Drink: Lismore Single Malt Scotch
When the Bulls started their first 3 title runs, they had a plan to get ancient elbow-swinger Bill Cartwright involved shortly after the opening tip. He’d rumble around the lane and flip a couple shots up for early buskets (sic). Kurt Thomas/Sgt. Murtaugh has slipped into a reprise of that role. A baseline j here, a set lay-up there and he can take a seat on the bench and say “Not bad for an old has-been” to no one in particular. In this game, he didn’t score much, but toughened up the middle defensively with some boards and a block. Deng and Boozer/the Beard provided early offense and the Bulls held a consistent 8-10 point lead.
Rose missed a couple of lay-ups in what has become a lull in his game as of late. He’s still a lil’ banged up. It’s like in hockey, when they simply state that a player has a “lower body injury”. The eye test don’t lie. He is not 100%. I’d make a completely unfounded calculation and say that he’s at 83.7%.
Quarter numero dos started with the Bulls up 12. DJ Unit Trainwreck had a series where they blocked 3 shots only to watch a 4th chance jumper fall. But they were tough as tuff on D. Taj looked rowdy and C.J. Watson was a crafty lil’ scamp. Watson jumped into the passing lane, raced down the court, then drew contact into an old fashioned 3 point play. After that, ya know when you’re watching a game and nothing seems to be happening by either team, then you look at the score and the Antlers are up one at the half? That’s what happened. I chalk it up to the Little Dictator, Bucks and ex-Bulls coach Scott Skiles, scowling points in Milwaukee’s favor.
The third quarter was without fervor. Hell even when the PA system urged the Bulls to “Charge!” they did no such thing. Both teams seemed like Miami Heat fans who couldn’t be bothered to show up for such a meaningless period of time. Unless you get your jollies from defensive three second violations and Andrew Bogut foul calls being changed and changed back, it was crucial evidence for those who say you only have to watch the last five minutes of an NBA game. The quarter ended with the Bulls up 5, primarily because Deng and the Beard continued to tow the line offensively.
In the 4th, Sgt. Murtough left the game with a cut, which extended Omer Asik’s minutes. The awkward Turk asserted himself on the defensive end. The Bulls got into a rhythm with Boozer getting to the rack while Korver hit a j and Rose a three to punch the lead to 83-70 with 3:41 to play. From there, Chicago coasted to a comfy close out.
It is to be noted that the Milwaukee Roadkill were without young stud point guard Brandon Jennings along with a couple other regulars. What kept the Reindeer in the game was their ridiculous penchant for second-chance points. They hit the back of the rim so hard and so often, it left them with a 19-6 offensive rebound edge. Without Noah, these things will happen, so it’s a team job to shore that up.