I realized today that one of the big reasons that the Bulls didn't land LeBron was that Chicago management told him they wouldn't provide paid positions for all of LeBron's boys. Forget where I read that - New York Times, maybe?
If that's the case, then good riddance and I'm proud of Reinsdorf, Gar, and Pax.
Just some tidbits from tonight's game:
Derrick Rose is in attendance, taking notes on players with Randy Brown, who I believe does player development for the Bulls.
Chris Webber is one of the announcers: Cool!
The squad seems to have found a good lineup with John Lucas III (8pt, 2ast in first quarter), Matt Bouldin, Samardo Samuels, James Johnson, and Trent Plaisted. All of these guys have at least a 25% to make the team. More coming later. They're interviewing Coach Thibodeau now.
Lucas is absolutely on fire, hitting two treys in a row to open the second quarter as the Bulls lead 26-16.
So the interview with Thibodeau wasn't all that exciting. He seems like a pretty laid-back guy, he said at one point that it's important for the best players on his teams to lead, which when you have D-Rose and Noah and Boozer seems like a pretty good idea.
I see this team being hard working and talented - I just hope they can keep an even keel through adversity and maintain some serious fire, which I haven't really seen out of Tibs.
Matt Winer, the other announcer, just noted that Sofoklis Schortsanitis (aka "Greek Shaq") is in the game for the Clippers. All 315lbs of him. Webber: "I'm just goanna call him Summer Shaq, cause I can't pronounce his name."
Morris Almond, for the Bulls, was a late first-rounder in 2007 out of, I wanna say, Rice? He's getting a shot for Chicago. Just converted off a nice feed from James Johnson around Greek Shaq, and the Bulls are comfortably ahead by 14.
Honestly, I wasn't too impressed with the Clips' draft class of Aminu (soft, tweener, couldn't win in college), and Bledsoe (too young!). And so far they're proving me right.
James Johnson with a nice block and maybe he's picking it up.
Some halftime stats: Bulls 39 - 22 Clippers
Al-Farouq Aminu was part of the Clipper's early 10-0 lead, scoring eight points to go with a pair of rebounds and a pair of steals.
Eric Bledsoe, in seventeen minutes, has been simply dominated by the Bulls' John Lucas, being held without a score and committing three turnovers.
Other notables on the Clippers: Willie Warren, DeAndre Jordan, Greek Shaq, Nick Caner-Medley.
Lucas, in sixteen minutes, was 4-4 from the three point line and has 14 points, two assists, and a steal.
Matt Bouldin was +23, with Trent Plaisted and Samardo Samuels both +19, and Samuels also notched a game-high seven boards.
Starters Derrick Byars and Chris Richard, on the other hand, haven't fared as well and are losing momentum to the other guys. Should be an interesting second half. Joe Alexander and Jerel McNeal have yet to play in either game, while AJ Ogilvy hasn't gotten into this one.
A nice moment there as current Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro chats up his former protege, D-Rose. I like Vinny. Nice guy. Don't think he can win a title, but a nice guy.
Bulls are going with their original lineup (Lucas, Byars, Biggs, Richard, Johnson) to start. Lucas is really owning Eric Bledsoe every time up and down. Bledsoe can't buy a bucket, and Johnny just made a 3/4 court pass to Tyrell Biggs under the basket. Chris Webber: "Just heard somebody yell out in the stands, that's a good backup for Derrick Rose, and I agree with that guy."
Chris Richard has my beard. More hair, but my beard. He's also the winningest player in Florida history. (Thanks Matt Winer for the stats)
This Bulls roster is a LOT older than the Clippers, who have a ton of rookies and second year guys. Chris Richard and James Johnson and John Lucas, even Almond, are guys that have been around awhile and spent a fair amount of time in school. Bledsoe's nineteen, Aminu's what, 20, DeAndre Jordan is 20 too! Damn. No wonder the Bulls are winning.
AWWWW... Lucas just got a GREAT fast break pass negated by a James Johnson missed dunk. Then Jeremy Richardson (Clippers) traveled and got away with it. 48-23 Bulls. They're doing to LA what Denver did to them yesterday. Chicago is 4-13 at the free throw line. Ouch.
Oh, I forgot: Johnson and Aminu probably know each other from Wake Forest, huh?
Dude, the main downside to watching these games on The Ocho is the NONSTOP WNBA commercials. "Can't Be Tamed" by Miley Cyrus, at least 30 seconds of it, just jammed into my head. If they really want to make an impression, send a WNBA team out to Summer League and see how they do.
"Chicago is on a 32-9 run since the start of the second quarter." - Winer
Matt Bouldin has a great looking three point shot. Lucas has 18 points. Could they both sneak onto the roster somehow?
Chris Webber loves Pete Carrill (he keeps calling him "Coachie"). He's been telling some great stories about their time together (in Sacramento). Webber on Sofoklis: "Was that a Greek god?" Winer: "I know Socrates was, but Sofoklis..."
Wait a second. Lucas just hit his fifth trey of the day. And Chris Richard is doing some solid hard work on Summer Shaq down in the post. Once he finally goes out late in the 3rd, Sofoklis scores a couple nice layups in a row.
Willie Warren forces a shot-clock violation on John Lucas with four seconds to go, and the third quarter ends 58-32. We'll see if anything exciting happens in the fourth, eh? Commercial time! You know what that means!
uuuuuuuuuugggggghhhh. Ooh, a Del Negro interview! Let's see.
James Johnson just missed what would have been a total POSTERIZATION of Summer Shaq.
Del Negro seems really comfortable talking about teaching younger NBA players. What strikes him about his roster? "Well, we're young. I was happy to lock up Randy Foye, Ryan Gomes, Brian Cook, some veteran guys..." Gomes! Foye! Kaman! It's your 2010 Clippers!
Four quarter update: Bouldin, McClinton, Samuels, Biggs, Plaisted out there for Chicago. Samuels is no match for Baby Shaq. McClinton isn't playing badly, but it's just not showing in the stat sheet. Also, this female referee is calling every foul super tight in the fourth: WHY? It's not even close! She's auditioning too, I guess.
The Clippers, so far, have shot 26% tonight. Wow. 5 minutes left. How much am I getting paid for this?
I like Trent Plaisted. Apparently he dunked lefty on Summer Shaq earlier - he's played pretty solid in both games. So has Mo Almond. Here's how I'd rate the summer guys' shot to make the Bulls going forward, keeping in mind we have the following spots:
PG: Rose, _____
SG: Korver, Redick (?)
G: ____, _____
SF: Deng, _____
PF: Boozer, Gibson, (James Johnson?)
C: Noah, Omer Asik
Basically it looks like we have a home for at least one point and one shooting guard, maybe even one more, and probably just one big man beyond James Johnson if that. Numbers are where they stand in the pecking order after two games.
John Lucas (1) and Matt Bouldin (3), along with Morris Almond (4), probably have the best chance at those guard spots, with McClinton on the outside looking in.
At forward/center, you've got James Johnson (2), Chris Richard (6) (the favorites going in) but then Samardo Samuels (7) and Trent Plaisted (5) have both made good cases at times. Plaisted has 13 and 9 tonight and is 6-foot-11. So he's gotta be on the rise. Let's learn a little bit about the former BYU Cougar to close things out, eh?
Bulls win, 79-50! Good game, fellas.