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Friday, April 13th, 2012 at 8:30 am  |  91 responses

Post Up: Bullseye

The Bench Mob leads Chicago past Miami, while the Spurs and Clippers win out West.

by Abe Schwadron | @abe_squad

After a night like we had on Wednesday, you were either looking for a breather or salivating for more. Thursday we got a bit of both, with just 5 games on the docket, but at least one with major implications. And yes, I mean Pistons-Bobcats. (Not really.)

Pistons 109, Bobcats 85

I’m not a gambling man (The Post Up doesn’t pay enough for me to be making it rain like that) but if I were, I wonder how much cake I’d be rolling in if I’d simply bet against the Bobcats, points included, every single night of the NBA season. Charlotte gets blown out by everyone, every night. Even the League’s worst teams think the Bobcats are terrible. Coming in, only 2 NBA teams had fewer road victories than the Pistons. But Detroit showed up in Charlotte and shot 60 percent for most of the game until emptying the bench in the fourth quarter (they finished at 53 percent from the field)—they are the 5th ‘Cats opponent in the last 6 games to shoot better than 50 percent. Greg Monroe collected 25 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists to lead the Pistons (now 22-36). And here I was thinking that shutting down Corey Maggette for the year might actually help those poor saps down South.

Bulls 96, Heat 86 (OT)

When LeBron James hit a corner 3-pointer to give Miami a 2-point lead with 49 seconds left, the Bulls looked cooked. But a ballsy coaching move by Tom Thibodeau to take a struggling Derrick Rose off the floor (and a missed free throw by LBJ) opened the door for CJ Watson to make the shot of the night—a step-back three over Dwyane Wade to send the game to overtime. The shot was the signature moment of Watson’s great night—he had 16 points and 9 assists in 27 minutes. In the overtime period, the Bulls held Miami without a single made field goal, and rode Watson’s momentum to the win. Chicago’s bench outscored the Heat’s 47 to 7, inlcuding red-hot shooting from Kyle Korver (17 points, 5 threes) and a solid contribution from Taj Gibson (11 points). Had Chicago taken the L, all the talk from this game probably would have centered around Rose’s abysmal 1-13 shooting night, which saw him finish with a career-low 2 points. And his lack of late PT—hell, dude didn’t take off his warm-ups in overtime—is still going to be a polarizing topic (would you have had the stones to pull him?) but Miami’s inability to close might be more salacious. LeBron led all scorers with 30 points, DWade had 21 and Chris Bosh had 20, but the Heat’s Big Three were essentially out-played down the stretch by Watson, Korver and Gibson.

Clippers 95, Timberwolves 82

It should have been another chance to gauge the “best young power forward” debate between Kevin Love and Blake Griffin, but once again Javale McGee ruined something—this time with an errant elbow to Love’s face the other night. Instead, with Love not around to defend him, Griffin had a monster game, racking up 19 points and 13 rebounds, plus 5 assists and no turnovers as the Clippers handed the Wolves their 8th straight loss. Derrick Williams struggled in place of Love—he couldn’t handle Griffin, and he couldn’t get his own shot going either, shooting just 1-7 with 4 points and 4 turnovers one night after scoring 27 points against the Nuggets. Chris Paul was mostly looking to facilitate for others (8 assists, 8 points), which once again included Mo Williams (14 points, 5 dimes in his return from injury).

Spurs 107, Grizzlies 97

Had you just awoken from a decade-long coma, it might not have been so surprising to see Tim Duncan getting the ball possession after possession in isolation situations (what San Antonio calls “4-Down”) in the fourth quarter of a basketball game—and even less surprising to see him score at will. But this is 2012, where Duncan is supposed to be old and over the hill. Would a 28-point, 12-rebound explosion change your mind? Duncan scored 20 in the first half en route to a season-high in points and a big-time win for the Spurs, one night after being embarrassed by Andrew Bynum and the Lakers. The Grizzlies’ big men had nice nights, too, with double-doubles for both Marc Gasol (14×10) and Zach Randolph (10×11), but San Antonio completed the season sweep of Memphis thanks to a time travel-ish performance from the original Big Three. On top of TD’s numbers, Tony Parker had 13 points and 9 assists, and Manu Ginobili came off the pine to post 20 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Mavericks 112, Warriors 103

Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points, Jason Kidd finished 1 point shy of a triple-double (12 assists, 10 rebounds, 9 points) and the Mavericks shot 50 percent from the field to beat the overmatched Warriors and improve to 33-26 on the year. Jason Terry and Brandan Wright each scored 16 off the bench, part of a 57-point bench effort for Dallas, to just 33 points from Golden State’s reserves. With the win, the defending champs took over sole possession of the 6-seed in the West—which should last all of 24 hours. As always, Golden State managed to be exciting even in defeat. David Lee led the Dubs in scoring with a game-high 30 points, while rookie Klay Thompson continues to show that he may a piece to build around, as he went for 24 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Like the prospect of a Thompson-Steph Curry (healthy) backcourt next season?

Lines of the Night: Tim Duncan turns back the clock for 28 and 12, while CJ Watson posted an incredible +38 plus-minus rating in less than 30 minutes of action.

Moment of the Night: CJ Watson drills the cold-blooded step-back 3 over DWade to send the game to OT.

Dunk of the Night: Or, in this case, non-dunk. Because if we’re going to pump him up for the good ones, we’ve got to show the bad, too. Come on, Blake.

Tonight: Pete’s back to hold things down over the weekend. I’ll be back Monday, when I’m sure absolutely no one will want to talk about Sunday’s Heat-Knicks game. Be easy, people.

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  • RobbieJay

    LeBron missed the free throw that could’ve put us in position to win by AT LEAST ONE. gotta make those free throws boy. wade was good in the 4th, bosh couldve done a little more. as much as i hate the bulls, when you have a bench that can outplay STARTERS, you have to respect that team. Thibbs knows what he’s doing. but they should be worried about Rose…only 2 points..i dont know how many shots he took but i saw a airball and rusty or not, if your off, your off. dont try to take shots that wont fall for you.

  • ALD

    the bulls situation is almost similar to Orlando when jameer was injured… The need to bring rose off the bench and work him in like memphis was doing with zbo. But Miami might not make it out the second round.. DWADE and Lebron cant win a championship together.

  • http://theillustrationboard.tumblr.com/ Stepfan

    Tom Thibodeau will be the first back to back Coach of the Year. Noah played like fresh boo boo. Here comes Asik. Rose still not in game shape, here comes CJ Watson. Rose has to play the rest of their eight games in order to get his rhythm back and maybe his confidence. Last night it looked like his ankle was still bothering him. On to Miami. Remember when “analyst” said the Heat had a better bench this season then last season? Impossible. The fact that Erik Spoelstra is still experimenting with rotations at the end of the season is hysterical to me. Dwade carried the Heat in the 4th. And dare I say Lebron hit a big time shot with the corner three. But in over time he was nowhere to be found. 6’9 and not on the block? What was the point of going to Hakeem’s camp?

  • AsadSaleh3

    D-Rose will be fine. Not worried about him at all. Those shots are shots he makes in his sleep when he hasn’t missed a month of the season. He’ll get his legs under him after a few games and be right back to his phenomenal level of play. The Heat don’t seem to be better than they were last season. The Bulls are definitely better than last season. The confidence that CJ Watson and John Lucas now have combined with Boozer playing like he should play will help Rose with scoring unlike last season in the playoffs. Add in Kyle Korver shooting very well. I predict a 7 game series and would not be surprised to see the Bulls knock the Heat off. After LeBron and Wade, there is no real consistency from any of the other guys. Chuck mentioned it last night, those two have to carry a lot of the weight. Bosh is struggling. Their bench isn’t nearly as good as they were predicted to be. Looking forward to the playoffs.

  • Kadavour

    LeBron disappointed me. He didn’t show up in the 4th and extra period. It struck me this morning that expectations for him to close the game have been set so low that hitting a wide open corner trey off a tapped out rebound qualifies as clutch play/closing ability. I just don’t get where the disconnect is for him when it comes to imposing his will on a game down the stretch. D-Rose just needs to get his legs back and rhythm back, settle down ppl.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF30WneDtQc Datkid

    ugh…. last night’s game was nauseating. What is WRONG with the heat?? sometimes they’re hard to like.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF30WneDtQc Datkid

    but I have to say, the first 4 quarters were played VERY well. despite erik “no-substitution/mis-substitution” spoestra’s consistent f*ckups. The bulls defended us well in transition(and they’re actually very dangerous when they run) and we fought off their attack. and then…….SMH

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    This is the bed MIA made and they have to sleep in it. This is what happens when you focus all your resources and most of your salary cap on 3 players and think that surrounding them with average role players will be a recipe to dominating the NBA. Those bulls teams never surrounded MJ/Pip with a great supporting cast yet they (MJ) found a way every single time to weather the odds and win big games in the Playoffs. It’s up to LeBron and Wade to dominate 16 games in the playoffs if MIA is going to win anything while they are together because Lord knows no one on that bench is going to step up when needed.

  • Kadavour

    give PIP some props too JT21

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    The Spurs just sweep their season series against Memphis. I guess coach Hollins doesn’t want to tank games now to meet them again in the play-offs. Bulls’ a great team with or without Rose. One more thing, Manu Ginobili is the best slasher in the L.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Getting my popcorn ready. Gonna be an interesting TPU today. Surprised Lebron wasn’t guarding KK down the stretch. The man is unguardable!

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    Co-sign JTaylor on that one

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Rose shoots 1-13 with a +/- of -27, and Bulls still cool the heat for a 10 point win. In fact the heat have lost not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4…but 8 of their past 9 games on the road against teams with WINNING RECORDS. That’s an OMINOUS sign for the heat as the playoffs draw near. In fact since the All-Star break the Heat are 13-10. Tell me can you feel it? Tell me can you feel it? The heat is off!!! *saxophone*

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Like I have stated on here, numerous times Lebron is Dominique Wilkins with a jump-shot. Heat win if Wade can close games and Wade did try, but Lebron was just acting like the game had to come to him. That’s why I can’t be a Lebron fan, you go get the ball and make it happen. Lebron is 6’8, 250, he should be able to get any shot off at anytime in a game. Whats up with Lebron, he hand picked Wade and Bosh to play with and act like he great. I hope Knicks face Heat, 1st round of the playoffs, so they can put the Heat out of of the playoffs. Heat overrated, if Heat do not win this title, everybody please be honest about Lebron game. Kobe won with Gasol as the second best player. Lebron has Wade and Bosh. I would take Bosh over Gasol. Heat need to get Bosh the ball more on the low block and not get him the ball only at the top of the key for jump-shots. The Heat are a joke and like I stated, Lebron already hurt his legacy for the punk move, but if he can’t win a ring in Miami. Lebron to me is a BUST, to me. BOOK IT!!

  • http://www.yahoo.com The Fury

    Heat are 13-10 after the break?!? Not a good sign, somebody in the Big Three will be gone next year for sure. Guess Riley didn’t see this coming.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I don’t normally miss dunks, but when I do, I miss on purpose for laughs. Sincerely, The Most Interesting Dunker in the World!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    For supporters of a team that’s fighting for a playoof spot/position I can understand this is a very exciting time but for supporters of championship-contending teams the playoffs just need to get here ASAP. The Bulls beating the Heat gave me 0 amount of satisfaction, who gives a sh*t. We could lose in 5 games like last year, then what? Wait!! but we beat ‘em in the RS without Rose and with a injured/returning/rusty Rose!! We all know it doesn’t matter, and I know these games will be the last thing on my mind if the Bulls are fortunate enough to meet the Heat in the ECF. Last year’s 3-0 RS record against the Heat and all my confidence after a blowout in the 1st game is not forgotten in my mind.

  • Old Long Johnson

    Everyone should just wait for the playoffs to start. I still remember the Heat getting demolished during the regular season and coming back and exacting revenge on everyone so let’s not count them out yet. On that note, it perplexes me how the Spoelstra is still the coach. If they don’t win it this year, he will be gone.

    The bulls really need to work Rose back in from the bench to get him acclimated, this team has been gelling together without him and has worked out what to do when he’s not there. Now all he needs to do is see where his teammates like to shoot from (and make often) and try and get more assists going when the playoffs start.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I was waiting for the stupid brigade to arrive and boy….they do not disappoint.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-ray

    Great entertaining game between the Heat and Bulls but lets not read too much into it. Last season they look terrible against the Bulls in the regular season and everyone was ready to write them off and we all know how that ended for the Bulls correct? I’m far from a Heat fan and am actually going for the Bulls to meet my Lakers in the finals but lets not act like this win solidifies the Heats future in the playoffs they’ll be fine.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    @Fury I whole heartedly agree with you. :D

  • AsadSaleh3

    I can’t label LeBron a bust. The man won two back to back MVPs and is the most talented player in the world. I think he did himself a disservice by believing that he could just be the most powerful player instead of working on fundamentals. The biggest part of his game that he’s changed since he’s been in the league is his body. His jumpshot has improved considerably since his rookie season, but his strength is the most important part of his game still. The first thing that comes out of people’s mouths when they talk about LeBron is his strength, power and speed. It’s too late for him to add a postgame. Steve Kerr mentioned during the game last night that he still won’t/can’t go to the post in key moments when his team needs low post scoring. They have none. His natural instincts are to bulldoze to the basket or take a medium range jumpshot which teams would still love to give him especially under pressure. So I wouldn’t call him a bust. I’d just say he made his own grave in a sense by not adding different elements to his game early in his career. I think of him in the same way as Iverson in that Iverson, for all his natural gifts, never focused on working on his game so that when his speed began to leave him, he’d still be a good, solid player. LeBron, for all his natural gifts, will not be the same player when his speed and jumping ability begin to fade away. Kobe is 33 and leading the league in scoring, not by being more athletic than everyone else, but by having a dangerous offensive skillset that includes the midrange game and a post game. At some point, LeBron won’t be the most athletic guy on the floor every time he steps on it. You have to wonder what he will do once that happens.

  • Ill Smith

    That Heat bench is weak sauce. Besides Bob McAdoo theres nobody off their bench worth a damn. The Heat demise is coming once the playoffs roll around. They’re not a mentally tough team; anytime they get popped in the mouth or face some adversity they freeze up & revert from all the tactics that got them there (LBJ posting up, taking high % shots, closeout D) to watching DWade try to muster up some type of magic (cuz you know that other star isn’t a factor in the crunch). They didn’t even address their biggest issue in the offseason (inside presence & coaching) both areas Boston & Chicago are far ahead of them. I don’t see em getting past the 2nd round at this point.

  • T-Money

    i think spoelstra is asking too much of lebron right now, he was totally gassed in OT. lebron played the entire 2nd half and the OT while guarding at different times rose, watson, deng, brewer, gibson, asik and noah. steve kerr kept asking why he wasn’t in the low block more while failing to acknowledge that he was actually bringing the ball and running the offense! i don’t know how you can do both. oh, and no points from anyone outside the big 3 in 4th and OT.

  • T-Money

    ill smith – you’re tripping, they had all these flaws last year without the familiarity of playing together for a full year and they went to the finals. this is a weird nba season where all contenders are deeply flawed in some way. / the only good thing i’m getting from yesterday’s game as far as miami is concerned is that spo is figuring out that the best players should get the most minutes. this sounds simple but nba coaches have a way of making that a difficult proposition. college coaches get it more, i find. cal didn’t have a back up pg this year because it didn’t make sense for him to sit lamb or mkg just to be able to say that you have a scrub running the point when teague was on the bench. coach k is also known for playing 2 point guards at the same time or no traditional center to make sure that the best 5 guys are on the floor. i was pleasantly surpised that haslem and bosh were starting and that miller was the first sub for chalmers.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    T-Money, so you think starting Haslem was and is a good idea given how MIA struggles to rebound and protect the paint? At least…Turiaf was good for a block here and there and at least caught the ball and finished in the paint with some regularity. This is not the Haslem from 06, this Haslem seems to have lost the rebounding prowess and jumpshooting touch that made him so valuable to that 06 championship squad.
    Also…..how Spo can have one of the best shooters glued to the pine when he knows that the bench is giving them nothing game after game and needs a scoring boost is beyond me. If you’re going to play Mike Miller and his 1-9 shooting a** why not give JJones a shot and see what he can do out there.

  • ALD

    The king has been caught with his pants down.

  • http://cechicagorilla@aol.com yada

    u can keep bringing up last year but the honest truth is the heat arent as good this year. they have less size than they had lastyear and a worse bench. plus i think without ALOT of teams the heat lost that “INTIMIDATION” factor by what happen in the finals. most championship teams beat teams psychologically before the game even starts. i think teams around the league dont see them the same way they saw them last year. plus the bulls and a few other teams have gotten better. d.rose injury can be a blessing in disguise because now everybody is comfortable making plays and dont feel OMG where is derrick in crisis situations

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Co-sign yada.

  • Ill Smith

    @T-Money
    I hear you but as much as the Heat’s familiarity has grown in a year so has the league’s ability to see their flaws. Like I said, they have zero idea how to close out a game & can be beaten MENTALLY & coaching wise. Chicago’s now got the mindset that they can win without Rose as opposed to last season when they relied on him too heavily. & don’t forget they knocked off the Celtics cuz DWade broke Rondo’s arm. Miami is just not mentally tough. The road through the East was a lot easier last year before they got to the Finals where they were thoroughly outcoached by Rick Carlisle & froze up. Just can’t picture a Celtics roster at full strength (free of the Perkins trade damper) & Doc losing to LeBron, Wade & Spo. Nor do I see them beating a fully confident Bulls team & Thibs.

  • T-Money

    jtaylor – haslem is miami’s best rebounder with lebron james. and i’m not as high on james jones as some are. yeah,, miller was off yesterday but he’s part of the core ansd will be needed for the playoffs. the 8-man playoffs rotation is big 3 + haslem, rio, miller, battier and turiaf. i don’t want joel, cole or jj to play any meaningful minute from now on.

  • T-Money

    and tbh, chicago has some major questions going to answer going in the playoffs too. i was more scared of their bench than their starters. that’S cool in april but what about in may when rip, booze, noah and ?rose? are sitting at the end of a game that they end up losing?

  • T-Money

    on another note, it appears that chris duhon has finally drank himself out of the league.

  • http://cechicagorilla@aol.com yada

    t-money that sounds like a good problem to have tho. the starters especially the backcourt playing with no rhythm together and STILL doing what they are doing? you gotta know d.rose gonna get back to form soon. rip is moving well and shots are falling more. what if they start hitting on all cylinders?? as a 12 man roster thats crazy to think about

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF30WneDtQc Datkid

    they gotta figure out a way for the big 3 to rest. they don’t all have to rest at the same time but they need a break. it’s the only way to overcome spoestra’s idiocy and the gaping holes in the roster. The heat need lebron and wade to be at their absolute peak for the playoffs.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-ray

    Yada
    My only concern for the Bulls is that when Rose does come back to old form will they regress? It’s great that they are playing well together but hopefully they don’t lose sight of that when he comes back. They tend to look lost if he isn’t creating shots.

  • http://fkjlf.com Jukai

    So, Lebron James shoe-in MVP?

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-ray

    Nope Jukai it’s CJ Watson.

  • Andyy

    I have to agree with T-money here. If you look at last year the Heat were not good against teams above .500 during the regular season, but that all changed once the playoffs started. Rotations get shorter in the playoffs so depth doesn’t mean as much, (ie. Denver Nuggets). The Heat should be worried about the Bulls and Celtics when fully healthy, but I will not make the mistake of underestimating Wade, Bron, and especially Bosh once the playoffs start.

  • http://www.awfulannouncing.com/2012-articles/april/skip-bayless-answers-his-critics-as-first-take-spirals-into-a-circus.html Paul H

    I know erik spoelstra’s Sub patterns have been eh, strange at times but If he starts getting scapegoated for the Heat’s failures right now (and any future Playoff failure that may yet occur….) I have two words for you: COP OUT. The man with the initials LBJ, gargantuan contract an the audacity to predict 5 titles before he touched a ball, Is the one sole person who should have the blame placed In his quivering hands. It’s time to man up or shut up Mr. James.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Who ever said LeBron was a “shoe-in” for the MVP trophy?

  • Heals

    Bulls v Heat = the Post Up alarm clock. Good to see 40 comments before 8:30 WC time…

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    For everyone talking about roster depth and rotations shortening I have a few things:
    1.The Bulls played Watson, Gibson, Asik, Brewer, and Korver most of the overtime, so it was the Bulls bench that beat the Heat starters.
    2.This is a crazy condensed season…deep teams are going to be fresher going into the playoffs. And is Spo keeps playing Lebron like he did yesterday the guy will be spent real soon.
    3.Heat can’t shorten their rotation when they haven’t even decided on a rotation. Somehow t-money has spun it into a positive that coach Spo has absolutely no idea who he’s going to start or bring off the bench outside of the big 3. Did I mention the playoffs are 2 weeks away?
    4.If one more Heat fan says “I’m not worried, look what happened last year” I’m going to snap. Guess what dummies, history doesn’t repeat itself in the NBA. Lots of teams that lose one year win the next year. That’s why we have different champs almost every year.

  • http://www.twitter.com/hurstysyd Hursty

    I’m hoping Bosh really steps up in the playoffs. He’s been quiet basically all year, and when LeBron & Wade were out, he single-handedly destroyed Atlanta IN Atlanta. So it’s not like he doesn’t have the ability to win games on his back.
    He must play better, more physical and especially more rebounding.
    Lack of defensive rebounding has a huge psychological toll. If you’ve ever played ball at a good HS level, college, etc, you know how demoralising it is when a team gets 3 or 4 offensive boards and you’re forced to play another 40+ seconds of defensive total. It’s hard, you get discouraged. In order for the Heat to win, Bosh must average 10+ boards a game.
    I’m not singling him out, but he’s a big x factor when he plays well.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    And I’m not saying the Bulls are going to beat the Heat or win the championship. I’m just saying that you’re delusional if the Heat’s second half of the season doesn’t concern you and the only positive spin you can put on it is “look at last year”.

  • MUBWAR

    i can’t wait 4 the playoff cause slam just turn into pre-playoff last season. But they still need someone to get more then 4 points not including the big 3

  • http://cechicagorilla@aol.com yada

    with the logic ppl are using why not just put the teams that were in the finals last year back there again this year? why dont we do that every year. how about the year before that and before that. the celtics and lakers should just play in the finals every year then lol they’be been there the most

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-ray

    The Heat won last year. Just kidding Diesel.

  • http://fkjlf.com Jukai

    JTaylor: I mean… just about all the regulars here

  • Andyy

    Who said the Heat’s second half of the season has not been concerning? All I’ve been saying is not to make it a bigger deal than what it is. Either the Bulls, Celtics, and Heat could make it to the finals out of the east I’m not disputing that. The issue I have is when people act like the Heat are terrible and aren’t capable of beating those teams and potentially the championship.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF30WneDtQc Datkid

    and James Jones deserves a shot. but there were a couple good things that happened yesterday. Lebron is posting up more, and chris bosh is finding his offensive rhythm again… and D.wade had good offensive rthym in the 4th.. for a while.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Jukai, No one ever said that LeBron should be a shoe-in, most of the regulars on here think that he’s been the MVP so far this season. Now that could change (and is changing after every Heat loss) but I still think dude is the MVP.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    @T-Ray – I completely opened myself up to a response like that.

  • http://cechicagorilla@aol.com yada

    well bron still the mvp cause even tho the heat have been losing KD throws up a subpar game in there too

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    This is still the regular season…….

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF30WneDtQc Datkid

    is this last part of the season concerning diesel? yes. but people say that,because the bulls changed NOTHING after the heat smacked the fire out of them in the playoffs.So saying that history is a factor here is relevant. seriously. that roster is the exact same except for the fact that you got rid of the one guy who played good defense on Dwayne wade, and replaced him with an old broken down guy who can’t really play take pressure off rose and is actually barely playing. and your all-star mvp PG is currently hobbled with some incredibly serious mystery injury. These are all things you should be concerned about.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    DWade’s shot towards the end of regulation where he jumped, turned his whole body in the air and looked to pass, turned back and made the shot all before landing back down was ridiculous. Its shots like those that convince me he should be the closer. He can make those crazy shots, or contort his body enough to draw the foul.

  • Chris

    I’b Cris

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com Enigmatic

    “Shoe-in for MVP”?
    We talking kicks?
    Anyways, maaaaan I LOVE Thibs. This is why he just might be coach of the year yet again.
    What coach would ever have the b*lls to bench a reigning MVP late in a game in the latter part of the season against their teams’ biggest rivals?
    Pop would. And you know Jerry Sloan probably would have. But also, this is just Thibs’ second year coaching.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Last nights game told us Chicago is much much much deeper then Miami. And Eric Spoelstra is pretty much horrible. There is no excuse for not having a rotation at this point in a season. Chicago is going to win the East regardless though, assuming Rose is healthy in the playoffs and their bench plays like that. They can basically Muhammad Ali everyone and just wear them down throughout a game. Other than those things though, last nights game didn’t change anything. The home team won, the better team so far this season won. Pretty much status quo.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-ray

    Yea you did Diesel but I figured I would be the one instead of someone who was really serious lol as far as that shot you’re talking about DWade is that dude and since he had it going in the 4th I think LeBron was like go ahead man it’s your time. I find it interesting that Rose misses clutch free throws and so does LeBron. Funny how it usually comes down to that in these games. But whoever said the playoffs need to hurry up and come I can’t cosign that enough!

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    The validity of “clutch” being in one’s genes? Discuss…

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    If you equate clutch with confidence, then, possibly, but hitting big shots is a combination of the quality of the shot, the ability of the defense and the game each individual is having. Robert Hory made a lot of big shots, but guess what? Robert Horry was left open for a lot of big shots as well.

  • http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-bulls-talk/2011 Diesel

    Datkid – Keith Bogans is overrated. For all the defense he played on Wade, he gave it right back by allowing Wade to rest on defense. Hamilton can make a bigger impact alone by having Wade chase him around the court all game. Plus, you can call Hamilton old and everything else, but he’s a better passer and shooter than Bogans was. The offense is much more efficient when he plays. As for the Bulls not changing anything, I disagree. I think the bench has all stepped up their game. I think they gained a lot of confidence playing the extended minutes they did this season. And I’m the last person to put faith in Boozer, but he has been playing much better this season.
    And lastly, the heat didn’t “smack the fire” out of the Bulls. You’re lying to yourself if you think all 4 of those victories weren’t down to the wire. But I’m done talking possible Bulls Heat playoff matchups. There’s plenty of time for that talk if/when it comes to that time.

  • AsadSaleh3

    Who has a concrete definition of “clutch”? How good of a percentage on “clutch shots” must a player have to be considered a good “clutch” player? That word gets tossed around a lot, but I wonder if anyone truly knows what it means. Anyone have a stat on MJ’s percentage on “clutch shots”? We all know he didn’t make all of them even though there are people who act like he did.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    So you’re telling me a 2yr old can go out there and hit clutch shots? Enough with all this “clutch gene” nonsense, it was a phrase made up by that clown on espn.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    The idea of one being clutch is cool, but it is nearly preposterous to gain or lose points in your shooting percentage based on how much time is on the clock. Pressure situations exist without a doub, but a player’s ability to hit them is established way before he ever hsoots that shot while the clock hits triple zeros.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Co-sing Jtaylor 100%. I hate it when people say ‘clutch-gene’. People can get better in these sitautions you know? It’s not pre-determined if you’re going to be able to hit clutch shots in your life. Maybe somebody didn’t have a reliable shot at the beginning of his career, improves his shot and all of a sudden his confidense in ‘clutch situations’ goes way up because he’s able to lean on a good shot.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    MJ made 33 out of 58 GW shots.

  • AsadSaleh3

    Where did you find that?

  • http://cechicagorilla@aol.com yada

    the whole clutch thing is significant sometimes but other times ppl just EXAGGERATE!! ALL of the all time greats have missed freethrows with games on the line! have missed shots in the 4th quarter! its just now with the media and social media the way it is EVERYTHING is blown up! can u imagine how badly ppl would be dogging jordan back in the 80s if the media was the same?

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-ray

    Well said Fleming. And that stat about MJ is pretty crazy JT.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Being clutch is just having confidence in yourself. That’s all it is.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    @Nic – You don’t think the magnitude of the moment affects a player’s ability to hit the shot? That it’s all mechanics?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    On a little something called the interweb.
    T-ray, tell me about it. Goes to show that there’s no comparing MJ to any current perimeter player.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    The only reason a players abilities/shooting % change during clutch situations is because their level of confidence changes. Even Kobe, whose confidence somehow goes up, which causes him to shoot any shot, good or bad.

  • http://cechicagorilla@aol.com yada

    yea its definitely confidence and in your head but even if you shoot the shot as normal as possible and it FELT GREAT leaving your hands and it dont go in, you CHOKED? is there ever a case of a guy just missing the shot

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-ray

    True that JT true that.
    Yada there has never really been a case of a guy just missing shots because the media likes to reminisce on your misses more than your makes sometimes. It’s a what have you done for me lately league and since LeBron has either missed or hadn’t taken the late game shots lately then he’s labeled as not clutch or a choker.

  • AsadSaleh3

    That’s the reason why I will never compare Kobe, Wade, or LeBron to MJ. MJ was a different cat. So when I hear people like Scottie Pippen talking about LJ being better than Michael, I laugh. The standard that people have for LeBron is one that he doesn’t seem to have for himself. So when he fails in so called clutch moments, the first thing people say is “MJ would have taken that shot” or “Kobe would have taken that shot”. LeBron has made it clear in his play that he’s not trying to be like those guys. People want him to be. So they bash him for not living up to THEIR expectations of him. I’m perfectly fine with him not wanting to take those shots especially because he’s playing with a guy who does want to take those shots. If you’re a Heat fan, you need to hope that Spoelstra continues to give Wade the ball in those moments.

  • http://sportsbybrooks.com/boxscores-never-lie-or-exaggerate-on-twitter-30011 Allenp

    T-Money
    Where did you see that about Duhon? It’s been brewing for years. I remember when Jukai killed me for pointing out his problem back in the day based on my “sources.” Lol.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-ray

    Off topic for a second but most of the regulars here like hip hop I was wondering if you guys would check out some of my material. Someone of it was when I first started when I was 17 but I’m 19 and would like feedback. The older songs have more plays and the two newest ones are at the top. Thanks guys!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    T-Ray, I liked “This Way” track 9. Real nice song with great back vocals. The lead vocals need to be condensed better on a few tracks I listened to, or just a new mic might be needed. The beats sounded good and crisp.
    I’m white and make electronic music so take my critique as you will :)

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-ray

    Haha thanks man. Yea that’s one of the older songs before we got a better mic and the beat is actually from the Game on one of his mixtapes. All the beats are other peoples because I’m putting together a trilogy of mixtapes like that. My group is in the process of potentially getting signed and are about 70% finished with the album. We’ll have some singles up on Itunes very soon. Btw for everyone click my name for the link forgot to mention that lol

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    What a beautiful day!J

  • ALD

    “but he does put up amazing stats doesn’t he…?” as they drool

  • http://slamonline Brion

    Lake, whats yur opinion on Skrillex? worth the hype?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Negative. Not a fan. He can produce some good stuff. He can make some good sounds, but i’m not into him at all. I feel like he is the Lady Gaga of electronica. My genre is more ‘chill out’ than dance or dubstep. Although I do like dance and dubstep. But I prefer more dub in my dubstep. And more intelligence in my dance. I’m skipping Cochella this year. Done with that for a minute. Your take Brion?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Anyone see Hank Hill Listens to Skrillex on youtube? =)

  • http://fkjlf.com Jukai

    Allen: He got that from you, your “sources” are the only people who know about that in the world!

  • Justin G.

    That stat about MJ can be misleading. Define game winning shot. If the game is tied with 40 seconds to play and he hits his next shot while the other team fails to score the rest of the game, it’s not exactly a clutch shot is it? If you can find somewhere where it tells you how many games he won on the last shot or free throw inside of say 5 or 10 seconds compared to misses, would be much better. Still though, it’s still a crazy stat and like someone said goes to show you how great he was

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    rofl at those saying that have sources on here. I’ll play too….My “sources” tell me, Jordan’s daughter Jasmine is dating Scoop Jardine.

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