Drink: New Amsterdam Gin, Soda, quarter lime
Oh boy, my two favorite teams (worry not, the Clips are hardly in the rearview mirror) squaring off to kick start the Bulls second western road trip. Arguably, you have the two most exciting players – Rose & Griffin, if you had not guessed – and both of them running streaks against each other – the Bulls: 5 game winning streak, the Clips: nine game home court streak. It was also the Bulls third game of their nine games of Hell (Gluttony). Let the games begin!
The worst part of the first quarter was that I was on the Clippers’ broadcast feed, meaning I could not listen to Stacey King blow up (as he no-doubt was) about Derrick Rose running his own clinic, going 3-4 from the arc, 13 points, four assists – on his new waffle diet (Gluttony?). If it were not for the Rancor (Blake Griffin) the Bulls would have won this game after the first quarter. As US soccer stud, Landon Donovan tweeted during the game, “Blake Griffin, WOW.” (Read as Landon sounding like Neo in The Matrix.) The Rancor subbed out in the second, after laying to waste the Bulls D, scoring 17 and leaving the Bulls’ bigs in foul trouble. This looked like it was going to be a free for all in the first, as neither team needed even half of the shot clock. It was great up and down action for the eyes.
Unit: DJ TrainWreck featured: Watson, Brewer, Korver, Taj, and Asik. One of the great unsung stories of this Bulls season has been the play of CJ Watson. He started the season looking like he wanted to press the action a bit too much and always score on his own (Gluttony? …probably not). As the games have unfolded, he has been more patient, getting others involved while still using his offensive prowess. The Bulls were pulling away in the second, when the Clippers hit the panic button and subbed in all five starters. They battled back and cut the lead to six by the half, in no small thanks to the Rancor’s 25 first-half points.
The third was magical for the Bulls. Rose must have had a Belgian waffle or two in the locker room. Going to the free throw line shortly after the period began, Rose was meant by a road M-V-P chant, which always brings a smile to my face. When Rose came back in the second quarter and the Clips made a run, Rose lacked some initiative. This did not continue in the third, as Rose took over – no doubt due to some freshly pressed waffles – and the Clips had little to answer his onslaught. Also, it must be handed to Thibs, as the Bulls lack of any answer to the Griffin dilemma in the first hand 108’d in the second. Griffin scored his only two points in third with three minutes left in the period. This was largely due to one Taj Gibson and his ability to close the convenient trapdoor that fell on the Rancor.
The Clippers are a team that plays off of their crowd with great success. The Bulls effectively took the team and the crowd out of the game in third, and the rest became a formality. There was little threat to the Bulls lead in the fourth, and it was great to see them coast to an easy road win against a team carrying a nine-game home winning streak.
The two major standouts in this contest were Rose and Taj. It was great to see a waffle-filled Rose light it up (11-18 from the field) after he has struggled to find his shot as of late. Meanwhile, one of the main reasons for the Rancor slowing down in the second half was Taj Gibson. This man goes in and gives you the same thing every game: shut-down D, rebounding, and a respectable offensive game. It may not be the flashiest package, but it definitely helps win games.
In the end, Rose’s gluttonous craving for waffles destroyed his ulcers and led the Bulls to victory. Three
rings games down, six to go!