Around the World (Wide Web): Chicago Bulls Preview

Phillip Barnett —  September 28, 2010

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, left, and Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher battle for the ball in the first half of a NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on November 19, 2009. UPI/Lori Shepler Photo via Newscom

From Blog A Bull: What are the team’s biggest strengths? Defense, rebounding, and overall physicality. With all the faults of the Vinny Del Negro era (and oh, there were many), he did have the Bulls playing as a top-10 defense for most of the season (finished 11th after the midseason trades and an injury to Noah). Anchored by Joakim Noah (one of the best help defenders in the game and an improving shotblocker) and supplemented by an underrated perimeter defender in Deng, Thibodeau’s defense-first mindset should fit in well with this roster. Kirk Hinrich will be missed on that end of the floor, but he was always undersized for the position compared to new acquisition Ronnie Brewer. Boozer isn’t known as a great defender but he’s a physical one, and Noah ought to cover a lot of his mistakes. The bigs off the bench include second-year player Taj Gibson and rookie Omer Asik, the former having proven to be an above-average defender and the latter excelling in shotblocking while playing overseas.


From Mark Medina, LA Times: Walking across the Lakers’ practice court during the team’s media day literally signified Lamar Odom’s first step into the 2010-2011 season. It didn’t just mark the first time Odom would see the assembled reporters since his exit interview a week after the Lakers’ 2010 title run. It also served as the first time Odom had actually been in the Lakers facility itself. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol abstained from the 2010 FIBA World Championships, while  Odom helped Team USA to its first gold-medal victory since 1994.  While Andrew Bynum underwent a controversial surgery after traveling to the World Cup in South Africa, Odom avoided surgery and traveled to Turkey with Team USA.

From Mark Medina, LA Times: Standing off to the side, Lakers forward Ron Artest approached Phil Jackson with a potent observation. In just his second practice, Steve Blake already provided a formidable impression. “Was Steve here during the summer a lot?” Jackson recalled Artest asking him. “Because he seems to know the offense already.” Even casual observers understand the irony in this conversation. Lakers fans may hold Artest in high esteem now for his 2010 NBA Finals’ Game 7 heroics and lovable nature, but they also painfully remember Artest trying to figure out the triangle even well into the postseason. They witnessed his questionable shot selection, confusion over where he should move on the floor and transition in becoming a secondary offensive option. Compare that with Blake, and you have the Zen Master praising his understanding, Kobe Bryant crediting his basketball IQ and Blake, himself, sharing his extra off-season work.

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: Andrew Bynum had a great time, though. For the distraction he wound up creating and the flak he’ll catch as he sits for most of the rest of the calendar year, Bynum said his trip sans crutches to watch the soccer World Cup in Johannesburg was “one of the best times of my life.” “I never saw so much emotion going through people before, even the NBA Finals,” Bynum said. “I hope we can get to that stage (in basketball).” Bynum could hardly stand still as he tells the story of his day of departure from South Africa, when he and his entourage brought a soccer ball to the airport. Suddenly, in Pied Piper fashion, they found 35 people there encircling them, happily hanging out just because there was that ball.

From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Friday afternoon, Phil Jackson said he thought Andrew Bynum might miss a few games to start the season. Two, three, maybe four. No worries. Guess he should have run that line by Bynum himself, because Saturday the fifth-year center revealed he expected to spend significantly more time in street clothes. “I see [returning] more towards the end of November,” he said. Bynum remains about four weeks away from significant activity on the floor, and then he has to work his way back into playing shape and onto the court. While Bynum will never be confused with Nostradamus when it comes to predicting when he’ll return from injury — he tends to be overly optimistic — for the sake of argument, let’s say he’s right and returns Nov. 30 vs. Memphis. It would be L.A.’s 18th game of the season.

From C.A. Clark, Silver Screen and Roll: Relatively speaking, Luke Walton had a miserable year last season. Oh, sure, as a member of the championship-winning Los Angeles Lakers, he’s probably not at risk of being the main character when CBS decides to give the “Worst Week” concept another try, but I think it’s fair to say that, even with another championship ring en route, Walton’s year didn’t play out as he envisioned. He lost a goodly portion of his season to what was called a pinched nerve in his back, only appearing in 29 games. And in the 29 games that he did see the court, he was not exactly at his finest. Unfortunately, Walton has three things going against him as he tries to pick up the pieces from last year. 1) His injury affects the back, which is a particularly fickle and vital part of an athlete’s body. 2) That injury isn’t particularly treatable or fixable. In fact, doctors don’t even really have a perfect understanding of what exactly is wrong with young Luke.

Phillip Barnett


to Around the World (Wide Web): Chicago Bulls Preview

  1. Glad to hear that S. Blake is picking up the offense at an accelerated pace. I hope this means that he will be able to play more minutes at the point, letting Fish rest during the regular season.

    With Pau, Lamar, Theo and maybe a little D. Caracter put into the mix. I dont see LA having that much of a problem if Bynum returns by December. Out of the 18 games played during Oct and Nov., 10 are at home and the competitiion is not to stiff with decent teams like Portland, Milwaukee, Memphis, Chicago and Utah mixed in between the cellar dwellars.

    The team has already won a championship without Drew on the court in the playoffs, I think the inks are overreacting a tadbit about Drews absence at the first part of the season. This is a veteran squad that knows how to win, and will go about business as usual.


  2. 1-
    We already won a championship without Bynum on the court in the Playoffs? when was that cuz last 2 years he played in the playoffs the year he didn’t play we lost in the finals. But DirtySanchez I agree people are over reacting a little we just NEED him the the playoffs but these first couple months aren’t that big of a deal. unless you want him to be an allstar


  3. Bynum is quickly becoming a pain to like. I get that he wanted to enjoy his summer, but he isn’t a kid in college – he’s a grown man making grown man money playing a grown man sport. He needs to understand that his paycheck of over $15 m a year comes with some grown man responsibilities and sacrifices.

    Geez. Now we have to wait until November (!!!) to have him back and, if we are lucky, he’ll be in shape by season end. Is it me or is this guy Shaq Jr?


  4. MICHAEL ZARABI aka ZERB September 28, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    at least with shaq we knew what we were getting … he would take off the first half of the season then slowly get into shape for the playoffs.

    with bynum we get the same thing except he also gets injured during the playoffs.

    we will get lucky to get 15 great games by bynum a year


  5. 2 Jordan

    In 2009 LA beat Orlando without Bynum on the court and in street clothes.


  6. Jordan and Dirty:

    This aint’ 2009. We are not getting by teams that have improved their inside presence (like the Celtics), or teams that are way better all around (like the Heat) or teams with players that are now back that were injured in 09 or 10 (Houston). There’s no question we need a healthy and in-shape Bynum – and that’s why I’m upset. His moves in the off-season strike me as immature and not the types of moves a true champion makes.

    I mean, even KOBE, who deserved to take the entire summer off, did not delay his surgery. I know a lot of you will give him a break because he is “young”, but to me that’s no excuse. Bynum is not 16. He’s a grown man. Time to start acting like one.


  7. 5 Dirty

    Not that it really matters but Bynum played all 23 playoff games in 2009

    look: he even started agains orlando:


  8. Wait a minute, here. Kobe and Bynum did the same thing: went to the World Cup and had surgery afterwards. Same thing.

    Kobe’s surgery didn’t end up more complicated than expected; Bynum’s did. If it were reversed?

    And don’t compare to Shaq, who not only waited as long as all the way until season start time, but consciously did so to be “on company time” – egregious. There’s just nothing here like that.

    There was a delay for Bynum’s surgery because the swelling had to come down. So he extended the delay slightly by going to World Cup (I believe 10 days, max). Lakers agreed with this timing.

    Not Bynum’s fault: the initial delay, the unexpected complications, the Laker’s decision to support that timetable.

    Bynum’s fault: at worst, 10 days. So, instead of “late November” (or whatever date), it would, I guess, be “mid November”.


  9. Bynum could have always opted out of the Finals and gotten the surgery in early June. Of course, there is a good chance that brand new banner would be on its way back east instead of coming to Staples Center.

    At this point if we are expecting 82 games, 25 and 13 a night, and defenses collapsing on Bynum every time he touches the ball, then we are the crazy ones. Andrew Bynum is what he is. If the Lakers can get 65 good regular season games, and a good playoff run then Drew’s season will be a success.

    I am much more concerned about Kobe’s finger than I am about Bynum’s knee. Which would cause a bigger problem, Bynum consistently not being able to jump or Kobe consistently missing shots?


  10. If I’m reading the accounts correctly, Bynum delayed his surgery by anywhere between 10-15 days.

    So even if he did get it right after the Finals (doubtful if that was even possible with swelling), he still would have missed the beginning of the season. Bottom line it was more complicated than anyone expected.

    I’m failing to see why everyone is using this as a referendum on his work ethic or lack thereof. This is no way equivalent to Shaq’s decision to delay his surgery knowing that the recovery time would include training camp.

    Original estimate even with the 10 day delay had Bynum ready in plenty of time for training camp.

    Sure get on his case for being a slow healer or being injury prone. But to use this as an example of his immaturity or lack of work ethic sounds like faulty logic.


  11. I think people are being a bit too hard on Bynum and aren’t looking at the type of surgery being done.

    Forgive my ignorance on the procedure but I know that instead of just taking out the meniscus (sp?) they were able to repair it and instead of a short recovery, this recovery timetable is longer but it helps Bynum in the long run instead of the alternative procedure. I could care less if Bynum misses November, all I want is him to be healthy come May & June.


  12. From what I hear and gather thus far is this:

    Everyone involved thought it would be a simple surgery with immediate rehab, thus OK with delaying it. Plus it wasn’t really possible to get on it right away, due to the swellings and such from participating in the finals.

    The snags involved were that it turned out to be a bit more complex with longer rehab, and that Bynum didn’t let the Lakers know about the complications immediately.

    And, I guess more importantly to some, is that he stated that he would do the same thing over again even if he knew how much time he was going to miss.

    The last part could be interpreted a-la Shaq, in which case I understand completely why people are miffed.

    But to me, it just sounds like a kid who was just totally awed by what he saw during the world cup and during the safari, both of which I understand since I was in Korea for the crazy, crazy 2002 world cup rooting for my home country (Korea, hah), and have been on a pilgrimage to Israel which is not quite like a safari but gives ample time to think about who you are and what your place in the world is.

    Well, it is wishful thinking, but I’m giving him the benefit of doubt here, considering what he’s done for us.


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    Password: queensbridge


  14. I can’t believe we have alarmists already, but three months after hanging a title and several weeks before the season even begins.

    Bynum did his thing grown man style. He isn’t your basketball slave. As has been mentioned, most of the delay (read: months of it) are due to complications in the surgery.