Drink: Sapphire Martini, up
All of these bizarre games must be the afterbirth of the Lockout, right? Sure, the Bulls do not boast a powerhouse offense, but they have lock-down defense, which should ensure some consistency. Yet, they opened up a 20+ lead for much of the second, then (largely when the starters filtered back in) the ‘Wolves chipped away at the lead – courtesy of a Bulls’ Chernobyl – and trailed by a mere six at the half (yes, Rose’s ankle did get Tolliver’d). I fully expected the Bulls to get their dairy aires handed to them at the half, via Thibs, and handle the T-Wolves like they were… well, the T-Wolves. Yet, this was a grinder, with Da Rose (31 pts & 11 asts) and Luol Deng (21 pts & 11 rebs) carrying the offensive burden. The Bulls played some unconventional line-ups against unconventional Minnesota line-ups, and provided a touch of drama on the way to another victory. Thus, the above tweet, which happened in the 3rd.
Of course we should argue! I did not drank large gin martinis all night for my f’n health!
The Noah Watch: I appreciate Noah’s effort and energy in this game. It was not his best game (and he became very friendly with the bench in the 4th, again), but he looked to have a bit of that ole hustle – the stuff that made him a fan favorite. I personally think he got hosed on calls (but that comes with the position). There were multiple times where he was fighting for the ball or going to the rim, got roughed up, and did not benefit from the whistle. I would have liked to see him in there down the stretch, but I am not going to disagree with Thibs’ decision to go with Omer Asik. On the defensive end, the Turk has been much more of a presence. Not only does he not get out of position (as Noah has fell victim to in this season), but when Omer fouls, the player knows it. Too many times this young season Noah is giving up soft fouls. Overall, Noah had a rejuvenated step in his game and that is enough to give me hope. Hope.
The Third Eye: The Bulls seem to be often collapsing too quickly on D and leaving perimeter shooters open in this infant season. It has led to many able three-point shooters (i.e. Luke Rodnour) open for easy looks. … John Lucas III Esquire has been none too shy to launch the ball (especially for a point guard). This has led to my imagination having CJ Watson sitting John’s 3’9″ frame on his knee and regaling him with tales of playing for the whimsical, free shooting kingdom of GSW. … I am not denying Ricard Rubio’s passing, but the cross court stuff he is pulling off is going to get picked up and will be less effective. … With the migraine-inducing team of Neil Funk and Stacey King, I often listen to the opposing team’s announcers. I watched tonight’s contest on NBATV and had no choice but to listen to the Minnesota announcers. Highlights included them recognizing that Rose not looking the same since the first quarter, but never mentioning him getting his leg rolled over, and they kept repeating that the Bulls were “playoff-tested.” I am not sure what that has to do with playing the T-Wolves. … We are one-sixth the way through the season! … I wish the Bulls were in the West. It is a much more exciting conference.