Fresh ink: January 26, 2009

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K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “Poor late-game execution once again doomed the Bulls, whose season-long losing streak extended to five games after a 109-108 overtime loss to the Timberwolves. Leading by as many as 16 in the first quarter and shooting 57.6 percent through three quarters, the Bulls collapsed down the stretch by shooting 8-for-29. Randy Foye, 1-for-10 to that point, scored on a driving layup with 41.3 seconds remaining in overtime to provide the final points. Making the basket worse, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro had employed his ‘offense-defense’ substitution, replacing Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose with better defenders Kirk Hinrich and Thabo Sefolosha for that possession. Gordon and Rose returned on the ensuing possession, and Gordon missed a 19-foot jumper.”

John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times: “Magic Johnson, who made his share of game-winning plays, used to call crunch time ‘winning time.’ It has been anything but for the Bulls this season. The Bulls had an opportunity to set up potential game-winning plays at the end of regulation and overtime but couldn’t convert either time in dropping a 109-108 decision to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night at the Target Center. ‘It’s very frustrating,’ forward Luol Deng said. ‘This is a game we should have won.’”

Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald: “In the final analysis, the Bulls simply couldn’t slow down Minnesota center Al Jefferson, who scored 39 points while hitting 16 of 29 shots. Jefferson scored most every important basket for the Timberwolves except for a driving bank shot by guard Randy Foye with 41.3 seconds remaining that turned out to be the final points of the game. Rookie forward Kevin Love added 19 points and 15 rebounds for the home team.”

Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Rose didn’t dominate Sunday; he still looks like the future. He scored 18 points with seven assists and three rebounds without ever looking lost. If he can develop an outside shot, he will be the NBA’s next great point guard.”

More K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “There are times during almost any NBA game where head coaches appear as if they’d rather be gargling with cod liver oil than patrolling the sideline. Yet even with a five-game losing streak, a minor incident with Ben Gordon angrily questioning a fine and all the injuries the Bulls have endured, Vinny Del Negro is savoring the ride of his rookie coaching experience. ‘I enjoy it all, the good times, the bad times, the frustrations,’ Del Negro said. “Are you going to give in to the adversity, or is your character going to show? I think our guys have handled things well at times. Other times we haven’t. Hopefully, we’ll team up so we compete and get better defensively.’”

Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “The Wolves trailed 12-2 and 20-4 almost before they knew it, but they recovered with an effort the rest of the way that was long on grit and resiliency and lacking nearly any aesthetics. ‘I tell the guys that every night is not a Picasso’ [Timberwolves coach Kevin] McHale said.’I’m sure Picasso threw more pictures in the garbage than he put on museum walls. I won’t watch the film of this one. I’ll just wonder for the rest of my life how we won’”

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2 Responses to Fresh ink: January 26, 2009

  1. JR January 26, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

    What are your feelings on the ‘next great point guard’ bit? I get the feeling we are about to enter a true golden age of points, I honestly can’t remember when there were so many great pgs around. Off the top of my head Devin, Deron, CP, Rose, Nash, Billups, Nelson and there are more depending on your opinion active. Inactive atm but coming back is agent zero who I seriously hope gets back to full strength even though I’m no Wizards fan, and Baron Davis (again probably more I’m forgetting).

    On top of that this next draft is apparently stacked with good guards, ricky rubio and co. I didn’t even mention calderon, mo williams and there are so many others. Am I crazy or young or both? Is this kind of point guard quality precedented? Just remembered Westbrook! No wonder j kidd is falling to the wayside…

  2. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale January 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    JR — After giving it some thought, I would say that point guard talent throughout the league hasn’t been this high since the late 80′s, which featured a wide array of established vets and young up-and-comers, including: Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Isiah Thomas, Mark Jackson, Terry Porter, Doc Rivers, Nate McMillan, Fat Lever, Mo Cheeks, Dennis Johnson, Sleepy Floyd, Michael Adams, Mark Price, Kevin Johnson and Kenny Smith…among others. That’s the only era I would say compares to (and probably surpasses) today’s NBA.

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