Drink: Vesper Martini
This was a splendid game to have scheduled going into the All-Star break. The Bucks are a close to a lock-win playing against your Chicago Bulls at the UC. (Yet, the Nets proved that such an entity does not exist.) At the same time, the Bucks are a worthy opponent – as far as the East is concerned. So yes, they are a lock-win/worthy opponent: A team you should beat soundly, then when you do, it feels like a quality victory going into the All-Star break!
Story #1: One Mr. Joakim Noah stole the show over the comfortable W. The electric, gun-toting center logged his first career triple-double in tonight’s contest*. While the numbers were not overwhelming (13 pts, 13 rebs, 10 asts), the fact that he did it in less than 30 minutes of play was rather sweet. After a slow start to the season, Noah has picked up the pace and it was fun to see him top off the first half of the season (All-Star break wise) with a milestone . Yes, he had a match-up advantage with Andrew Bogut out (Drew Gooden was out too! … as far as the Bucks’ success rate, I am not sure what that means.), but he clinched it with 38 seconds left in the third! It was fitting that it was against the Bucks, as Jo throws up some large lines versus Milwaukee. (Sure, it may have something to do with Bogut never being healthy – but hey, screw off.)
Story #2: If there is any story line that compares to Noah’s triple-double, it was the Bulls delivering my only win of the three games I bet tonight. Yes, I felt great with the 76ers +4 and the Hawks +6 going into tonight’s games, but I added the Bulls -11 just for funnzies. Turns out the last one I threw in there was my only win. Clearly, this was second – only to Noah’s triple-double.
Walton’s Visions: I will start out with my own worst enemy. Kyle Korver entered this game in the second quarter, and actually added something to the Bulls’ game. The teen dream has been ultra cold lately. Yet, he came in, focused on hitting some non-three J’s, and was successful. Huzzah! … Ersan Ilyasova came into this game on fire and was pleasantly neutralized by the Bulls’ front court. … The Bulls shot 54.4% FG to Milwaukee’s 42% and the Bulls out-rebounded the Bucks 49-29. I feel like these stats may have had something to do with the outcome. … It was interesting to see Derrick Rose play shorter minutes (30) and not press the issue on offense. Rose went 6-13 FG and most of that was driving to the lane. … After getting less than a half minute of play against the Hawks, Omer Asik logged 18 minutes tonight. … The UC seemed awfully quiet on the ole television set. They were the most excited for Scalabrine cries – which came in the fourth – and did not get up for get up for a pounding of a division opponent. I was a bit disappointed. … I had the Milwaukee feed on this game, and it did not let me down in the least. They basically called it a game at the end of the third, saying that was the time for Noah to wrap up his triple-double, as he was likely to sit the fourth. Their color commentator, Jon McGlockin, uttered at the beginning of the fourth, “I imagine we have seen the last of the Bulls’ starters in this one.” Little did he know that Tom Thibodeau is the Bulls’ coach. Within minutes of his statement, Luol Deng checked back into the game, much to Jon’s dismay. It was equally amusing how further defeated the Bucks’ announcer were. They were much more amused as to whether Scalabrine would score than they ever were of Milwaukee ever catching the Bulls after halfway through the third.
*It was the first triple-double by a Bulls’ center since one of the most underrated players of all-time, Artis Gilmore.