Morning Bell – 1.21.2009

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Things I Realized During the Bulls-Hawks Game

As currently constructed, the Bulls’ absolute ceiling is the Hawks.  The teams are very similarly built.  They both are solid defensive teams that could be upper-level if they give consistent effort.  They both could be successful if they ran a little bit more.  The main difference is that the Bulls play a good game 40% of the time, and the Hawks play well 60% of the time.

More problematic is that neither of these teams is going anywhere.  The Bulls, obviously, have wasted another half season due to Del Negro’s resistance to playing Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah extended minutes.  While Aaron Gray played well in his stint in the first half, keeping the Bulls in the game for stretches, he’s maxed out his potential, whereas Thomas and Noah have the chance to be key pieces to a team.  Per 36 minutes, both Noah and Thomas perform well, but they are desperately in need of a coach that will push them to try hard.  That sounds silly; these guys should both know that when they play hard, they play a lot, and in turn play well.  However, VDN’s annoyingly merit-based rotations leave players in fear of making mistakes, lest they sit for quarters at a time.

As for the Hawks – whatever.  This is a team that can’t be bothered to consistently attack the basket.  Defensively, they have the players to be a top ten team, but are too lazy in transition to do so.  And seemingly, they don’t get fired up to play anyone else but the Celtics.  The weirdest thing is that they aren’t even that fun to watch, given their personnel.  At least Soloman Jones looks like Andre 3000.

Thing I Think I Heard Chris Webber Call Chris Andersen on NBA Gametime

The Man with the Green Skin

Thing I Hope Is True

So I walk into the gym and see Rudy (in a group with Coach Monty, Travis and Nic) shooting his post-practice shots and rainbowing a few times.  He then pantomimed catching his own alleyoop pass off of a backheel rainbow and throwing down a two handed reverse slam.  Um… please do that in the dunk contest.  Please.  That would be sick.  I give it a 10!  

I think we might have underestimated Rudy as he was also kicking the ball from the free throw line off the backboard, perhaps setting up another soccer-inspired alley-oop look.

Not to be outdone, Sergio sent a laser volley from halfcourt that looked like it would find the bottom corner against most keepers.  Crazy Spaniards. With their …crazy…  Spanish… skills.

via Blazers Edge

Thing My Wife Said Upon Seeing a Close-Up of Drew Gooden

“UGH, that looks like pubic hair!”

Things We Expected to Happen That Did

San Antonio 99, Indiana 81

Utah 112, Minnesota 107

Atlanta 105, Chicago 102

Denver 118, Sacramento 99

 

Seth Carstens