We Got 5 (+5) on It: Wrapping up the Bulls season with Bryan Crawford

Robert Mayer/USA Today Lil' Nate's off-balanced shot for two of his 21 points Wednesday night was one of his last feats of creativity in a great playoff run.

Robert Mayer/USA Today
Lil’ Nate’s off-balanced shot for two of his 21 points in the Bulls’ swan song last Wednesday night in Game 5 against the Heat, just one of his last feats of creativity in a great playoff run that may means that he’s not long for Chicago.

Regal Radio

To cover a tough, grinding team like the Chicago Bulls, it helps to have some of those traits about you too. Veteran basketball writer Bryan Crawford has all that, as he not only is a Chicago native but he also one of the most ubiquitous writers in the city.

Crawford not only contributes to the websites of NBC Chicago’s Channel 5 affiliate and Slam Magazine but also to the print edition of the latter (which he’s done since 2009) and to both the print and online editions of the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye. Crawford has been spending the past four years on the Bulls beat for those assorted publications.

If you love the game of basketball in Chicago, Crawford is a guy you need to know. Here are his takes on the main Bulls story lines from this past, eventful season and for the off-season that’s now at hand.

1. With it all said and done, what is the main thing you’ve taken away from this Bulls season?

Crawford: The biggest takeaway for me is how much heart this Bulls team had and how hard they played. Lots of people didn’t pick them over Brooklyn with Derrick Rose on the sidelines and they won that series. It’s hard not to respect what this team was able to do this year.

2. Should Derrick Rose have played at all this season?

Crawford: No, I don’t think so. I think he did right by taking his time because of the way he plays the game and he needs to feel comfortable out there on the court. People are upset with him, but when he comes back next year and is back to the player he was, they’ll sing a different tune.

3. Do you think the Bulls approached the Miami series the right way? 

Crawford: They wanted to be physical with them and when you think about it, what other choice did they have? Miami had superior talent and Chicago had heart. That’s not enough. So they tried to get into their heads a little but, but make no mistake, these two teams don’t like each other at all.

4. The Bulls back court stands to be a bit crowded next season with D. Rose returning (we can only hope) and Nate is a free agent. There’s no way he’s not returning, is there?

Crawford: I don’t know. I’d like to see Nate back, but he’s probably going to get no more than $3 million a year for maybe two or three years. The Bulls may not be able to afford that because they have so much money tied up in D. Rose, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson. The only way that happens is if they unload one of those big contracts, and no one really expects them to do that. But who knows?

5. Did Boozer play himself out of the amnesty doghouse this year?

Crawford: Everybody wants Boozer to be amnestied, but I’m not of the opinion that given their reputation for being cheap, the Bulls aren’t just going to pay someone to go away. As far as his play, he disappeared in a couple of games in the playoffs, but he also came up big in many more.

6. Do drastic changes need to be made in the way the team handles player minutes, or is it all hype?

Crawford: It’s hard not to argue that Thibs needs to do a better job of managing minutes. He rides guys far too long and that leads to physical breakdowns late in the season and the playoffs. So I wouldn’t say that drastic changes needs to be made, but Thibs can definitely do a better job resting guys.
Jimmy Butler makes things tough for Kobe Bryant in Butler's breakthrough performance as part of the Bull's 95-83 win over the Lakers in January.

Jimmy Butler makes things tough for Kobe Bryant in Butler’s breakthrough performance as part of the Bull’s 95-83 win over the Lakers in January.

7. How can this team improve itself besides just being healthier next year?
Crawford: By getting Derrick Rose back for starters. After that, guys like Jimmy Butler will steadily improve as will Marquis Teague, so that’s a good beginning. After that, they’ll have to fill in the roster with guys they can afford who fit their playing style.
8. What is your favorite Jimmy Butler moment of the season?
Crawford: It wasn’t one that anybody saw. I just remember having a conversation with him after a game once and he was frustrated with not getting any minutes. You could see the competitive fire in him and not long after that he got his first start against Kobe Bryant and he did well and his confidence just took off from there.
9. What is your favorite Nate Robinson moment of the season?
Crawford: His first dunk in Milwaukee and he screamed and pointed at the bench, “I want my money!” I guess he and Rip Hamilton had a bet that he wouldn’t dunk and Nate made him pay up.
10. How many more games will the Heat play this season?
Crawford: They’ll probably get to the Finals and win the whole thing.
Follow Bryan on Twitter @BryanCraw4D and Regal Radio @regalradio1

One response to “We Got 5 (+5) on It: Wrapping up the Bulls season with Bryan Crawford

  1. Pingback: We Got 5 On It: Talking McDonald’s All-Americans with Daniel Poneman | WARR - We Are Regal Radio·

Let WARR know how you feel

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.