Drink: Dean-O Martini
Coming into this one, light was made of a little known injury to a big man. On top of the knocks Derrick Rose picked up against the Pacers, as well as the slew of other ailments, Joakim Noah – already nursing plantar fasciitis – has been bothered with an injured thumb since the Bulls wrapped up their Circus Road Trip in Sacramento. The injury flared up again when aggravated against the Houston Rockets. Earlier today, it was revealed that Noah would play tonight and then get the thumb checked out tomorrow. If it needs surgery, this may be the last game we will see Noah for an estimated eight weeks.
The starting lineup (Bogans, still?) featured many sore body parts to the Bulls best three players. Yet, playing the Raptors – especially with a banged-up squad themselves – presented little more than a dress rehearsal. Hell, I was on the Toronto television feed and if I did not know that Neil Funk and Stacey King were the Bulls announcers, I would have thought I was on a Chicago feed. Most of the replays were of Bulls highlights and they never had enough great things to say about your Chicago Bulls.
Rose, understandably, looked hesitant. Carlos Boozer was a beast out of the gates once again. The defense disappointed with their guarding of the baseline, as the over-matched Raptors were finding ways to score in that area. This led Tom Thibodeau to call two timeouts in the first to straighten out the squad, a quarter that ended with the Bulls up by five.
Unit: DJ TrainWreck had, what I believe, their best mix out there to play a large chunk of the second: Noah, Gibson, Korver, Brewer, and Watson. It is a defensive-minded squad that can slow down the game (if need be), while having enough offensive power. And this UDJTW was able to extend the lead and virtually put away this game halfway through the second quarter. It was early in this quarter that the Toronto TV crew gave their sponsored Purolator Drive of the Game. A little background: no matter how awful any Chicago team is playing, the TV crew will find some way to give a sponsored [insert award here] to the home team. Yet, just a little over a quarter into this one, Brewer dishing it to Noah for the slam netted them the award. Good job, boys!
With the aforementioned starters banged-up, the second half started with the same lineup that started the game. Most of them stayed in the entire third. It was a time when you asked the television set, “Mr. Television Set, why is Rose in this game while he is clearly struggling and not looking like his MVPself?” There really were not any other questions to ask, as the game was well out of hand.
The Bulls extend their winning streak to seven games. In addition to the winning streak, is Boozer continuing to heal to the tune of 34 points and 12 rebounds. Even with this team having nagging injuries, they are sitting third in the East, and look like they some interchangeable parts. When a player is ailing, another steps up. I would almost say I am –
Michael Moore’s Double Standard Corner It has been a common saying in sports to say that, if you are believing in a certain team, you are, “drinking the Kool-Aid.” This is a reference to the blind faith that members in the Peoples Temple (yeah, missing an apostrophe) had that led them to drinking spiked Kool Aid in a mass suicide. 909 members of the faith died through this drinking of the Kool-Aid. A touch insensitive, no? Do not get me wrong, I accept any form of someone being insensitive. Hell, if it is in the name of humor, I am all for it. Yet, if a team was getting killed on the court and an announcer or analyst said, “They are getting 9/11’d out there,” or worse yet, “They are burning some Jew on the court,” that certain someone would get fired and condemned by all of moral-America quicker than you can say, “The Cleveland Indians logo is dead-on!” Why is it OK to lightly drop something that is referencing 909 deaths? Me not too sure.
Off my high-horse (about ten feet tall), the Bulls dominated a hapless Toronto team tonight. The Raptors made a run against the Bulls reserves in the fourth quarter, but it was never enough for Thibs to put in more than Deng to lend some stability.
JUST IN! As if a formality, the Bulls announced after the game that Noah will indeed go under the knife Thursday and be out 8-10 weeks. Eight to ten weeks without Noah is like the Bulls getting 9/11’d. As for tonight, the Bulls made Toronto look like Andersonville, Auschwitz, and Jonestown combined. As for me, I am going to try to Leaving Las Vegas myself and forget about the Bulls sans Noah.