Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go …
Wait. What’s going on? What month is it?
- We are two days away from the television event of the pandemic (and year)! The Last Dance will air its first two episodes this Sunday on ESPN, and to get all kinds of hyped, we shared a post yesterday with a bunch of fun content. This morning though, the first extended-look at the 10-part docuseries hit the interwebs, so make sure to give it a watch THIS INSTANT:
Can't wait for Sunday? Neither can we.
— ESPN (@espn) April 17, 2020
- The Bulls just won their 5th championship, Jerry Krause is the enemy, Michael Jordan is wearing some extremely 90s haberdashery. The stage is truly set.
- Good, I expect nothing less.
Heard Michael Jordan is drinking scotch throughout the whole Last Dance interview.
— Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) April 17, 2020
- ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote about the future of a Lauri Markkanen-Wendell Carter Jr. frontcourt. Over the course of this season, Markkanen was stuck in a downward spiral while Carter Jr. failed to find his footing. We have yet to see this duo click, and Lowe attributes most of that to the team’s lack of playmaking. Markkanen is stuck in a spot-up shooting roll and Carter Jr. has barely been a part of the offensive game plan all season long. At the end of the day, all of this goes back to the same point we’ve been making from the start – the Bulls don’t know how to use their players correctly. Sure, guys need to step up and perform better too, but ultimately, the system this team is running doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The shot-profile might be what a “modern NBA team” likes to see on offense, but none of that matters if the team isn’t winning games. Square pegs, round holes and whatnot.
- Plenty of people out there still seem to think the Bulls have a solid young core at their disposal (even Lowe says he believes Markkanen can turn into a viable No. 2). New front-office leader Arturas Karnisovas sure seems to feel the same way, and hopefully, he’ll finally be the one to implement a system that fits this roster. I mean, he sure sounds committed to doing so: “They’re going [to] use [this line] a lot of times, ‘Well, I’ve never seen this before,'” Karnisovas told NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson earlier this week. “I’m going to be there in practice facility first. I’m going to be working out before them. We’ll eat breakfast maybe together. We’re going to talk about family. I’ll be around all the time until we establish a particular culture and expectations. I’m to call every player on the roster to introduce myself. I know them all because we obviously profoundly scouted them when they were coming up. We’re one of the youngest rosters in the league. There’s a lot of talented pieces.”
- Supposedly one of the best eyes for talent in the league, I trust Karnisovas to steer things in the right direction. If he doesn’t think someone fits with the future of this organization, I don’t think for a second he would shy away from making a move. After all, the Nuggets were full of them in 2019 alone: Trading Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez, and Jarred Vanderbilt in a three-team deal for Keita Bates-Diop, Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh, Gerald Green, and a 2020 1st Round Pick (Green was later released and Napier was sent elsewhere). The organization also committed long-term to Jamal Murray with a five-year extension before the season started. Point being – Karnisovas is coming straight from an organization that isn’t afraid to pull the trigger. The Bulls need that.
- Speaking of which, one of Karnisovas’ first roster decisions will likely be what to do with Lauri Markkanen. Up for a rookie scale max-extension, Bleacher Report wrote-up a mock negotiation, ultimately deciding that the Bulls would offer the power forward $15 million a year (close to what the Aaron Gordon, TJ Warren, Julius Randle types receive). Do you think Markkanen would accept? Bleacher Report says “nope,” and I think I’d have to agree. Unless Karnisovas is high enough on him to counter, Markkanen might see if he could get his desired deal during restricted free agency in 2021
- Zach LaVine and the Chicago Sky’s Allie Quigley battled in a very entertaining (yes, I legitimately enjoyed it) semi-final round of the HORSE tournament last night. After a back-and-forth start to the match, LaVine eventually won by two letters.
- ZACH LAVINE AIN’T MESSING AROUND! HE’S MASTER OF THE HORSES.
Zach LaVine not being allowed to dunk in HORSE and thus choosing to do off-the-backboard, through-the-legs layups is the most ruthless sports move in a month.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) April 17, 2020
- With that said, he lost in the finals to Mike Conley … 🙁
Good game, @MCONLEY10 👏 pic.twitter.com/YzHoJwNeqn
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) April 17, 2020
- Just saying, the Bulls and Sky need to team-up for a charity HORSE tournament of their own. Someone get on that.
- Learn everything about Karnisovas:
Kim Bohuny hired Arturas Karnisovas at the NBA league office in 2003. Tim Connelly did the same for the Nuggets 10 years later. Some common themes about Karnisovas’ makeup drove both decisions.
A deep dive on Bulls’ new exec VP of basketball operations. https://t.co/lwuItuClMt
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) April 17, 2020
- ESPN+ is planning to run special edition episodes of their show Detail. Phil Jackson, Dennis Rodman, and Stever Kerr will re-watch and walk through some of 1998’s biggest games.
- This is a good one:
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) April 17, 2020