Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Miami redux?

When was the last time the Chicago Bulls were said to be a young powerhouse on the rise?

That was a couple of years ago when the knocked off the defending champion Miami Heat in the first round. Since then, they've underachieved, missed the playoffs, and broke up the nucleus of what could have been a contender.

Again, there are several factors why the Bulls floundered -- bad moves in the front office, a loss of respect for Scott Skiles, and the greediness of some players.

Yet here they are again in the first round of the playoffs. As much as they've taken Game 1 and lost by a whisker in Game 2, many are already pronouncing Boston as dead and the suddenly youthful Bulls as a giant killer.

It all boils down to Game 3 when Chicago holds serve for the next two games. Maybe if they can take care of business there then we can probably assume they're ready. But if the Celtics take one of two then anything can happen.

That they picked up John Salmons and Brad Miller is huge and the current Bulls roster almost doesn't resemble the one that shocked Miami three years ago.

Even as Cleveland's Mike Brown was named the Coach of the Year, one still wonders about Vinny Del Negro's stewardship.

For one, they didn't exactly play well and it was only late in the season after the trade for Salmons and Miller, that Chicago went on a roll.

I also said at the start of the season -- Vinny who? Just kidding. But I did say that maybe John Paxson found a diamond in the rough in the former Spur.

His real coaching job starts with the playoffs and when they come out next season. So I'd give him a pat on the back for now and cheer on this team which could use some wins. But I still miss Andres Nocioni as a Chicago Bull. He was the wild Bull from the Pampas (talk about cliches).

Earlier in the year, when Boston was pulling off long win streaks no one questioned their age. How can a team age so quickly in a matter of months?

I think injuries have really hurt their campaign. Even without Leon Powe or Kevin Garnett, Boston can still reasonably beat Chicago... as long as they keep the game close (if the Bulls are off to the races then that might be another story). But if they advance further, they'll find it tougher. But advancing gives Garnett a chance to come back.

And Chicago isn't exactly injury free. They are already without Luol Deng and Salmons is nursing a groin injury.

So Game 3. If the Bulls sustain their energy and burst out of the gates, they'll take this, but if it goes down to the last shot I'd say Boston will gain homecourt advantage.

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