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BullsEye Blog: Red Kerr Archives


May 14, 2009



After a couple months of work, WGN has finally upgraded all of our blogs! Woo hoo!

Starting next season, you can visit the new BullsEye Blog here: http://weblogs.wgntv.com/sports/basketball/chicago-bulls-blog/

You can also get to our blog from the wgntv.com website at www.wgntv.com/morningnews.

Q. But what about your old posts? I still want to view them.

A. Not to worry. If you can't get enough of our old posts, you can still view them here on the old blog. It won't go anywhere. But to get all our latest posts, you'll want to visit our new blogs.

Thanks for watching WGN and GO BULLS!

February 11, 2009

Bulls Honor Johnny "Red" Kerr

October 28, 2008

Guardedly Optimistic

We'll be watching the Bulls guards carefully as the season kicks off. Ben Gordon looks like he has regained his scoring touch, even if he hasn't played much in the preseason. I know he loves to start, but he can score whenever he's in there.

A Rose is a special thing, whether it's at the Kentucky Derby or being handed out on Mother's Day. Our Derrick Rose is every bit as special as that and tonight he gets the chance to prove it.


February 22, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new

I like Thursday's trade. It gives them more offense, something they have lacked since Ben Wallace was in the line-up. The Bulls were playing four against five without a lot of production out of the center. You get Drew Gooden whose been a double-double guy with points and rebounds. Then you got Larry Hughes who scored 40 points in game earlier this year. They both should really help.

February 11, 2008

What can Brown do?

So how will the addition of new Bulls big man coach Mike Brown help the young Bulls?
Well the one thing he can help Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah and Aaron Grey with is footwork. Its hard to help them with anything else within their shot. But he will work with getting their footwork together around the basket and making sure their not crossing their legs or getting caught in awkward positions. Maybe he can help with some defensive stances as well.


January 21, 2008

The Boylan Effect

The problem for Jim Boylan since taking over as Bulls Head Coach has been too many injuries.
The injuries have tied his hands when it comes to the rotation. Since Jim has been head coach Kirk HInrich, Luol Deng and now Chris Duhon have all been injured. What Boylin has done is given the guys an idea that they are going to get in and be ready whenever that comes up.

January 5, 2008

Peaks and Valleys on "O"

Fans often wonder why players in the NBA can look so great shooting the ball one stretch, and then go into a slump that lasts over multiple games or weeks. An "ailment" the Bulls have been afflicted with at different points this season. If I knew how to prevent poor shooting streaks, I'd still be coaching. What I will tell you, is that shooting slumps are just part of the game. The offensive game is often one of peaks and valleys. The key is to not let the struggles on the offensive end, affect how you play defense, for one. The other most important thing is to keep shooting it!

There's really no coaching that can get a player out of a slump. By the time a player reaches the NBA, his mechanics aren't the issue. It's usually about confidence, and shot selection. Some players will stay after practice a little longer when they are not hitting their shots, but you really can't duplicate what a shooter faces in a game. The more you struggle, the more shot-selection needs to be stressed.

And, again... I stress: you gotta keep shooting! A guy like Andres Nocioni, who has struggled from the field lately, is going to try to shoot his way out of it. Noce is funny... he won't pass up shots whether he's makin' or missin'! He's been around long enough to know he's not going to struggle forever!

Another important thing is to not change or tinker with your shot... that's how a prolonged slump happens and becomes worse. There's an old saying amongst shooters: 'If they're going in I'm Hot, and if I'm missing, I'm due.'

Keep shooting it boys!


December 31, 2007

Same Story, Different Results

It sure does feel good being on a two-game win streak, doesn't it? I know the Bulls' new interim coach Jim Boylan would agree. The Boylan-led Bulls aren't really doing a whole different from a game-plan standpoint, but the change at the head coach position has seemed to re-energize this team, as has Jim's biggest move: Moving Ben Gordon back in the 6th-man position in the rotation. Since Gordon's return to the bench, he's averaged 28 points and has made 5 of 10 from the 3-point arc. The Bulls have scored over a hundred points in both games since the change in the starting line-up, so I'd say it's a safe bet that Chris Duhon will be on the court at the start for the remainder of the way.

The Bulls are making shots, pushing the ball, and playing with a lot more intensity than they have all season. Scott Skiles talked about making the Gordon/Duhon swap for a while, but didn't do it. Hindsight is almost alway 20-20, and it sure does look like this time is no different.

Let's hope we're talking about the Bulls' first 3-game win streak of the season as we begin the new year! The Bulls take on the Orlando Magic from the United Center in their second straight matinee, coming up at 1:00 on the WGN Superstation!

Have a safe New Year's Eve everyone!


December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas Fans!

I'd like to wish all Bulls fans a very, Merry Christmas, and say thank you for supporting your team when they've been both "naughty and nice." It being Christmas day, it got me to thinking about the days when Bulls Basketball was as much a part of the X-Mas day festivties, as opening gifts and having a big dinner with family and friends. I liked when we played on Christmas day, because it meant that we were one of the premiere teams in the league, playing against another one of the NBA's best, and it always ended up being a great game. It also meant that we'd be able to spend much of the holiday home in Chicago. Now, playing the day after Christmas means that we have to fly to wherever we're playing on the 26th, today. The NBA requires all teams to travel in the day before a game, and that's what we'll do this afternoon... head out to San Antonio, for tomorrow night's game vs the Spurs (WGN 7:00 Bullseye.)

Hopefully, we all be able to share our Christmas days together again soon... for that would mean the Bulls are back where they belong: among the NBA's elite.

Have a great day everyone... see you tomorrow night from San Antonio.


December 19, 2007

Holidays and Hoops

The Bulls are heading out on a four day road trip. It's kind of nice to get them out of town. Because when they are at home, they are either shopping with their wives or doing something to keep them constantly busy.
On the road they go out with a couple of buddies, do their shopping, have a good meal and relax.
You don’t have deal with the holiday company and everything else. You get your mind more on basketball. Its nice when you are playing games during Christmas time.

December 11, 2007

'Tis the Time to Turn it Around

I wouldn't say the Bulls are completely in sync yet, but they have played a little better the last week or so... that said, the upcoming schedule is a favorable one, and I really think a nice win streak starts tonight against Seattle. The Bulls won both meetings last season.

I feel tonight is a very win-able game, despite the Bulls shooting woes lately, mainly due to Seattle's inability to find their identity with new star Kevin Durant. The Sonics have won 3 of their last 4, but are only 5-16 on the season. If the Bulls stop Durant, who's leading all NBA rookies with a 20.3 average, they should have enough to get within a game of .500 at home (3-5 going into tonight.)

Tomorrow night, the Bulls face an Indiana (10-10) team on the road that isn't really in tune yet, either. The Pacers are also dealing with another Jamaal Tinsley "distraction," and hopefully the Bulls can continue their past successes against Indiana.

Friday... the Bulls come home to play the Knicks and I look for them to really be up for it. I don't think they were game-ready when they faced them at the Garden at the end of the "circus trip" and I don't think they'll make the same mistake again.

After a couple of days off, the Bulls could realistically be on a 3-game win streak when they meet the Lakers next Tuesday night... their toughest opponent during this stretch. We were right in the middle of "Kobe Gate" during the first meeting with the Lakers in L.A. and it resulted in a Laker blowout. Thankfully, that situation has resolved itself, and it should be a different Bulls' team Phil Jackson and company sees next week at the UC.

4-0 streak? Maybe. If not, their 4th win may come the following night in Washington against a Wizards team who is facing the rest of the season without their star Gilbert Arenas.

December has been nice to the Bulls the past few years, hopefully history repeats itself!


December 9, 2007

Finding Their Noche'

The Bulls didn't have enough to beat one of the NBA's toughest last night in the new-look Celtics, but Scott Skiles and company got another nice performance out of Andres Nocioni (team-leader with 18 points), confirming the best role for Nocioni is probably coming off the bench.

While some think putting Andres in the starting five could work, the energy, hustle and toughness he brings into the game always seems to come at the right time. Nocioni scored five in an 11-0 run that pulled the Bulls within 86-81 with 57.9 seconds remaining. I think it's a no-brainer for Skiles.

Last night, it came back to a familiar refraim: "We didn't make enough shots despite good looks"... hopefully, Andres' determination can continue to fuel the Bulls when the rest of the team does go cold from the field, although he, too, struggled going 1 for 7 from the 3-point line (8-17 FGs).

Back at it Tuesday night vs Seattle on the WGN Superstation... I'll join Wayne on the Bullseye starting at 7 central, in what should end up being a Bulls win. See you then.


December 1, 2007

Goodbye November... Hello Winter!

Well, I sure am happy to turn the calendar over to December! For the fourth season in a row, the Bulls suffered through a rough November, going 3-10, and giving them a combined .300 winning percentage since 2004 in the month. The good news, the Bulls are 125-84 over the same stretch, from December on.

The coach in me really can't believe that the Bulls keep finding themselves in this position. I'm sure the players feel the same way... no team hopes to get off to a bad start. My first year as a coach we lost our first three and then went on to make the playoffs. Look at the 1991 team... they lost their first 3 and went on to win a championship. It happens... and here's some reasons why November is often a tough month.

I compare it to a baseball team coming out of spring training... it takes a while for some players to get in sync. Some hitters are notoriously slow starters, and some pitchers don't start hitting their stride till the weather heats up a bit. I think the Bulls don't get in sync till after the "circus trip" and they play a nice stretch of games at home, and play more games a week. I think any player in any sport would rather play games...getting in a routine usually helps confidence, etc.

This Bulls' team has confidence that they can come back from a poor start because they've done it, and that's half the battle. Look for the shots to start dropping and the team to play better basketball on both ends.

November 26, 2007

Welcome Home

So the Road trip did not go as planned, as the 1 and 5 record would indicate. When a team is in a slump, winning on the road can be quite the task. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. The Bulls will play their next three games at the United Center. The first two games they will face Atlanta and Charlotte and maybe they will be just what this struggling Bulls team needs. Last season the Bulls dominated at home behind some of loudest fans in the NBA at the almost always sold out UC.


November 19, 2007

Going to get better

I look at this team and I see basically the same team as last year, besides adding a couple of rookies.
I don't understand why they have started out slow year after year. But as past seasons have shown this team will get better as the season continues. Hopefully this road trip will be when the better begins.

Red Kerr

November 9, 2007

The Big Top

Well, the Bulls last home game for a while didn't go so well, but they sort of get a break on their annual, often-dreaded November road trip this year. It's not as long as past seasons, so that's one positive, and while the trip starts off tough with Phoenix, the good news is that they'll get a chance to settle down a bit when they get to Los Angeles, playing back-to-back games at the Staples Center-- Saturday against the Clippers (WGN Superstation at 9:30 CT) and Sunday against the Lakers. Following the game Tuesday night in Denver, the Bulls will get the luxury of coming back home, practicing in Chicago, and then spending Thanksgiving with their families, before heading back out to New York to play the Knicks on Saturday (WGN Noon CT), and crossing the border to Canada for their second meeting of the month with the Raptors Sunday (11 AM CT). Not having to spend the holiday in a hotel is sure to help, at least mentally, especially for some of the younger players on the team.

So, you see, despite playing away from the UC until the game against Atlanta on the 27th, this year's "circus trip" shouldn't be such a circus!


Building on Big First Win

Getting that first "W" is always a big one, but when it comes against a team like one of the league's best in the Detroit Pistons, it can really be a sign of good things to come. For really the first time all season, the shots seemed to find their way in Thursday night--especially early-- and it helped build some confidence that the Bulls have seemed to lack up to this point. It didn't surprise me to see the Bulls come out and play a good game against the Pistons, 3-0 coming in. For one, they always seem to "play up to the competition." The United Center was packed, and the Bulls came out and looked like the team everyone expected all along: energetic on both ends, confident, and into every possesion. Coach Skiles' Bulls match-up pretty well against Detroit, and found a way to overcome Rasheed Wallace's 36 points.

Positives: Tyrus Thomas 19 points, 14 rebounds and two big defensive stands against Rasheed Wallace late.

-Newcomer Joe Smith had 13 points and 4 rebs... the Bulls and their opponents are beginning to see how useful Joe Smith can be.


November 3, 2007

Keep the Captain on the Floor

This is a slow start for the Bulls. In the 2 games, they probably played one decent quarter and that was the 3rd quarter in the opener at New Jersey.
They've gotta put it together. What's really hurt them is, in both games, the point guard, Kirk Hinrich, has gotten into foul trouble and missed a lot of playing time. You have to have Kirk in the line-up. That makes Luol Deng better, it makes Tyrus Thomas better and it makes Ben Gordon better.
I think they've gotta keep him out of foul trouble. The Bulls are notoriously slow starters and maybe they can get it started with a win in Milwaukee.


October 23, 2007

Red Bulls 2007 preview

The Bulls biggest challenge in the East will come from within themselves. I believe that all the piece's are in place for this team to reach the finals and challenge for the NBA Championship.
The core of this group has been together for three seasons. Look for the Bulls to get off to their best start in years. That coupled with the fact that this team always plays well down the stretch should lead to more than fifty five wins.


March 31, 2007

Closing Out the Close Ones

I see in 4 of the last 5 wins by the Bulls, they have won by 1 or 2 points. They beat Philadelphia by 1, Denver by 1, Detroit by 2 and Indiana by 2 points.

The Bulls are starting to win close games now. Earlier in the year, they'd be in close games but weren't able to close them out.
I guess the end result is not how you play, but how you finish and they've been able to do that. It's gonna be very important for them if they're going to climb a notch or two to pass Cleveland.

I like the way the Bulls are playing right now and they're winning the games they should win...and more importantly, the games they NEED to win !!

March 14, 2007

Confusing Opponent Coaches

I think the other coaches find it surprising when we get a lot of points in the paint, unless we get lay-ups. All of a sudden, you got Ben Wallace getting 19 points down there and Tyrus Thomas getting 23. It makes the other coaches say, "Hey, we can't just spend all our time definding guys out of the wing. We gotta get back in and help patrol that painted area."

March 2, 2007

Rookies On a Roll?

Thabo Sefolosha and Tyrus Thomas had a nice game last Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors. You'd like to think it's a breakout. They've been getting limited minutes - both of them - and both creating a lot of mistakes during the games. That game against Golden State, they got a lot of time and they didn't make those mistakes. Thabo was stealing the ball and Tyrus was grabbing rebounds and blocking shots. They looked like they've stepped up toward a veteran capacity. And that's what Scott Skiles wants from these guys.

With Andres Nocioni out, it creates room up front for Tyrus Thomas to get some playing time.
In the backcourt, Chris Duhon has played well along with Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon and it's tough to get Sefolosha some minutes. But when the Bulls are up big, it's nice to give those three a break because it's a long season.

February 20, 2007

To Trade, or Not to Trade...That Is The Question

You hear a lot of talk about a trade for Pau Gasol and others around the league. I would like to see a trade, but I wouldn't want to give up who the other teams want us to give up. We've got a nice core of young kids here. You've got Nocioni, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng and Kirk Hinrich. They would be, at this stage, untouchable, because they're the future of this team...good young players, core players.

The Bulls need somebody. There was talk of Kevin Garnett, but you'd have to give up the same guys. It doesn't look like anything's gonna be done before the trade deadline. It it is, it'll be something like a band-aid type of move.

Over the years, I've seen Wilt Chamberlain traded, Shaq traded, seen a lot of good ball players move around that you think are untouchable. You gotta have something in return. You can't drain the franchise. They can't give up, for one player, two or three players that are gonna be around for 8, 9 or 10 years.

February 3, 2007

Home is Where the Wins Are

It's the familiarity of being home that makes the difference. When you're home, the fans are cheering for you. You think when you're playing basketball all the time you're going 100%, but probably on the road, you're only going about 75%, but you think it's maximum.

And at home, something else...the crowd, the band. You walk out during introductions and you start perspiring...by the time you tip off, you're really ready to go.

I think the preparation you have at home for yourself is one of the biggest factors in explaining why you play better at home than on the road.

February 2, 2007

Red Remembers

I've got a special place in my basketball heart for the city of Seattle. I can remember flying in here for the Final Four back in 1952. That was the year Illinois was playing in it along with St. John's, Kansas and Santa Clara...many, many years ago. It was an awful lot of fun and I've got a lot of great memories here.

January 31, 2007

On The Road Again

I don't know if you set any goals for the 2nd West Coast long road trip. The first one, in November, you just hope to come home with a win.
At this time of year, you hope your season is going pretty good...you're coming up to the All-Star Game and the halfway point of the season. You figure now you've played on the road and you know how to do it.

So you go out on that trip with some confidence and you know you're gonna come back with some wins !!

January 27, 2007

All-Star Bulls

I'm probably a little prejudiced...I could think of 5 guys that should make it. But knowing guys that could probably make it, #1 is Luol Deng, who has gone up in all phases of his game in the three years he has been in the league. It'd be nice to see a guy like Luol get a chance to play in that game.

The #2 guy I'd say is Ben Gordon. He just seems to be the guy we go to with the ball this year and he's delivered for us.

I'd pick Luol Deng and Ben Gordon.


January 20, 2007

Pleasant Surprises


I think the biggest surprise for the Bulls this season has been the play of Luol Deng and Andres Nocioni. They've stepped their game up annd they're improving as they get older in the leage.

A decision on the rookies is still on hold. I like the progress of Thabo Sefolosha and Tyrus Thomas' future is unlimited. He's got to learn more about the game, but he's got great athletic ability.

January 15, 2007

Getting the Rooks on the Floor

I'm probably the wrong guy to ask about playing rookies...or maybe the right guy...I was an expansion team coach - it seemed like I had ALL rookies on my team !!

I've seen rookies come into the league, trying to make an impact, but not many have been successful right off the bat. Even Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant had to develop before becoming great players.

On the Bulls now we have Thabo Sefolosha and Tyrus Thomas who have a world of talent, but they just need some playing time. Unfortunately, right now they have several people in front of them who are having pretty good seasons.


January 6, 2007

Late Losses

One way to close out these games that the Bulls have let slip away, is to keep doing what they were doing to get the lead in the first place. They got the lead early in both games against Phoenix and New Jersey, but then got complacent and careless and started to fire outside shots, going for 3-point field goals. Maybe if they had waited, they might have had a chance to take the ball down and get a better shot.

After you get the lead, you've gotta bear down and put your foot on their throat. If you can close it out in the 1st quarter, why wait until the 4th??


December 16, 2006

Back Out On The Road

I don't think the balance between the long road trip and a long homestand is good, but if you want to play for the Chicago Bulls, you know that you're not gonna be in the United Center in November.
The neat thing about this year is that the Bulls came home to a record 8 games at home and were able to catch up. Their record is now 13-10, 3 games over, and they got healed with the situation the way it is.

The Bulls were able to make hay when they got back home and I like the schedule-maker who balanced it out for us.


December 2, 2006

Sweet Medicine in the Middle

I'd like to see Michael Sweetney get some more time on the floor. He's one of the few guys on our team who is a true post-up player. He takes up space and he's difficult to guard because he's so wide. He has a great advantage in just moving easily to the basket.

I'm not sure his conditioning is top shelf or where the coaching staff would like it to be, but he can sub for Ben Wallace when the Bulls want to play a center on offense or he can play alongside Ben...like he did last year when he had Tyson Chandler on the wing as a shot-blocker.


November 19, 2006

Ben Gordon Off the Bench

I think it's interesting that Ben Gordon has delivered so much more off the bench than as a starter. One of the reasons is that they look for him when he comes in off the bench. It's like a heavyweight boxer...you come out and just look around for the first couple of rounds and before you know it, there's 4 or 5 minutes off the clock. When Ben comes off the bench, it's a role he's more comfortable with and the other night he came in and hit his first shot right away and he was off and running.

As for this early season road trip, it's SO important for the guys to get their rest and eat right. We're in 3 different time zones before Thanksgiving and we're getting into cities at weird hours and it takes its toll on young players. Now, we've got a day or two between games so hopefully they can get some rest, and get used to sleeping in hotels...things that rookies are not used to from their college days.


November 11, 2006

Getting Started

There's been a lot of talk this week about the Bulls lacking energy while getting off to slow starts and there is something to that. They have been a slow-starting team for the last couple of years since Scott Skiles has been here, both for individual games and the beginning of the season in general. Once we get in the groove, this team will play very well.

Right now, I think it's a matter of getting out on the road, getting away from everything, and work on being and playing together. This early season trip is always good for unifying the team and can go a long way toward eliminating this problem.


November 3, 2006

Again Tonight

One of the things about the NBA is that each night brings a whole new set of circumstances and we've seen that in the first two games.

Against Miami, it showed that the Heat is really an older team. Shaq is not in shape yet and you've got some age showing on Antoine Walker and Gary Payton.

Then you turn around the next night and you play a team with a strong young center in Dwight Howard who plays like he's been in the league for ten years. Orlando showed they are a young team on the rise.

The Bulls took care of the older team; against the younger team they couldn't match the energy. Tonight with the Kings, we'll see what boost they get from being at home.


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