If anyone wants to add the White Sox on to these types of posts, be my guest...
The problem with west coast night games is that I only get to watch the first half at best. So while I gather that the problem with the Warriors game was turnovers, and the problem with the Blazers game is we let Aldridge drop 42, I don't feel like I really have the ability to analyze the little things that can be the difference between wins and losses.
I did notice a disturbing trend in both games, however. Both teams defended the Derrick-Kurt/Taj pick and roll by all out double-teaming Rose and making him give it up. If you have two solid defenders, this can work. The obvious counter-attack is to have 3 guys who all can shoot in the corners and top of the key, so the other 3 defenders can't guard everyone. Of course, the Bulls really only have 1 reliable spot-up shooter (Korver) so they need to be creative. I've seen Boozer make some nice plays in the 4-on-3 that results, but this worries me long-term if more teams start to copy it.
(While we're talking xs and 0s, Kurt Thomas has twice been late on the help for the pick-and-roll. While Kurt has been better lately, this is clearly the time to bring in Taj, TT.)
I know we paid a lot of money for not a lot of yards from Chester Taylor, but I hope he's back next year. (Note: all Bears notes for the offseason are working off the assumption that there is a next year.) He wasn't the 2nd coming of Thomas Jones, but he made Matt Forte markedly better by spelling him here and there, and finding the hole when it was there. All problems with running backs this year should be addressed to the offensive line, who didn't open up a lot of holes for either running back.
Ethan texted me last week saying "why didn't the Cubs sign Vlad?" The reasons were too myriad for me to reply in a text, so I'll explain here:
1. The Cubs already have 36.4 million invested in the outfield (and only 3.4 million of that is our two good outfielders,Marlon Byrd and Tyler Colvin)
2. Adding outfielders means less at-bats for Colvin (it shouldn't but it will) which is entirely counter-productive at this point. If Colvin, Geovany Soto, and Starlin Castro get less than 500 at-bats this year, I will be seriously disappointed in Mike Quade (While we're at it, please find 300 for Darwin Barney, somewhere.)
3. The Cubs are not a top NL contender this year, nor would they be with Vlad in the outfield. The Cubs are somewhere in between being halfway competitive and rebuilding. It confuses me why they are trying to rebuild on the fly (like I talked about last time) but it's clearly the direction they're going in.
4. Colvin's better defense might make up for Vlad's offense, considering how old and slow Vlad is. He belongs in the American League at this point in his career.
There's probably more, but that's enough for now.
(Since I'm kicking Ethan while he's down, I'm typing this while watching the Bulls-Jazz game, and Andrei Kirilenko is seriously owning Luol Deng's shit right now. Two straight easy buckets on him with little resistance then a blocked shot on the other end...)
I'm not pressing the panic button just yet, like everyone else is, but man, they need to start playing motivated. I still don't think the Hawks will miss the playoffs, but I'd love if they started playing like it was a possibility. The NHL playoffs seem to be the biggest crapshoot out there, but it's not like they're even one point out in 9th place anymore. They're 11th. And 3 points back. It's time to start trying, boys, or I'm on the Stanley Cup Hangover bandwagon.
(Sam, as Gordon Hayward checks in for the Jazz: "Hayward's on the Jazz? I just assumed he was on the Pacers..." Take a bow, Larry Bird. If you're a white, American, halfway decent college player, you're automatically assumed to be on the Pacers.)
I'm excited to see the Portland Timbers play, just because it's always fun to see soccer in regions that support it, and Portland is going to support the hell out of it. I'll stop short of saying the Sounders-Timbers rivalry will make people care about the MLS, but it'll be interesting if you care about soccer.
(CSN, screw you for putting stupid clips of nut-shots in the corner of the screen. They put a promo for the stupid new Adam Sandler movie, and it's literally just people getting hit in the nuts. I'm trying to watch a basketball game here, not America's Funniest Home Videos.)