by Russ Bengtson
• I’m cool with the whole retro uniforms thing. Always have been (although I have no idea what year these Pistons unis are from—I’d have to look it up). That said, it’s a little odd that the Bulls are wearing the pinstriped alternates from all the way back in 1996. I mean, guys in tonight’s game were in the League then. Shoulda broken out the screen-printed ’91 joints.
• The Bulls are undersized, scrappy, fundamentally sound and focused on defense and shooting. Shouldn’t their next coach be Norman Dale?
• Just looked, and the Pistons are wearing their ’57-58 home jerseys. No one in tonight’s game was playing then, except for maybe Ben Wallace. This is part of adidas/NBA Heritage Week—nine teams (the others are the Warriors, Lakers, Knicks, Rockets, Celtics, Sixers and Heat) are in throwback gear, as well as jackets that show their championship banners. More than a couple teams (the Rockets, in particular) should go back to the old unis on a full-time basis.
• Jeff Van Gundy doesn’t see Luol Deng as being the best player on a championship-level team, and quite frankly, neither do I. It doesn’t make me feel any better. He would, however, be a perfect SECOND-best player on a championship-level team, which is something, I guess. Here’s what I don’t get about the Bulls (um, not that I haven’t written enough on the subject already): If the goal is to win NOW, which the addition of Wallace certainly implies, why not trade ALL the youngsters? Or at least four of the following six: Noah, Thomas, Sefolosha, Aaron Gray, Demetris Nichols (where did he come from?), JamesOn Curry. Viktor Khyrapa, too. Those are rebuilding guys, and you’re not rebuilding, right? The Bulls are like someone at a poker table who isn’t willing to abandon a would-be straight OR a would-be flush because, hey, BOTH of them look possible. Know what happens then? You wind up with a hand full of nothin’. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS.
• When the Bulls offense is clicking, it looks so good that you can’t help but fall in love with it. You can understand why Pax built the team the way he did, why Skiles runs the offense the way he does, why the players all get along. That said, if they don’t have a true low-post threat by the trade deadline, they’re all a bunch of morons.
• Oh well, at least the Bulls can beat the Pistons. If I had to pick one—and only one—team the Bulls would have success against, the Pistons would be it. So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.
• It’s so fun watching opposing teams/fans/announcers get mad at Andres Nocioni (who is one hell of a flopper). Not as much fun as watching Rasheed Wallace, but what is? TNT and ESPN should definitely have dedicated Rasheed-Cams for their Piston broadcasts. And he should ALWAYS be miked up.