(Quick but of actual useful info: Carmelo Anthony will not play tonight, and hopes to return Sunday against the Nuggets.)
What's up with the Bulls?
I asked the friendly BullsBlogger behind Blog a Bull, one of the great, original NBA team blogs, and here's what he had to say:
As everyone's aware, the Bulls are have fairly transparently tried to 'tread water' this season while they wait to see when (and to what degree) Derrick Rose returns from injury. The remade (on the cheap) bench has struggled this season, but the veteran core of the team that earned consecutive top seeds in the East has kept them afloat so far. Both Joakim Noah and Luol Deng have been ridden extremely hard by coach Thibs (#1 and #2 in minutes per game), but their efforts and a still very-good team defense has them above .500. They usually have the effort and talent advantage to take out the bottom teams in the league pretty consistently.
Some signs for concern loom, though: the Bulls have faced a fairly easy schedule thus far (and get another potential break tonight if Melo is out) and this Knicks game is the start of a very tough stretch. And their extremely-shallow depth is already being tested with Rip Hamilton likely out much of that time. Their backcourt production has been sporadic, and Taj Gibson is in the middle of a (coincidental?) contract-hangover, Boozer can beat up on bad teams but is still all Boozer-y, so it's been hard for the Bulls to find reliable contributions, especially offensively. They're horrible at generating 3-point makes, and without Rose have nobody able to break down a defense. That is, save for a few great Nate Robinson spurts, but you guys know how that ultimately winds up when counted upon. Late-game offense is a true concern due to this deficiency as well.
But the Bulls always try, and their best players are pretty large and play a lot of the time, so their ability to control the glass and paint keeps them in games you'd think they shouldn't be in.
Meet the new Bulls!
Marco Belinelli- Marco's contract stipulates that he's permitted to skip-- without being penalized-- any Bulls game that coincides with a Mandy Moore concert, which hasn't been a problem so far.
Kirk Hinrich- Assuming they'd bring him back one day, the Chicago staff did not clear out Kirk's locker after trading him. Upon returning, Kirk was happy to find and finish a Snack Pack he'd started eating in May of 2010.
Nazr Mohammed- Nazr owns a bed racecar. Not a racecar bed. Those are for kids. His bed racecar is a standard Formula One car with a modified backseat that contains a queen-sized mattress. Nazr pays a driver to do laps at 130 miles per hour for eight hours a night while he sleeps in the back.
Vladimir Radmanovic- Contrary to popular belief, Vladimir is not a human being, but an elaborate claymation installment that's been touring the country "playing basketball" for the last decade or so.
Nate Robinson- Nate was pleasantly surprised to learn that all the bathrooms in Chicago have photos of his face hanging above the sinks, just like the bathrooms in New York, Boston, Oklahoma City, and Oakland did.
Marquis Teague- Jeff is considered the better basketball player, but Marquis has always been the nacho cheesier AND cooler ranch Teague.
Adventures in Impersonating Nate Robinson on Omegle!
You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
You: how does this work
You: do we just talk about stuff
You: what do you want to talk about
Stranger: age ?? gender>>
You: i'm 28
You: and a man
Stranger: i would like to ask u some question
You: ok sure
Stranger: whick was the dirteeee think which you have ever do in home?
You: what's a "dirteeee think"
You: is that like a dirty sink with a lisp
Stranger: what ??
You: did you mean "thing"
You: what was the dirtiest thing i've done in my home?
You: well i pee in my shower
You: like when i'm not even showering
You: i just go in there
You: i pee in the sink too
You: i pee pretty much everywhere but the toilet
You: because i can
You: what other questions you got
Stranger: have you ever seen any ones cleaveage??
You: yeah obviously
You: i've seen so much cleavage
Stranger: how ?? and whose??
You: one of the advantages of being unusually short
You: how? i looked
You: i just stood there and there were partially exposed boobs in my face
You: and like
You: tons of people
You: more than i could name
Stranger: have u ever fucked any one in sleep?
You: no that's not cool
You: in my sleep?
You: or in their sleep
Stranger: in their sleep
You: that's fucked up
You: more questions
You: come on
You: you're taking too long
You: let's talk about sharks
Your conversational partner has disconnected.
Jim Todd Pep Talk!
guys. guys i know you like to make threes. guys. i know you like threes so i did you a favor. just a small favor. because i think you should get to make your threes. well these chicago rats hate threes and they run at you and throw their arms at you. no like just swing their arms at you i mean. i don't think they can take their arms off at least i hope not. yeah. so these rats won't think twice about charging you like a stampede of juiced up stags but i don't want that to happen. so i hung around here last night and i made some modifications. just some court fix-ups. well i just put some quicksand down there. yeah just a strip about a foot inside the arc. about three feet deep. yeah both sides. yeah i did the digging myself. well me and morris. morris is a badger. no he's from around here i found him in the phone book. yeah so just don't step right inside the arc. hop over it. and don't worry when the rats come for you. they'll get stuck and they'll stay their forever until someone cleans up their bones. you're welcome.
And now you're ready for Knicks-Bulls!