Drink: Johnny Walker Red Label
This is the story of a man and his team. Details are in yogurt, as they say.
This game was like when your mother is tucking you into bed, telling you that everything is alright, while Pops just got laid off and the gentlemen from the bank are knocking at the door calling for the property. Yes, ladies and gents, in the spirit of college football wrapping up, I declare this game to be the Dust Bowl. Mom was telling you that the Bulls were easily winning this game comfortably the entire time, yet the Rockets never left the Bulls side and were even winning late.
The Bulls reversed some trends early on in this one. The biggest of which was them not laying down early on. The Bulls established their game from the start (read: after a few minutes), gathered a lead, and stayed with it. The other reversal was Carlos Boozer having some meaningful presence on the court. I was very pleased with both trends.
The second half started out with the ever-so-revised Unit: DJ TrainWreck. Expecting the usual drop-off this lineup usually guarantees, UDJTW came out strong and established themselves on the court. The pinnacle of which was Omer Asik nailing a jumper(?)! As the starters filtered back in, you got the feeling that the Bulls would comfortably walk away with this one.
This feeling never ended. If one were to mute the sound and cover up the score, one would think the Bulls were safely strutting their way to a victory. That was not the case. Up was down, left was right, and the Bulls found themselves down late. This game progressed like it was a lock-win. It did not seem as if there was any scenario in which the Bulls were going to drop this game.
The bizarre happened: the Bulls were down late. They reduced themselves to a thing like fouling to put the Rockets on the line and the such. It took a while to sink in, but the Bulls were on the bad side of this one and were looking to drop a game against the hapless Rockets at home. Then, dare I say, a defining moment happened. Derrick Rose got the ball win less than ten seconds left, down by three, and was hell-bent on taking the last shot. It was one of the moments where you are cursing Rose, via TV, to pass. And despite all of your protests, he nails a three in the face of two opposing players to send it into overtime. It was an overtime where the Bulls would go ahead and win.
The most important factor in this win was the play of Carlos Boozer. After watching The Beard wallow in mediocrity (to put it very kindly), Boozer started to look like a player that knew how to move and put the ball in the basket. Before this game started, I was conceding losses to OKC and the Laker. The thinking was that the Boozer was still a few games before catching up to the pace of the NBA. I understand that it was one game (and against a lesser opponent), but Boozer was moving much better this game than the last two. One game proves nothing, but it will not stop me from getting my hopes up and hoping for a OKC demolition.
Taking a team into overtime on a last second three and squeaking out a win is not the best of wins, but is was a win to get back on track. And for that, Chicago Bulls, you get a Tommie Smith… times two: