Playoff seeding looking better for Bulls

The Boston Celtics have now lost two games in a row, and they've fallen into a tie with the Miami Heat.    Even in the Heat's darkest days when they fell to 9-8 on the year, I predicted that they'd get it together and were still the favorite to win the title.

Everything since then has conspired to go in that direction.   Since then, the Heat have only lost one game with the big three all playing (by 2 points to Dallas prior to their injuries when they had the best record in the league). 

Now the Boston Celtics have fallen into a tie with Miami for the #1 seed in the East.  Miami will easily win the East now, and the only question that remains is whether or not the Bulls can also pass Boston to get to the second seed or not.

The Bulls are only two games back behind Boston in standings, and while the Bulls have a tough road ahead of them, Boston's road is similar in difficulty.    The teams match up against each other once more this season which could possibly decide where the two seed belongs.

Either way, I'm a big fan of Boston as my second round opponent rather than the Heat.  It makes the Bulls playoff run far easier in my opinion.    The real question for Boston is whether or not they can stay healthy enough down the stretch to finish the season as strong as they've started it.  

If the Bulls can climb to the two seed, then they'll avoid the potential loaded gun that is the New York Knicks in the 1st round.  I'm not all that concerned about the Knicks present team, but if Anthony lands there at the deadline then their talent level jumps up to as high or higher than Orlando/Atlanta who play in the 4/5 slot.

At that point, the three seed looks awfully ugly. 

However, at this point, I think the Bulls are 50/50 on whether they can take the two seed.  It really will depend on how well Joakim Noah integrates back into the team when he returns.  If they figure out the chemistry quickly, the Bulls will be playing their best basketball of the season the rest of the way.

I don't think Boston's likely to do the same thing.

If it takes the Bulls longer to get the team working with Noah and Boozer then we'll have to hope Carmelo stays away from the big apple.

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  • Thanks Doug...

    Just wanted to zing in a first comment to say I read this blog every day. Thanks for your good work.

  • I can definitely seeing us getting that second seed. And if we do make a run ay Courtney Lee and bench our boy Keith Bogans, I will feel even more confident about ua finishing second. I think Joakim will produce right away and the defense will definitely pick up. He will complement

  • Carlos Boozer and I'm pretty sure our offense will be much better as well. Let's get a deal done by the deadline, finish strong, and kick some ass in the playoffs.

  • Excuse the errors (mobile phone)

  • #1 SEED w/ Melo:

    Quick Comparison...

    vs. Dallas

    1/20/11 - Deng, Bogans, Brewer, Korver and Watson went 15/39 for 38 points.

    2/10/11 - Carmelo Anthony went 17/25 from the field for 42 points, by himself.

    *** He ends up in Chicago and the Bulls are NBA Champs!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    He's not coming to Chicago as much as we wish he was.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Give it up, man. He's not coming here because he DOES NOT WANT TO PLAY IN CHICAGO.

    Of course, when he doesn't, I know you'll blame the Bulls front office for not doing enough. Yawn, so predictable.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    How do we know that Carmelo does not want to come to Chicago??? He has never said that he would not play for us and even stated that the two teams he would prefer to play for is us and the Knicks. Could it be Carmelo is holding out on the Knicks to be a free agent so he could sign with us in the offseason without us giving up Noah which would make us a dynasty??

  • In reply to TommyChamp:

    We don't have the assets to trade for him now,

    We don't have the cap space to sign him, even if we traded Deng for an expiring,

    Lastly if Denver has the balls to call his bluff and not trade him, he will sign the extension, there is no way that guy leaves that kind of money on the table.

    As soon as he signs, he will start to whine his way out of Denver, just like AHole(Rod) did in Texas.

    So other than that Melo definately wants to come to Chicago.

  • In reply to TommyChamp:

    No, it can't be. We know he will go to New York 7 only New York because everyone that is in his inner circle is saying it. Since he is under contract and still playing for Denver, he can't say anything about playing for NYC. Remember all the stuff LeBron didn't say last year despite him already knowing he was going to Miami? Well its the same with Melo, only Melo's destination is not such a secret like James'. The whole world would know if he, or his wife wanted to be in Chicago.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    12/1-Carmelo went 4/13 from the field for 14 points

    11/1-Deng went 14/19 from the field for 40 points

    I can say numbers!

  • Boston only cares about finishing ahead of the Lakers. They care a lot more about being healthy. If healthy I think the bulls would rather face the heat. If the Magic ever get their heads out of their asses, they are still scarier than the Heat to me. Heat haven't shown anything yet that makes me think they are going to suddenly be a great playoff team.

  • I just read in the Daily Herald that the Bulls are not interested in trading Omer Asik for Courtney Lee. The article goes on to say that the Bulls would only want to deal their picks. I'm guessing if a trade was to happen, it would be for Anthony Parker.

  • In reply to Vedo:

    I still see no point in adding Anthony Parker.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Neither do I. I would rather keep our pick.

  • In reply to Vedo:

    if it is a second who cares.

  • In reply to Vedo:

    I think Melo would definetly play here...it just getting him. The Nuggets seem pretty firm on Noah an Deng for Melo.And thats not gonna happen.

    Like i said before...the Bulls like Asik. In 2-3 years, the guy might actually be a legit backup center for us. Hes only 22-23 years old i believe and he barely knows English...give him a little time and he might be pretty solid for us in the future. I like Lee,but looking at his numbers, your really not upgrading by that much. I much rather wait til the summer and approach as many different guys that we can, and keep our team in tact. If we can get Anthony Parker for a 2nd rounder....i would do that for the time being.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    The problem is that Lee is not the best SG who we can probably get this month or the coming summer. Affalo, JR Smith, Richardson and maybe somebody else might be available and they are all better than Lee. And, after LeBron's NBA summer, the Bulls just do not have any assets as they gave them away almost for nothing going for everything. Now, if we give away our limited assets for Lee, then it's not a good decision. But, if according to the Bulls(GarPax) ranking of SGs, if Lee is the best SG...then I am all for it but I doubt it is. Anthony Parker atleast looks more explosive than Bogans and looks like he doesn't have lead feet like Bogans. He is probably a marginal upgrade in the whole team context though..

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree, Parker will be a waste of a pick, they may as well take their chances with awful Bogans, they have this long as the starter.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Not a huge Parker fan, but anything is better than watching Bogans drag his knuckles around the court.

  • Doug,

    Come out of the (Miami Heat) closet or stop kissing LBJ's ass.

    Just because Miami and Boston are tied right now doesn't mean MIAMI WILL EASILY WITH THE EAST. Give me a friggin break. I know you love LBJ, but know your basketball!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Miami's had the best record in the NBA since they started 9-8 and have only lost when they've had significant injuries. If they're healthy, they're the team to beat hands down.

    If they lose a guy then not so much.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It is a catch-22 situation with the Bulls. This year is the best year to defeat Miami in the next 3/4 years unless somebody gets injured in the future(Wade somehow seems to have a knack for getting hurt). But the Bulls are not really ready to win this year(Melo or not)unless somebody gets hurt on other teams. It's better to keep all the pieces in place and bid for Affalo or somebody of that type next year.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I think there will be opportunities to beat Miami in the future. Bosh and Wade have both proven to be injury prone throughout their careers. There will be seasons where one of them misses the playoffs i'd bet.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree w/ Doug's playoff picture that would favor the Bulls, that is:
    1) Heat
    2) Bulls
    3) Celtics

    In this scenario, 2nd round will likely involve Celtics vs Bulls w/ Bulls having home court. If Bulls advance, they would likely face the Heat for Eastern conf championship. I am 90% confident the Heat will be #1 seed in the east. The question is, can the Bulls finish strong to get the #2 seed. Go Bulls!!!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    are u serious or are u just kiding ?? U intend to beat by counting on injuries ? That's not basket-ball. U msut Improve your team.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If there is a MLE or something comparable in the new CBA then Miami is going to get better every year and likely become nearly unbeatable, somewhat like the Jordan Bulls once they started winning.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I dont get u. actually u agree that bulls can't win a title this year and u also agree with me that it will be so hard fo bulls to beat Miami the next years. So why when it comes matter to avoid that, u disagree. Do really think Affalo will turn the bulls into a contender ??

  • In reply to deewaves:

    What do you care deewaves, you'll soon be in your seat at the Fabulous Forum in LA with Carmelo and the Lakers.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Add Parker and I'll guarantee the Bulls will nail Miami if they meet in the playoffs. Miami is ripe for the taking this year. Next year, when they've managed to grab a solid big and are confident, they'll be a tough out.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Miami depends so heavily on two or three guys who log heavy minutes that they are more at risk from injuries. The Bulls are actually able to deal with injuries better because they are deeper. If Miami had been missing one of their best three players for as much of the season as the Bulls have, they would be in deep trouble.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    the bulls better not be stupid an let this deal go lee is the youger and better sg they could get an alot less to pay....asik is not even that good he travel every position...lol.... or do this trade asik an johnson for lee and jordan hill,an dont get parker he is old....and if the bulls do the lee for asik,the bulls could get a center with the pick

  • In reply to efren:

    you're not getting a good center with that pick. Asik was a steal, and the Bulls still had to wait 2 years to get him and gave up I believe 3 2nd rounders & cash for his draft rights. Good 7 footers just aren't easily available

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I'm with you, ChiRy. Asik was a steal!

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    You must be a saint in real life, why you bother responding with reason to that snarky arrogant douche is beyond me.

    I think a healthy Boston team beats Miami in the playoffs, and the Bulls have yet to prove that they can win a game against the Celtics when Garnett plays never mind when he is healthy.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    and Boston still haven't proven they can beat the Bulls while Boozer 7 Noah are healthy

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Well there are ways of trying to make them less than healthy. Come playoff time we don't need Kurt Thomas to play extended minutes assuming everyone is healthy, so you can send him out there to just foul LeBron/Wade/Bosh hard six times a night.

    I'm not saying try to injure them, but I do think you need them to feel sore. Jordan had to overcome that to get to the top, I don't see why the Bulls shouldn't repay the favor to the new wannabe dynasty.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    "Easily win the East" is a big stretch, but calling Doug an 'LBJ ass-kisser' is also a big stretch.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    I agree that Doug's assessment of LBJ and the Heat being one of the favorites to come out of the east are correct so he's not kissing up to JBJ, but some of the bloggers on here do their part of kissing up to Doug.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I hope you're not referring to me because if so, you're greatly misinformed. If there's an inaccuracy or irrationality I see, I try to bring it to attention *because* I respect Doug's work here.

    If not, my apologies for misreading you, but you replied to my comment and I misunderstood.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I agree with Bulls not trading Asik for Courtney Lee - 7-footers are just too valuable, especially come playoff time, and Asik has upside.

    But Bulls will contine to explore ways to get Lee. Trade deadline is two weeks away - a lot can happen and the teams will go back and forth with proposals. Lee to Bulls is not dead yet. I like Lee, but Bulls must figure a way to get him while keeping our frontline intact (Asik, Gibson).

    Sending James Johnson to the D-League was an attempt to bolster his trade value before the deadline. I think JJ has shown he deserves 15-20 mpg to develop his potential. I think some NBA team may be willing to give JJ that chance.

    So can Bulls swing a JJ + pick(s) deal to land Courtney Lee? Perhaps with a 3-way deal? We'll find out soon. Bulls are not done pursuing Lee, IMO. But they won't trade Taj Gibson or Omer Aisk and they shouldn't.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    The Heat need calls to win.
    Wade's game is based on going to the basket and looking to get fouled. He'll fake injury, whine, whatever it takes to get a whistle

    In the playoffs they let them get away with more. And if the NBA doesn't want this type of talent consolidation to pervade, they may just swallow that whistle.

    If that happens, they are beatable.

  • Im hearing Parker would only be for a 2nd round pick. So if thats the case....sign me up, ill take Parker for the rest of the season.At least he is a legit 3pt shooter. Once his contract is up this summer....Bulls can go after JR SMITH baby!

  • I think the trade could have been good for us either way. The Bulls probably either think there is someone better they can get or that they are fine with what they have.

  • IMO Bulls can finish anywhere from 2-5. Orlando an Atlanta could always catch onto a hot streak. We just gotta hope the Bulls continue playing how they are.

    As for Asik for Lee.....Id say no. Asik's size means more then just having a minor upgrade at SG. His size,athleticism,youth and 6 fouls all will be helpful around playoff time. I rather just give a 2nd rounder for Anthony Parker and then go into the summer looking for a SG in free agency.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    YEAH that would be their best move if their not going to make any other major trades. Asik's size would come in to play if a series with the Celtics happen.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Loool, asik is good that he will stop ray allen shoot, will block KG. Will hit 3pts, spread the floor. He really have an impact on this team. LOOOOOOOOOOOLL. LMAO !Reesel dont care about.that's madness !!

  • In reply to deewaves:

    During yesterday's game(Boston Vs Lakers), Bynum was disrupting Rondo, Pierce and Allen's shots a lot with his length alone. That probably made a big difference in the outcome of the game. Asik can do that defensively. Off-course, he is not as good as Bynum yet. But, in limited minutes he can make an impact. You need to understand the context of the whole statement before making counter-statements.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Absolutely, this is all about the playoffs.

    Lee would be a nice addition, but not at the expense of any of our front court depth.

  • ^adding on to that, you never know who might take a little less money to play the starting SG spot for the winning Chicago Bulls.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Unless there continues to be an MLE in the new CBA the Bulls will not have any money to offer those type of players.

  • I think Miami is going to steamroll everyone.

    Everyone wants them to lose, because they're pissed that they teamed up. I too am pissed that they teamed up, but it still comes down to individual talent of your top 3-4 players 90% of the time in the NBA, and their talent level is simply way above everyone elses.

    Their bench isn't nearly as bad as people think it is either. If Haslem is able to come back and play then Haslem + Miller + Dampier + Z + House isn't exactly a crappy group of players for your 4-8 slots.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Haslem and Miller can be good, although Miller has disappointed a bit so far, and Haslem will be coming back from a season-long injury. The rest of the bench? Not so good. And although Miami has been winning lately, they've needed some great games from James to make it happen. They aren't steamrolling everyone yet, even though they are now relatively healthy.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree about talent level of the top players being most important, but I don't reall think those 3 guys' talent mesh all that well, and I still haven't seen big wins over great teams.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I agree, the worst part of the big 2 coming together and RuPaul joining them was that they did so while maintaining the cap space to sign Miller and Haslem.

    with those 2 guys healthy Miami is ready to win now, the only teams with a shot at them are teams with huge front lines(Lakers, Celtics) which does not describe the Bulls.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I still don't understand how they got Miller & Haslem

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    That's the word, Doug, steamroll (regular season). Playoffs, that's another thing. They need to avoid the Celtics. They need the Bulls to beat the Celtics for them, which I don't see it.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug you like Miami too much man. It's accurate to say that 90% of the time "the championship team has great top 3-4 player talent" but its inaccurate in the Heat's case in comparison to recent champions, LA, Boston, Spurs; all those teams had far superior bench players and were far more disciplined in my opinion. If you think Miami "is going to steamroll everyone" you must be inferring they wont face any real adversity in the playoffs. Even the Bulls 72-10 team faced adversity and so will the Heat. And with the off keel relationship the team has with its coach I don't see them handling it well. In the end I would put my money on Boston over Miami, and on Miami over us, but the way you're describing things is honestly a little ridiculous(no offense). I hope you're ready to fess up to the failures of your predictions when the time comes. Then again I'm sure you'll be happy when Miami proves you wrong. They will get their title, but not this year, they'll have to fail before they learn what it takes to succeed.

  • Could have had Tracy McGrady lol

  • I agree(it's really pretty obvious) that Miami with Wade and LeBron(and all-star Bosh though a puss) are the best in the East talent wise and clutch wise Wade is damn good. If we can avoid them until the ECF(providing we actually win one series and possibly two) that's crucial to get there.

    On another note: Courtney Lee for Asik is a no-go according to K.C. I might agree that most guards out there would not be worth what is emerging as a valuable active 7-footer who can rebound very nicely, instinctively block shots/rotate/protect the paint and finish strong around the rim on put backs/weak side opps. Sometimes when I see him drive from the mid lane like against Utah even tough he stumbled he's looked intriguingly effective at times doing that.

    It's easy to dismiss Lee with what he's done so far/numbers he's put up, but when you look at his pedigree/college numbers I mean six rebounds a game are Wade/Rondo numbers. Sure it's a risk that he pulls a semi Chauncey at 25, and becomes a very good starting player. But his pedigree/upside is so high and he's supposed to be a solid defender. I think regardless of making a run this year or not you have to seriously think about making this move if Houston is willing. And if Houston is willing or becomes willing as the dealine approaches you have to be decisive/jump on it when an opportunity arises in those situations. And I'd throw in this year's first round No.26 or whatever pick as well.

    But sounds like the Bulls won't part with Omer. Who again is starting to look pretty valuable/should be getting more time over Thomas(likewise Korver needs more time/attempts as his hot is coming around).

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Houston has a few decent SG/SFs(Budinger, Martin,Battier,Terrence Williams)...You are right, they probably don't need another average/young SG/SF...Their biggest hole seems to be Center/depth at Center or a super-stud at any position. So, I doubt this trade happens unless it is a 3-way deal or Houston wants to collect a pick for Lee so that they can package all the picks to move up in the draft.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I'd play the waiting game with them. They can't stockplie all those wings forever.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I see Mappy is back into his prepubescent form again.

  • That'd be a dream(taking into account possible CBA new restrictions/hard cap?!) signing J-Rich for the MLE but stanger things..?

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    stranger

  • You are right. He is playing decently in Detroit because all Detroit has a bunch of SGs disguised as PGs(Stuckey, Bynum and Gordon)..He is probably the only one who wants to handle the ball and distribute while other guys are like black holes. I was watching the Detroit game for a few minutes the other day. Bynum was shooting great(he had 3-4 shots continuously) and the ball goes to Stuckey who has 2 defenders on him and Bynum is open. But Stuckey just shoots a brick and the momentum changed.

  • Sacramento has been a willing trading partner/to do business with the Bulls in the past. Landry has always interested me not that we'd be getting him or have room for him. Also Utah has had good relations with the Bulls as well with us giving them that trade exception so they could pick up Al J when we got Boozer. And Cleveland in the past has had working relationship with Gar/Pax though Ferry's gone as the G.M.

  • Dude U need to get a life rather than trying to act like your a Chicago Bulls expert analysis. Happy and I see whats going on in the eastern conference and that is if certain teams keep improving that the Bulls are in danger of being at least the third best team in the conference for a long time. I have said this before, if our comments insult U just move on and don't respond.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    +1. Which I find weird is that they're all aware that bulls won't win championship this years and next. Now they're counting on heat injuries. They realize that this team need to improve but they aren't even ready to give up Asik for Lee. It's too weird. I Don't get them !!

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You fear Knicks and hope Carmelo stays away from the big apple. The is solution GET HIM !!

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Love to, but we can't. He doesn't want to come here. If he did, then that'd be great, but he doesn't.

    On top of that, Denver doesn't want what we have to offer.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Just like with Bosh last year, all Melo has to do come June is verbally agree to sign a new contract with New York for less money. Faced with losing Melo for nothing, watch how fast Denver scrambles to accept the scraps New York will offer in a S&T which will get Melo his money.

    The point is Bulls have no chance to get Melo. They could offer D-Rose and they couldn't get him.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    lol talk about contradicting yourself.

  • I'm not flip flopping on the Lee trade, but what if Jo's return is November Jo 14ppg and 13 rebounds with two blocks three assits etc., and Kyle as his shot comes around gets more minutes and becomes a real factor as a three shooter/scorer, and Omer gets more minutes as many have hinted his solid play of late deserves, and he adds defensive energy when Noah's resting, and Ronnie gets back to dunking and rebounding and C.J. continues to improve as the second pg, and Taj devestates with Jo in a paint shut down playoffs?

    Then the Bulls make the run to the ECF, and in the offseason after the CBA/strike hopefully is settled with a 2011/12 season we attract/acquire the final piece/departing SG starter in a sign and trade? Say D-Wil won't resign with Utah, and wants to join the Bulls as the final piece seeing Thibs is the kindly Uncle compared to irascible Jerry? Derrick adds 7-8 pounds of muscle, and moves into his lethal/less predictable place as premier stud scorer with D-Wil as the second slasher by his side which makes Derrick a 27ppg on high FG% stud of the league with LeBron and D-Wade??? I know, I know, CRAZY!! But I have some free time to kill today so what the hell.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    You are not being crazy...you are just being a optimistic Bulls Fan. We kind of seen how role players look good with studs around. Look at Jamison and others in Cleveland on how they performed with LeBron and how bad they look now!
    I think it is the same with CJ,Taj, Ronnie and Kyle. I am not comparing Noah to LBJ, but once Noah takes up some responsibilities of passing,rebounding etc.., they start looking like better players(maybe marginal).

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Yeah, if Noah does come back as an all-star presence,(I know debatable, but I think he can be that and more if his emerging offensive repertroire is legit which many will doubt based on past rep - we'll see)but if Jo has that kind of team MVP impact which he has had in the past then he could just set it off!(ha, ha does anyone even say that anymore?)

    Anyway we will know if that is the case because the Bulls will go on a nice run before the playoffs hopefully finishing on 19-5 spurt or something crazy like that.

  • What about Afflalo in a sign & trade this summer?

  • he's a special guy. Not an all-star, but does everything well, and is capable of creating offense a bit & putting up the occasional 25pt night

    he'd be very tough to pry from Denver, and a lot would depend on the new CBA. I don't even know what the asking price would start off as (in a trade not salary-wise)

  • I get your point of view. Ok let's suppose ur right that we don't need to take so much risk by getting Melo.
    OK according to u, the little missing piece is a simple SG. So why most of fans here don't want to trade Asik( a center that don't play everygame) for the famous missing piece (Lee)??
    If bulls arent ready to let a player like Asik go for what they miss so do u think they wanna improve this team ?? I dont think so, i think they confident thAt this team can win the championship this year. For them Noah is everything.

    Bulls like overrating they players (Asik ' are kidding me ?? lol) that'S why they didn't trade deng for gasol , garnett, kone do u remember ?

  • In reply to deewaves:

    The question is if Lee IS the missing piece. I think there's a debate about if he is. If the Bulls wait just a little longer, like in the summer, they have a decent chance of getting a better SG that would improve the team. But that means holding onto assets to make that future move. Get it? It's not just about making "a move" but a "smart move".

  • I'm not even sure that Thibs will let him play in playoffs. 2 weeks before noah's injury, thibs stop to make play asik, He went with 3 big man rotation(Boozer, gibson and Noah). Asik a gargabe time player. Noah does everything he does, so do thomas !! SG is much more important than Asik size.

  • RAISE THE EXPECTATIONS:

    - The Bulls should (get Melo) and get that #1 Seed, so BOS/MIA can play each other.

    Good idea.

  • Fans (and some media) continue to miss the point about Carmelo.
    Where he signs his extension will determine his new team, not a trade.
    Denver has little power in this. Look at Bosh and LeBron last year for reference. They chose their team. Toronto and Cleveland had no power and accepted scraps in last minute S&Ts to prevent losing their stars for nothing.

    Carmelo and his wife want to live in New York. They do not want to live in Chicago
    Could they accept Los Angeles? Maybe. Any place else? NO.
    .
    Bulls could offer any package you can dream up that would please Denver. But would Melo sign an extension in Chicago? NO, so a trade to Chicago won

  • In reply to Edward:

    You are not completely right here. Denver has some leverage on Melo because of the new CBA. There are rumors that the max salary in the new CBA is going to be 11 mil/yr..so Melo would get 33 mil/3 years compared to 65 mil/3 years now. Even if he goes to NY and makes some money through endorsements...How much does he make? 10-12 mil/3 years and he is probably making 2-4 mil/3 years in Denver. So, he is losing a lot of money and accounting for the extra taxes in NY. The adv with LeBron/Bosh was the less taxes in Miami plus LBJ has more universal appeal(as a villain or a good guy for some)than Melo will ever have or had. They also did not lose 30 mil like Melo is losing...They lost less than 10 mil for a longer span of 5-6 years which they will easily make it up.

    So, it is a unresolvable situation for everyone. Somebody has to give in for this to be resolved. BTW, all the pieces NY is giving now(even if they give the whole NY team including Amare) will not do much for Denver. They are still going to be a first round exit in the best case for the next few years. Their best bet is keeping Melo and doing something with all their capspace opening up this coming summer.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Actually he difference is even greater, for Melo to be a free agent, he has to opt out of the remaining year on his existing contract at $18 million plus, so he is forgoing $83 million guaranteed to go to free agency.

    That is why Denver isn't trading him to the Knicks for the current package that they are offering.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    How does everyone feel about the MLE going into the new CBA? I think that if the MLE ceases to exist, it plays to the strengths of teams like the Bulls, while crippling the ability of teams like the Heat to get better in the offseason. I have thought about it a whole lot, wanted to get your guys' opinions on it. I waver back and forth about it because the Bulls could pull in talented veterans who want to play for a winner via the MLE as well. Maybe I am making to much about it, and it would be a wash for all concerned.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    I think they will have it but reduce the amount that a team can use for MLE. Now, MLE can be used to get a player like Mike Miller etc.. In the future, I think they will let the team with the player go over it but not for a new team and make it maybe 5 mil or less for the new team.
    I also think they will introduce the franchise tag...maybe like the NFL where they can franchise(I am not sure) only for 2 years or 2 times and then the player becomes a FA.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Ya it pretty much comes down to....do you like this Bulls team right now? Cuz if we do (I do) we can add a pretty good SG or SF this summer either through Draft or Free agency. The Bulls most likely wont be winning anything this year, so rushing into a move isnt exactly the best idea.

    And I mean, the Bulls could really just go after another SF too if they want to. If you do that, then you start Korver at the SG and find either a SG or SF that can help stretch the floor.

    Doug you should do a Article on 2011 SG/SF free agents that the Bulls can possibly go after.

    If we go after SF in Free agency, we then can just start Korver...look something like this.

    Rose, Watson
    Korver, Brewer
    Deng, SF Free Agent
    Booz,Gibson
    Noah,Kurt Thomas, Asik

    Throw a draft pick in there this year too to round out rotation.

    OR

    Rose, Watson
    FA? JR Smith?,Brewer
    Deng, Korver
    Booz,Taj
    Noah,Kurt Thomas,Asik

    Id say wait for the summer....the Bulls could possibly land a nice player this summer.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I would wait for summer if I'm the Bulls.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Oh, and I hope La La Vasquez doesn't think she will be a star in New York or L.A. Because she will be very dissapointed.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    She was great (& oh-so sexy!) in "He Got Game"

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I loved that movie, but sadly La La and Ray Ray were no good at act act. I still think what life would have been like after Jordan if we had drafted Jesus Shuttlesworth.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Actually, Denver has $65 million worth of power, actually $83 million.

    I guarantee that if Denver doesn't trade him, he signs the contract and stays in Denver, for now.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I'm going to hold you to those words

    I guarantee New York in 2011-2012 no matter what

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    IMO if Denver plays really hard ball and tells him "we wont sign and trade you, go to New York and give up money or sign here" they're a real chance of getting Melo to cave. If you listen to what he's been saying it's all money, money, money.

    It'd take a gutsy GM to play it that way though, given you risk losing him for nothing and you risk him being so pissed off he doesn't play hard if he comes back to your team (although I don't think Melo is the type not to play hard to force a trade Vince Carter style, you never know).

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    we'll see. I think he could make pretty much the same threats, plus he will get more endorsment money going to New York. Denver easily can kind themselves with nothing but cap room, and who is going to Denver to play? Not any big time free agents

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It's a high risk high reward move, but given New York's best offer right now is 50 cents on the dollar why not play it?

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    its 50 on the dollar now, and why wouldn't it be?

    let Houston & Dallas make thier rental offers. Let it get closer to the deadline.

    Its also a marginal risk/no reward prop for Denver. Their only hope, as you note, is that Melo prays to his investment bankers before he goes to bed. I don't think he really can go back now. and if he walks in July w/o a sign & trade, Denver gets nothing.

    And are you married? I can't go to the gas station w/o my wife having an opinion on the matter. Do you think La La is going to accept another 1-5 years in Denver Colorado?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    anyways, we'll see

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Depends if Melo has a pre-nup, in which case he can let her walk. ;)

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    D-LEAGUE SCOUTING:

    With Gar Forman in attendance, JJ, Stinson and Jeffers made a nice impression.

    http://www.nba.com/dleague/games/20110211/DAKIWA/gameinfo.html

    * They said on the telecast that JJ will be playing for Iowa tomorrow night and that Gar Forman and Pete Myers will be in attendance once again.

    ** I know Iowa plays two more games before the trade-deadline (Sat. and Tues.).

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Tomorrow (JJ's 8th game) should be his last. They had originally agreed on a 8 game stint. Gar probably wants to see the final outcome.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    SAM YOUNG:

    He had another good game.

    vs. MIL - 19 pts. and 8 rbs. on 7/10 FG shooting.

    * That makes 8 double-digit scoring efforts in his last 9 games.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Hey Happy,

    You know who also had 8 double-digit scoring efforts in 9 games? You're guy....

    Dickey Simpkins

    Infact he one upped him and went for 9/10 from March 3-21 of 1999 and 15/20 games ending on April 7 1999.

    Maybe we can all call him Dickey Young?

    Or do you prefer Sam Simpkins?

  • I agree. 2nd round pick is alright with me. Anything higher, I say nix to that.

  • Mitch, great way to sum it up. I'm totally with you on the approach.

    I think if the Bulls can add to what they have already, without losing major pieces, they can build a team (I stress "team") that can beat the Heat's blueprint, which is more a collection of individuals.

  • Great point Mitch. Timing and commonsense are crucial at the moment. I would feel great with a dagger like Parker on this team. He could be the difference in close big games. Pax is a smart guy and I'm sure he sees what we're talking about.

  • While I agree with your general premise, the one thing that is going under the radar is that Miami is a great defensive team when they want to be, and in the playoffs they will want to be.

    With their athleticism, they could ultimately be the best defense in the league. During there win streaks they already have been.

  • So far the "experts" have all pronounced Lee for Asik a no brainer for HOuston.

  • Great point about Brazil, Mitch. Makes me remember the year Johann Cruyff and Johann Neeskins of the Netherlands tore apart Brazil and other such teams of the dazzling short passing game. The Dutch with the precise long passes, destroyed them while ushering in a new dimension to world soccer at the time.

  • Backup center is not a hole only because the Bulls have Asik & to a lesser extent the undersized & stationary Kirk Thomas.

    I think the potential hole if Bulls let go of Asik would be larger than the current one at starting SG. Bulls have a decent tripod there right now. I can live with the late game platoon b/t Brewer & Korver, at least for this year. I couldn't live with Noah being our only 7 footer.

  • The problem is against the Bulls they can just put Wade on Rose and whoever they want to call their point guard on the shooting guard. Against Boston I don't think Rondo is that big a deal, he's so afraid of getting fouled you know he's just going to make the pass rather than try to score. The Heat have Wade/LeBron/Bosh to defend at the three positions where Boston have their scorers so they match up fine.

    To have a decent shot against the Heat the Bulls need a shooting guard that can exploit the Heat's other guard when Wade is defending Rose.

  • KingOfCrumbs....Id say lets just wait til the summer before we do anything big. I mean as I posted above, we could just start Korver and go after a solid backup SF this summer. Or keep Korver on the bench and go after a SG. Plus like you said, you never know, maybe we can pull in a vet that wants to play for a winner. Just off the top of my head...i think Grant Hill is a FA this summer, im sure there better players, but he is a guy who could be chasing a ring and could take a backup SF role for us. I say wait til the summer....there will be many more options then. Draft and Free agency.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Grant Hill has gone on the record more than once saying he won't be a mercenary and chase a championship + wants to retire a sun.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    MJ practiced with the Bobcats andlooked good? Sign him up next year...he'd still be an upgrade from Bogans etc.
    how goofy cool would that be to have him come back and see the Bulls win a title that way?

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Ya i dont have a list of 2011 free agents SG/SF in front of me or anything but Grant Hill just came to mind and im sure there are other players that would be chasing a ring or would take a little less money to come play for a up and coming Chicago Bulls team that could be a piece away from a title. Shoot you could come in and become the starter if you signed. You only have to beat out Keith Bogans lol

    Doug you should make a article on 2011 free agent SF/SG's

  • In reply to Csharp:

    If Mj came back to the Bulls lol hahahaha that would be toooooo funny!!!!

  • In reply to Csharp:

    RoadWarrior...just adding onto that list...Korver an Boozer were both 2nd rounders. Monta Ellis was a 2nd rounder, Kendrick Perkins late 1st round, DeJaun Blair, DeAndre Jordan both went in the 2nd round. Jodie Meeks has played well for the Sixers. Theres plenty others that im missing as well. But ya, if the Bulls know how to pick....they could find their answer in the draft even. I would be looking at SG's SF's and bigmen.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Right, those were nice picks. The guys I listed though were contributors right away/almost immediately for championship ballaclubs. That's not to say Korver for example wouldn't have been the same given the opportunity.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    FYI:

    Gar Forman is at the Iowa Energy game tonight.

    * JJ and possibly a few others could be heading to the Bulls SOON.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I'm sure he's just supporting & communicating with JJ.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Luis Scola, Antonio Davis are some more names....both 2nd rounders

  • Unfortunately now he's on the Magic probably not. The Magic have shown they're willing to spend, so I doubt a MLE like offer wins him over (if the MLE even exists).

  • Yeah the plus side of Afflalo going off in the 4th is it demonstrates why I think he's better than Lee. The downside is he keeps building his trade value.

    It's going to come down the the Melo trade I think, depends what they get back whether they view Afflalo as a guy to be shopped or as someone they want to keep.

  • IMO i think Melo is just saying he "MIGHT" consider to re-sign with Denver so that way all this rumor crap will just stop. He can finish the season with Denver and then just be on his way during the offseason. "Might" is the keyword here. Its pretty much the same thing that Bosh said about Toronto. By saying "Might" Denver thinks they have a chance to keep him.

  • I don't really get the fear of a Melo/NY team. I mean it looks like Denver isn't going to just give him away for Chandler & Randolph, and if New York have to throw in two of the Chandler/Gallinari/Fields trio then I don't think Melo even really makes them much better this year. New York is a team without a lot of depth, so to lose two starters for one really hurts them. Their offense is already pretty good, there's a limit how much Melo can improve that, and of course Melo does nothing for their defense which is their big problem.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The current Denver team with Nene, Martin, Affalo, Billups, Smith is a much better supporting cast than what Amare will provide along with other pieces. I agree and I am sure that's why both NY FO and Melo are hesitating to push this completely. Melo wants a lopsided trade for the Knicks and that's only way he will be good with NY.
    This is LBJ's summer drama all over again from ESPN. LBJ's drama provided a blue print for ESPN on how to keep this news active and increase its ratings. That's what they are doing.

  • Looking at the last few home games for Boston...if an elite team raises its effort they can beat Boston(Lakers, Mavericks) while Boston can beat up on a one-trick pony(3 pointers) team like Orlando.
    So, I am not sure how Boston will hold up in the playoffs. I like the Bulls, Heat chances if they can be mentally tough against Boston.

  • ^ Yep....im starting to really dislike ESPN even though I watch them every morning.

  • Adding a solid player(not always a starter) is possible through shrewd lower draft picks. Check this out for NBA Championship team additions over the last two decades:

    1991 B.J. Armstrong (pick)#18 2nd yr
    1994 Sam Cassell #24 2nd yr
    Carl Herrera #32 2nd yr
    1996 Toni Kukoc #29 3rd yr
    Jason Caffey #20 2nd yr(7ppg .532)
    1999 Malik Rose #44 2nd yr
    2000 Tyronn Lue #23 2nd(6ppg .487)
    2003 Tony Parker #23 1yr
    Manu Ginobli #57 R
    2004 Tayshaun Prince #23 1yr
    2006 Udonis Haslem (not drafted?/listed) 1yr
    2007 Matt Bonner #45 1yr
    2008 Glenn Davis #35 R

    That's dominated by San Antonio's genius late round pick department. Still, even the Bulls had quite a hand in steals/finds as well with B.J fairly late and Toni a near Ginobli relatively speaking at early second round.

    Taj Gibson was No. 26 wasn't he.. Aad Omer Asik No. 30. Maybe lightning strikes one more time who knows, or the pick is packaged for someone who can help us now at the SG Lee etc.

    It's a little early for draft talk if there will even be a draft this year or a lockout..? My early favorites(who of course will probably rise above where the Bulls pick as always) but right now Reggie Jackson 6'3 PG Boston College freak athlete who can score/shoot and Nolan Smith awesome presence/winner who can flat out score 6'3 Duke. Both are 'ready to play' upper classmen/late bloomers. Which means despite their awesome numbers they will possibly remain available although Smith is rising fast.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    There was a good article I read on how this is a man's league. Once some guys get paid(they might be good, athletic,smart, motivated)they will still end up relaxing. I was reading about Landry Fields on how his parents didn't stress basketball 24/7 but stressed him to become intelligent.
    I have trust in Gar/Pax to find gems in 2nd round

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Yeah, finding Omer and Taj was a pretty nice job. Hopefuly there will be a draft this year with a lockout looming.

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