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Boston Celtics @ Chicago Bulls: 12/8/07 - Recap

Celtics Notes
I realize people don't think much of Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins' offensive games. But Rondo is shooting 54% from the field (9-13 last night) and Perkins will punish teams with layups/and dunks when they ignore him. I bring this up because any Bulls lineup that includes Joakim Noah and Ben Wallace appears to be playing 3 on 5 offensively. Having said that, Noah is a very active screener.

Speaking of Rondo. It is too bad he struggled so much on the road against Cleveland. People continue to use that game as evidence that he can't shoot. However, as Rondo showed last night, he can hit shots with confidence from all over the floor.

My favorite Kevin Garnett moments from last night:

  1. He blocked a shot at one point and the hoop mic picked up something along the lines of, "Get that shit out of here!"
  2. Andres Nocioni drove towards the hoop at one point, pump faked, took a bunny hop (also known as a travel in some circles) and then attempted a shot. KG jumped on the pump fake, seemed to levitate in the air and then viciously rejected Nocioni's shot.
  3. Towards the end of the game Boston's lead was down to 5 after an old fashioned three-point-play by Nocioni. Garnett got the ball in the post with Ben Wallace on his back. The two battled for position and I waited for the inevitable KG pass to an open teammate. Instead Garnett nailed a turn around jumper to put the Celtics up 7. It essentially sealed the game.  
Paul Pierce was 1-8 from the field and finished with ten points. But he was perfecte from the line, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 7 assists. Meanwhile, Glen Davis out rebounded Garnett despite playing 12 fewer minutes. Rajon Rondo was the second leading scoring with 18 points. The point is the Celtics are more of a team than people realize.

That was a nice win.

Bulls Notes
Ben Gordon shot 5-20 form the field. That is atrocious. He's such a pure scorer with a beautiful shot that I have a hard time believing he is struggling. But the fact remains that he is shooting 41% on the season from the field.

I remember last spring looking at Al Jefferson and Dwight Howard's numbers and talking myself into believing that their games were relatively close. Yes Howard is a better defender and a shot blocking machine. But Jefferson's low post game is legit. I wasn't alone in this thinking by the way. Flash forward less than a year and Howard is a guaranteed All Star and a MVP candidate. Meanwhile, Big Al is a very good player. I bring this up because there are a lot more guys that want franchise player money than there are franchise players. That seems to be happening with the 2004 draft class, which of course includes a few Bulls. I encourage you to go to Gilbert Arenas' blog and scroll to the "Let's Talk Contracts" post. Here is a highlight:

"I know a lot of people, you know, you hear about the Bulls team and why they're losing because of their players entering free agency ... You know, I want to say something to some of the young players out there in this game today. Especially somebody like Luol Deng who turned down that big contract. You don't turn down $12 million. Period. That's me, personally. I learned when I did my deal: Don't look at other people's money when you do your deal. Unfortunately, that's what this league is about. They see a player that they think they're better than, and then try to jump over them.

So now, Luol, you're over here in a contract year and you're not doing so well as a team. You get paid as a team. Now you're going to be a free agent, and if you keep this up, that $12 million might not be on the table. So he turned down $12 million, Okafor said he wants Dwight Howard's money ... I mean, you ain't Dwight Howard. It's like them two had a discussion together about turning down the $12 million. Then Iguodala turned down $12 million ... What is going on in the NBA? Iggy, you're from Arizona, baby. You don't turn down that much money. I don't know who your agent is, but Agent Zero says you don't turn down that $12 million."

I included a good chunk of the post. But there is plenty more, including some stories about players who left a lot of money on the table. And yes I am not entirely sure why the NBA won't allow people to link to individual posts. Oh well.

Did Tyrus Thomas do something to a member of Scott Skiles' family? I'm dead serious. What is going on there?

Where would the Bulls be right now without Nocioni?

I can't think of a team that is more likely to have a coaching change, get red hot and head into the playoffs as the team nobody wants to play. They have too much talent to continue playing as they are right now.

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