"They said some things like, 'We lost to the Bad News Bears.' That kind of got to us a little bit and motivated us," said Melvin Ely, the Chicagoan from Thornton High School who had a game- and season-high 20 points. "Anytime you win in this league, it's not luck. We lost that first game to them, but then when they got a loss (Dec. 20 in Chicago), don't go speaking about it. That motivated us a lot."
The Bulls lost to the Cats 93-80 last night. Somewhere along the way they were also victims of identity theft. They are not the Bulls anymore. The Bobcats are. The Bobcats are the ones that play hard and are gritty. The Bulls are just bad now. Role reversal at its worst.
5 losses in a row. That's discomforting but there are things that are more disturbing. Such as:
- What free agents? The Bulls will have a lot of cash to spend on a big man next year. But run down the list of FAs and you'll find only 2 worth mentioning. Ben Wallace and Drew Gooden. Gooden has a nice skill set for a big man, but it's not worth the max contract. Would Ben Wallace want to come here?
- Ben Gordon. Quick--what is the difference between Ben Gordon and Jannero Pargo? I don't know either. Sorry, the #3 pick overall should start more than 4 games in 1 1/2 seasons. Starting isn't everything? Ok, then he should be averaging over 26.8 minutes a game, his current total this year. His FG and FT percentages are down and his FT attempts are down. He's small and not a good defender. My point? If he can be packaged in a deal for a star big man he should go. I like him a lot, but we need something he cannot supply. He can be a special scorer. But remember what Charles said...
- Tyson Chandler. One of my favorite players. But his performance this year has been terrible. Numbers down across the board and he lacks that boundless energy and quick spring that he had last year. He's had some physical issues and apparently a bit of the mental stuff has entered the picture too. Also glaring is that the Bulls have no true center on the team and they are woefully small otherwise--even at guard.
- Bigs. The 3 big men they have aren't getting it done. Sweetney has been good, but along with Chandler has had foul trouble and can't stay on the court enough because of it. Othella Harrington was resigned but now I wonder why. He's not even averaging 10 minutes a game. The last time he played more than 6 minutes was on the 20th against the Bobcats. He had 16 & 5 in 19 minutes. When he gets minutes he produces. He gets points, boards and he gets to the line and makes his free throws. Why isn't he in there now?
They are too small, lack low-post scoring, still turn it over too much and usually get killed on the boards. So in the spirit of Sam Smith I offer the following: Tim Thomas, Ben Gordon, Tyson Chandler and one of the Bulls' 1st round picks for Kevin Garnett and whatever else they want to throw in to make the money work. The Wolves aren't going to win anything anytime soon. The deal makes sense for them and the Bulls.