My Bulls

nice article by the Chicago Tribune's Sam Smith re my favorite nba team and their corralling of wunderkind lebron james and his cleveland cavs last night.

Sam Smith Story

i watched the whole game, and nocioni did some real nice work on lebron. but what smith doesn't mention is the cavs possession just before gordon's pass to chandler, when lebron was isolated against noci with the game tied and the clock ticking down to under 30 seconds. lebron faked right, went baseline, and noci slid over cat-quick. james, surprised to see the white boy there at what he thought was going to be his big moment, stuck out a forearm and gave a smallish shove for some separation. BEEEEP! whistle blows, offensive foul, we're goin the other way. incredible D. but i think if it were michael, or perhaps lebron in five years, they wouldn't have made that call. same thing michael did to byron russell to end finals 7 years ago.

anyway, the most impressive thing about this team is that they are the most nameless, headless, scrapping, intelligent basketball-playing unit i've ever seen. by that i mean there are no stars, no clear-cut leader on the floor, they play with passion and considerable intelligence. and most of all, they play together. their offense is unlike any in the league. they actually cut and move and screen and step out and dump in and whoever finally gets a good look takes it. antonio davis hits a jumper. then pargo. chandler gets a garbage hoop, noci hits a twenty-footer; hinrich draws a foul. maybe it was because curry didn't play, but i honestly don't think there was a first, second, or third option; it was the most egalitarian display of offense i've ever seen. i have yet to look at the box score, but when i do i'll be surprised to find that any one player outscored any other. they seem to exist in a vacuum, or in 1950. nobody has an ego, or an agenda, or a tattoo. they almost never dunk. they discuss strategy like ad-men. and scott skiles, i'm sorry, but the guy was born to coach. he doesn't open his mouth that much because his face is so expressive the players know exactly what he's saying. and he's a great leader. always focused and fierce, never flustered, right there with them in the fight. that they're bringing up other names for coach of the year is ludicrous.

No comments: