Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Bulls are Driving Me Nuts




It's always tough to get an accurate read on a team that you root for. One minute you think they're ready to crash the playoffs party, maybe get an upset in the first round and with a little luck, maybe the second round as well -- the next minute your overly-critical mind can't get over how badly your team stinks. It's hard enough to do that for any team you like, but it's even harder when the team you like is the Chicago Bulls.

In 2007, you take out the defending champions in a first round series sweep and take the Pistons to six games. Then, with practically the same lineup, you go out and lose 49 games and miss the playoffs one season after -- a season where a few experts expected you to be the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference.

Everyone expected a rocky start to this season (Derrick Rose being a rookie point guard and Vinny Del Negro a rookie coach) but could anyone have expected this? You blow out the Phoenix Suns (tied for 2nd in the West) in a game where you lose starter Kirk Hinrich to a injury that has him out three months. Then after losing games you were expected to (CLE and ATL) and winning games you were supposed to (DAL and IND), you set out on the dreaded annual circus trip.

You alternate between staying competitive with the freakishly dangerous Lakers, then get blown out of the building by the Blazers. Win against the Dubs, then have a fourth quarter meltdown at Denver. Suck at Utah before pulling off a win at the buzzer in the same game (that's not even alternating -- you sucked and won in the same game). Then you lose by 10 at San Antonio. Everytime the Bulls give their fans any hope that things are getting better, you lay an egg to remind us of how far there is to go.

During the Utah game, I was all set to write about how the more Bulls games I watch, the more I come to the realization that the team, outside of Derrick Rose, really isn't very good. Sure, Ben Gordon is a 20-point guy, and Drew Gooden puts up decent numbers but neither of them play much defense and give up almost as much as they score. I wanted to make a case for more playing time for Noah, Tyrus Thomas and Thabo Sefolosha, and yet every time they step on the floor, they make a stronger case against it. And what's up with Luol Deng this season? Then Larry Hughes hits a game winner. Larry. Hughes.

These guys are driving me nuts.

The Bulls are at a surprisingly decent 7-9, 10th in the East, especially considering the tough schedule. They're in contention for the low playoff spots in the conference and they've got a light schedule coming up: PHI (7-9) twice, MIL (7-12) and WAS (2-12) to end the week. If you asked me where I wanted the Bulls after 16 games, this wouldn't be far off.

So yeah, I can't make heads or tails off it. One day I'm asking to blow up the roster and fire the coach, and the next I'm perfectly content where we stand. Heck, I'm even optimistic about the near future. Darn you, Bulls. You guys are driving me nuts.

1 comment:

PTforTT said...

I think their unpredictability is what's predictable about the whole thing. You know you can't count on them night in night out. Yeah, we Bulls fans got it bad. Until Pooh takes control of the team, that is. Then, watch out! (especially you Andre Miller. You better watch out.)