All-NBA Teams, Durant's Legendary Night, Grading Patrick Williams' First Pitch, and Other Bulls Bullets

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All-NBA Teams, Durant’s Legendary Night, Grading Patrick Williams’ First Pitch, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

In case you spent your morning meditating in the mountains, let me start things off with a little news dump:

•   Chris Paul is in NBA Protocols

•   Kawhi Leonard might have a terrible knee injury

•   Scott Brooks and Stan Van Gundy have been let go

Yup, it’s only Wednesday and the NBA is all kinds of drunk.

•   The NBA officially announced All-NBA teams on Tuesday night, and it’s hard to find a major complaint. While the absence of names like Kevin Durant and James Harden is immediately noticeable, the missed games from each this season understandable worked against them. Likewise, Jayson Tatum also found himself with a lofty midseason absence, as well as on an underperforming Celtics team, which left him as the first name off the ballot.

•   As for the Bulls, they were represented in the final vote tally but it was nothing to celebrate. Nikola Vucevic finished with two third-team votes, while Zach LaVine just cracked the guards column with one third-team vote. While both had undebatable All-Star caliber seasons, this All-NBA list serves as another reminder that true recognition comes with winning basketball games.

•   If you’re looking for a more positive spin, though, we can go with this: Other than Zion Williamson, LaVine and Vucevic were the only two players on a non-playoff team to receive votes. The two players seem to be viewed as high-caliber talents who can carry a competitive team, but it is now up to the front office to properly construct that competitive team. We spoke some more about this process yesterday, as well as why we could see more familiar faces than expected in Year 2 of this new regime.

•   If you didn’t catch last night’s Nets-Bucks game, go into the corner and think about what you’ve done. Brooklyn’s 17-point comeback victory in Game 5 was one of the most spectacular individual playoff performances I have ever seen. Kevin Durant played the entirety of the game (yes, 48 minutes) while posting a Wilt Chamberlain like stat line of 49 points, 17 rebounds, and 10 assists. He scored 20 of those points in the final quarter, including this absurd 3-point dagger.

•   It was a performance that grabbed every single NBA fan by the ears and screamed, “REMEMBER ME!?” Only the best player in the world could put together such a show, and Giannis Antetokounmpo knows it.

•   Some people were mad at the Greek Freek for sharing this comment, but I think the root of that anger stems from his rough in-game decision-making. I truly could not believe some of the shots Antetokounmpo felt comfortable taking, particularly this wild baseline fadeaway jumper on a hobbled James Harden.

•   Even worse than Antetokounmpo taking these shots, in my opinion, is the fact he is allowed to. Remember how I said this is one of the most spectacular individual playoff performances I’ve ever seen? Yeah, well it was also one of the most abysmal coaching performances I’ve ever seen. Mike Budenholzer appeared to lack any kind of coherent gameplan. He let Antetokounmpo run isos, promoted zero ball movement, refused to attack Harden on the defensive end, did not double-team Durant, forced Brook Lopez to stay on Durant, and literally just looked lost on the sideline. I mean, look at this Boylenesque face. LOOK AT IT!

•   Whatever. The Bucks are not my problem. In fact, the more dysfunctional they are, the better it is for the improving Bulls. I just hate watching bad basketball and boy was that a boatload of bad.

•   Speaking of bad … (I’m sorry P-Dub).

https://twitter.com/NBCSBulls/status/1404959439728386049?s=20

•   If I had to grade Patrick Williams’ first pitch, I would probably hand him a C. However, that is based on my “just try not to embarrass yourself” scale for normal humans. Williams might as well be an insanely athletic space-human, so I have to demote him a tad for this lackluster showing and give him a C-. Hey, maybe it was just those jeans. Everything is harder in jeans.

•   If you haven’t already given this a read, go for it. Interesting background on the Bulls’ new No. 2.

•   Here we go again … 



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.