My Dad Was a Stathead Before They Invented the Term

I don’t have any photos of my father, but I do have stories. Here’s One

A lot of my fondest memories of my Dad are centered around sports and especially baseball. We went to lots of games together, not only was it fun, but it was educational too. It wasn’t just about seeing the Cubs or the White Sox, but about seeing the great Black players of the ’60s and ’70s. I can recall riding on the El train as he explained that I should play careful attention to Willie Mays positioning in centerfield and how much ground he covered. Or that I should watch for Hank Aaron’s batting stance and his patience at the plate or Frank Robinson’s intensity in the batter’s box (it made me feel sorry for the pitcher!). By the time, I was 5, I was sneaking off with the newspaper so that I could follow the standings.

I knew that the World Series was special but I didn’t appreciate how much until 1967. The ’67 season was a desultory one for Chicago White Sox fans. It was the last hurrah for the core of the team that had been very good but never champion since the early 50s. They faded down the stretch in ’67 and baseball faded from the household zeitgiest. Then on Columbus Day, which back then was celebrated on October 12 regardless of what day of the week it was, my brother Phil was assigned to watch me, so he took me to get a haircut. The barber shop had the World Series on, it was Game 7 and Bob Gibson was mowing down the Red Sox to the increasing delight of the customers and a wide range of other people who piled into the shop on 47th St. in Chicago to watch the little black and white set. The excitement was amazing as Gibson struck out 10 in a complete game win, his third of that series. There was electricity in the shop as Gibson got the final three outs.

So when the World Series approached in 1968, I was ready and eager. I knew that the Game 1 pitching matchup figured to be one for the ages. St. Louis, led by Gibson, had made it again and they would face the Detroit Tigers, a team that featured Denny McLain. McLain had won 31 games that season, and I was impressed. My Dad heard my take and chuckled derisively. He told me that McLain’s season couldn’t compare to Gibson’s, and I was perplexed. Gibson had won 22 games and while I was a long way from calculus, I was math savvy enough to know that 22 and 31 weren’t close. However, as my Dad explained, Gibson’s Earned Run Average was a microscopic 1.12 compared to McLain’s excellent but not historically significant 1.96.

I wondered what this Earned Run Average was all about so my Dad taught me the math and the concept that “wins” were a team accomplishment, reminding me of games we’d attended where the one team beat the other 1-0 or 2-1. The pitcher’s job was to keep the other team from scoring and it was almost unfair to tag a starting pitcher with a loss for such well done work. While we ate breakfast, my Dad also taught me how to calculate Batting Average and On Base Percentage. Then he headed off to work and I to school.

These numbers were important to my father. He felt that the great Black players of the ’60s didn’t receive their due. That the media focused more on McLain’s 31 wins instead of Gibson’s remarkable E.R.A was just one instance. He also felt that Frank Robinson’s triple crown numbers were better than Carl Yazstremski’s due to Yaz playing in Fenway Park, a good setting for a left handed hitter. He would happily argue that Mays would already have eclipsed Babe Ruth’s 714 home run mark but playing in the pitcher friendly environs of Candlestick Park and the Polo Grounds which hurt his batting numbers. “Perceptions vary,” he told me several years later, “but the numbers are the facts.”

Indeed, Gibson went on to outpitch McLain twice though the Cardinals lost the series, and it launched my passion for sports via numbers. My Dad liked to cite them in discussions with relatives and coworkers about sports, but when we were together, he also expressed his misgivings about certain statistics too. He hated the way the NFL counted all yards as if they were equal. “Two yards on fourth and one means a lot more than ten on third and fifteen,” he’d quip.

My Dad had studied as part of a combined BA/MBA program at the University of Chicago, and my sense was that this was always how he’d looked at sports. I figured he was unique, but then in 1983, I stumbled onto my first copy of the Bill James Baseball Abstract and felt as I eagerly read it that my Dad had a kindred spirit who went even deeper into his dive into baseball numbers. Upon finishing it, I immediately mailed my copy to my father (it may well have been a Father’s Day gift that year). He loved it and began buying it himself every season and we’d discuss it ahead of Opening Day. My Dad was approaching retirement when James stopped writing the Abstracts. My Dad was crestfallen; I think he had planned to volunteer as an intern.

My life became complicated building and maintaining a career both as a music journalist and a food business professional, but I always stayed abreast of sports and the latest statistical developments, and I often shared my discoveries with my Dad. He was sometimes impressed and sometimes skeptical. For instance, he disliked OPS, the stat derived by adding On Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage. He felt OBP was more important and should be weighted more. “Everyone has a computer or at least a calculator handy, it’s just a little more work,” he said with his usual derisive chuckle.

Meanwhile during a down moment in music journalism, I began writing about sports. In 2003, I was hired to write analytical articles about the NBA for the NY Sun. He was pleased that I’d shown the versatility to adapt to difficult times, and he read my pieces carefully, sometimes complaining that I didn’t harp on the NBA’s indifference to the three point line. “If you passed first grade, then you know three is more than two,” he’d snip.

Although his mind remained sharp, his body was failing him. In 2005, I eagerly called him after the White Sox won the World Series only to find that he’d gone to bed during the clinching game. In early 2006, I made what would be my final visit to see him. He was in a hospice and not doing well, but on my last afternoon, he perked up. He read the articles I’d brought him and eagerly asked for an explanation of Player Efficiency Rating. Before I could delve into it, the attendants came and gave him some medicine that knocked him out. I waited for a few minutes as I’d hoped to tell him how much I loved him and how much I’ll miss him. After about 30 minutes, he was still out cold, and I decided yeah, if our final conversation was about sports, that was entirely appropriate. He knew that I loved him; he didn’t like being told what he knew. He always wanted to learn the new stuff.

Sure enough, a week later, I got the call to fly in for a funeral. He’d gone to meet his maker without ever getting a good explanation of why .44 of free throws attempted is such a key multiplier. I got the call at 4 a.m. I had to write a sports column that day. It was one of about 15 I wrote in mid ’00s discounting the possibility of LeBron James ever playing for the Knicks. It was a subject my Dad and I had discussed from time to time. People thought I showed grace under pressure for writing it. I told them it was the easiest piece I’d ever written. I was just recounting my conversations with Dad.

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At WSJ on Nicole Mitchell’s Mandorla Awakening II

 

 

‘Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds’ by Nicole Mitchell Review

The flutist and composer explores Afrofuturist themes with her longstanding group, the Black Earth Ensemble.

 

Flutist and composer Nicole Mitchell’s career has gone in fits and starts, but she is currently making exciting, broad-based music that spans the borders of jazz and rhythm and blues.

Nicole Mitchell?s new album is 'Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds'

Nicole Mitchell?s new album is ‘Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds’ PHOTO: FPE RECORDS

Ms. Mitchell, who is 50, has written many works for chamber ensembles, orchestras, jazz big bands and other settings. She also participates in the collective trio Artifacts with drummer Mike Reed and cellist Tomeka Reid, which will perform in New York at the Vision Festival on June 1, and some of her most ambitious work has been with her longstanding group, the Black Earth Ensemble. Their new recording, “Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds” (FPE Records, May 5), explores Afrofuturist themes.

The term Afrofuturism was coined in the early ’90s, and it typically refers to afro diasporic cultural creations that draw on science fiction, historical fiction, and magical realism. It is associated with the fiction of Octavia Butler and Samuel R. Delany, but it has been a part of music for decades. The great jazz bandleader Sun Ra claimed Saturn as his home base and used “space is the place” (a reference to both outer and inner) as a mantra in his music. George Clinton’s groups Parliament and Funkadelic used outer-space iconography frequently and their signature prop, a space ship, now sits in the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Recent examples of Afrofuturism can be found in the music of Janelle Monáe and Kamasi Washington.

Ms. Mitchell has been a fan of Ms. Butler’s fictions for decades—she recorded the 2008 release “Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler” (Firehouse 12)—and created her own novella set in 2099 about a couple in transit from World Union, a disintegrating planet, to Mandorla, an egalitarian world where technology and nature coexist peacefully. The music on the new album is performed by an expanded version of the Black Earth Ensemble, which Ms. Mitchell founded in 1998, and features Ms. Reid, bassist Tatsu Aoki, percussionist Jovia Armstrong, violinist Renèe Baker, shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, guitarist Alex Wing, and vocalist Avery R. Young.

The music ranges from delicate sections featuring virtuosic flute, shakuhachi (a Japanese bamboo flute), violin and cello to gospel-drenched rhythm and blues featuring Mr. Young’s impassioned vocals. The storyline isn’t always clear, but following it isn’t necessary to enjoy the impressive panoply of unusual harmonies, dynamic solos and stellar ensemble play on this recording.

Ms. Mitchell was born in Syracuse, N.Y., and grew up there and in Anaheim, Calif. She settled in Chicago in 1990 and found a musical community of kindred spirits in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, the influential group that nurtured the career of dozens of leading African-American composers and performers, and she became the organization’s president in 2009. She is now a professor at the University of California at Irvine.

When she emerged on the scene in the ’90s, Ms. Mitchell was one of the few flutists in jazz, but the instrument is having something of a moment. It is heard in Mr. Washington’s music and increasingly in jazzy samples and live performances by hip-hop performers L’il Yachty, Future and Kodak Black. It suggests that Ms. Mitchell’s music may soon be part of another trend.

 

 

 

 

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Somi’s Brilliant Petite Afrique

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I’ve known of Somi, the magnificent singer and songwriter for about ten years, and for much of that time I thought that her music was a great sound in search of a comparable style or at least repertoire. It’s a dilemma faced by lots of vocalists: think Tierney Sutton before she hit on the Joni Mitchell catalog or Cassandra Wilson before she fused Delta Blues into her sound and classic rock into her book.

Somi’s dilemma—or rather my dilemma with Somi’s music–was complicated by the fact that she deftly merged elements or R&B into her hybrid of African music and jazz. In this regard she was a little ahead of her time as Kelly Lee Evans, Jose James and Gregory Porter have integrated rhythm and blues into mainstream jazz with the same elegance if not quite the same monumental sales figures that occurred when Norah Jones brought singer/songwriterdom in to the genre 15 ago.  In Somi’s case, it seemed to me that she suffered the vagaries of people not quite knowing what to make of her talent.

In 2014, Somi resolved all my quandaries with her release, “Lagos Music Salon” (Okeh), it was a dynamic song cycle focused on the dynamic, diverse culture of Nigeria’s capital city. Not only was it a fascinating musical portrait of Africa in a way that it is rarely viewed in Western society, that is as contemporary, urbane and wise.  Yet the release slipped by me as I was in the midst of leaving one job, discovering that despite my many successes in that field, there were no comparable positions available, and I had only begun to write regularly again after a two-year hiatus.   When I caught up to it, I was floored.

Her new recording, Petite Afrique (Okeh) didn’t sneak up on me but it caught me at another moment when writing about it for publication wasn’t in the question.  Yet, it’s a stunning recording, the sort of music that starts me thinking about end of the year lists.   I could readily imagine certain PR people pitching me that this recording is like an imaginary collaboration between Sade, Ali Farka Toure and Tinariwen but in Harlem with Noname and the Internet as guests.  And even that doesn’t quite catch the broad range of stellar music here.  Nor does it scratch the surface of the substance.  Somi’s recording is a song cycle about a swath of Harlem along west 116th Street, issues of identity (African American in the international sense versus African-American in the domestic sense), gentrification, roots and authenticity.  The music is savvy, diverse and sumptuous.  In an era that values volume, Somi’s music has found a way to speak impactfully in a gentle croon.

Somi

After a collage of ambient sounds that locate Petite Afrique in Harlem near the C train stop, “Alien,” the second track addresses the breadth of themes in the recording.  A gentle piano chord asserts itself then retreats then as if suspended in a diffuse space, Somi’s voice enters, “I don’t drink coffee/I take tea, my dear/Some extra rice please on the side/And you can hear it in my accent when I talk/I’m an African in New York.”

The lyrics are a revision of Shinehead’s 1992 underground classic, “Jamaican in New York,” but the tone, subdued and complex is totally different.     It’s as if a pair of Rick Owen sneakers had been exchanged for an intricately patterned Jean Paul Gaultier dress.    The song delves into the complexity of African identity in a proudly diverse city, and ends—as does the original—with the firmly delivered advice of “be yourself, no matter what they say.” Somi is making such revisions part of her arsenal.  On “Lagos Music Salon,” she turned the Cole Porter nugget “Love for Sale” into “Brown Round Things,” a wistful rumination on the objectification of black womanhood.

“Alien” is the opening salvo for an album with songs that circle back to parsing the different meanings of African American, a subject on which Somi is an expert as the American born daughter of parents from Uganda and Rwanda, and her “Lagos Music Salon” came about after a fellowship in Nigeria.  It also deals with the similarities, the silence in “Black Enough” after invoking the chant “Hands Up /Don’t Shoot” is a vital reminder that long before the name Michael Brown was charged with meaning, Amadou Diallo was executed in a hail of 41 police bullets probably for reaching for his ID.

 

Harlem is of course has undergone massive change.  Nine years ago, I was on the startup crew for a wine bar on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, and during my months of going up to the neighborhood, it couldn’t escape my attention that while the commercial enterprises still felt Black, a frequent majority of people getting off the train with me at 125th St. were not.    Thus in songs like  “The Gentry” the class differentials take centerstage, and the recording invites comparisons to others that have chronicled  postmillennial change in New York like “Brooklyn Babylon” by Darcy James Argue and Secret Society.

Somi’s road to prominence has been unconventional.  Her credits include being a TED Senior Fellow, and stints as Artist-in-Residence at Park Avenue Armory, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Baryshnikov Arts Center.  It’s emblematic of Somi’s unique music but also of how musicians must improvise their careers as much as their music these days.

In an era when albums have given way to tracks and playlists, both “Petite Afrique” and “Lagos Music Salon” offer forceful arguments for the value of longform statement.  It’s easy to imagine Somi’s music as the soundtrack for the machinations of Ifemelu and Obinze should Lupia Nyong’o’s film verson of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah get made.  It’s also fairly easy to imagine a young Somi listening to concept albums in her youth and thinking deeply about music.

 

 

 

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Bullish: And in the End…

Bullish is an attempt to parse the narrative of the Chicago Bulls season.  In most seasons, it’s pretty obvious (recently the narrative centered on the health and ability of Derrick Rose), this season is much more complicated.  I used to write about NBA for the New York Sun and The Root.  I found then that distance was often an asset, so while I’d rather patrol the sideline and press box of the United Center, there’s insight to be had from the vantage point of my tiny Manhattan apartment too.

Celtics 4

Bulls 2

Ultimately, the Bulls playoff series with Boston was a microcosm of their season. Enthusiastic, smart overachievement at the start followed by, a long, desultory reality check. That the Boston Celtics struggled against a Bulls team with all of its starters healthy tells you more about the Eastern Conference this season and about this Bulls team than it does any particular weakness in the Celtics. Yes, the Celtics are a subpar rebounding team, but a casual glance at http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2017.html would reveal that.

Yes, a better constructed team would be able to weather the loss of a player like Rajon Rondo, and maybe a better constructed team would be able to handle Jimmy Butler’s injury, but these Bulls were a miserably constructed outfit. There was no three point shooting for much of the season. The inability to establish rotations hurt the defense and by Game 4 and 5 of this series, coach Fred Hoiberg was forced to grasp at straws grabbing guys from the far end of the bench and hoping for the best.

During the fourth quarter of Game 6, chants of “Fire Fred Hoiberg” rained down from the fans who stayed despite a deficit that swelled to 29 points by the end of the third quarter. Hoiberg is part of the problem. He has failed to control the locker room, establish good rotations and develop young players. He was known as an offensive wizard at Iowa State, but in his two seasons with the Bulls, the team has finished 20th and 23rd in Offensive Rating. But the failure goes deeper. The Bulls front office duo of Gar Forman and John Paxson show few signs of savvy in building another championship contender. The fact that they haven’t squelched the Jimmy Butler trade rumors is probably all you need to know.

I started writing this blog in October because I thought it would be interesting to follow this team, and it was. But I also hated this team more than almost any other Bulls team I’ve followed in the 48 years I’ve been a fan. The team had talent—albeit often mismatched—and potential, but the players often seemed to not care. How else do you explain losing to the Nets when a win would have clinched the seventh seed on the final Saturday of the season. The hiring of Hoiberg was supposed to cleanse the team of the malaise that set in during the final season under Tom Thibodeau. It didn’t. With the exception of Butler and Robin Lopez, the players looked like they were just punching a clock far too often.

I didn’t see much of Game 6. It was a busy night at the store for craft beer sales. By the time I left the deficit was 25. A coworker asked why I was racing home to see it. I’m sure he expected that I might have some agenda for seeing Bobby Portis, Joffrey Lauvergne, Jerian Grant, Michael Carter Williams and Denzel Valentine play garbage time. I didn’t. I told him that there wasn’t going to be anymore Bulls basketball till October. That was reason enough and I rushed off into the New York night.

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Bullish 04.24.17: Adjustments Wanted

Bullish: Thoughts on Game 4

Bullish is an attempt to parse the narrative of the Chicago Bulls season.  In most seasons, it’s pretty obvious (recently the narrative centered on the health and ability of Derrick Rose), this season is much more complicated.  I used to write about NBA for the New York Sun and The Root.  I found then that distance was often an asset, so while I’d rather patrol the sideline and press box of the United Center, there’s insight to be had from the vantage point of my tiny Manhattan apartment too.

Confession: I didn’t see Game 3. I typically work until 9ish on Fridays and my intention was to punch out and rush to the closest television. When I saw that the Celtics had a formidable lead with only four minutes to go. I shrugged and changed to Plan B.

Anyway, going into this series, I wasn’t daunted by the most of the matchups, but one frightened me big time the coaches: Brad Stevens vs. Fred Hoiberg. Stevens is a master of X’s and O’s and Hoiberg simply isn’t. Stevens uses personnel with a concept. Hoiberg uses them with a guess.

The Bulls dominated Games 1 and 2 with their size, amassing formidable rebound advantages and owning the paint. Stevens first response in Game 2 was to contest this advantage with effort, but that left Bulls shooters open along the perimeter, and Chicago punished them with excellent three point shooting. So Stevens tried a different approach, Boston went small to start Game 3, inserting wing Gerald Green into the starting lineup. This forced Bulls bigs to chase along the perimeter, and Stevens changed the pick and roll set ups for his star guard Isaiah Thomas, forcing Bulls center Robin Lopez away from the rim. It worked like a charm in Game 3 and set up what I didn’t want: the Bulls fates depended on Hoiberg matching wits with Stevens.

The Bulls finished the third quarter of Game 4 with a lineup of Joffrey Lauvergne, Bobby Portis, Isaiah Canaan, Michael Carter-Williams and Jimmy Butler. Yep a quintet that has logged very few minutes together. Hoiberg has fiddled with his rotations all year and his inability to establish continuity any showed in that key moment of the season. The game was tied; then it wasn’t. The Celtics went on a 12-0 run to re-establish a comfortable lead, which they never reliinquished.

Much has been made of the absence of Rajon Rondo from the Bulls lineup, and yeah, he was a major factor in the team’s early wins in this series, but he wasn’t the only factor. The team’s inability to make adjustments now put them at a severe disadvantage for the rest of the series, and it further calls into question why Hoiberg has a job.

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Bullish: Game 2 ECFR Reflections

Bullish is an attempt to parse the narrative of the Chicago Bulls season.  In most seasons, it’s pretty obvious (recently the narrative centered on the health and ability of Derrick Rose), this season is much more complicated.  I used to write about NBA for the New York Sun and The Root.  I found then that distance was often an asset, so while I’d rather patrol the sideline and press box of the United Center, there’s insight to be had from the vantage point of my tiny Manhattan apartment too.

At the outset of this NBA season, I wanted two things from the Bulls: a regime change and a clear vision of the future. As the season wore on, it became apparent that nothing short of a Brooklyn-like performance was going to change the front office lineup, but I held out hope for a clear vision of the future. It looks like it’s taken until the first round of the playoffs, but some clarity is now available.

In their 111-97 Game 2 win over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference First Round series, the Bulls expanded on the strengths they displayed in their surprising Game One win.

Here are some likes and dislikes

The starters dominated. Can there be any denial that this is a bad matchup for Boston. The Bulls starters initiated substantial runs in each of the first three quarters, 24-6 in the first, 17-5 in the second, and 19-6 in the third. In the fourth quarter, a lineup of Felicio, Zipser, Rondo, Butler and Wade triggered a 10-0 run that made the score 105-86 with 5:17 to go and likely set the Boston fans toward the exits.

Again, coach Fred Hoiberg rode the hot hand off the bench. In Game 1, Bobby Portis fulfilled some of his substantial promise with a remarkably efficient 19 point 9 rebound game. In Game 2, it was forward Paul Zipser who earned a moment at the podium with a 16 point game on 6-8 shooting and two for three from behind the arc. He got 29 minutes of burn while Portis and Jerian Grant, another key game one contributor sat.

The Bulls have become a pretty good three point shooting team. After opening the series 0-11, the Bulls have shot a sizzling 18-39 from deep. When Boston looked to narrow the gap on the boards, the Bulls took advantage with stellar shooting from deep. No one will confuse this team for the Houston Rockets anytime soon, but they have learned to love the three ball, and it has nearing the cusp of an extraordinary upset.

Dislike

Michael Carter Williams should only see the floor at garbage time. Looking for an improvement on Grant’s poor play in Game 2, Hoiberg looked way down the bench for MCW and the former Rookie of the Year showed why he’s en route to be a Jeopardy answer soon with a coupla heaves and inconsistent defense. The team has a playoff rotation and needs to stick with it.

But yeah, that’s it. This, more than Game 1, was the one that the Bulls “stole.” The Bulls shot 51% from the field against a team whose primary defensive attribute is limiting opponents field goal percentage. That isn’t likely to repeat, but the Bulls have played intelligent, poised basketball to get halfway toward an upset that will reverberate through the NBA season.

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Bullish 04.18.17: Deep

Bullish is an attempt to parse the narrative of the Chicago Bulls season.  In most seasons, it’s pretty obvious (recently the narrative centered on the health and ability of Derrick Rose), this season is much more complicated.  I used to write about NBA for the New York Sun and The Root.  I found then that distance was often an asset, so while I’d rather patrol the sideline and press box of the United Center, there’s insight to be had from the vantage point of my tiny Manhattan apartment too.

If, by a bizarre twist of fate, your life depended on choosing the winning side of a three point shooting contest, it’s unlikely that you would ever choose three players from the current Chicago Bulls team over their counterparts for the Golden State Warriors. In fact, even if you were an avid Bulls fan, you probably wouldn’t consider it. Yet, there is a universe where the Bulls shot better from deep, and it isn’t a parallel one. After the all star break, the Bulls were a better team shooting from behind the arc.

After the beak, the Warriors shot 37.3% per game from distance; the Bulls averaged 38.2.

The point isn’t that the D-Wade, Jimmy Butler, Nikola Mirotic et al. are better than Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant et al, but rather that a conversation can credibly exist on this point. For the first two thirds of the season, the Bulls were an abomination of a three point shooting team. Through 57 games, the team was suffering the rare trifecta of being last in the NBA in three point attempts, makes and of course percentage. After the break, they were sixth. The change occurred despite a trade that dealt away their best long range shooter, Doug McDermott too!

The Bulls improvement can be tied to that trade, though as it also sent away starting power forward Taj Gibson. His minutes were taken by Mirotic and Bobby Portis, both of whom are enthusiastic three point shooters. Also Wade suffered an elbow injury that sidelined him for most of March and April; he was replaced for the most part by Paul Zipser, a rookie who also shot often from deep. Lastly, Bulls point guards, Grant and Rajon Rondo (!) shot well from behind the arc. And to paraphrase Senator Dirksen, a little downtown here and a little downtown there and sooner or later you have a real threat from deep.

That the Bulls improvement in 3 point shooting was almost entirely coincidental, makes it a sort of stealth weapon. Overall the Bulls ranked 24th in the NBA in long distance shooting percentage, which would seem that it’s a defensive category that would take care of itself. Yet in the Chicagoans game one win against Boston, the Bulls shooting from deep paralleled their season. They missed their first 11 shots from behind the arc and went into halftime shooting 2 of 14 from three point range. Yet, in the second half they made six of their 11 attempts as they took control of the game. Eight of 25 doesn’t feel prepossessing, which is why the Bulls long distance shooting may be their secret weapon approaching game two. That’s something that the Warriors could never say.

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