Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who's the Beast of the East?

Check out this TrueHoops video production:

To even be in the conversation as a contender in the East is a major accomplishment for Da Bulls. Big ups to Tom Thibodeau, the lock-- sparing a few votes for Doug Collins in Philly (after a 3-17 start, now 30-29)-- for NBA Coach of the Year award. 

And with Kieth Bogans' sorry ass as the starting SG, who can argue against Derrick Rose for MVP? After all, this is the first full month of the entire season in which he has a healthy lineup (Noah & Boozer have exchanged injury for injury). And despite all the adversity, Da Bulls are thriving.

Yes, people, after a sight face-lift and a domain change, Bulls Eye is back

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Where Amazing Happens"

It's official. When it comes to marketing and commercials, the NBA blows the competition out of the water. Everyone has seen the new Lebron "Just Do It" Nike commercial, but that's just one of plenty advertisements featuring big names that has surfaced this season. Dwayne Wade, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Brandon Jennings and many more have collaborated effective commercials that are generating a lot of noise around the league. But I want to know if we're going to see another chapter in the infamous, "Where Will Amazing Happen This Year?" series. Here's what I'm talking about:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Deng Thriving Under Thibbodeau

Bulls fans, myself included, have been waiting a long time for the emergence of Luol Deng. Not to label him as an underachiever, but it's reasonable to say the 6'7 veteran out of Duke University hasn't quite maxed out his potential in his first six seasons in the NBA.
Is it all Dengs' fault? Maybe not. Chicago's two previous coaches, Scott Skiles and Vinny Del Negro, who have split time on the Bulls sideline the past 7 years, ran the type of offense that crippled Deng's abilities. Deng gave hint to this matter in his postgame interview after dropping a career-high 40 points on the 3-1 Portland Trail Blazers last night in Chicago.
Deng is averaging 21.2 points on the 2010 season
Deng's previous high, 38, came against the same Trail Blazers back in  2007. 
“I think it's just a coincidence,” he said about the two Portland career-high performances. “We just shot the ball well. We moved it and shot it well. You're going to get shots in different places (in our offense), so you've got to be ready.”
That offense Deng is speaking is transforming him as a player and targeting a different skill set.
In the previous two offenses Deng has ran in his career in Chicago, he was limited. As the wing man, Deng's role had him running the baseline, keeping him close to the basket throughout most of every game. The proof is in the pudding. Before this season, Deng averaged almost 7 rebounds a game to go along with 15.3 points a game. This season however Deng's rebounding has declined to just above two boards a game.  The upside is that he's on pace to average over 20 points a game for the first time in his career.
The underlying factor in Deng's transformation is Thibbodeau's offense. Deng explained after last nights 110-98 win over Portland that Thib's wants to keep Deng at the top of the key and around the perimeter, allowing him to take more jump shots and strong drives to the basket. Was it the right move? Deng thinks so, and who could argue after watching him go 14-19 from the floor (3-4 from long range) and 9-11 from the free throw strike.

Basically, Thibbodeau's adjustments have done two things:
1) Allow Deng more space on the floor to move more without the ball and get open shots
2)By getting the ball away from the basket, Deng is creating off the dribble and getting to line efficiently where he is shooting 81% on the season.
3)By keeping him away from the basket as much, Deng's rebounding numbers have dropped significantly. No matter. Joakim Noah has emerged as one of the best centers in the Eastern Conference averaging over 15 rebounds a game so far this season. And with Carlos Boozer expected back in a couple of weeks, Thibbodeau isn't too worried about giving up second-chance opportunities.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rose, Bulls Struggle Late, Fall To Thunder In Season Opener

How it happened: Derrick Rose dominated at times during the first half racking up 20 points while shooting 8-for-15 from the line. He struggled with foul trouble throughout the game and couldn't regain his shooting touch once he came back into the game in the fourth quarter. Yes, he finished with 28 points, but any time Rose is taking more than 30 shots in a game it's going to be a major problem for the Bulls this season. Tom Thibodeau's club held its own throughout most of the game, but they withered late. When they needed to make crucial shots down the stretch, and Rose couldn't make things happen, they didn't have another answer.

What it means: We knew the Bulls were going to struggle without Carlos Boozer, and for the most part they handled their own against a very tough Thunder team, but it was painfully obvious that they don't have another consistent option to go to when Rose struggles. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson had great games, but neither one is a threat at the offensive end. Thibodeau has to find a way to shore up his team's defense if it can't find a Robin to Rose's Batman while Boozer remains on the bench.

What’s next: The Bulls have their home opener Saturday night when Ben Gordon and the Pistons come to town. If they want to win that game they've got to do two things much better than they did on Wednesday night. They've got to get to the foul line more often and they have to find a way to space the floor better. They were just 2-for-14 from behind the arc.

Stat of the night: The Thunder had 47 free-throw attempts while the Bulls had just 22.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Where There's Thunder, There's Lightning



Friday, October 22, 2010

Who's It Gonna Be?

There are four things about Tom Thibbodeau's player rotation we know for sure. Derrick Rose will run point, Luol Deng will be the swing man, Taj Gibson will start at power forward (until the ailing Carlos Boozer returns from a fractured wrist), and Joakim Noah will finish out the front court. But Thib's (yes, the nickname is catching on) has yet to declare who will be the starting shooting guard opening night.
As of now, it remains a toss-up between Ronnie Brewer or Keith Bogans. To me Brewer is the clear-cut choice, but that's why I'm writing this and not holding practice at the United Center (for now, at least....wink wink). Bogans is a seven year veteran who has never really proved to be anything more than a reserve off the bench. Brewer saw plenty of minutes, including a starting role, in Utah and is an excellent on-ball defender. For a guy who's niche is defense, it makes one wonder what Bogans must be showing off in practice (because he sure hasn't shown anything in the preseason).
We'll see Tuesday night when the pulls tip off the season versus the Thunder of Oklahoma City. MLB playoffs & the NBA. Best time of the year. I cannot wait.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bulls Fans Weigh-In With Season Predictions

One year after coming 1-game away from upsetting the defending-champion Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, the new-look Bulls are generating plenty of support from hometown fans. While there is no such thing as too much support, Bulls fans are obviously sold on what first-year coach Tom Thiboddeau is putting together.   WATCH