Winning ain’t right, not now at least

Salmons – could’ve had him fairly cheap.

First up, you know how we have that silly pizza promotion? Well, the Bulls have one too, they give out Big Macs for each 100 point game and guess what, the fans boo there too!

On to more important matters, anybody else think this winning’s get out of hand? We can’t be throwing away lottery balls as Blake Griffin drops 30/14 and further solidifies his status as the consensus #1 pick. Let’s face it, these wins are like getting a “friend hug” at the end of a date you had high expectations from. You know you blew it, she’s just doing this to make you feel like less of a loser. Or in our case, make the record a little more respectable which I always find is worse than actually sucking the whole way through. At least when you finish 25 games under .500 everybody agrees that you do in fact, suck, whereas going on a mini-run to end the campaign might give some delusional fans (or GM) reason enough to not make the major moves needed to correct the course.

Take for example the RR-respected Tim Chisholm who, based on the last few games, has already begun to advocate that Triano could be the right man to lead the Raptors next season. Let’s be clear: these wins don’t mean anything and should be treated as such, we’re playing pressure-free basketball with guys like Pops, Graham, Marion and Parker playing for contracts. If this team could’ve done something, they would’ve done it by now and reading anything more into the throes of this season is reading too much. Colangelo will be making a massive mistake if he bases any of his off-season moves on our March and April play.

According to ESPN, Golden State called about Chris Bosh and Colangelo wouldn’t have any of it. I would love to know what they were offering, apparently Golden State’s pitch isn’t over yet and they’ll call again at the next opportunity which happens to be this summer. The Bulls are also considered a “certain bidder” for Bosh should the Raptors and him decide to part ways. Oh, it’ll be interesting.

Chicago comes into town this afternoon tied for the 7th spot with Detroit and holding a 2 1/2 game lead over Charlotte who face the Lakers, Boston and Heat next. Chicago is up against Indiana, New Jersey and New York while Detroit’s next three games are against New Jersey, Philadelphia and Charlotte. Given the three teams’ schedule the Bulls have to be feeling good about their 92.8% playoff odds and are basically fighting off Detroit so they can avoid Cleveland in the first round. The late playoff push is thanks in large part because of the trade pulled by much maligned GM John Paxson which brought March Player of the Month John Salmons and Brad Miller to town in exchange for Drew Gooden, Andres Nocioni, Cedric Simmons and Michael Ruffin. Salmons is averaging 20/5 on 50% shooting since joining the Bulls and Miller is averaging 12/8 while opening up the paint for Gordon and Rose. BTW, if you see a familiar face on the Bulls, that’s Linton Johnston who was signed to a second 10-day contract this week.

This is a back-to-back for the Bulls who beat Indiana on Saturday. Last time we played them Jose Calderon had a phenomenal game against rookie Derrick Rose: 23 points, 10 assists, 9-10 FG and 0 turnovers. He was coming back form an injury he suffered against the Celtics and his jumper was hotter than the hot part of the icy-hot patch. The real reason we won that game is because we shot a blistering season-high 57%. Is that going to happen again? Probably not. Calderon’s check Derrick Rose missed a game due to a bruised wrist last week and came off the bench against Miami before returning to the starting-lineup against Indiana where he registered 16/9/8.

Marion will try to handle Salmons who has successfully shed the undesirable label of “decent player on a bad team” thanks to his recent play. Brad Miller’s got to feel happy about not facing Jermaine O’Neal again but life doesn’t get much easier as the versatile and aggressive Bargnani will no doubt try keep up his great play of late – 20/5.6 on 53% shooting in the last 10 games. Tyrus Thomas and Chris Bosh will be a good matchup to keep an eye one, Bosh has been very aggressive on the boards of late and is contesting for offensive rebounds like he hasn’t done all season. He’s been a smaller part of the team offense of late as the Calderon/Bosh high pick hasn’t been used nearly as often as it had till February. Much of this is because we’ve been quicker in transition as Calderon and Parker have been getting better at making the outlet pass after missed shots. I’d dare say the last few games this team has looked a lot like the 06-07 bunch.

One of the criticisms people levy against Bosh even after good scoring games is that his man had the same, let’s test this theory, here are his last five matchups and how he fared against them:

  • vs. Thunder: Bosh: 21/13/6, 10-18 FG. Collison: 21/7/2, 9-12 FG. W 112-96.
  • vs Bucks: Bosh: 18/14/5, 5-8 FG. Charlie V: 8/4/3, 4-11 FG. W 115-106.
  • vs Clippers: 16/13/1, 7-15 FG. Randolph: 20/7/0, 10-17 FG. W 100-76.
  • vs Bobcats: 35/7/2, 8-17 FG. Diaw: 30/7/4, 15-21 FG. L 102-89.
  • @ Bobcats: 18/14/1, 5-12 FG. Diaw: 14/1/3, 7-12 FG. L 112-86.

Yes, his guard does seem to have good offensive games. For a statistical measure of this phenomenon you might want to consult the Roland Rating which takes Hollinger’s PER rating and factors in how your check is performing. Bosh is 24th in the league.

All I’m looking for is for Roko to get 30 minutes and Jawai to show me something that makes me think he’s more than just someone who complains about the NBDL when he hasn’t even shown that he’s good enough for it. Patrick O’Bryant got in the game early against the Thunder and other than a feathery outside touch he didn’t show much. Frankly, I don’t want anything which is described as feathery to be associated with this team. Cut him. Joey Graham also needs more playing time so that I can head into the summer knowing that we don’t have the worst backup SF in the league. I think he’s shown Colangelo enough to warrant the qualifying offer and come back next year on a 20 minute basis. Sign him, but if you have you happen to get into a bidding match for his services, let him go. Same for Pops.

Raptors TV Production: I’ve been meaning to complain about this for a while so here goes: It’s terrible. Forget Leo droning on about nothing and Devlin using alliteration as a means of making things more exciting, I’m talking about the actual camera work and production quality of the broadcast. The missed plays don’t bother me anymore, my pet peeve is how they don’t show replays of interesting plays but are quick to “rack up” a three-point release. Show us the step out-of-bounds, the travel non-call, the cut that never got a pass, the baseline screen action that resulted in the open look, Bosh and Bargnani jockeying for position, Marion leaking out, Parker trying to fight through screens, Jose not trying to fight through screens and so much more. That production team needs to recognize that the viewers are far more basketball savvy than what they’re given credit for. We’re looking for more than just the breakaway dunk these days and its about time the TV production met our expectations. It’s also sad that we got the same guys covering the game on every single channel and they have nothing to say. Nothing at all. We know the roster needs new blood but Raptors TV needs it even more.

A little disappointed the Swirsk isn’t saying much heading into this one. Banks and Humphries are out for us. Luol Deng is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his right tibia and Jerome James is done for the year. Tim Thomas has back spams and only played 6 minutes in the win against Indiana.

I don’t think the Luvabulls are very lovable at all and if I could I’d skip this section for today but duty calls. My pick is Cheria who says the best gift she ever received is the inheritance when her grandmother died.

The Raptors are a 2 point favorite and I’m 1-2 in my last three calls. Can the Raptors make it a season-high four in a row? The Bulls have won 7 of 8 and are in a back-to-back situation, I’m going with the home team and counting on the Bulls to slip up.

Is your bracket hurting? Fear not, you can try and restore some pride while actually netting some cash. Just predict a couple things about the NCAA final. Got questions? Ask us in 140 characters or less.

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