Mar 31, 2003 7:19 AM EST
Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Chicago Bulls? number one priority this summer is to acquire a small forward. Smith says the Bulls will likely target Sacramento forward Hedo Turkoglu, Golden State?s Mike Dunleavy, and Memphis?s Shane Battier.
Smith feels Turkoglu would be the easiest to acquire since the Kings will be hard pressed to give him an extension due to commitments to other players on the team. Instead of losing Turkoglu, who will become a restricted free agent at the end of next season, for nothing, he suggests that the Bulls could offer their number one pick in the draft, assuming it is not in the top 3, Dalibor Bagaric, and a second round pick to acquire the talented forward. Turkoglu is said to be unhappy about losing his job in the rotation to Jim Jackson.
"I know I can't complain too much because attitude is important and it would be stupid of me to get too upset when we are winning," said Turkoglu, averaging seven points in about 18 minutes a game. "I know the people back home [in Turkey]?my parents, the fans?they are wondering what is going on."
Dunleavy could be the next easiest option. While the Bulls seem to be committed to Jay Williams as their future point guard, the present starter is Jamal Crawford. Should the Warriors lose Gilbert Arenas to free agency, point guard would become a need position for the Warriors- who were desperate for Jay Williams last summer. The Bulls could offer Jay Williams in exchange for Dunleavy, solving a logjam at point guard for the Bulls and logjam at small forward for the Warriors.
"I'm happy where I'm at," Dunleavy said. "No matter how poorly I do or how bad things are, this is only my rookie season. As a rookie, I haven't really been able to play through my mistakes. So when it comes time next year or a time after that, I'm going to appreciate playing big minutes. This organization had its reasons for picking me, a lot of reasons that don't have to do with being rookie of the year. They're expecting more things down the road. In the meantime, I'll let everybody else pass their judgments."
Finally, Shane Battier could fit the bill. Jerry West is known for being a guru when it comes to the NBA draft, however, Memphis will lose its selection in this years draft if it isn?t number one overall. They will acquire Houston?s pick, but if they make the playoffs, West is out of the lottery. Chicago could offer its lottery pick, again under the assumption it is not in the top 3, and Marcus Fizer for the Houston pick and Battier.
Battier is becoming one of the NBA?s best shooters and would bring a good defender to Chicago.
"I knew I wouldn't be in the same situation as I was last year, playing 40 minutes, so I wanted to become a very efficient player," Battier said. "The guys on the team and the coaches appreciate what I bring. I just try to come out and be valuable for our team, not just take up space on the floor. I'm a little bit awkward, but I get the job done."
Mar 31, 2003 12:12 AM EST
51? 51 points, are you kidding me? A few days ago I didn't think the Pacers could beat a high school team by 51. Granted the Bulls aren't the cream of the NBA crop but still, beating another professional team by 51 points (during what I am now calling a drought, not a slump) is unheard of. It is the biggest margin of victory in a NBA game this year. And almost more impressive it was done mostly by the bench, as each starter only played between one and two quarters. So how did this happen, and more importantly, what does it mean? Is this all Tim Haraway's doing? Will the Pacers get two win for their effort? Okay probably not, but it may be the final shove to get them back on track for one last run this season. Tonight the Pacers won again against a playoff team from "dominant" Western Conference, even though they were basically out played for most of the game. The Pacers won the hustle points as they got every loose ball and they played extraordinary defense. Eric Strickland stuck to Stephon Marbury like white on rice, in what possibly was the best defensive effort Marbury has ever faced (he scored only 10 points). Ron Artest finally showed us why he IS worth having on the team as he basically set the tempo on both ends of the court. The Pacers are beginning to look like the team that was once 33-13 (seems like along time ago doesn't it) the way they have played defense and have played unselfishly on offense. They are getting healthy, with the exception of Reggie who is still playing injured, and Tinsley who is having family problems; and seem to be getting a new spark of the bench from Tim Hardaway. Yes, there is finally some optimism for the Pacers, and isn't ironic the on the night they begin to look like their former selves, they clinch a playoff berth? Is it an omen, I hope so. Weekly Predictions: The Pacers are hot, this may be fun again! Last Week:2-2 Season Total:17-15 VS. Kings: This will show us what the Pacers are really made of. A win would be huge for both teams but the Pacers are at home where they seem to thrive. Pacers by 2. @ Cavs: Pacers don't "thrive" as much on the road, but the Cavs have basically mailed in the season and are looking for losses ? hey you would be too if it meant a chance at Lebron. Pacers by 1300(okay not really but you get the idea) @ Pistons: If the Pacers win the two aforementioned games this game will be the biggest to this point in the season. I'm sticking with Pacers even if it is on the road. Pacers by 1 (a Reggie Miller three, hopefully)
Mar 29, 2003 8:15 AM EST
Mark Monteith of the Indianapolis Star writes: The Pacers 51-point victory over the Chicago Bulls makes one wonder whether one teams defense was so bad or the winning team was so dominant.
"Probably 50-50," Al Harrington acknowledged after the Pacers' 140-89 adjective-defying win.
"We had to make shots regardless of how bad the defense was. But they didn't play great defense. I don't know what their excuse is. I know we have to see them again, so I don't want to say anything about it."
The Pacers could do no wrong on this night. The shot 62% from the field and outrebounded Chicago 59-27.
"It was a total embarrassment," said former Pacer Jalen Rose, who scored 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting. "Our play on the road is almost like a basketball travesty.
"A loss is a loss when you lose the game, not at the end of the first quarter. I don't know if I've ever lost this bad at anything in my life, whether it be pool, video games, anything. Playing the game of basketball starts on the left side of the chest. We have not mastered that concept yet."
Mar 28, 2003 9:54 PM EST
The struggling Indiana Pacers broke out of their recent slump in dramatic fashion tonight, crushing the visiting Chicago Bulls 140-89.
The hot-shooting Pacers (42-30), who had dropped 15 of their last 19 games, dominated from the start. They led 39-28 at the end of the first quarter, then blew out the Bulls in the second quarter for a 74-46 halftime bulge.
Indiana didn't stop there, racing to an insurmountable 105-68 lead heading in the final quarter.
The Pacers hit 63 percent of their shots from the field, and put seven players in double figures. Brad Miller led the way with 22 points, hitting 8-of-11 shots. Al Harrington added 19 points in just 12 minutes, while Jonathan Bender had 18.
Chicago (26-47) was led by Eddy Curry with 18.
Mar 28, 2003 8:38 AM EST
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports that Jalen Rose knows exactly why the Pacers had to sign Tim Hardaway to a contract. He says it all boils down to the trade the Pacers made with the Bulls last season, a deal that included Rose and Travis Best.
"In the trade, (Indiana) lost their two leading assist guys in Jalen and Travis (Best). Now I guess you didn't get what you want out of that spot," Rose said.
Maybe someone is a bit bitter about the trade?
"I have a lot of love for the fans and my former teammates," Rose said. "I still even have love for Isiah (Thomas) and management. It was the best time that I've had so far in my career," admitted Rose.
The Pacers maintain the move for Hardaway was to add experience to the team. Especially in light of Jamaal Tinsley dealing with his mother's death and Erick Strickland has injured ribs.
Mar 23, 2003 9:25 AM EST
Mike McGraw of the Chicago Daily Herald reports: Last night, Jamal Crawford had a career night and came up big down the stretch as the Chicago Bulls knocked off the New York Knicks 100-98 at the United Center.
Jamal Crawford who had career-high's in the three categories that he almost got a triple-double in, lead the Bulls to victory.
Crawford finished with 22 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds.
And no, he never considered pulling a Ricky Davis to get that final rebound.
Quote from Chicago Sun-Times:
"Jalen [Rose] teased me and told me not to do it,'' Crawford said. "But I wasn't even thinking about it. I just wanted the win.''
Crawford's two clutch plays also were key.
With the Bulls holding to a 2-point lead, Crawford noticed the Knicks get caught up watching Jalen Rose run the baseline and fired a pass to Curry for a dunk that made it 97-93 with 54.4 seconds left.
Then after Kurt Thomas hit a layup to pull the Knicks back within 2 points, Crawford drove into the lane and hit a short scoop in traffic that helped seal the victory with 14.6 seconds on the clock.
"Coach is giving me more confidence, more leeway to make plays," Crawford said. "The play was for Jalen(Rose), but Eddy(Curry) was open, so I just wanted to get it to him. He's a great finisher down there."
To add to his near triple-double, Crawford also made 10 of his 15 shots from the field and committed just 2 turnovers in 34 minutes.
Still, Crawford believes he has a long way to go.
"I'm a work in progress," Crawford said. "I've got so much room for growth. Last year, my whole year was based on shooting. I didn't drive at all. Now I'm showing more and more of my game. But I still have a ways to go and I have a lot more stuff to show you guys."
Mar 19, 2003 12:41 AM EST
Mar 14, 2003 5:17 AM EST
Earlier in the season it seemed like not a day could go by without the Bulls and Jamal Crawford having a disagreement. After being promised the starting job last season the Bulls drafted prized Duke guard Jay Williams with the second overall pick Crawford lost it just as quickly despite not being outplayed, and then had a series of run-ins with Bulls coach Bill Cartwright.
As the season has drawn on Crawford, who survived an intense trade deadline period where his name would appear in new rumors daily, would play through his early season struggles and all the adversity to play a commanding role in today's Bulls. He has won back his starting position as Williams also is gaining confidence coming off the bench, and he is finally playing within the system.
"He's doing a much better job or orchestrating and pushing the ball upcourt," Cartwright said. "Just play solid. That's what I tell him. We all know Jamal can shoot and handle the ball. But we need him to defend and not throw the ball away. As of late, he has done a good job."
So K.C. Johnson asks what kept Crawford going?
"Not to sound cocky, but I know I'm going to be a good player," he said. "I feel I can orchestrate, and my confidence is really high because [Cartwright's] confidence in me is high. He lets me make a lot of [offensive] calls and asks me what I think."
Mar 13, 2003 2:51 AM EST
Perhaps there is hope for the future for these youthful Chicago Bulls afterall. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune writes that Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler, the teen toddlers the Bulls selected in the 2001 NBA draft directly out of high school, are currently first and third in the league respectively in field goal shooting. The man seperating the two, Shaquille O'Neal, is the man Curry was able to dominate in the paint on Tuesday night.
Curry's field-goal percentage is .574 and Chandler's rate is .543, but the Bulls have a problem. As ABull on the RealGM Bulls board informed Bulls fans of weeks ago neither has met the 300 field goal limit meaning their percentages do not count in an official sense.
"I feel confident and feel that I'm finishing moves around the basket in strong fashion," Curry said.
Curry needs to make 83 field goals over the final 16 games and Chandler needs 74.
"I won't force shots," Chandler said. "I know my main jobs are to rebound and play defense."
Mar 10, 2003 5:01 AM EST
Jerry Brewer of the Orlando Sentinel writes that what the Bulls are doing in their latest rebuilding attempt simply isn't working, and the proof is nothing more than Jay Williams.
Williams was the best player coming out of college into the NBA draft, and when the Bulls were able to secure his services with the second overall pick everyone thought the Bulls would start looking dangerous. This clearly has not been the case this year and Williams has struggled, and the only way for the Bulls to turn it around according to Brewer is for Coach Bill Cartwright to either change his approach, or Williams must go.
'It's too easy to call Williams the underachieving, cold-shooting rookie (37.5 percent) who should keep his mouth shut. Williams did not just go from being the best player in college basketball to an average talent. There are holes in his game, but not this big.' writes Brewer.
For Williams to succeed he needs to be able to fly around the court as he did so succesfully in Duke. For this to happen Jamal Crawford must play some shooting guard, another thing that Cartwright refuses to do.
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