Uh…wow: Bulls 122, Sixers 90

Well…that transition was pretty seamless.

As I was watching Chicago absolutely destroy a Philadelphia team that had won six of its last eight games — including an overtime win over the Bulls — I had to marvel again at the fact that only two members of this season’s projected starting lineup were actually in the starting lineup. And not only did Hakim Warrick (15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocked shots) and Flip Murray (12 points, 2-for-4 on threes, lots of communication on the defensive end) look better than the guys they just replaced, they played like they’d been Bulls for life.

Said Warrick: “It really felt like we’ve been together since preseason. Just the way the ball’s been moving. The new guys have come in just ready to play and the old guys have really just welcomed us new guys in and whenever we make a mistake or we’re in the wrong spot, they make sure to point us and get us in the right spot and get the play right.”

Against all reason, the team has not seemed this unified all season.

The result of that unity was pretty sweet. The Bulls established a new season-high for points scored (122) and — even more impressively — set a franchise record for fewest turnovers (4) while racking up 26 assists. It’s hard to gauge, the team might have provided season-highs in energy, effort and enthusiasm too.

Said Philly’s Allen Iverson: “They were finding the open man, just making the right plays.”

Indeed they were.

Chemistry is a funny thing. Last season, after John Paxson brokered the deal that brought in Brad Miller and John Salmons from Sacramento, Chicago’s chemistry shot off the charts, culminating in one of the great first round playoff series of all times. Unfortunately, that chemistry didn’t carry over into this season. It just didn’t. And the Bulls have been searching for answers all season. And now it looks like they’ve found those answers.

I guess it was addition by subtraction.

Don’t get me wrong. Despite their recent hot streak, the Sixers (21-34) aren’t a good team. And really, until a few weeks have passed and Chicago racks up at least a couple victories over teams on the plus side of .500, it will be hard to judge exactly what the Bulls have going for them.

But blowing an opponent out by 32 points on the second night of back-to-backs always feels kind of good.

And now let’s have a round of applause for rookie Taj Gibson, who grabbed a co-game-high 13 rebounds (5 offensive) and tied his career-high by scoring 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting. Despite being totally awesome, Gibson kept his Fonzie-like cool.

Said Taj: “You’re only as good as your last game.”

No self-serving sense of entitlement there. Unlike, ahem, some other former Bulls power forwards who shall remain nameless (and, thankfully, in Charlotte).

Added coach Vinny Del Negro: “He’s such a good kid. He is very coachable. He wants to learn and is always working. I like some of the passes that he and Hakim made to each other. They worked well against the zone.”

First off, that’s absolutely correct. Like I said above, Warrick played like he’d spent his career in the Windy City, and he and Gibson displayed something akin to ESP on a few plays. Second, all this goes a long way in explaining why Tyrus Thomas (okay, I named him) got benched after his forearm injury and was eventually sent packing…along with all his “limitless potential” (which more often than not equated to unlimited headaches).

I’ve said this more than once, but allow me to repeat: Gibson is already almost everything the Bulls wanted Thomas to be. And he’s a rookie!

But hey, I was talking about teamwork earlier, and this was no one-man show. Seven Bulls scored in double figures. Miller had a double-double (15 points, 10 boards). Derrick Rose had 17 points and 6 assists. Kirk Hinrich added another 17 points on 7-for-11 shooting and passed Ben Gordon to become Chicago’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (773). Luol Deng shot poorly (1-for-8), but he went 10-for-10 from the line and had a game-high four steals.

I don’t know if the Bulls can keep this up, but the immediate future looks pretty good. On Monday, they play the Wizards in Washington. On Wednesday, they have a home game against the Indiana Pacers. On Friday they play at home against the Portland Trail Blazers and they fly to Indianapolis for a Saturday night game against the Pacers.

There’s no reason they can’t keep this thing going.

Here we “Jo” again:
Joakim Noah made a surprise return from his seven-game layoff due to plantar fasciitis. Jo entered the game with 3:33 left in the first quarter and played…like someone who was rusty and dealing with an ongoing injury. Noah logged only seven minutes and finished with almost as many missed dunks (1) as rebounds (2), but at least he was able to run up and down the court a few times. Albeit gingerly.

Said Noah: “I’m happy to be back out there. I’m not happy about that missed dunk. But, hey, I guess it happens. … I really feel no pain, and I feel really good that we’re playing such good basketball right now.”

Former Bull factor:
Chicago’s former 20-10-50 guy scored only 7 points on 2-for-8 shooting. He did grab a team-high 13 rebounds, including 6 offensive boards. Still, it was a pretty silent night for a dude playing out an $80 million contract.

Timeout Tally:
1st timeout: Deng was fouled before the timeout (2-for-2)
2nd timeout: Andre Iguodala was fouled before the timeout
3rd timeout: Thaddeus Young was fouled before the timeout
4th timeout: Elton Brand was fouled before the timeout

This was a blowout, so it’s pretty hard to see any kind of pattern…other than the fact that Vinny kept calling timeouts after somebody was fouled.

Recap, Box Score, Play-By-Play, Shot Chart, Photos

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33 Responses to Uh…wow: Bulls 122, Sixers 90

  1. TexasBullsFan February 21, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    I know that Warrick is Mr. Expiring Contract…but if he keeps playing like this, how can you not want to keep him around? 15 and 9 with a couple blocks and some assists? All around good team chemistry with our other players? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal. If Tyrus played with that kind of energy and teamwork, he’d still be here.

  2. khg724@gmail.com'
    dickey simpkins February 21, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    “No self-serving sense of entitlement there. Unlike, ahem, some other former Bulls power forwards who shall remain nameless (and, thankfully, in Charlotte).”

    Exactly when did Tyrus come across as self-serving, or acted like he deserved more playing time? By being a better player than Taj? If anything, he never said a single crass word about his teammates, and according to Noah left on decent terms with the players.

    I appreciate Taj the player, but the more and more the media and a segment of the fanbase seems eager to prop him as the new mascot of the Bulls just pisses me off. We already went through this with Hinrich, so I guess Taj is due for his inevitable backlash in 2013.

  3. givemetherock@gmail.com'
    Nels February 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    It’s funny you mention the way the Bulls chemistry really took off after last year’s trade deadline and then crashed coming in to this season. I’m pretty sure the same thing is happening with Warrick and Murray, but those guys are probably going to be gone next year, so I suppose we won’t have to worry about the same kind of come down.

  4. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale February 21, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    “1.I know that Warrick is Mr. Expiring Contract…but if he keeps playing like this, how can you not want to keep him around?”

    I’m sure the Bulls will take a hard look at the possibility of re-signing him…but not until they’ve signed a big name FA first. The important thing is effort, and if Hakim is willing to give it consistently, he might end up being a huge pickup…

    …of course, he’s also playing for a contract, so I’m somewhat wary.

    “Exactly when did Tyrus come across as self-serving, or acted like he deserved more playing time? By being a better player than Taj? If anything, he never said a single crass word about his teammates, and according to Noah left on decent terms with the players.”

    His tirade against Vinny recently was about PT. And he’s made a series of subtle but disparaging comments about his role and his PT ever since he’s been here. On and off, but it’s happened. Remember: the Bulls punished him three times in four years for conduct detrimental to the team.

    Now, was Ty’s development always handled the right way? No. That said, PT isn’t handed out based on potential, or even based on having a really good game every three or four or five outings. It’s by playing hard every game — regardless of how many minutes you get — and making smart basketball decisions.

    Ty always had a problem understanding that. When Skiles was here, he said the ONLY thing he expected Thomas to do was run on EVER possession, sprint the floor. But inevitably, Tyrus would always end up loping up the floor for several possessions, and Skiles would take him out.

    It really wasn’t that hard to get, but Thomas didn’t.

    But hey, he’s got a fresh start, and I honestly wish him the best.

    “3.It’s funny you mention the way the Bulls chemistry really took off after last year’s trade deadline and then crashed coming in to this season. I’m pretty sure the same thing is happening with Warrick and Murray, but those guys are probably going to be gone next year, so I suppose we won’t have to worry about the same kind of come down.”

    I know what you mean. There’s often a temporary lift when guys change zip codes, especially when nothing is expected of them. When Antawn Jamison was traded to Cleveland, he was expected to bump them to the next level. Hakim and Flip, well, everybody knew they were expiring contracts. Or last year, Miller and Salmons were considered stop gaps at best. I think that, from a psychological standpoint, that makes it easier to perform.

  5. tc643@hotmail.com'
    Tony C. February 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    Good summary, Matt. It really was a remarkable game to watch, even considering that Philly isn’t a particularly good team.

    I was struck by a few things. First, both Warrick and Murray appear to be excellent fits for this Bulls team. There is a tendency for fans, especially over at that other Bulls blog, to view players solely through a statistical prism. Player A is better than player B because his PER, or shooting percentage, etc. is better. Well, setting aside the fact that statistics can be misleading and/or misinterpreted, that kind of narrow perspective is highly limited.

    I haven’t watched either Warrick or Murray play on their previous teams, but based on what I have seen thus far, I’d be willing to bet that both will match or exceed their previous “numbers” with the Bulls. They both appear to be solid team-oriented players. Murray is a much more natural guard than Salmons, and appears to be a better passer as well. What might benefit the Bulls the most with him is that he is far more active than Salmons, which helps to explain why the spacing and movement was so excellent yesterday.

    Warrick is obviously a better low-post player than Thomas, which also helps the Bulls. If he can learn not to force jump shots, I expect that he will continue to prove to be a pleasant surprise.

    Finally, I find it remarkable that people like “Dickey” continue to grumble about Taj. There isn’t an executive or high-profile player in the NBA who wouldn’t love to have him on their team. And given a choice between him and Thomas, I’d be surprised if a single one would choose the latter.

  6. Cris Z. February 21, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

    Not quite ready to say watch out for those bulls but I’m loving the energy and effort that Warrick and Murray have brought so far. Am I the only one who get’s a good sence of leadership from Murray when he’s out there handling the ball? It’s nice that they seem more than willing to make the extra pass and I love finding out that they are better than above average passers. Let’s hope they keep it up for the remainder of the season.
    The fact that they are already a few games above 500 at this point gives them a good chance to finish with I’d say 5 or 6 games better than last yr which would give them a good chance to finish the yr ranked 5th in the conference right behind Atlanta. I dont see the team finishing the season anywhere else besides 5th through 7th seed which brings me to this question…
    Which team would you all prefer the team play in the first round…Atlanta or Boston? Even though Boston seem’s to be running on fumes compared to the last couple of yrs, I’d still prefer the team play Atl because I think they’d match up well with their versatility. Atl isn’t as experienced as Boston and I think the addition of Nate to that team is only gonna benefit them. The guy brings youth and energy which is exactly what they needed. Plus even though Ray Allen’s yr hasn’t been as good as he’d like it to be…the thought of Allen in the playoffs shooting late in close games still scares me more, plus the bulls dont have Gordon to answer back with this yr.

    I will admit this though…if the Bulls end up playing the Celtics in the first round again, and if some people actually missed out watching last yrs first round battle, this yr “EVERYONE” will surely be watching. It’ll get blown up for sure and more than enough coverage.

    One last thing before I dip out…I really miss hearing Johnny Redd Kerr and Wayne Larrivee during games(I especially miss hearing “Ring it up!”), even though at first I wasn’t crazy about hearing Stacey King and Neil Funk during games, I’m quickly starting to like the combo. Stacey’s reaction’s and comment’s to some plays are quickly becoming faves of mine. Loving your refreshing and funny commentary Stacey.

  7. Cris Z. February 21, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Oh yeah,

    One last thing, Dickey quit hatin’ on Taj.
    The man seems to be puttin in work and effort
    E-V-E-R-Y game, which is all we ever asked of Tyrus. You can’t really blame people for falling in love with those traits can you?

    Dickey simpkins…hater of the yr!

  8. mahdiali_13@hotmail.com'
    Matt February 21, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    nice but still ain’t better than toronto

  9. bullsblogger@gmail.com'
    your friendly BullsBlogger February 21, 2010 at 10:10 pm #

    “Chemistry is a funny thing. Last season, after John Paxson brokered the deal that brought in Brad Miller and John Salmons from Sacramento, Chicago’s chemistry shot off the charts, culminating in one of the great first round playoff series of all times. Unfortunately, that chemistry didn’t carry over into this season. It just didn’t.”

    Which would suggest that ‘chemistry’ is overvalued mumbo-jumbo, no?

    Miller and Salmons were simply better than Noc and Gooden, the improvement was because of that and not chemistry, and the bad start to this season was some missing pieces and others underperforming, not chemistry lost.

    I don’t think Warrick and Murray are better than Salmons and Thomas, but they’re comparable, and there could be some slight benefit with removing guys with uncertain contract situations. But I wouldn’t expect any sustained surge, unless it’s led by guys who can actually get much better (Rose, and…).

  10. tc643@hotmail.com'
    Tony C. February 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    “Which would suggest that ‘chemistry’ is overvalued mumbo-jumbo, no?”

    Well, since you asked, the answer is: No. Which is to say that it is painfully obvious that certain players fit better in certain systems, and form better “chemistry” with some players than others. They aren’t interchangeable parts that you can simply plug in to a postiotion on any team and get exactly the same result. Of course it’s not possible to quantify that sort of chemistry (beyond a team record), which is precisely why the very idea of it frustrates some fans, including our “friendly BullsBlogger”. Fans such as those are apparently lost without a mechanistic view of players. In other words, they are only able to judge the value of players based on statistics, and since there are no numerical expressions for qualities such as heart, intelligence, chemistry, b-ball IQ, etc., they either attempt to delegitimize them, or act as though they don’t even exist.

    Statistics are useful variables in judging the value of players, but they require intelligent interpretation (which is often missing from bloggers’ screeds), and do not necessarily tell the whole story.

    I have the impression that most of the bloggers who view players through the prism of statistics have never been close to any high-level basketball organization, as they so blithely discount the importance of attitude and chemistry, etc. Players and coaches who have worked with players on both end of the spectrum, from Taj to Tyrus, know full well how important such ‘intangibles’ can be.

    None of this is meant to suggest that Warrick and Murray will suddenly develop into stars, but they appear to be precisely the right type of players to have a positive impact on the Bulls team as it currently exists. In other words, they appear likely to fit in and bond well with the other players (chemistry, get it?).

    There is no doubt that TT was a negative influence on the team due to his attitude, and having purged that toxic element (more chemistry) will help the Bulls further.

  11. tester123xyz@hotmail.com'
    bobbysimmons February 21, 2010 at 11:49 pm #

    i love it when people not in the locker room or not close to the situation assume they know it all. All we know about tyrus is that he cursed out VDN, yet now everyone calls his presence “toxic” or detrimental to the team. from what I understand most of the players actually liked him a lot including Noah and Rose. And anyways VDN probably deserved to be cursed out after failing to play Tyrus consistently. He lost his job to Gibson due to injury and he just got frustrated. All I know is that I’d much rather have had Tyrus than a mid round first draft pick. Everyone is so high on Gibson right now, but I see him and I know he’s practically reached his ceiling. He’s a good role player so I’m fine with that, but at times Tyrus was a game changer, if only he was better respected he’d have blossomed on the Bulls. Tough love doesn’t always work, he got that from Skiles and the then from VDN, he’ll be nurtured under Brown.

  12. mjlynch2@gmail.com'
    Mike February 22, 2010 at 1:54 am #

    I’m just glad they got something for Tyrus. He wasn’t coming back next year, so to get a pick for him, which can hopefully be parlayed into a more tangible asset in the future, is good.

    Honestly, I miss Ty, for all his headaches. I really hope he does well. I want him to figure it out like Z-Bo has this year. I just feel like that wasn’t going to happen in Chi.

    You know, the Bulls had a chance with Ty, back when they fired Skiles. That’s when they could’ve brought in a coach to work with him. I agree, tough love isn’t always the way to go, coaches have to be flexible in their approaches as players and people respond to things differently. Though, FYI, Larry Brown is the king of the tough love approach. It just works for him because he’s so smart and experienced that his players respect him even when he’s being hard on them.

    I guess for me the bottom line is this: When you’re asked to do something, do you keep your mouth shut and do it as best you can, or do you bitch about how you can do so much more than you’re being asked to do? In my opinion, yes he was not used correctly, and he wasn’t developed properly. But he had a choice to handle these things like a pro or handle them like an amateur.

  13. TexasBullsFan February 22, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    I find it very amusing that “bobbysimmons” says, “i [sic] love it when people not in the locker room or not close to the situation assume they know it all” and then proceeds to tell us all the *real* story behind it all.

    Of course his teammates said he was a decent guy. What did you expect them to say, “Yeah, we hated him. We couldn’t wait to get rid of that son of a bitch!” No one ever says stuff like that. If we had somehow traded Aaron Gray straight up for Kobe, the players would have said, “We all really liked Aaron. He’s a talented guy but Kobe brings a lot to our team.” That’s called “politeness”.

    And no, VDN didn’t deserve to be cussed out by his player. Like it or not, Vinny is the boss and Tyrus’s job was to do what was expected of him. He consistently didn’t do that, so he was put on the bench. I don’t understand how people can act as though this is some new revelation, like Tyrus was a victim of horrible old Vinny. Under Skiles, Vinny, and Boylan, Tyrus was asked to do the little things. Skiles wanted him to run the court and play with energy all the time. You know, to utilize the natural athleticism everyone claims Tyrus is jam-packed with. And he would, for a game or two. Then he’d spend the next 4 or 5 games loping up and down and he’d head back to the bench. All Vinny wanted from Tyrus was for him to crash the boards and get out and run. He never, ever did. Hell, Brad Miller was more likely to be on the end of a fast break than Tyrus was. He never crashed the boards for us. So he had to yield his playing time in favor of a rookie who does do those things.

    And really, how can you possibly know how high the ceiling is on Taj? Because we haven’t heard 30 glowing reports about his “amazing potential” like we did for Tyrus? Frankly, give me one guy who’s got good basketball IQ and works hard over a dozen lazy, limitless-potential guys any day of the week.

    Does this mean that Tyrus can’t flourish in some system, somewhere? No, of course not. Players aren’t just cogs that can be stuck anyplace and work the same as they did on their old teams. Maybe with the right players to compliment him, Tyrus will succeed. But he wasn’t going to succeed here because he refused to play the style of ball that this team plays. Tyrus has no one to blame for his failure in Chicago but Tyrus Thomas.

  14. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale February 22, 2010 at 3:01 am #

    “Which would suggest that ‘chemistry’ is overvalued mumbo-jumbo, no?”

    I disagree. In fact, I think chemistry is often undervalued where it does not exist, which leaves many teams shrugging their shoulders and asking, “What’s wrong? We have talent, but we can’t make things work.”

    I’d say more, but Tony C. said pretty much everything I would have said and then some. I will note, though, that chemistry is difficult to discuss because there are so many components to it that simply cannot be measured or understood, although the field of sports psychology has come a long way and a qualified sports psychologist might have something worth adding to this discussion.

    You say that “Miller and Salmons were simply better than Noc and Gooden.” While not untrue, it is true that Miller’s PER jumped from 15.7 to 18.6 after he came to the Bulls. Because the Bulls were just better than the Kings, right? That was some of it, but Miller, a veteran who isn’t predisposed to exert himself to the max in meaningless games, suddenly had a shot at making the playoffs, which he did not have in Sacramento. So his enthusiasm and effort increased. Those are the kinds of variables that effect chemistry. Just like, by contract, having your starting position taken away and your minutes yanked around could cause a player to sulk…which will effect his performance, his consistency, the way his teammates feel around him (probably uncomfortable), etc.

    All those things effect how a team plays. I’ve been playing organized basketball for almost 20 years now, and these things are significant, even if you can’t measure them.

  15. gahnett@hotmail.com'
    Pete Myers February 22, 2010 at 5:06 am #

    I agree with dickey simpkins and bobbysimmons. Too many Bulls fans repeat what they hear and paint a caricature of Tyrus as a malcontent. As if they have a clue.

    Also, nobody was hating on Taj. It’s just frustrating to hear bloggers talking like they know things about what goes on when all they know is what they read and most of what they read are stuff like, “Vinny is going to get fired tomorrow”. They don’t even bother talking about all the great things Tyrus did for the community while he was here. I think the trade worked out for both teams and hope we see Charlotte in the playoffs. It’ll be fun!

    Daaaa Bulls!!

  16. jumpshotjunkie@gmail.com'
    Greg February 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

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  17. mears54321@hotmail.com'
    chad February 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    cats need to sleep 20 hours a day in order to have the energy to be quick and leap high. tyrus, the tiger cat needed to lope half the time in order to have the energy to jump as high as the top of the backboard to block shots and dunk. but most the time when he did have the energy to get an alley oop lob, hinrich or rose weren’t paying attention to him and wouldn’t give it to him.

  18. PTFC February 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    What has helped the team chemistry is “trust”. The Bulls players (especially staters) could not trust Tyrus. Is he going to play well today, is he going to make the smart play, etc. And Salmons was just inconsistent. With Warrick and Murray being more consistent (so it seems but most importantly it seems the other players believe this), everyone else is playing looser and with more confidence and also they are playing “happier”. Because of their “trust” in Warrick and Murray and scoring they can provide, Hinrich is no longer scared to shoot (which I’ve commented on other bulls blogs about this season). The pressures off. In Hinrichs mind “we have other scorers I can take some shots with confidence, I don’t have to worry about missing and then the whole team collapses”. The Bulls team previously had NO room for error and this made Kirk actually “scared” to shoot. He is launching shots with confidence now. Leading scorer 2 games ago with 20 and this last game with 17 (if Hinrich had this confidence the entire season he would actually have a better ppg then Rose!). Also Rose is playing a lot looser. I know he is the best player but the weight that has been on this kids shoulders the last 2 months has been a lot. He is a point guard he shouldn’t have to score 30ppg for the team maybe win. Now he can focus on running a smoother offense and getting more assist.

  19. Super Joe February 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Totally agree with Matt McHale and Texasbullsfan. Chemistry is a very underrated and important aspect to any sport. Players simply understanding eachother, being willing to help out, and make the extra pass go a long way. I believe that the new additions will show to have much more chemistry with the team than Ty. Thomas and J. Salmons. They will also play with more effort and heart than Salmons and Thomas.

  20. Ryan February 22, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    Tony C. – ‘C’ stands for Chemist? There was no mention that Ben Gordon was something that would have made a difference with chemistry, right? The fish man and B52 were inserted when BG was the leading scorer of the team! I didn’t expect the Bulls to pick up where they left off, especially with losing BG. We were 24-32 on this date last year and 29-26 today. Might I add, that is after losing your top scorer and with Tyrus being bench for a rookie. One glaring difference is Luol (maturation of Rose, rookies, Pargo?, etc).

    All I want to say about Thomas is that I would have traded Warrick for him straight up. Simply put, Tyrus no longer fit the long term goals that the Bulls needed. They didn’t trade away Tyrus, they traded away the rest of his contract in order to get expiring contracts.

  21. gregkubly@gmail.com'
    Greg February 22, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    A. Go Bulls for puttin together a string of W’s.

    B. I’m as big a Ty supporter as anyone, and kudos to the Bobcats for getting him on the cheap.

    C. For all this chemistry stuff. Yep it’s good and leads to wins. Trades create good chemistry because people get fresh starts and the slate wiped clean. (Should be good for Ty in Charlotte)

    D. That said, before we anoint Warrick the second coming of Taj, lets remember that this guy has been an offensively talented/defensive sieve for 2 teams where the coach inexplicably jerked his minutes around until less talented players were starting ahead of him. (familiar) You don’t think fans in Memphis and Milwaukee are thinking the same things about him that we are about Ty and his potential to reform???

    E. Lets hope this fresh start isn’t an illusion & that the chemistry is right… but if you truly believe that a cat (aka Ty) can’t change its stripes, then how can you believe the Bulls have struck gold based upon 2 games versus sub 500 teams

  22. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale February 22, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    “Lets hope this fresh start isn’t an illusion & that the chemistry is right… but if you truly believe that a cat (aka Ty) can’t change its stripes, then how can you believe the Bulls have struck gold based upon 2 games versus sub 500 teams.”

    Oh, I believe Tyrus can turn his career around…I just didn’t think it was going to happen here. Too much baggage. Several posts ago, I linked to some tidbits about Ty’s childhood and provided some quotes, both past and recent, that give a glimpse into his mindset. Forget Vinny. I don’t think it’s a good coach versus bad coach thing. I think Tyrus needs the RIGHT coach to bring out his best. I don’t think there are a lot of “right” coaches for him…but maybe Larry Brown will be that guy. He’s one of maybe three or four coaches I think could do it.

    But for that to happen, Tyrus will have to keep up his end of the bargain. We know he has the physical skills, as evidenced by his frequent bouts of short-term success. Now he just has to keep his stuff together and stay in a positive frame of mind long-term.

  23. balkster49@comcast.net'
    Kevin B February 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    Ok, first off I would like to say that the new guys have played pretty well so far, but have played terrible opposition. Before everyone falls in love with Warrick, I would like to say a few words. I am a Bulls fan from Chi-town going to college in Wisconsin, and have been watching the Bucks all season long with my roommates. Hakim Warrick has not played well all year long, so I really don’t see it continuing with us once we start playing good teams. He literally has been the butt of running jokes between me and my roomates because he is so awful. He actually plays very similarly to Ty, but is much less athletic. He does not pass unless he absolutely has to and he shoots all the time, but is not a good shooter. He consistently drives into the teeth of the other team’s defense with no purpose or ability and throws up a wild shot. The only buckets he is good for are dunks every once and a while. Instead of forming a decent starting low post combo with Bogut, the Bucks have consistantly chosen to start Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute over him at PF. That being said, I sincerely hope he plays out of his mind now that he is with us, but I am just cautioning the fans that this impressive two game sample with the Bulls has been the exception, not the rule for Warrick this season. I certainly do not expect solid numbers from him against tough opposition. So unless the move 90 miles south has completely changed his playing style, I wouldn’t get my hopes up for anything other than his expiring contract, and future replacement (BOSH!)

  24. davidpaulroosa@yahoo.com'
    AK Dave February 22, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    I’m a little late to the party here, but I just want to issue a word of caution:

    I lived in Seattle during their 2005 playoff run, and Ronald “Flip” Murray was a key part of that team. He is fearless and always on the attack. He hustles and moves without the ball, and he thinks only about scoring, which is a good thing on this Bulls team that lacks aggressiveness at times.

    However, Flip is also a reckless, streaky player and a below-average ball-handler. At times he turns into a SWAC and hurts his team (41% carreer FG%; 38% this season). Other than scoring, he does not do a whole lot- his passing is nothing special, he does not set up teammates regularly (less than 2APG- and he’s a guard last time I checked), and he turns the ball over when he tries to dribble in heavy traffic or when pressed (career asist/turnover ratio a subpar 2.3/1.6). It has been mentioned around here that he plays defense. I have never seen this personally, but I guess we’ll see.

    Unlike, say, Hinrich, who can help his team even when his shot is not falling because he runs the offense, plays above average defense, and is a strong ballhandler, Flip is basically useless when his shot isn’t falling. And that is why he has been on 5 teams in the past 5 years.

    Warrick is an enigma. I never got why he hasn’t become a stud in the NBA- he was a beast in college and has a lot of tools to work with in the NBA (length, athleticism, tremendous upside potential, motor, and whatever other cliche you wanna name). I truly hope he works out in CHI.

  25. Ryan February 22, 2010 at 10:11 pm #

    With the huge amount of Tyrus followers, he just might crack the Top 5 in jersey sales this year?

    I liked him when he was with the Bulls, it didn’t work out, and he is gone now. I liked Duhon with the Bulls too, but I didn’t sulk over and and wonder ‘what if?’ Good luck to Tyrus!

    How about Flip? Nothing spectacular, but he is looking like a possible vocal leader? Noah will still be the screamer and energy guy, Kirk is still the floor leader – but I liked Flip’s communication in regards to being a new player on the team.

  26. tc643@hotmail.com'
    Tony C. February 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    AK –

    Thanks for the insights. Hopefully both players will contribute and limit their destructive tendencies while with the Bulls. As you suggest, Warrick almost certainly has more upside, but Murray can be a positive in the guard rotation if there isn’t too much pressure on him to score.

    I don’t think that anyone here is starry-eyed, but the Bulls have the sort of team that is potentially very well-balanced, and that can have the effect of reducing pressure on players like Murray.

  27. u2canriden1@yahoo.com'
    Jason February 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    Ok, I said it last off season when Warrick was a FA. And I said it last week before he played a game.(look at the old blogs) Hakim Warrick is the man for the job!!!

  28. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath February 23, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Thanks for the insights on the newbies. I did pour over their stats, Murray, in particular, and it was clear that they are playing ‘inspired’ right now. (Poor Hinrich, he probably misses Thabo so much, lol. He has got to make up for a lot of guard defense.) At a glance, I saw Murray as a low-rent Billups. He has got a hell of a strong frame for a guard and is looking to break down the defense, right off the bat. I think for this year, at least, if the ball keeps moving as quickly as it has, then everyone will keep playing on team instinct and we can have some fun in da playoffs. … Now, Taj is close to needing a nickname … I was thinking Taj Mabal?

  29. tester123xyz@hotmail.com'
    bobbysimmons February 23, 2010 at 1:42 am #

    AK Dave, according to your description of Murray it sounds like he’s a poor man’s Ben Gordon, and per Kevin B’s description of Warrick it sounds like he’s a poor man’s Tyrus.

    Odd thing about Warrick, though he can throw down jams with the best of them, he’s a very poor shoot blocker unlike Thomas who has 10 blocks over 2 games with the Bobcats.

  30. mears54321@hotmail.com'
    chad February 23, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    where is our defense against blatche

  31. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath February 23, 2010 at 3:25 am #

    I can go with the BG comparison … and yes, it seems like Warrick is not a block-hunter, the way Tyrus is … I think Tyrus has a quick spring that defines him …

    Boy, Al Thornton hit some biggies. Much too bad. They really seemed to fluster the Bulls tonight.

  32. mears54321@hotmail.com'
    chad February 23, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    Flip made some shots and the Bulls coulda won if Deng or Miller or Hinrich didn’t suck today and Rose had been more aggressive in the 3rd quarter driving to the basket when the offense became stagnant. All you Tyrus haters can bad mouth me again now that he didn’t play quite as well and tried a game tying 3 pointer when he has only made four 3 pointers in his career. Atleast he’s not afraid to be himself yet, we’ll see how long Larry Brown takes before being the 4th coach to make Tyrus angry.

  33. mears54321@hotmail.com'
    chad February 23, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    oops they were down 4, i guess he was hoping for a 3 and eric gordon to foul him like he fouled ben gordon allowing the bulls to beat the clippers last year

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