Drink: Johnny Walker Green Label (with the day honoring two legends, it was time to break out the good stuff)
Too bad that on Norm Van Lier’s birthday and the night they retired Dennis Rodman’s jersey (what’s more is that Rodman announced earlier today that he has been notified he is entering the Hall of Fame – a place he more than earned), the Bulls did little to honor either of their games (which were two styles built on the same principles). The Bulls played some lazy defense and, at times, looked disinterested. It was really a crap effort all around.
For those out there who were pointing at Boozer blowing up on Wednesday without Noah, I hope they took note of this game sans Joakim. I doubt the Bulls would have shown the same lack of effort and heart with Noah on the court. At the very least, they certainly would not have given away the lane as easily and rotated as terribly on defense. I have to question Thibs here, as it does not make sense to have the defensively-inept Boozer start with Old Molasses KT. You are begging for rotation problems. Omer would have been a much better option to start alongside Booz, with Danny Glover entering with Unit: DJ TrainWreck to begin the second. My guess is that Thibs likes to start with the veteran, while keeping the chemistry of UDJTW intact.
Derrick Rose started out with a crazy effective and efficient first half (19 points on 8 shots, with 4 assists and 4 steals), only to get frustrated in the second half. He definitely got thrown off by some possible missed calls, which led to him getting T’d up for complaining. The Bulls second half went right along with Rose, as the Bulls never got into rhythm and the Pistons made this game way closer than it should have ever been. Norm would have gotten after them in the post game.
I had the Detroit broadcast on this one. I cannot say how similar the broadcasts were, but for mine, the end saw embattled Pistons coach John Kuester constantly drawing up plays with every Bulls point. It was comical. Even after the first of two free throws, Kuester would be on the board. Then the second free throw would drop, and he would be erasing, presumably drawing up a five-point play. Considering how it is well noted that most Piston players are not the biggest fans of Kuester, I can only imagine how they react to the ever changing plays he is masterminding.
The halftime retiring of Rodman’s number was good fun. I was a little disappointed that he changed from his pre-halftime circus-ring-leader-gypsy-hippie uniform to a more understated get-up, but the #10 rhinestones on the back of his sport coat were pleasant enough. You had your normal run of athletes who are poor public speakers, John “Spider” Salley coyly referencing his womanizing ways, and the man of the hour, Dennis Rodman, giving a tearful speech. Having the aforementioned Pistons’ feed, I gathered that Dennis predetermined that he was not going to mention Chuck Daly, his coach during the Pistons years. In his early years in the NBA, Daly became a father figure to the Worm, and apparently, earlier in the day, Rodman broke down when talking about him. I still thought he would give it a go and give props to his mentor, but it was not meant to be.
NB Book Club: For some good ‘ol fashion fun (a.k.a. light reading), I do recommend Dennis Rodman’s As Bad as I Want to Be. It is hardly a masterpiece, and some of it can be skimmed through, but as far as basketball biographies go, it was a very pleasant surprise. It is all light, most of it fun, and there is a surprising amount of insight.
Oh yeah, the Celts lost again, meaning both them and the Heat are three games back in the loss column with seven to go. Hello, first seed! (And no, I do not believe in jinxes, hocus-pocus, or Shakespeare.)