Monday, December 31, 2007

The Post That Started It All.....Nostalgia Time!

Before Fire Jay Mariotti was its own internet entity, I was being a nerd and making posts through some other medium. It was the following post on which Larry commented with the idea of starting the internet juggernaut that is FireJay.

This article was written by Mariotti during the Bulls/Pistons playoff series last spring. It's really bad. I haven't changed anything of substance about this post, so keep in mind, you who wish to shoot down things I say, hindsight is 20/20. I've obviously changed my opinion on things since then (e.g. I no longer think John Paxson is a sweet GM). Here we go!

Mariotti. Bad. Again.

You almost longed for the dismal days of Tim Floyd and Dalibor Bagaric, or Jerry Krause sending Benny the Bull and the Luvabulls to the airport in a daffy attempt to recruit Tim Duncan and Tracy McGrady.

I long for the days when you didn't have a job writing about sports for a city you hate.

That's how embarrassing it was to watch the Bulls choke on a 19-point lead and collapse like, well, the Cubs.

Typical. It would be just a sin for you to only hate on one Chicago team in this article.....

Not much was at stake in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, only the credibility of John Paxson's master plan and community trust in the Bulls' future. But all they did was expose themselves as a brittle, sloppy, skittish team of erratic jumpshooters who weren't ready for prime time, turning wild cheers to boos in a soft, spineless, 81-74 loss to the Detroit Pistons. The Bulls at least could have made the series interesting by knocking out the Pistons, who didn't show up for the first half and had no apparent interest in working Thursday night.

The Bulls are a decent shooting team. They aren't great, but they certainly are far from awful. Their 40.9% from the field in the playoffs is the worst among any team. Don't you think that a few unlucky shooting games is too teensy an issue for a GM to lose his credibility? The Bulls shot 33.7% last night! Shots weren't falling! It's that simple!

Instead, the talk today will concern whether Paxson's nucleus is a hocus-pocus tease -- good enough to reach the second round but stuck in some no-man's land between real contention and mediocrity.

Are they supposed to like....not make the playoffs and avoid "teasing" the city until they are legitimately a top 5 team in the NBA? I don't understand this.

How symbolic was the pregame tardiness of Ben Wallace, whose $60 million will look foolhardy if the Bulls are swept by his former team?

Not very. / It's been one year.

While traffic is no excuse in Chicago unless you're Michael Jordan, the fact remains Wallace was hired to set a competitive tone against his former teammates. play basketball. Against all teams. Not just the Pistons.

Alarmingly, he preferred to text-message them last weekend in pathetic attempts to have dinner, requests that were denied by Pistons players who'd rather drink title champagne than break bread with the enemy.

If this is true, that's actually kinda funny.

But then, the Bulls have much bigger issues than Big Ben's bad clock. All Flip Saunders had to do on the Detroit sideline was yell ''zone'' to his players in the second half. Instantly, the Bulls froze. What happened to Gordon, who shot 4-for-16, went scoreless in the fourth quarter and has played an abominable series that thrusts doubt about his future? Is it realistic to keep using Kirk Hinrich in a critical offensive role when he's so unreliable as a big-game shooter? Only Deng has been consistent as a scorer. In the end, it was the experience, moxie and pride of the Pistons that put the Bulls in their place, with any remaining loyalists reminded of harsh reality.

As primarily a shooting guard, Ben Gordon: 19.3/4.3/4.3. If anyone is questioning his future (by the way Mariotti, he's young!), they should be....well....hired by the Chicago Sun Times, apparently.

Luol Deng has shot 38% in the series, and this is the first time this season he hasn't consistently buried that 15-footer. He shot 51.7% in the regular season.

My conclusion: Luol Deng and the Bulls played 3 games against a superior team in which their shots were off.

Jay Mariotti's conclusion: Get rid of the nucleus! Get rid of Paxson! SOMEONE GET DOLIBOR BAGARIC BACK ON THE COURT!!!!!

No team has overcome an 0-3 hole to win an NBA playoff series.



Asked about the Detroit zone, [Scott Skiles] smirked as only he can smirk. He is being outcoached by Saunders -- where was Chris (DNP) Duhon, by the way? --

He's not that good......

but he can't face the music. ''Is their zone getting all sorts of public recognition? Is that what's going on? I think it's kind of funny. I don't mean to show disrespect, but we're missing open shots,'' said Skiles, in comments that will fire up the Pistons. ''They're good enough to feed off of that.''

Pistons = adequately fired up, thanks.
Skiles = knows more about basketball than you = agrees with me, not you. (yippie!!!)

This next paragraph is perhaps the stupidest of them all, so I'm going to parse it.

For the record, the Bulls scored 30 points in the second half, two fewer than they scored in the second half of Game 1. They desperately need scorers,

Bulls scoring: 13th/30 in the NBA, 5th/16 in the East. Luol Deng: 22.9 PPG. Ben Gordon: 19.3 PPG. Wow, sucks for me to root for a desperate team.

and if Paxson has the nerve, he'll see Garnett, Gasol, Jermaine O'Neal, Vince Carter and others available this summer.

Ben Wallace was signed last year. Paxson made an insanely good trade with the Knicks in the Eddy Curry debacle. He has plenty of "nerve" and is a very good GM.

I enjoy youth movements as much as anyone, but they have to show continued progress.

Wow. WOW. Lets check out this progression over the last 4 years, shall we?

No playoffs -> make playoffs, lose in 1st round, -> lose in 1st round with better showing vs Heat -> lose (probably) in 2nd round against #1 seed


This series, so far, is a major setback after the stunningly easy sweep of the Miami Heat.

In which the Bulls shot at unsustainably good levels.

Either that or the Pistons are bound for an NBA title

Probably not.

though I can't see it when San Antonio and Phoenix are playing the league finals as we speak.

Writing off the Jazz....that's smart. Ooh yeah....writing off the Warriors too! Good call....they never upset anyone. Oh wait......

I keep thinking back to Wednesday, to a post-practice scene involving Skiles. His forehead tightened like a rack of washboard abs. His frown challenged the cojones and competitive integrity of his players. His facetious tone could have cut through Steve Dahl, Dan McNeil, Mayor Daley or any of the town's smart-alecky blowhards. He was in vintage attack mode, firing a survivalist rally cry to his desperate team.

facetious (adj): 1) not meant to be taken seriously or literally. 2) amusing, humorous. 3) lacking serious intent, concerned with something nonessential

Look it up before you completely misuse it next time. I'm in shock that you don't know what this word means and still wrote it down for newspaper publishing purposes.

''Man up,'' he said.

Mission unaccomplished.

Okay, we get it, they played bad in 3 straight games. You, however, write bad every time, and the Sun Times hasn't like.....traded a city you hate less or something, so why are you on Paxson's case so bad for sticking with his players?

What would you write about if no Chicago teams ever performed badly? I bet you'd like....quit your job. That'd be nice.

I guess you could still write about which of the 2 baseball teams didn't beat the other in the World Series......

No comments: