Drink: Johnny Walker Green Label
Well, it took four agonizing, Doom Generation-esque games, but we finally got the smoke show most of us expected the entire series to be. And all of it came despite massive foul trouble to
their “Big Three” two of their “Big Three,” as Luol Deng avoided fouls, even while being a much better/physical defender than Carlos Boozer. It seemed like we were back to the regular season, where the Bulls steam-rolled a lesser side that previously played them tough, and we were all left questioning how Boozer’s underwhelming ass could possibly be the highest paid player on the team. All was well.
Is it at all surprising that this result began with a 14-2 run out of the gates? The Bulls have looked sluggish this year when they began games poorly. The first four games were started by a less than satisfying opening from the Bulls. This game was a complete 180. As if to prove that he is a better athlete than… well, anybody, Derrick Rose made it a point to take it to the lane early with his bum ankle, with much aplomb. If not with his physical ability, Noah matched Rose’s show with his energy and frequent strolls through the crowd. (Is there any doubt that if Noah did not play for your Chicago Bulls, you would hate him? As it stands, he is my favorite athlete to watch.) Grand Papa Noah made the trek from Cameroon to watch his first professional basketball game. It certainly looked like Noah was trying to impress the pater familias, extending his already high energy play to a new level.
The second quarter was like purgatory for the Bulls. After a great start, Unit: DJ TrainWreck came in and held its own – yet, Thibs was still quick to pull the trigger on them and insert starters with foul trouble. Derrick Rose was lights-out in the first, and quite the opposite in the second. The Bulls ended the half up, 54-46.
The third continued with the theme of foul trouble, with Rose quickly sitting after an early foul. Watson came in, with less than favorable play. This led to Thibs pulling the fast leash on him (as he has done with the bench the whole series), and throwing Rose back in there. This proved to be a stroke of genius, as Rose helped put this game away in the third with a beautiful sequence of hitting a three, blocking a Roy Hibbert dunk, and then hitting another three. After that, Bogans hit a few threes and the game was all but over.
The fourth was a victory lap for the Bulls. Hell, Rasual Butler came in with three and a half minutes in the fourth, for the ultimate middle finger/victory cigar.
After the game, Noah went up to his former pro soccer grandpa and gave him a hug. According to Joakim, “He’s 72, but still in great shape, and always ready to party.” Should be good times in Chicago tonight.
As a single game, I would love to give this effort three Reagans (especially with Rose playing hurt). Yet, seeing that this was the first smoke show in what should have been a series of smoke shows, your Chicago Bulls get two Reagans (which is still quite the mark):