Drink: Finlaggan Scotch, neat
Derrick Rose picked up two fouls before three minutes expired in the first quarter. Mr. Tom Thibodeau sat him the rest of the quarter. At that point, he must have been going for OT, so he could get Derrick his 40+ minutes. Da Rose came back in the second, aggravated his back, and left to the locker room. Thibs must have been sweating at this point, trying to devise some crazy plan to get Derrick his 40 minutes, in a game that was shaping-up to be a blowout. At halftime, it was announced that Rose would not return. Thibs’ blood boiled. Luol Deng wept, as surely he would have to be worked extra hard, to make up for the lack of minutes from Rose during a smoke show. Surprisingly, Deng only ended up with 34 minutes. Thibs must have been running a fever or popping pills.
Your Chicago Bulls set the tone out of the gates in this contest and never bothered to look back. The Bulls played some great team D, which completely stifled the offensively inept Nets. On the other end, the Bulls moved the ball around and nailed shots, shooting in the 75% range in the first. All of this went down with Rose playing less than three minutes in that quarter. The Bulls were up by an absurd 21 points after one frame.
It hardly mattered who was on the court for the Bulls, as the Nets are terrible. When healthy, the Nets are somewhere around mediocre. They are currently banged up and awful. It was not like Thibs had a wide array of players at his disposal. Rose was limited to ten minutes, through the aforementioned foul trouble and injury. Joakim Noah dealt with foul trouble throughout the game. Carlos Boozer got a cut above his eye in the third and chilled in the locker room for the majority of the remainder of the game. And to cap it all off, Rip Hamilton is still recovering from his ailments.
As I said, the current state of the Nets does not warrant a team of the Bulls caliber to bring their A-game or starters, even. Their pathetic reality saw (what looked like on TV) a majority of Chicago fans attending a game in an arena 800 miles from the UC. Without Rose, the Bulls had a balanced, team effort – seeing five players in double figures and no one logging 40 minutes, despite Thibs’ wishes.
Parting Thought: Is it possible that Bulls best signing of the summer free agency fiasco of 2010 was CJ Watson? Regardless of your level of Boozer-hate, Carlos gives more to this team. Yet, Watson has developed into a point guard who could start on many teams in this league since signing with the Bulls. When Rose has gone down and the team has needed Watson to step up, he has not let them down. He has been deadly from beyond the arc (48% this season) and has been much more in control running the offense. In a squad with a deep bench, Watson may be the best non-starter. Ergo, while not putting up Boozer’s numbers, Watson plays a significant role at about a fourth of the price.