The caption on the above SI cover says "Can Phil Jackson coach the Bulls' to another title?" That is the question indeed.
Perhaps the Zen-Master has gotten sentimental in his old age? Chris Broussard of ESPN is reporting that the Bulls are trying gauge Phil Jackson's interest in returning to the organization that he began his coaching career with. Apparently, they have been reaching out to him through "backchannels". According to the report, Phil may be open to a return.
"There has been no direct contact between Bulls officials and Jackson, according to the sources, but people close to both parties have spoken and come away with the belief that Jackson would be open to a potential reunion in Chicago next season."
So basically, the Bulls are trying to avoid any fines or tampering charges by sending randoms to talk with Phil's "people" and figure out where his mental is at. Fair enough. I like where their heads are. This report can only help the Bulls' cause when it comes to landing LeBron James and help him further lean towards a landing in Chicago. Can you imagine a Phil Jackson reunion on top of the Bulls landing the biggest free agent in NBA history? It would be our rightful return to the throne. Back to where this franchise belongs, people. And as for Phil? He should count his lucky stars if he can come here and coach LeBron, Derrick, and Joakim. The man will have coached Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquile O'Neal, and LeBron James...quite possibly the best 4 professional basketball players of all time. Are you kidding me?
But who knows how true any of this is or the odds of anything actually happening. All these backchannel rumors could actually mean nothing and who knows what Phil actually thinks. After all, he did burn some bridges here back in the day. But Jerry Krause has long since been run out of town and things are quite a bit different now. And if there's one thing I've learned throughout the years both in sports and in life is...where there's smoke, there's usually fire.
Here is a video of Broussard talking to Wilbon about LeBron as well as going after Jackson from earlier tonight before the report of the "backchannel" talks came out.
Hey, I welcome that possibility...and so should you.no comments
Things have been a little crazy around here lately. LeBron-mania is spiraling out of control, and for good reason. As each day passes, the odds seem higher and higher that his landing place will be in the great city of Chicago. Apparently, LeBron called Derrick Rose after being ousted from the playoffs. (Ummm, thanks?) Charles Oakley says he's coming to Chicago. And then Michael Jordan says he's coming to Chicago. There have been reports of members of his "team" wearing Bulls colors (via WillBurge of ESPNCleveland on Twitter). There have also been reports of him looking for houses in the suburbs of Chicago...reports are even popping up today. Up until now, these have been nothing but rumors via unconfirmed and not totally reliable sources. But guys, I have some information from a source as close to the horse's mouth as anyone is going to get.
One of my good friend's father's friend owns a house in a suburb very nearby the Berto Center. He has been in direct contact with LeBron and his team about selling the home to LeBron.
This is a very reliable source. Someone I know personally. He's a peer and someone I've known for years. In fact, I asked him directly how reliable his info was. His exact words were..."Straight from the source. Reliable."
Many will call this another rumor, but I at least now personally have some peace of mind knowing that I finally have some confirmation of these rumors that have been popping up the past few days.no comments
Big fan of Wilbon's little clip about LBJ.
But yeah, so it happened. A little of Bulls fans' prayers were answered tonight. And it wasn't easy rooting for the Celtics. Glad I don't have to do that anymore. But hey, the Cavs got bounced. And so the anticipation begins. The painful agonizing anticipation. Immediately afterward, this is what Chad Ford had to say:
Boston Celtics fans were chanting "New York Knicks" during Thursday's Game 6 every time that LeBron James went to the foul line. Maybe they should've been chanting "Chicago Bulls." Within minutes of the Cleveland Cavaliers' elimination at the hands of the Celtics, the speculation about LeBron James' next destination resumed in full force. In the space of five minutes I heard from three NBA GMs via text, e-mail and phone. All three said that based on the information they have, they believe LeBron will leave the Cavs. More surprisingly, all of them said they believe the destination will be the Chicago Bulls. Two said they believe that John Calipari will be the Bulls' new head coach. One GM went a bit further in a phone call a few minutes later. "I think the Bulls are really going to go for it. Look for them to offer the Cavs Luol Deng in a sign-and-trade for LeBron. That will allow them to retain most of their cap space. Then they'll go after Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh as well." I'm sure we'll hear various scenarios involving the Knicks, Nets and Heat over the course of the next month. But it's hard to come up with any other scenario that would be quite as appealing for LeBron.
Looks like Chad Ford is a believer. But Sam Smith isn't. Immediately after the Chad Ford report broke, Smith said the following via his twitter page.
"Just heard from 3 GM's who told me they don't know what LeBron will do. How amazingly stupid are reports already he is going to Bulls."
Sammy boy has a point. Every report released right now is raw and incredibly speculative. Even the GM's who are contacting Ford aren't necessarily being rational and they're all guessing anyway. Of course GMs know more about the ins and outs than we do, so I don't dismiss Ford's report completely. In fact I do think it is significant. But I think Sam has a point as well. It's all pure speculation. But hey, the LeBron to Chicago movement has a ton of momentum and I don't see it slowing down any time soon. In fact, www.sendlebrontochicago.com was even mentioned on CSN Chicago on Sportsnite tonight. How soon until it is being mentioned on ESPN? Thatta boy, AJ.
As for LeBron...no fancy LBJ sweater vest in this post-game press conference. No Bling. No shades. Humbled. But it's almost like something's different. From this point forward, everything else is gonna be on the backburner for him. It's going to be all about winning. Now. He cannot do that in Cleveland. He's tried now. If he can't do it with the team he had this year, it ain't happening. This year's team is much better than last year's...and it fared worse. He knows he has to get out now...
And Chris Broussard continues to be a strong believer in the fact that this is now a 3-horse race between the Cavs, Bulls, and Knicks. He says the Cavs are frontrunners, but the Bulls are right behind with the Knicks falling to 3rd. And if he had to pick right now, he'd pick the Bulls. There's a laundry list of reasons why the Bulls are the best option. Broussard knows it. Bulls fans know it. Knicks fans, as much as they deny it, must know it. LeBron has to know it as well. The list includes Rose, Noah, trade and sign pieces to get another star free agent, the opportunity to pick his coach, the chance to win for the next decade and a half and start a true dynasty with young superstars...all of which will be discussed ad nauseum this summer. But not right now. Let us enjoy the city of Cleveland's continued misery and the fact that they never win at anything...ever. Just kidding, I do feel bad for them. Well, not really. Man...I am exhausted...but excited.
Tonight is indeed the biggest game of the Bulls' season...why? You know why. Because this could happen:
And if that happens...all hell will break loose in Cleveland. Not to mention Sonny Vaccaro, the sports marketing legend and LeBron mentor, is adding fuel to the fire by saying the following about LeBron coming to Chicago on Waddle and Silvy yesterday:
"I think there is a shot. Legitimate? Sure. I think that all people would be very interested. The scenario has now been discussed, even though people deny everything. This could happen. If he chooses to leave, and I believe he will, he has the pick of the litter of where he can go. In my opinion, the Bulls are the perfect fit."
In terms of Calipari, Vaccaro said the following:
"If it happens, it will be because of the ultimate quest. What is the ultimate quest? To be a professional champion. And the only blight on the basketball court on John's resume is the failure with the Nets. This would be the only scenario in my mind -- I can't speak for John in an official capacity - that he would leave for. And it would also be tangible because of LeBron. There's a very close, wonderful relationship there, and the seeds have been sown over a period of time now. And it has nothing to do with anyone thinking they're going to either Chicago or the Knicks or John Calipari going back to the pros. It's a friendship."
The LeBron James to Chicago movement has turned into a serious grassroots movement. The site www.sendlebrontochicago.com, the same site I did a feature on yesterday, has now been featured on ESPN as well as Sports Illustrated Online. The forums over at Chi City Sports are definitely going crazy about it, and for the first time...EVER...I feel like the Bulls just may have a chance at landing LeBron. With a loss tonight being the precursor. So I now turn on my television and pray that the team I hate most happens to humble the player I like the least....the same player I want to carry the Bulls to their next dynasty starting next year. What a tangled web we weave. But hey, with a Cavs loss tonight, you might just see the following image next October:
I just wanted to fill everyone in on some recent developments here at Da Bulls' Eye. I will be partnering up with a great new site with a terrific fan forum. The site is www.chicitysports.com. In my opinion, the greatest feature this site has to offer is their forums. And from this point forward, Da Bulls' Eye will be the official Chicago Bulls Blog for Chi City Sports. That means that Chi City Sports will feature Da Bulls' Eye's articles and I will be a frequent contributor and commenter in the forum. This should serve to both increase readership and traffic to my site and the Bloguin network as a whole, especially the Chicago-based sites, which I look forward to. You can find a permanent banner and link to the official Da Bulls' Eye forum at Chi City Sports on the left sidebar.
There's nothing I enjoy more than witty banter back and forth between passionate Bulls fans. This will be a great place for myself, my readers, and all Bulls fans alike to congregate and gather our thoughts as the events of this historic summer unfold. I can't wait...
p.s. Check out the brand new poll question right above the forum banner on the left. I know who my pick to click is...but this list should get narrowed down in about...say...2 months. Ugh.no comments
While everyone else is on the edge of their seats talking about the coaching search (relax, it's gonna take at least another 40 days), I got something else interesting for you. I got an email yesterday from a guy named AJ Barthold. This guy is a die-hard Bulls fan and apparently started the website www.sendlebrontochicago.com. The site is very well done. Honest. It looks good. And I like the spirit. Nothing excites me more than fellow Bulls fans being passionate about this franchise and wanting it to succeed. So I support this website wholeheartedly, despite my feelings about LeBron, which I'll discuss shortly. But please keep in mind this is all still a pipedream, my friend. Should it be a pipedream? No, it shouldn't. And I don't really know why it is. But it is. I'll explain below. And yes, this pic below is real and I got it from AJ's website.
I hate LeBron. Hate him. Okay, hate is a strong word. I dislike him very much. His personality, not his ability. He makes weird faces, he dances on the sidelines, he dances on the court, he fistpumps after every and-1...it's all super annoying. However, that being said, I can't in good conscious actually say that I do not want to see him become a Chicago Bull. And this is simply because I care much more about this team having the best shot at winning a title rather than the personalities that exist in the locker room. That's why I don't care what Joakim Noah says or who he insults...he helps this basketball team win, so I love him. I don't think I can ever have that kind of feeling toward LeBron, since he started his career on the Cavs and he's been a Bulls enemy for 7 years now, but if he ushers in a new dynasty here, I'll tolerate him.
Also, I don't buy the theory that LeBron will come to the Bulls because he's a "Bulls fan." First of all, I don't trust any "Bulls fans" outside of Chicago who were only fans because the Bulls were winning. Especially LeBron. The kid is from Akron, Ohio. Why is he a fan of the Bulls? And since when is it okay to be a fairweather fan? AJ...you seem to support LeBron's being a fairweather fan on your site, but I do not support this. What kind of kid from Akron, Ohio is a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, and Chicago Bulls in the mid 90's. All of these teams were in the midst of dyansties. THAT IS NOT OKAY. Can't you see, AJ? LeBron is not a true fan of anybody. He was never a true fan of the Chicago Bulls. He is only a fan of anybody that's winning. That doesn't make him a Bulls fan. And that certainly doesn't make him secretely loyal to the Bulls and longing to join their franchise. He's a frontrunner. Not a Bulls fan.
So do I think he'll come here? No. Sorry AJ. There are too many people "in the know" who would have hinted that Chicago is a serious option by now if it actually were a serious option. And no one has hinted at this. I just feel like Chicago would be being taken more seriously if LeBron was serious about coming here. Then again, what city really is being taken seriously? None, other than Cleveland. For some reason everyone is convinced he's staying there. So I guess Chicago might be as good a guess as any.
Let me give you a different theory. A real theory. A theory that I was discussing with one of my buddies earlier today. A theory that you can actually hang your hopes and dreams on as a Bulls fan. LeBron James is changing to #6 next season. He even encouraged the league to completely retire the #23 completely. Why would he do this? Well, what if he actually is strongly considering joining the Bulls (and it's not because he's a Bulls fan)? Well then he knows he won't be able to wear the #23, so he has to change his number. And we all know LeBron. If LeBron can't wear the #23, then no one should be allowed to wear the #23. And once LeBron stops wearing it, no one will want to wear it anymore either way. He will be known as the last one to wear #23 after Michael Jordan. It kind of makes sense doesn't it?
Yet that's all thoughts and theories. Let's talk about facts. The Cavs are in a battle with the Celtics right now. The series is tied 2-2. Last year the Cavs swept through the first 2 rounds easily. This year, not so much. Rajon Rondo is tearing the Cavs to shreds. Mo Williams is playing ball like Moesha. Meanwhile, Rondo had a monstrocity of a triple-double in Game 4. So AJ got one thing right up on his site. He asked this question: Is it gonna be D-Rose or Mo Williams, LeBron? How many titles are you going to win with Mo Williams running your point. Maybe...just maybe...he's seeing what a dynamic point guard can do for a franchise. Mo Williams is good, but he's not Rondo, and he's certainly not Rose.
Yet Rose isn't Rondo. Both players are spectacular, which I admit even though my hatred for Rondo parallels my hatred for LeBron. However, they have different things to offer. Derrick Rose is a LeBron James-esque player. He is the fastest, strongest, most prolific player at his position. No one can keep up. No one can out muscle-him. The same goes for LeBron James at his position. Rondo is more of a finesse player. He's not a good shooter, and he really isn't a prolific scorer. However, when it comes to reading passing lanes, only LeBron compares. The kid just has a nose for steals. And he can rebound. Yet Derrick is more versatile. He can do what Rondo does on the offensive end. He can distribute...if he had someone to distribute to. But Rondo can't do what Rose does offensively, i.e. get to the hoop at will and shoot the jumper consistently.
Bottom line, LeBron knows what a good point guard has to offer. He's witnessing it first hand through Rajon Rondo's current dismantling of his team. And he knows Derrick Rose is a good point guard. He witnessed it first hand in the 1st round of the playoffs, where Derrick did incredible damage with only Joakim Noah as a true supporting cast member. Rondo has Pierce, Allen, and Garnett. So it's quite clear what Rose brings to the table. And Mo Williams doesn't bring it. Derrick Rose is 21. LeBron James is 25. These two can own the league together for the next 12 years. We're talking serious dynasty. THAT IS WHY LEBRON HAS TO CONSIDER THE BULLS. If he doesn't consider the Bulls, then he's foolish. It's that simple. If he doesn't think about the fact that him and Rose can own this league for the next decade and a half, then he's a moron. What other team has that to offer? None. And let's not forget about Joakim Noah either.
There's your reason. If LeBron comes, that's why. Not because he's a Bulls fan. Not because he's been holding in his loyalties for all this time because of politics and the NBA business.
So like I said...do I think he's coming? No. Do I understand why? No. There isn't a team out there who can offer more of a long-term winning dynamic than the Bulls. Definitely not the Cavliers. But we don't really know these guys. Maybe he doesn't really have a rational reason. Maybe he just doesn't feel like it. Maybe he's scared of stepping into Jordan's shadow. Would you really blame him? (Well, yeah, I would...kinda). Who knows? Let's hope he takes a look at www.sendlebrontochicago.com and realizes that this is a place with incredibly passionate fans and a place he can win the most games for the longest amount of time.
Check out the site for yourself here. Good lookin' out, AJ.
Gar evading question after question about the looming coaching search:
So Gar makes the "recommendation" to The Chairman. When the recommendation is coming, who knows? He doesn't wanna put anyting in a "box." Anyone got an accurate count on how many times he said the word "box" in that press conference? My advice to Gar is to make this go as quickly as possible so that the triumverate doesn't look incompetent as it did two years ago when they were forced to hire VDN after dragging out the process for 52 days. Let's learn from our mistakes, guys. Unfortunately, it seems as though Gar is fine with letting this take forever all over again until there is no one left to hire. Get ready for our future coach...Eric Piatkowski.
As for Paxson, he made a surprise appearance to discuss the fight between himself and Vinny. Pax's apology for Fight-Gate, which occurred March 30, 2010.
"I'm comfortable with who I am as a person." Great. Dr. Phil is pleased. Also, he will continue to be "heavily involved" in the Bulls organization for years to come. I have no idea what that means, nor do I know who is in charge over there...nor do I care. As long as the three of them can get it together and put on a dog and pony show for our future signees, their titles are of absolutely no significance to me or anyone else. Hire someone soon...for all our sakes.no comments
So after mourning the Bulls playoff ousting for the past week, I return with fantastic news. The Bulls have fired Vinny Del Negro. This should come as no surprise to anybody. In fact, the Bulls orchestrated this firing quite well.
Vinny, Vinny, Vinny. You played right into the hands of Gar, Pax, and the Chairman. You should have known that the triumverate were looking for any reason. ANY REASON whatsoever to fire you. In all likelihood, the decision was indeed made in December as Chris Broussard reported months ago, but still, there was hope for you. And then came Joakim Noah's plantar fasciitis. I don't blame you for going over the minute cap. You were coaching for your life. And to be honest, I don't blame you for getting up in Gar and Paxson's face in multiple occassions. Paxson may or may not have a temper problem, but your balsiness and refusal to back down may have cost you your job. Whether you started it or not is irrelevant. The fact is, multiple altercations have been confirmed. Yet, it is not easy to deal with such a meddling and constantly intervening front office, especially when you're dealing with 3 different people. When there are 3 different guys breathing down your neck, it's easy to get your panties in a bunch. But that's exactly what they wanted to do...get you upset and have a reason to can you.
Let's look at the facts here. Vinny takes over with no head coaching experience whatsoever, and with only a rookie point guard and no superstars, this team goes 41-41 and gets to the playoffs and takes the defending champs to 7 games...in the greatest playoff series of all time.
The very next year...
The Bulls lose Ben Gordon, their leading scorer. Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng, their three best players, all missed a very significant amount of time due to injuries. They traded away John Salmons, arguably the 2nd half MVP of the NBA, at the trading deadline, as well as their best shot-blocker Tyrus Thomas. Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng are all injured during a crucial stretch late in the season, causing the Bulls to lose 10 in a row. Still...the Bulls kept it together, didn't lose focus, and rallied during the home stretch to AGAIN go 41-41. They also managed to win a game against the favorite to win the NBA title in the first round...the same team that won its first 8 games last year in the playoffs. Not only that, they kept every game competitive except for maybe 1. It was actually an exciting series. All in the midst of the Vinny vs. Paxson fighting controversey with Craig Sager asking Vinny questions about it in between quarters during Game 1 of the playoffs.
And let's not forget that when Vinny arrived, there were no superstars on this team...and as he's leaving...there are now 2.
So how are Paxson, Gar, and Jerry getting away with firing Vinny? After all, the numbers don't lie. And if you look at the numbers and the outcome both seasons, the Bulls have performed admirably for what they had to work with. And so did Vinny.
Well, it all comes back to Fight-Gate. That's it. That's the reason they needed. Paxson and Vinny don't mesh. And if Paxson stays, no way Vinny can stay. Not if you want to show free agents you're trying to fix the mess that the organization currently resembles. And you know quite well Paxson, pretty much a life-long Bull, is not being dumped in favor of Vinny. So Fight-Gate was the perfect excuse. The Bulls were unbelievably clever about it. The way I see it, somebody inside the organization leaked it with a few weeks to go in the season to K.C. Johnson so that the press would get ahold of the story and the firing would become much easier to explain. Also, if you do it with a few weeks to spare, the controversey will die down by playoff-time and won't distract players. They didn't count on K.C. not publishing the story out of respect for Vinny and the team. Obviously, K.C. is a fan of the Bulls and not just a journalist, and didn't want to cause drama during the playoff push. So a few weeks later, when it was clear that K.C. was not moving forward with the story, someone leaked it again. This time to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. That guy publishes anything and everything. Now, in spite of Vinny's admirable performance, especially for a newly minted coach, the Bulls had a perfectly good explanation for letting him go. And not only that...they actually made it seem like they were giving it some thought in the week in between getting bounced from the playoffs leading up to the press conference tomorrow. This way they don't look like unreasonable tyrants and they show they at least wanted to give it some thought before canning their non-losing, non-winning, overperforming hardheaded coach. Don't fall for it.
Vinny got played. It's unfortunate for Vinny. Really, it is. But the Bulls know, as well as I know, as well as you know, that if they want to show a free agent that they are serious about winning now, then they had to fire VDN. Nowadays, free agents don't want to come and play for coaches with minimal coaching experience. Especially one who has been ridiculed in the media as much as Vinny has. I mean the media has absolutely been relentless since the day he was hired. And that's mostly the Bulls' fault, since he was seen as somewhat of a fallback option after the whole Doug Collins fake-out.
To the guy's credit, he's handled everything with dignity, class, and professionalism. He's incredibly articulate and he seems like he's tough as nails. He definitely has thick-skin. I admire his personality. That's never been the issue. The issue has always been the X's and O's. His coaching instincts, his questionable rotation choices, his timeouts (although he's gotten exponentially better here). He also uses the word "thrust" way too often and calls Kirk "Kurt", but I digress.
The problem is, with the most coveted free agent class of all time, you need a proven winner. Someone who's been out of the first round. Someone who's gone over .500. Someone who has never gotten in a fight with his GM. Basically, not Vinny Del Negro. Unfortunately, the coaching prospects out there aren't exactly enthralling. The rough list looks like this: Lawrence Frank, Kevin McHale, Mo Cheeks, Byron Scott, Dwane Casey, and Eric Musselman. According to K.C. Johnson, that list isn't "comprehensive." For some reason, Avery Johnson isn't mentioned. I'd be shocked if they hired someone not on that list. I like two guys...Lawrence Frank and Byron Scott. Frank made it to the playoffs 4 out of 6 seasons coaching the Nets, and got out of the first round 3 times. Byron Scott coached the Nets to the NBA Finals in back to back seasons in 2002 and 2003. Not bad. He also led the Hornets to their best record ever and handled a budding young point guard named Chris Paul very nicely. He can probably do some good work with Derrick. So my preferred choice thus far is Byron Scott.
I think Byron Scott is considered a player's coach, and I definitely think free agents will look at Byron's track record and the Chicago situation becomes that much more attractive. Definitely more attractive than Vinny Del Negro.
As for Vinny, I don't think he's done coaching. I think he's proven enough for him to land another job...eventually. And I don't think he got screwed or anything like that like a lot of sudden Vinny supporters are claiming. The Bulls gave him the deal of a lifetime. They let him, a guy with 0 coaching experience whatsoever, take over one of the most revered basketball teams in the land, immediately after drafting the number one overall pick and future superstar Derrick Rose. Not only that, but they signed him to a 3-year deal, knowing quite well they would probably fire him after the second year with the impending free agent class looming. I'm not exactly sure why they did that. In fact, I'm not exactly sure why they hired a coach knowing they would fire him within such a short amount of time. I'm not sure what they thought they were gaining by doing that. Maybe they thought there'd be more options for possible head coaching hirees a few years down the road? They were actually right. And they probably saved a few bucks. Bottom line, consider yourself lucky, Vinny.
And to be fair, as I said above, the VDN era went much better than expected. Two .500 seasons, two playoff appearances, and two solid playoff series in two years. I'll take it. Now hit the road.no comments
If you want to learn about LeBron James's true character, see the video at the end of this blog post. As for Game 4...
Then this happened:
But LeBron isn't going to shoot like that every night...so I'm gonna get to the point rather quickly here...
This series is about two things:
1) Shooting percentage. In Game 1, the final score was 96-83 Cavs. The Bulls shoot 42% while the Cavs shoot 46%. The Cavs made two more baskets on three more attempts. In Game 2, the final score was 112-102 Cavs. The Bulls shoot 44% while the Cavs shoot 56%. The Bulls actually made 1 more basket than the Cavs on 22 MORE attempts. That is a real stat. At this point you may be asking yourself what's accounting for the difference in score if the Bulls are making more buckets? That'll be point number 2. In Game 3, the Bulls won 108-106. The Bulls shot 50% while the Cavs shot 43%. The Bulls made 6 more buckets than the Cavs on 2 more attempts than the Cavs. Yet it was only a two point game. So again, what's accounting for the difference? Again...I'll be there in a minute. In Game 4, the Bulls lose 121-98. A rout. The Bulls shoot 37% while the Cavs shoot 53%. Kind of explains the rout. The Bulls made 8 less buckets on 12 more attempts. Vomit.
But as you can see, if the Bulls have a good shooting night, the Cavs are in for a dog-fight. If the Bulls shoot below 45%, it won't even really be a close game. LeBron takes too many shots for the Cavs to shoot below 45%, so if the Bulls can't at least match the shooting percentage, it's over before it starts. To have 22 more field goal attempts than the Cavs and only make 1 more total basket in Game 2 is totally and utterly inexcusable. And bottom line...the Bulls offense is awful.
2) Three-point shooting. The Cavs have made 42 3's in this series. They've had double-digit 3's in 3 out of the 4 games. In game 1 they had 6, while in the games to follow they had 10, 14, and 12. The Bulls? They've attempted 43. That's right. ATTEMPTED. They've attempted only 1 more three than the Cavs have actually made. How many have they made? 14. 14 threes all series. THE CAVS MADE 14 THREES IN GAME 3 ALONE. That's 42-14 in three-point shooting. That accounts for an 84 point difference in the score throughout the first 4 games. The Cavs have gotten 84 more points than the Bulls from three-point land. That's a lot of points. And I've been saying this all season...three point shooting really is the Bulls biggest achilles heel. Some would say low-post scoring, but I beg to differ. The Bulls make up for their lack and low-post scoring through hustling and being the best rebounding team in the league, including cleaning up the offensive glass (see Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson). But there's no way to make up for a lack in three-point shooting. LeBron has the luxury of driving the lane and being able to dish it out to (in no particular order) Anthony Parker, Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, even freakin' Jomario Moon, and these guys just make it rain. Derrick Rose has not one guy who's capable of knocking down the open three with consistency. Hinrich did it in Game 3 and that's why we won. But Hinrich hasn't been able to put together back-to-back good shooting nights all season, and that remains a fact after Game 4, because Hinrich was awful.
In Game 4, Kirk Hinrich shot 3-13 for 10 points. That follows a 9-12 performance for 27 points, where he went 4-4 from 3 in Game 3. I said we needed Hinrich or Brad Miller to step up with another 20 point performance, because 20 points from Rose and Deng alone would not be enough. Neither stepped up. Miller had 7 points in 19 minutes off the bench. In fact, Luol Deng couldn't even reach the 20 point mark, although he didn't have a horrible night, going 7-17 for 16 points.
Joakim Noah did everything he could do and everything he needed to do to try and help his team win. His team did absolutely nothing. He matched Derrick Rose's 21 points, only Derrick went 9-20 from the field while Joakim went 7-12. And most of that came off of one of his 20 rebounds. A 21 point, 20 rebound performance for Joakim. You don't see a 20-20 game too often from a Bulls big, so it was special. Too bad it had to be in a losing effort, which wasn't even a close game.
Unfortunately, Derrick just had trouble finding his shooting stroke throughout the game, and couldn't really get into a rhythm. And with no one really being there to step up and help him carry the load, it's no wonder why the Bulls were blown out in this game. Point number one people. When the shooting percentage is down, no way the Bulls can compete. When the shooting percentage up, you look up at the box score and see guys like Kirk Hinrich scoring 27 points and the Bulls have a W. The talent on this team just isn't at the level where they can shoot well consistently. Too many streaky and inconsistent shooters. NO real 3-point shooting. While the Cavs are just the opposite. Tremendous 3-point shooting and all their shooters are remarkably consistent. And that's why they're a championship caliber team, although I still think they'll get killed by the Cavs.
Yet still, the Bulls could come out any random night and have Kirk Hinrich rarely miss, and Derrick Rose's jumper falling, etc. and maybe come out and shoot near 50%. If that happens, the Bulls become a very tough team to beat, regardless of who the opponent is. And it's happened in stretches throughout the season, and it happened in Game 3. So I guess we all have to pray for that type of game tonight. Otherwise...it's time to focus on free agency and bringing in Mr. Bosh and some other new recruits. But I ain't heard no fat lady just yet. Go Bulls.
And oh yeah...someone explain to me why LeBron has to be a **** to the Bulls' towel boy? See the video below and find out why I'm not really a fan of LeBron nor do I desparately want this guy on my team. Tool.