, but they were plateauing at worst. Watching this team come all together and implode under it’s own weight. This team will be blown up in the off season and deserves to be, but no one’s looking forward to nth iteration of rebuilding

beta: the 1998 season where they didn’t even bother
1: Brand, Artest, Miller
2: Chandler, Curry
3: Crawford, Jay Williams, a motorcycle: last part might have been a flaw
4: Hinrich, Deng, Gordon

Gordon’s so gone. Hinrich might be traded if they can get an offer. Who knows what’ll happen with Deng. And everyone else will get swept up in it.

(sidenote: At least if they were going to lose all the time, they could be a more fun team when they do it. Such bad basketball)

Anyway, that’s the near certain future, but it’s still the future. The NBA decided to make them play all 82 games this year, even though the season was just about knocking service time off contracts once the Wallace trade went down. And since no one in the East will grab it, the Bulls have a good shot of making the playoffs.

Except, given we know they’re going to want to rebuild, we know they’d want the best draft pick possible to help them along. Not making the playoffs gives them a shot at a really good draft pick.

Except, the whole idea is to get in the playoffs and then win the whole thing. The 9th seed in the East will probably end picking 10 or worse, unless they win the lottery. Draft picks are nice, but draft picks around where a non-lottery pick would be located aren’t going to be franchise players, and aren’t going to be much better if the Bulls finish 8th. (Might even be the same player, depending on needs.)

The Bulls have a tiny chance of making a playoff run. The Bulls have a tiny chance of winning the lottery. (On Thursday, ESPN’s playoff odds gave them a 7 times better chance of winning the lottery, but it was .1% vs .7%, not big numbers either way.) I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be rooting for at this point.

Even though the Celtics would thrash them, I think the odds of winning the lottery are low enough that’s it not worth dropping into it for a minuscule chance at a high draft pick. (I’m not totally sold on the draft class either, and may end up eating those words.) I figured by this point that the math would work out the other way, but the barrier of entry in the playoffs keeps on dropping.

Steve Francis Hates Big Macs

Apr
11

04/10 CHI vs NYK recap (NBA.com)

(I’m so disappionted YAYSports hasn’t done a post about this, I had to steal the title they would’ve used.)

Since there’s no baseball to talk about today, I guess I have actual time to mention the Bulls game I went to last night. I had a master plan to meet up with one of the people I was going with and grab dinner before the game, but they canceled at the last second. I ate a little at the game, but I think I could’ve used a meal after. Something – fast foodish. IRONY.

The Bulls won 98-69, and it wasn’t even that close. The Knicks sucked in the first quarter (10 TO!, two offensive fouls and two traveling calls to start the game), sucked in the second quarter, sucked even more in the third quarter, and then inflated their stats in the 4th, with the Bulls b-team playing the whole quarter. (It was a sad day for Barrett and Victor to be inactive – they would’ve gotten tons of time!)

The Knicks tried to claim this was just a tough 4th game in 5 nights, which would is a reasonable excuse if you didn’t actually watch the game. They just played awful, played dumb, and played out for themselves. It didn’t make the players look good, and it made the coach looked worse. The only reason it was a 30 point game is the Bulls were off in the first half – it could’ve been 50 if guys were having better games.

As I said, it was the end of the bench for the Bulls in the 4th, versus some starters for the Knicks (and it was still about even.) Probably about half the crowd filed out by four minutes left, and the crowd that was left

* was waiting for the parking lot to clear out
* was enjoying booing the Knicks
* was wondering if the Bulls would get to 100, just because goofy inconsequential things like getting a free Big Mac are fun to cheer for. As any one with any perspective might realize (so I didn’t hear this on sports radio today), a victory by your spots win is pretty much the same kind of goofy inconsequential thing too, and a Big Mac is slightly more edible.

With 3:40 left, the Bulls were at 94, and we were debating if they’d get to 100. 6 points in that much time shouldn’t seem like much, but there weren’t really scoring threats on the court and Skiles isn’t one to run up the score.

At 0:39 left, the Bulls are at 98, and up by 32, the game’s pretty much over. Duhon had missed a 3, the Knicks got the rebound, and it was over. All the Knicks had to do, to follow the hidden rules/ethics of Not Running It Up, is hold onto the ball past 0:24, so the Bulls wouldn’t have to take a shot. Instead, Nate Robinson jacks up a three – obviously in attempt to better his stats (as he spent most of the 4th doing) – and the Bulls get the rebound with 0:26.

I guess they could’ve held the ball, taken a :24 second violation, and gave it back to the Knicks – but why? They only got the ball back in this situation because the Knicks didn’t care enough to wait three more seconds, and there’s no since in annoying the home fans over something minor.

Duhon was going to dribble it out and take that violation, or maybe just wait till the last second, but Skiles and the assistants told him to go ahead and shoot, and he took a three. He missed (he’s not good), and maybe Malik Allen shouldn’t have taken the rebound shot, but it was about from his sweet spot on the court, and he wanted to send the crowd home happy. It was understandable, but I’m not sure if it’s the way to go.

Anyway, Malik misses too, because no one in this lineup can hit a shot, and the Knicks are so against the idea of running up the score…that Nate Robinson ran down the court to get another basket. Thabo thanks you for letting him add 1 to his block total.

Francis coming on the court after the whistle to yell at Thomas surprised me – I was paying more attention to the Bulls bench (and getting my stuff to get out of there), but that was kinda of a dumb punk move, I think. Did Steve Francis think the rookies were calling the plays and making the decision to go for 100? Yell at Duhon or Malik or the Coach, yelling at the rookies was just lazy and dumb.

(OTOH, there’s a significant chance Tyrus was trash talking the entire game to the point where picking him out had some justification.)

Here is where I was going to quote Steve Francis, but it occurs to me now – it’s Steve Francis! I hope the cheap shoe thing takes the nation by storm, but I don’t know another good reason why anyone should listen to Steve Francis about how to act, seeing as he seems to have some issues in that department himself.

The other thing you need to know is there’s very obviously bad blood between the two franchises, probably much more between the off-the-court players (at least before this game), dating back to the Eddy Curry trade, and I’m sure that played a part into the feelings. But the Knicks are dorks, and are going home, and I hope they lose out every single game from here on out.

Do the Knicks go the lottery, or do the Bulls go since they’ll obviously swap picks? I’m kinda hoping the Knicks have to go, because I’d love to see the expression on their faces if/when they hit it big in the lottery.

(I’m reading this again now, and it’s about the worst rambling thing ever. Sorry!)