BIG BEN AND REVISIONIST HISTORY
Lots of Bulls talk today as they stumble to the halfway point of the season with a 16-24 record.
Many are now lamenting that we have Ben Wallace while Tyson Chandler is posting gaudy rebounding numbers as a Hornet. There’s little doubt that the Bulls did not get the Wallace that dominated games as a Piston. As I wrote recently he’s only Ben Wallace part-time. But as David Friedman pointed out at 20 Second Timeout, “It is also worth noting that with Wallace at center the Bulls swept the defending champion Heat and extended the favored Pistons to six games.”
And that would have never, ever happened with Chandler. Wallace stood up and smacked down Shaquille O’ Neal and added a layer of protection in the paint not seen in Chicago in years. The Bulls finally had an identity. Wallace was everything he was billed to be in the 2007 NBA playoffs.
Chandler is obviously better suited for the style of play in the West. He can run the court and out-jump people.
And while he has better numbers, he still has stone hands (as evidenced by his turnovers) and he still gets in foul trouble.
I’ll be watching Chandler in the playoffs. I’ll be surprised if he’s able to average 30 minutes a game. If he dominates and continues to be a feel-good story around the league, then so be it. It was never going to happen here.
As for Big Ben, he may be Ben Wallace only part-time now but he is hardly the biggest problem facing the Bulls.