Midway through the third quarter of their eventual 92-88 takedown of Memphis, Chicago opened up a 14-point lead as Kirk Hinrich went all 2004 on us. He had a few steals, a blocked shot, a layup, and started a number of fast breaks, all within a four-minute stretch. Eight minutes into the quarter, and Memphis already had seven turnovers while Hinrich was looking like Jimmy Chitwood. A lot to get excited about in the Windy City? Not entirely. Now that Nate Robinson is rocking the dreaded No. 2, allegedly cursed by Norm Van Lier, and then worn by Eddy Curry, Tim Thomas, Thabo Sefolosha and Dennis Hopson, Hinrich might be the squad’s only backcourt hope until you know who comes back. Yes, that’s all true. But the Grizzlies also didn’t play their starters big minutes, and even the Bulls were paced in scoring by Luol Deng (18 points), a guy who basically took the second half off. One thing we can say? The Bulls might the most underrated team in the league going into this year. That defense alone will push them to at least 50 wins, with or without Mr. Rose … It’s just about a week into the NBA’s preseason, which means the season is drawing closer and Carlos Boozer is closing in on his annual Chicago undressing. It happens every year, like clockwork. Even Midwest rapper Freddie Gibbs, a big Chicago Bulls fan, is getting in on the act, telling us yesterday that he absolutely hates Boozer… with a passion, saying he’d trade Boozer for a 90th-round draft pick (!) and four D-Leaguers. Boozer told The Chicago Sun-Times that winning will cure all. Too bad “winning” went out the door with Derrick Rose’s injury. If “winning” means making the playoffs and securing a high seed (remember, Chicago will be quite good this year as we just wrote – just not THAT good), then Boozer should be alright. But if it means “championship,” which is what we think it means in Chicago, then he better step it up if he wants to avoid a tongue lashing. He had six points and five rebounds in limited minutes last night … Now that we know Tracy McGrady actually is going to play in China, we can start contemplating how he’ll do there. Stephon Marbury transitioned well, winning championships and getting a big ass bronze statue of himself that even Michael Jordan would be proud of. J.R. Smith played well, except he didn’t do that much of it. He must’ve averaged close to 50 points a game, launching up shots with no regard for any offensive scheme, but left the country in a cloud of mystery, his personal team in direct conflict with the organization over all of his apparent missed practices. And a host of other players had up-and-down experiences as well. T-Mac? He’ll have the fans on his side. Plus, no one perfected the craft of putting up numbers without really trying better than ‘Mac. He should be just fine … And in the battle of lottery doormats, New Orleans beat up Charlotte, 97-82. The Bobcats shot blanks in the second half, finishing with 25 points in the final two quarters while getting pummeled inside by Anthony Davis (22 points, nine boards) and Robin Lopez (18 points, 13 rebounds) … Keep reading to hear why Dirk didn’t play last night …
Smack / Oct 9, 2012 / 11:12 pm
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