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What is the deal with Jay Williams' whining? He has underperformed, by anyone's definition, yet he never seems to blame himself. Seriously, does he really expect to be considered a team leader when he blames Krause (admittedly, an easy target), Cartwright, the triangle, etc., etc., for all his troubles (including, evidently, his free throw shooting)? I do not understand what he expects to gain from this approach. Please provide your insight on this. --Dave P., Pittsburgh
Obviously, this has been the big story of the week. My take on it is as simple as this: This is another young player learning how difficult it is to adjust to the NBA. That it's happening to Williams, who looked like a can't miss and in whom the organization had high hopes, is surprising. But I think all that's happening is that Williams is experiencing extreme adversity for the first time in his professional career and he's not handling it as well as he will in the future. He'll learn.
K.C, it seems like a fair share of the Bulls' opponents have taken shots at players in the media. Brendan Haywood most recently, but I remember Gilbert Arenas, Amare Stoudamire and Cliff Robinson, too, and I'm sure there are a few more. Does this stuff turn into bulletin-board material for next year? --Ali, Chicago
Tweny-five-win teams can't really afford bulletin-board material, you know what I mean? I do know that Tyson Chandler has been involved in a lot of the situations provoking these comments and he has pledged to continue playing the same way. Teammates and coaches love this quality of Chandler's.
What is a team rebound and how are the tips handled in rebound stats? For example, if Tyson Chandler tips the ball two or three times and misses do those count as a rebound and missed shots for each tip? Does each shot end in a made basket, rebound or team rebound? --Marty, Chicago
Team rebounds are dead ball rebounds. For example, if somebody misses the first of two free throws, a team rebound is awarded. Also, if a ball is knocked out of bounds on a missed shot and a change of possession results, a team rebound is awarded. So, yes, each shot does end in a made basket, rebound or team rebound. As for tips, as long as the tip is a controlled tip, an offensive rebound and a shot is given.
With Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler finally looking like someone has breathed life into them, I see a possible logjam with the big men next season when Marcus Fizer returns. I'm not sure there will be enough minutes for Donyell Marshall, Fizer, Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry. There hasn't been at any time earlier this season anyway. Do you think that this could possibly become a bigger problem than that they have at the point right now? --Adam, Evanston
No, I don't, and I'm not sure I agree with your assessment that there wasn't time for all of them earlier this season. Before Marcus got injured, Donyell backed up Curry at center or vice versa and Fizer backed up Chandler at power forward. Now Chandler is playing center, but you need four big men playing and those four were before Fizer got hurt. I don't think this will be a problem next season.
K.C., do you think that Jamal Crawford and Jay Williams are actually a match made in heaven as far as the guards go? It seems as though they are not being played together because of the fear that the Bulls would win 35-40 games, thus eliminating them from the playoffs and giving them a mediocre draft pick, yet proving that they can win more games? I think Jerry Krause is just waiting for a final piece, then we will see "The Jamal and Jay Express" sweep through the Windy City. What do you think? --Joe Lepek, New Braunfels, Texas
I've heard that theory before, that Jerry doesn't want to win yet because he wants a high draft pick more than the playoffs. I don't believe it one bit. I also don't believe that if Jay and Jamal were playing together, that would mean the difference between 25 and 35 wins. Let's face it: Both players have struggled at times this season, Williams more often than not. I do think that the Bulls should try the two players in the backcourt at some point down the stretch of the season, although I don't think it will happen. Just see what you have with those two.
What is your yearly salary as a writer and do you have any other jobs? --Jay Choi, Glenview
My yearly salary is somewhere between what I made cutting lawns as a youngster growing up in Evanston and what Jay Williams makes as a youngster growing up in Chicago. But let me put it this way: If you want to get rich, pick another profession. As for another job, I do some free-lance work for The Sporting News but being a beat writer is a pretty consuming gig.
Thanks for your questions. Talk to you next week,