Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lamenting on the Past Month of Bulls Basketball

By Alex Derickson

It's come to this. A ten game losing streak has been weathered and we are riding high on a current two game romp. Now, this is nothing to celebrate, but we are only 2 1/2 games out of being swept by the Cavs. It's come to this. I'm getting excited over a two game win streak and the potential of a Cleveland Steamer in the playoffs.

After the trade deadline, the team seemed to be making a push. The "problem" players that "didn't understand their roles" were replaced for two career role players and two players, one being a former lottery pick who just came out of the D-league. Shockingly, the team seemed to play as good, if not better than they were pre-trades. I stood there and thought, "man, they are making another late season push to the playoffs." Then, Indiana happened.

Sean and I traveled to Indianapolis to see the Bulls, sans Noah, front court depth, etc. take on the Pacers. During this fiasco, I saw the unthinkable. I watched Pargo chuck up more shots than anyone else on the team and play 29 minutes. In the same nightmare, Rose injured himself and left the game in the fourth.

Injuries happen. But when Rose, Noah and Deng went down, the losing streak took hold. Vinny tried to find lineups that work, but the Bulls couldn't match up against a series of tough opponents being led by a "team" that I wouldn't even cast in a rag-tag-bunch-of-no-name-players-thrown-on-a-sports team movie.

To make matters worse, John Salmons is saving Milwaukee's season by leading them to a 14-2 record in the first 16 games with the team. Goddammit. To top that off, if the Bulls finish anywhere between eleven and any-draft-pick-better-than-the-Bucks, the Bucks get their pick and two second rounders.

I feel cheated. I do. I feel like Gar PaxDorf has set the franchise up for failure. Will it get rid of Vinny? Sure! Will this team make the playoffs? Maybe! Will a 4-0 sweep in the first round by the far superior Cleveland LeBron's be fun to watch? Never! And the most important question, if LeBron sweeps the Bulls, would he really want to leave Cleveland to play with a team that's worse than the one he's on?