Tag Archives: Chicago Bulls

LeBron James: Cleveland Codependence

My grandmother got a new copy of the same book every year. It had some slight updates but was never radical in its approach. It was big, and leather bound and had a shiny imprint lettering on the cover. It was the Physicians Desk Reference. The handy guide to medicine and ailments and every year my grandmother got herself a new copy to go through and highlight and obsess and attempt to treat because well, she was a nurse. During World War II my grandmother was a nurse, she was married right after the war and started a family and was never a nurse again. But the big new copy of the PDR made her a nurse again and any ailment told to her would be a quick page flip away from complete diagnosis.

When I was older I used to have a fantasy that we would play a trick on her and slip in a copy of the DSM4, the psychiatric guide to diagnosis. That would really blow her mind. She could ask “Andy, what’s wrong?” And I could say “Well, I’m a little fatigued and feeling a little hot but mostly I think I’m suffering from a summer co-dependence. I always forget, do you starve a co-dependence or feed a co-dependence?”

Co-dependence is one of those things that we all feel like we have a feeling for. We can spot the codependents in our circle of friends or our family, we can tell there’s just something off with that one friend of ours who will just never go out without her boyfriend, and surprise, the boyfriend never wants to go out!

One of the greatest examples of co-dependence we see almost daily is on reality television. The best example of co-dependence is the show Hoarders. You know Hoarders even if you’ve been living under a rock under a dumpster that it’s a cave that’s hidden in the treacherous terrain of whatever enemy land occupies your worst nightmare.

So at some point on each episode of Hoarders the therapist comes in and talks with our Hoarder.

Therapist – Now Terry, why don’t you tell me about what made you start….collecting.

Terry  – Well, Doc, one day I lost my keys to my truck and then I decided I’m not gonna lose nothing anymore.

Therapist – But Terry, haven’t you lost…everything?

When the 2014 free agency summer session started, all eyes were on LeBron James. He had completed his contract with the Miami Heat and although it was enticing to keep the band together for one more try in Miami, eventually King James moved back home and became a Cleveland Cavalier again.

The betrayal that Cleveland fans felt when he left to join Miami drove the image of LeBron from hometown hero to heel. People burned his jersey, when the Cavs drafted Kyrie Irving, he was immediately crowned the savior. He wasn’t from Ohio, he had no ties to the team or the place, but he had to replace him. Capital H him.

He wasn’t allowed to entertain the notion of leaving lest the entire city drag him back to Quicken Loans center.

The relationship between LeBron and Cleveland is enough to fill Sigmund Freud’s grave. LeBron doesn’t get to leave the state of Ohio and at the age of 18, he is put onto the savior pedestal. The chosen one who just months before had to ask to use the bathroom now has the save all of the sorry franchises that ever existed in Cleveland.


It’s hard to watch a fanbase suffer for so long, but it’s just as hard to watch a friend or a family member be stuck in a codependent relationship. You ache for them to take a step back and assess the situation, you want them to go talk to a therapist, or a priest or a psychic and get a new perspective, you want them to gain some kind of epiphany to see that their situation is toxic.

But love and fandom do not reside in the rational corners of your brain. You want to sit the entire city of Cleveland down and say

Therapist – Now Cleveland, why don’t you tell me about what made you start….hurting.

Terry – Well I think it all started because the industries left this town and all we had were our teams and then they just…kept….hurting us.

Therapist – But Cleveland, aren’t you hurting…yourself?

Cleveland wasn’t the only city in the Midwest who had a superstar come back into the fold. Derrick Rose played the most he’s played since 2011 this past season and at times he looked great, at times he looked bad, but the future of the Chicago Bulls is still caught up in the expensive dollars dedicated to Rose, while at risk of losing rising star Jimmy Butler in free agency. There are also glaring holes that could be replaced if Rose’s salary were to disappear.

And yet Chicago fans cannot seem to let go the idea that Rose can return to his MVP form. And the team could squander Butler away from the team, waste away the final years of Pau Gasol, the ascending years of Aaaron Brooks and Tony Snell.

Okay scratch that, but if the money wasn’t tied up in Rose, if fans could let go of the codependent hope that Rose someone recovers from his, at last count, hundreds of injuries and leave the hope behind.

Butler-nomics: Chicago Bulls vs Cleveland Cavaliers


Butler scored 20 points, but it took 16 field goals. His FG% was 37.5, his 9th worst game of the season shooting. He joined all starters with a negative +/- rating with -24.  The loss was the Bulls 6th in the last 8 games.

Butler filled his stat sheet with 7 rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block. He was the higest scorer for the Bulls.

Trip Metal Guide to the NBA Eastern Conference

Trip Metal is the nebulous growing force, littering the underground with implied confusion. But if you follow the TM on twitter one diversion tactic is the invention of new micro-genres. And what better way to understand every NBA team than a specific genre for them? First I go in on the Eastern Conferece from worst to first.

New York Knicks

Ambient Vacuum Cleaner

They’re expensive and they suck.

Philadelphia 76ers


It’s hyper-regional

Orlando Magic

Folk Pinstripe

It’s like pinstripes, but different.


Boston Celtics

Venture Capitalist Core

Stock Pile Assets! (chugga breakdown)

Detroit Pistons

Smoove Free Zone

Circa Christmas 2014 till present

Indiana Pacers

Vaping in a Parking Lot Waiting to Leave This Town Core

Larry Bird ain’t walking into that parking lot

Charlotte Hornets

90’s Starter Jacket

The Pride is Back


Brooklyn Nets

Russian Cocaine

This even goes meta once Prokorov said he was gonna sell.

Miami Heat

Ostrich Programming

This Bosh Town!

Cleveland Cavaliers

4th Wave Beach Boys

Sea Captain Hats are not optional

Milwaukee Bucks

Greek Paul Stretch

He’s European? You probably haven’t heard of him.


Chicago Bulls

Windy City Endurance

40 Minutes A Night Or Die

Toronto Raptors

Drake Goth

Started From the Bottom of the Division

Washington Wizards

Wall of John

Linked Arms. True Hearts. Can’t Lose.

Atlanta Hawks

Dirty Bird

Bring the Swagger back



Last Nights Number: Houston Rockets vs Orlando Magic


Two games in a row the struggling Orlando Magic scored 120 points. In the 121-114 win over the Bulls, they shot 59.3%, but in the 120-113 win over the Houston Rockets, they only shot 48.9%

Channing Frye scored 15 points, his second higest scoring night of the season. Ben Gordon scored 12 off the bench and Elfrid Payton went in with 15 points. Victor Oladipo capped off his 33 point night against the Bulls and got 32 against the Rox.

The Rockets were playing shorthanded with only 8 players but had James Harden score 26 and Dwight Howard score 23. Kyle O’Quin came off the bench for 5 points.
I’ve gone on about O’Quin in the Magic road trip piece I published last week, but the 4-spot is such a weakness for the Magic and may have to live or die on Channing Frye’s shot. Vucevic and Oladipo will keep you pretty steady while Payton will hold you back immensely, and Tobias Harris is still out with injury.

But at least we have this!


Butler-nomics: Chicago Bulls vs Washington Wizards


The Wizards just have Jimmy Butler’s number. He had a 30% shooting night with 13 points, 2 rebounds 2 assists and a block.  The 13 points was his highest point total against Washington, for a player who has been averaging 20.7 ppg and shooting 46.1 % in the field.

The Wizards have held him to 11, 10 & now 13 points in their three meetings this year. The Wizards have also won 5 straight against the Bulls in the United Center and this time were able to hang on to the good early shooting of Derrick Rose. Wizards won 105-99.

Orlando Brings the Magic to the West Coast

The Young Orlando Magic squad have moments of brilliance, mostly when Nikola Vucevic and Victor Oladipo are in sync enough to go off offensively, but with a very young point guard, a black hole at the power forward position and Tobias Harris sitting out with an ankle injury, it can still get really ugly for fans of the pinstripe. I took a look at the Magic’s four game Western road trip and saw how the team could stack against the tougher conferece.

Orlando 90 at Denver Nuggets 93

Overall not a bad effort from the Magic team, but they just couldn’t keep up the veteran backcourt of Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo. The Nugs guards combined for 40 points, 8 assists and 9 rebounds.

Elfrid Payton was kept to two points, Victor Oladipo has 17 points and Nikola Vucevic took it to the interior for 20 points and 11 rebounds. The power forward position completly failed to show up this game. Kyle O’Quin continues his shooting struggle and only played 15 minutes and had 5 points. Andrew Nicholson fared better with 11 points, but it took him 11 shots to get there and Channing Frye went scoreless.

But there were good things to walk away from this game. Kenneth Faried was kept to two points, Jusuf Nurkic only had 8 points, the Magic forced 32 turnovers and had 11 steals. But the young guard core just couldn’t keep up.
Orlando 84 at Los Angeles Lakers 101

The Magic went down at the hands of one of those “Kobe Bryant is Sitting, so the Lakers will be good” games. Jeremy Lin had 19 points, so that was the kind of night the Magic were going to have to begin with.  Kyle O’Quin’s downfall continued with 0 points with only 4 shots in 28 minutes. Elfrid Payton was shut down by Ronnie Price and he ended the night with 2 points, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks. He only attempted 4 shots as well, but the low assist number is pretty upsetting. The Magic did keep the Lakers from running, because they only had 3 fast break points, but were just busted from getting shots, as a team they only had 76 shooting attempts.

Orlando 92 at Portland Trail Blazers 103

This game was a little more promising, as the Blazers are really really good and the Magic were only 9 points away. Nikola Vucevic took over in the paint with 34 points, 16 rebounds and 2 steals. Victor Oladipo held up his end of the bargin with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists, but it took 21 shots to get there and no three pointers.

The 4 spot is still a glaring weakness for the Magic, but Kyle O’Quin was finally sat for Channing Frye, but his production was only marginally better. Frye shot 1 for 10 from the field and 1 for 8 from three points for 3 points total. He filled out the stat sheet a little better than O’Quin with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Elfrid Payton also marginally bumped up his night with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, but that assist number has to start rising. Payton has to develop better moves with either a strong drive and kick to Oladipo or a pick and roll with Vucevic.

The Magic defense did an okay job. LaMarcus Aldridge ripped into them for 25 points, but Damain Lilliard was held to 16 points on 3 for 10 shooting and Wesley Matthews had 18 points. But keeping some of the Blazers three weapons under 20 is a good night.
Orlando 121 at Chicago Bulls 114

The Magic finally end the 6 game losing skid. Elfrid Payton finally busted through and got 10 points and 7 assists. Oladipo and Vucevic each got 33 points and the defense held it down again, keeping the Bulls to 6 fast break points and the Bulls having 14 team turnovers.

Kyle O’Quin came off the bench for 8 points on 3 of 4 shooting in the field, while Channing Frye started and went 2 for 10 and 5 points. It was a nice ending to that rough road trip and sure maybe the win should be attributed to the Bulls being dog tired, but keeping Derrick Rose to 18 points and 7 assists and Jimmy Butler to 17 points is a defensive coup they should take home with them.




Butler-nomics: Chicago Bulls vs Orlando Magic


Four straight games were Jimmy Butler shot less than 40%. Of the last eight games, Jimmy Butler has shot above 50% only once. In this stretch of games, he also had the worst field goal percentage of the entire season when he was limited to 16.7% and only scored 10 points in a 102-86 loss to the Washington Wizards. But last night the Bulls were beaten 121-114 by the Orlando Magic.

It’s probably a sign that Butler needs some rest, his shooting declining coupled with his athletic play and he has probably just hit a wall. Actually it looks like the whole team has in losing 3 of the last 4 including two blowouts to the Utah Jazz and Wizards.

But if your coach is Tom Thibodeau, good luck with that.