Drink: Methadone Cocktail
Early on, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins established that the lane was a scary place to thread for the Bulls handicapped offense. This pushed them to the perimeter and jumpers. Jumpers that were not falling. It was typified by poor point guard play. CJ Watson started the ugliness and was subbed out in the first when he picked up his second foul – which went along with 2-6 FG, a turnover and assist. In came John Lucas III Esquire. Little to nothing changed with introduction – other than Lucas displayed the inability to get past senior citizen Derek Fisher. The two ended up with a frightening 9-27 from the field.
On the other end, OKC was hot right out of the gate, led by their two stars. Durant and Westbrook went for 53 points in about 63 minutes. When both of those cats are hitting, times are going to be tough. The Thunder (Pow! Bang! BOOM!) were only up by ten at the half. It felt like it should have been more. It did not take long into the third for them to assure me of that feeling.
Smoke & Mirrors? The Bulls have more than held their own with all of their injuries, especially sans the reigning MVP. Tonight, the absence of Da Rose (and to a lesser extent, Rip) really showed. The Bulls play at the point was horrid. A healthy Da Rose would have changed the foundation of the offense. Would it have been enough to overcome the circus that was Durant & Westbrook? Who knows, but it at least would have been more interesting. This game proved that while the team system can hold its own without its star, we can come to expect a thumping or two against the cream of the NBA – even with the Miami win mid-March.
Trainspotting Thibs started Kyle Korver over Ronnie Brewer today. As much as I do not love Korver, starting him against the offensively challenged Thabo Sefolosha is the right move. Korver ended up being one of the “bright spots” on an impotent offense in the first. … Among the most frustrated of Bulls players must have been Joakim Noah. The Bulls center had five points (1-8 FG) and six rebounds. The Thunder’s (Crack! Bam! BOOM!) bigs got physical with University of Florida alum and the refs fell silent on that battle. I was surprised Noah did not pick up a T at some point – but I suppose he only had 19 minutes to grab it. … The OKC PA dude sounds like the PA dude from Purple Rain when announcing Bulls buckets. … Being an ABC/ESPN broadcast, they had a player from each team mic’d up. For the Bulls, they chose Boozer. Personally, I would have like to hear Omer talking Turkish trash the whole contest. It hardly matters who they pick, as most of it sounds forced and unnatural. “Hey, I know I am mic’d up, so here is some awkward banter/shouting…” … Oh yeah, the final score in no way reflects the thumping OKC put on. … Happy Stormin’ Norman Van Lier Day!