In case you missed what had to be the best game this weekend the Bulls beat the Celtics in Chicago.
The Chicago Bulls made it into the playoffs Wednesday night, but this could not be the best thing for the team. There are the seventh seed and are going to have to take on the Boston Celtics. The Bulls are going to need all the help they can get and they are getting some, we learned today the Kevin Garnett could be out the whole post season. Since we are in Chicago we are hoping the Bulls can go as far as possible in the playoffs. We also know this is a long shot, but hey crazier things have happened. As always if you are looking for NBA playoff tickets check out.
After pulling off a nice trade the day before (Drew Gooden, Andres Nocioni, Cedric Simmons and Michael Ruffin to the Sacramento Kings for Brad Miller and John Salmons) Chicago Bulls GM John Paxson made a “what are you thinking” trade just before the trading deadline on Thursday. The Bulls sent disgruntled guard Larry Hughes to the New York Knicks for Tim Thomas. The Bulls acquired Larry Hughes at the trading deadline last year in a move to unload Ben Wallace. Hughes has never fit in on the Bulls roster (often refusing to pass the ball to Derrick Rose while in the game), which forced Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro to bench Hughes since January 12th. Hughes is averaging 12.0 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Tim Thomas is averaging 9.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in about 20 minutes of play per game. This will be Thomas’ second stint as a Bull. Back during the 2005-6 NBA season, the Bulls acquired Thomas from the Knicks. Thomas played only 3 games and 30 total minutes for the Bulls before the Bulls sent him home that December for not fitting in with the team.
One positive on the deal – Del Negro has played with Thomas in Milwaukee and was familiar with him as an executive while in Phoenix. Del Negro will clearly spell out Thomas’ role with his new team and expects Thomas to be professional and contribute to the team on a nightly basis. Good luck with that Vinny…
So much for the Chicago Bulls blockbuster trade including Amar’e Stoudamaire, Chris Bosh and Tyrus Thomas. Instead, the Bulls moved Drew Gooden (who hasn’t played in a month because of a nagging groin injury), Andres Nocioni and Cedric Simmons to the Sacramento Kings for Brad Miller and John Salmons. The Kings made the deal to get extra salary cap space this summer as Gooden’s and Simmons’ combined expiring contracts will free up $9 million in cap space.
Now to the bigger question – why did the Bulls make the trade? Like Gooden, Brad Miller has an abdominal injury and hasn’t played since January 30th (in a blowout loss to the Bulls in Sacramento). Miller is averaging 11.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Compare that with Drew Gooden when healthy – 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game – and it is a little bit of a drop off. John Salmons is a big guard (6 foot 6 inches and 207 pounds) and is averaging 18.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He will fit in nicely with the Bulls, but the only negative is that he is under contract this year and next year, and has a player option that he will likely exercise that will keep him on the books through the 2011-12 NBA season.
The Bulls do get $26 million dollars in cap relief with the expiring contracts of Miller and Larry Hughes. They will either be able to use that money to trade for a big name player this time next year, or save it up for the summer of 2010 when mega stars like Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh hit the free agent market. Stay tuned Bulls fans – the next 2 years will be interesting for sure as the Bulls get set to make some news during the summer of 2010.
The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Chicago Bulls 117-92 on Friday night at the Quicken Loans Center. The Cavs are now 17-0 at home – the only NBA team still undefeated at home for the season. Lebron James had a triple-double for the Cavs – 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists – while Anderson Varejao scored a career-high 26 points. Former Bull Ben Wallace put in a great performance against his former team – scoring 13 points and grabbing 9 boards. The Cavs had 7 players score in double-digits.
The Bulls continue struggle, having lost 5 of their last 6 games. Derrick Rose had his worst game as a pro – only 3 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Ben Gordon led the Bulls with 22 points. The Bulls hope to right the ship with the upcoming homestand against 4 “weak” opponents. The Bulls face the Minnesota Timberwolves (7 wins); Sacramento Kings (8 wins); Washington Wizards (6 wins); and Oklahoma City Thunder (4 wins) during their next 4 home games. The Bulls will have to play well in order to beat each of the 4 teams, but they should be able to do so at home. Let’s hope Rose can return to form that has made him one of the NBA’s better rookies in recent memory.