Thursday, December 14, 2006

Obligatory Bulls Post

The Bulls have been blessed by two things during this current run: exceptionally good health and a string of lousy teams coming into the United Center.

Consider: when blowing out the Pacers on Monday night, Al Harrington, Jermaine O'Neil and Stephen Jackson -- arguably the Pacers' three best players -- all didn't play. Last night, All-Star guard Ray Allen missed the game for the Seattle Supersonics. The 76ers played amid the beginnings of the Allen Iverson turmoil, and Boston was without Wally Szczerbiak, Theo Ratliff and Michael Olowokandi. Who has missed a Bulls game due to injury? Malik Allen? Michael Sweetney early on? P.J. Brown? Not exactly Luol Deng or Ben Wallace now are those guys?

So while the run has been nice, Bulls fans need not get their hopes too high just yet. The streak also includes two games against the Knicks, one against Toronto and one against the NOOCH. They have yet to play Detroit, can't seem to beat LeBron and Cleveland, and still have another seven game West coast trip come February.

In spite of the bad teams the one other thing the Bulls have going for them is that, somehow, they've discovered an offensive. That added to their blitzkrieg defensive intensity and the Bulls are first in the Eastern Conference in point differential per game at + 4.2, fourth overall in the entire league. What's the difference? Most obviously better shooting, but looking a little further the Bulls have found a rhythm. Consider that they're second in the Eastern conference in assists per game at 22.4 which means they're finding one another with more frequency than most teams. And while only the New Jersey Nets average more assists in the East at 23.3, they have uber-point guard Jason Kidd 's 9.6 assist to pad those stats. The Bulls top assist guy, Kirk Hinrich, drops only 6.2 dimes per game, but Chris Duhon drops 4.2, Ben Gordon 3.2, and Luol Deng 2.4. Yeah, they're all in the starting lineup.

At 12-10, the Bulls have done well just to get back to and above a .500 winning percentage, but I'll hold my applause until that number reaches 10 games over .500. Until then I'll just smile, watch a growing team and hope this team doesn't end up like the 2001 76ers team that lost to the Lakers in the Finals a few years ago.


Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

The Bulls beat Philly so bad it made Iverson want out of town. The problem with your argument for the improvement of the Bulls' offense is it runs counter to your initial "the Bulls haven't played anybody good lately" argument.

2:43 PM, December 14, 2006  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

I didn't think I was making any argument.

They found a rhythm playing bad teams; it's an easy thing to do.

2:49 PM, December 14, 2006  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Just so everyone knows, I read the Trib AFTER filing this post and most of what I wrote concerning injuries is in their notes. But I promise this is not a case of plagiarism. Oh, no, if I was plagiarizing, I would admit to it, loud and clear.

6:32 PM, December 14, 2006  
Blogger Soxually Repressed said...

Jsut so everyone knows, I NEVER read the Tripe, I mean the Trib. I promise if I plagiarize the Trib, it will be by telepathy.

Jimmy, of you admit to plagiarism "loud and clear" it isn't really plagiarism anymore. Ya know, since the definition is to use other people's work, WITHOUT acknowledging those people.

2:11 PM, December 15, 2006  

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