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http://www.suntimes.com/output/jackson/cst-spt-jax19.html


Low-post help should settle Chandler

November 19, 2005

BY JOHN JACKSON SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

SEATTLE -- The insertion of Michael Sweetney into the starting lineup should take some pressure off center Tyson Chandler to provide low-post scoring, particularly at the start of games.



With no natural low-post scorer among the starters the Bulls featured for the first seven games of the season, Chandler tried to provide some inside offense -- with comical results at times.

After Friday night's 98-84 loss to the Seattle SuperSonics at Key Arena, he is averaging just 5.6 points in 28.3 minutes -- well below his modest average of eight points last season.
http://www.suntimes.com/output/bulls/cst-spt-bull19.html

Second-half collapse torpedoes Bulls

November 19, 2005

BY JOHN JACKSON Staff Reporter

SEATTLE -- The Bulls now have dropped 41 games on their extended November road trips over the last seven seasons, but few have been as demoralizing as the 98-84 loss to the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday night at Key Arena.

This was a game in which the Bulls -- who have dropped three straight to fall to 3-5 -- seemed on the verge of racing to a blow-out win in the first half only to fall apart completely in the second half.

Once the Sonics (4-5) rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter, the body language of the Bulls' players told the entire story: slumped shoulders and heads hanging.

When asked if his team got discouraged when Seattle made a run, coach Scott Skiles said, ''I don't think there's any question about that. That's something we're battling right now.

''There are moments in every NBA game where things don't go your way. You either fight or flee, and we're having trouble with that right now. When things don't go our way, we tend to hang our heads.''

Luol Deng led the Bulls with 16 points, and Michael Sweetney added 13 points and 11 rebounds. Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen led Seattle with 27 points each.

''I think we let the game get away,'' Deng said. ''We kept giving them shots in the second half, and they were making them.''
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune...gamer,1,5530636.story?coll=cs-bulls-headlines

Bulldozed by hot Sonics
2nd-half defense implodes as Bulls fall to 0-3 on trip

By Sam Smith
Tribune pro basketball reporter

November 19, 2005, 1:42 AM CST


SEATTLE -- Did anyone get the license number of that cement mixer?

It had Washington plates, and Friday night it just flattened the Bulls and left them peeling themselves off the losing side once again on this Western Conference trip.
Sam doing a game story!

http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/bulls.asp?id=123462
Bulls no match for Sonics’ second-half stampede
By Mike McGraw
Daily Herald Sports Writer
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2005


Deng led the Bulls with 16 points, while Michael Sweetney finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. On the heels of a 24-point, 14-rebound game at Portland, Sweetney started at power forward Friday in place of the ineffective Darius Songaila. Heading into Friday’s game, Songaila was averaging 3.6 points and shooting 30 percent from the field.

“I’d like to find Darius a comfort level he can settle into,” Skiles said. “He’s accustomed to coming off the bench. On the other hand, I wanted somebody to really emerge and kind of take that spot. Mike had a career game the other night, so it seems like a logical time.”
http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/bulls.asp?id=123266

Bulls no match for Sonics in second-half runaway
By Mike McGraw
Daily Herald Sports Writer
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2005

SEATTLE — Coach Scott Skiles was hoping someone would step up and claim the Bulls’ starting job at power forward.

Darius Songaila, the incumbent at the position, certainly wasn’t getting it done.

So Skiles took Michael Sweetney’s 24-point, 14-rebound performance in Portland on Wednesday as a sign.

Sweetney was in the starting lineup Friday night at KeyArena, but the Bulls dropped a 98-84 decision to the Seattle SuperSonics.

Sweetney started a few games during preseason, but Skiles switched to Songaila because Sweetney was getting in early foul trouble. Skiles also wanted Sweetney to be able to work against the opponents’ reserves.

“We’ll see how it goes. I’ll just have to stay out of foul trouble, that’s all,” Sweetney said before the game. “It’s always a good thing to be starting, to be out there at the beginning of the game. It’s cool to get an opportunity.”

Skiles wanted to make sure his players didn’t forget about Sweetney in the post, which they did at times against Portland.

“We have a tendency to shoot jump shots instead of looking for him and letting go to work down there,” Skiles said. “I think when a guy has that kind of breakout game, it puts everybody else on notice."
 

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We're not 0-9, it's true, but is there any way that we can figure out which lineups are good to go with BEFORE the regular season starts? Inserting Duhon, I'm sure, seemed like the right thing to do. Let's hope that Sweetney will provide similar results.

That's for sure what the team needs, though, so regardless of how late or for whatever reason it happened, it'll be good for the team. He'll provide a lot of balance on offense, which will free up our backcourt a bit from pressure and double teams, but more importantly he'll help yank down some boards.

It will ripple an impact across both ends of the floor. He's already ranked 13th in the NBA in offensive rebounding. Limiting our opponents possessions is a big part of larger defensive strategy.
 

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Showtyme said:
We're not 0-9, it's true, but is there any way that we can figure out which lineups are good to go with BEFORE the regular season starts? Inserting Duhon, I'm sure, seemed like the right thing to do. Let's hope that Sweetney will provide similar results.

That's for sure what the team needs, though, so regardless of how late or for whatever reason it happened, it'll be good for the team. He'll provide a lot of balance on offense, which will free up our backcourt a bit from pressure and double teams, but more importantly he'll help yank down some boards.

It will ripple an impact across both ends of the floor. He's already ranked 13th in the NBA in offensive rebounding. Limiting our opponents possessions is a big part of larger defensive strategy.
Insert Luol Deng into the starting lineup while you're at it. The guy is obviously finding a groove and looking more comfortable. Duhon, Hinrich, Deng, Sweets, Chandler.

However, we're playing better at the outset of games. The problem is that our guys can't play 48 minutes of basketball. They continue to have a meltdown at some point or another.
 

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Looks like the starting PF spot is Sweetney's to lose -- the kid is really playing well the last couple of games. I wish I knew what was going on with our guard's shooting. They've been attrocious the last few games....
 

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Wynn said:
Looks like the starting PF spot is Sweetney's to lose -- the kid is really playing well the last couple of games. I wish I knew what was going on with our guard's shooting. They've been attrocious the last few games....
The really scary thing is that of our three main guards, one is shooting above his career average, one is shooting at his career average and one is shooting below his career average.

Its not like they are performing all that differently than they have in the past, as a group.
 

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kukoc4ever said:
The really scary thing is that of our three main guards, one is shooting above his career average, one is shooting at his career average and one is shooting below his career average.

Its not like they are performing all that differently than they have in the past, as a group.
This keys into my post in another thread. We had success with last year's system. We should just make an attempt to replace the parts we lost, but stay with the same system. Our guards are the same, if not better. Deng and Noch are basically doing the same that they did last year (Deng a little better, Noch a little worse).

The problem is not with our guards. The problem is with the support surrounding our guards, on both ends of the floor. Once we starting hauling in more boards, defending in the paint, and not having offensive liabilities on the floor, the guards will continue doing what they're doing but have more impact.
 

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on one hand, it's encouraging to get that production. all we need is another player or two to step up. on the other hand, this could be the strategy of our opponents. let their best post defender get sweetneywith single coverage. i think teams will live with a sweets double double. in return they can focus on taking gordan and hinrich out of the game. so far, the three games sweetney posted a double double were losses.
 

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kukoc4ever said:
The really scary thing is that of our three main guards, one is shooting above his career average, one is shooting at his career average and one is shooting below his career average.

Its not like they are performing all that differently than they have in the past, as a group.
For the season your observations are correct. The guards have had some standout games where they've looked great. For the last few games (prior to the LA win), however, they've been particualrly bad. Seems Gordon's been struggling all season.

Can anybody honestly say, though, that we wouldn't have beaten the Trailblazer (loss by three) if Duhon doesn't go 1-10? Or the Warrior (loss by 18) when our guards were 2-10, 1-11, and 2-12?

Seems like the whole team is feeling it's way into the season, but the lines above a ROUGH! I feel like if those guys can be more consistent, we can find some inside help for Chandler and Sweetney, and Deng and Noc can work out of a slow start, then this season will be fine.
 
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