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Bulls lack 'D' in Big 'D'
There's something about this city and Bulls interim coaches.
This is where former assistant Bill Berry finished off a two-game stint as an interim coach before Bill Cartwright took over in 2001.
And this is where Pete Myers made his interim debut after taking over for Cartwright, who was fired Monday.
Like that December day two years ago, the Bulls succumbed to the offensive buzz saw that is the Mavericks, falling 124-98 at American Airlines Center.
The Bulls, led by Tyson Chandler's 17 points, have lost six straight. They have also lost 31 in a row over five seasons on this annual extended November trip. For good measure, they have dropped 11 straight to Dallas.
The Bulls were feisty, with Kendall Gill exchanging shoves with Antoine Walker in the first quarter and Myers getting a technical for arguing in the third.
But 28 points from Michael Finley helped Dallas post a season high by a Bulls opponent. The Mavs missed the largest victory margin in the 46-game history of this series by one point.
Scottie Pippen left the game late in the first half after taking a Dirk Nowitzki elbow to his left eye. He wore a patch afterward and is day-to-day.
There are some players who would like to see general manager John Paxson give Myers a chance beyond this two-game stint. Myers, who slept only four hours to spend more time breaking down game tape, appreciates the gesture. But he knows his time isn't now.
"Eventually, I think I am going to coach," Myers said. "But I know experience is more important than jumping into a team that still has a chance to make the playoffs. I understand what Pax is trying to do. He's trying to survive."
In his first game, Myers didn't do much that was different from Cartwright. He started the same unit that went on Sunday in Sacramento. He used basically the same rotation.
But in subtle ways, he began laying the foundation for the transition of coaching styles when Scott Skiles takes over.
"I can't give in to guys on certain things that I didn't tolerate as a player," Myers said. "If guys don't run back on defense, I can't allow that to happen. I have to make a substitution. It might have an effect on the game, but I have to do what's best for this team."
So does Paxson, which is why he made the difficult decision to fire his friend and former teammate.
"Bill is a classy gentleman and made it easy because he was so gracious," Paxson said. "You hate to do something like that, to somebody who is such a nice person and committed to the game and a belief system. There are certain people you have such fondness for, and Bill is one of those guys."
From afar, Lakers coach Phil Jackson viewed the proceedings involving two of his favorite players.
"I support both those guys," Jackson said. "They'll sort it out in Chicago when they have the opportunity.
"Any time you have a bunch of guys who are searching for a role and they're high draft picks, there's going to be a lot of competition. We've seen it over the years from the Clippers. It's difficult."