Horny Notes: March 22, 2011 -- Bulls as Championship Favorites, In-Season Playoff Preparation, Team Fatigue, Sad Rose

Horny Notes: March 22, 2011 -- Bulls as Championship Favorites, In-Season Playoff Preparation, Team Fatigue, Sad Rose
  • Bulls-Hawks preview here. Bulls didn't get into Atlanta until 3 a.m.:


    Gonna be one of those gut-check games. Bulls got in about 3 AM Eastern. Starters sitting out 4th last night should help.less than a minute ago via ÜberSocial

  • Are the Bulls legitimate favorites to win the NBA championship? Rob Mahoney at the NYT makes a very compelling argument that "it's hard not to pick Chicago as the team to beat. Of all the powerful forces that figure to shape this year's playoffs, the Bulls' defense is the most stable. The team is performing at a high level now, just as it has all season. Every other contender's potential comes conditionally."

    The elite class of NBA teams is fairly wide. It isn't two or three teams which can legitimately win, but five or six. The  values of health, depth, and homecourt are skyrocketing every week and the Bulls may be the least questionable when variables begin getting equitably tossed into the discussion. There's also a philosophical basketball argument in all this related to this team is coached and generally managed. Sure, there's the luck of getting Derrick Rose, but there was still an arguable decision to be made there -- as there was with all of their bigs and managing the salary cap.

  • Thibs said he prefers prepping for the playoffs by playing the season with the same schemes, strategy, rotation, and playcalling. "We didn't want to have to make any kind of adjustments, so we wanted to play a playoff-brand of basketball all season long. So that once we get there, we're not going to have to change our style of play," he said "We have to be well-balanced. ...And the big thing is to be playing your best basketball down the stretch. And we have to be as healthy as possible." (Fred Mitchell and David Kaplan, Chi Trib)
  • Sad Rose (h/t: Ian Levy):
    sad rose.jpg

    I don't wanna look at this anymore. It's way too sad. :(

  • Rose and Tom Thibodeau "downplayed faitgue": (K.C. Johnson, ChiTrib):

    "At this time of the year, guys who have logged big minutes and are primary scorers are all nicked up -- on every team," Thibssaid. "The great ones have the mental toughness to get through that. He's in great shape. He's as strong as can be. And he has a real strong mindset.

    "The entire team has to push through. This is a great time. You're going head-to-head with a lot of good teams. The games are big. We don't have to change one bit."

    Rose said of this season's grind and his terrible .404 FG% this month: "It's tough, but I'm loving it. Everybody's playing for something. As long as we're winning, I don't care how bad or good I shoot."

  • Carlos Boozer said he "felt good" about his ankle in Monday's blowout. "I was happy with how strong it was through the course of the game," he said. "And also happy to get a lot of rest in that fourth quarter and get ready for [Tuesday]." (Nick Friedell, ESPN)
  • Rose says the Bulls blowup in Atlanta earlier this month is fresh in their minds. "You can't forget that game," he said. "I think none of us on the team have [forgotten] that game. You've got to remember it. I think that if we get a lead like that down there again, I think that we won't let them come back the way they did." (Friedell)
  • Massive yard sale" at Scottie Pippen's old mansion in Highland Park. (Kelly Dwyer, BDL)

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