Drink: Yellow Tail Merlot
Its hardly an “extra,” but the Bulls blew a 19 point lead Wednesday night and lost against the ATL Dirty, Dirty Hawks. That loss made the rest of this five-game road trip worrisome, for multiple reasons: the Orlando Magic came back from a larger deficit last night against the Heat, Orlando can hit threes at will (when on), the Bulls play less than stellar on the road, the Magic and Heat are good teams, etc, etc. With that, let’s get it on!
This affair began sloppy and it looked like it could be an early disaster.
Side Note: This whole game was met with much apprehension. With the case presented above, I headed into this one with pessimism biting at my heels throughout.
With the help of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Orlando (Calrissian) was able to shutdown the Bulls offense early on. The Magic play some good D, and with them challenging and trapping Rose, the Bulls found the early going difficult. After an initial deficit, the Bulls started to lock down with their defense and slowly picked apart the Magic’s defense here and there. After a shaky start, the quarter ended all knotted up at 21-21.
Unit: DJ TrainWreck came in and did their typical UDJTW thing. This means that they had some solid defense and unorganized offense. Yet, as the quarter progressed, UDJTW looked more confident and when Boozer subbed in for Gibson, a lead started to sprout. This developing lead had much to do with the Magic going a bit cold – and that will happen with a team that is reliant on the jumper (Sound like any Bulls teams of the recent past you have heard of?). In this period, Dwight Howard picked up his 16th technical of the season (meaning he will be suspended for a game), when he swung the ball at Kyle Korver after a foul had been called.* The Bulls ended the half with a 14 point lead, which I assumed they were going to blow (when did I turn into Bobby C?).
There was a bit of an odd trend in the play of Derrick Rose that was hinted on in the first half and became more apparent as the game wore on. And that was Rose’s hesitation on the jumper. There were multiple times that Rose had an open three and passed on it. With that said, Rose did attempt five threes (which he missed all of), but he had wide-open chances he did not take. Regardless, the third quarter is when the Magic started to show some life and when NB reviewers began to get very worried. At the end of the quarter, the Magic got back six points from the Bulls.
The fourth featured a defensively sound UDJTW that was sloppy on the other end (Deng had uncharacteristic back-to-back turnovers). The way this crew is set up, it is very, very offensively limited. It makes for nervous times while they have the ball. As it played out, UDJTW did enough while the core got their rest. And as the starters came back in, they were able to grind out the remaining minutes to pick up an ever so valuable W. I wish it were more exciting than that, but it was team effort that hung in there and did what they had to in order to get the result.
This was a great win (if not all the climatic). And in addition to the W was the solid play of Derrick Rose. Sure it was not the dominating Rose we would have loved to see, but it was an efficient Rose who has been struggling as of late. Hopefully, this victory can build some momentum for Sunday’s encounter with the Heat (who are ahead of the Bulls by a half game). The other highlight was seeing Omer Asik battle against Howard, enough so to slow down the beast, because it is unrealistic that you can ever stop such a specimen.
*Howard is an interesting cat. Here is a guy in the running for MVP, yet is so poor at controlling his emotions/outbursts that he has already hit he league maximum for T’s and will miss a game. And the kicker of it all is that the refs actually take it easy on him. There was a blatant foul he had on a Noah dunk that was not only not called, but led to a three the other way. And this was hardly an isolated incident. The man seems to never realize the superstar calls he gets, only those that he does not.