Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bulls win over Celtics overshadowed by VDN/Pax scuffle

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls were finally able to hand a healthy Boston Celtics team a loss this year winning on Tuesday night 101-93. Derrick Rose was sensational, scoring a career high 39 points while adding 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Kirk Hinrich was also on fire scoring his season high 30 points. Joakim Noah was a beast down low (like always) pulling down 16 rebounds. With this win, the Bulls pull ahead 1/2 game of the Raptors for the 8th and final playoff seed in the east. The loss for Boston keeps them locked for the 4th seed, they will now have to play the Cavs in the 2nd round of the playoffs (if both teams make it that far).

Chicago's victory was completely overshadowed by a story that broke an hour before tipoff by Adrian Wojnarowski over at Yahoo Sports. According to sources, after a loss to the Phoenix Suns in late March, VP John Paxson allegedly stormed into coach Vinny Del Negro's office, pulled his tie, struck his chest twice in a provoking manner and challenged VDN to a fight. Assistant Bernie Bickerstaff had to restrain Paxson before the incident escalated any further. Del Negro failed to retaliate in fear of voiding his contract. Paxson was reportedly angry with Del Negro regarding the handling of Joakim Noah's minutes.The incident was known throughout the Bulls inner circle and by Chicago Tribune beat reporter, K.C. Johnson however Johnson declined to break the story. Adrian Wojnarowski is a friend of Johnson's so it's safe to say he probably spilled the beans and gave the story to Woj.

While no Chicago Bulls fan has been a true fan of Vinny's coaching, Paxson definitely crossed the line. It's safe to say Vinny Del Negro is gone after this season. From day one, VDN has been a 2 year holdover coach. He's fought on through critisism from fans, management, and got a VERY mediocre (at best) Bulls team to the the playoffs last season and helped them take a defending champion Boston Celtics team to 7 games in the first round. This year, without the help of star Ben Gordon, he's managed to get his team within one game of last year's record and could get them into the playoffs for the 2nd year in a row with a win in Charlotte this week.

I'm hoping that the Bulls rally after last night's win, beat Charlotte and give the Cavs a fight in the 1st round just to stick it to John Paxson.