Drink: Yellow Tail Shiraz
Tonight looked very pretty compared to last night’s shitfest. That is what playing the Cavaliers will often bring to the table. The Eastern Conference’s jackleg Central Division is currently assembled by some young, woeful, and/or injured teams. If the playoffs were to start now, the division would probably take the higher road and not claim one of their guaranteed top-four seeds. It is a mess of an institution and a testament as to why the divisional structure in American sports is myopic and asinine.
Soapboxes are fun (and empowering), but on to the game!
As banged up and still sputtering from the Bronpocalypse that the Cavs may be, this was still a solid and semi-important win for your Chicago Bulls. It was of little doubt that a Thibs-led Bulls team would rebound with piss and vinegar after whatever you may want to call last night, and that is exactly what they did. Your Chicago Bulls came out strong, spaced their halfcourt sets much better, and aside from some pesky nipping from the Cavs, cruised to a comfortable win – one that was healthier than the final 10-point margin may suggest. This was the second of a back-to-back (on the road) and the second to last manageable game before the Bulls go on a nightmare stretch of the schedule. It was one they needed and they nailed it. Salut, boys!
What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s a happenin’! One Marco Belinelli was quite the buzz in this contest. Although he faded late (when the game was already secured), he still ended up with a respectable 7-15 FG for a Belinelli-staggering 23 points. After dropping a couple of early threes, he no feared the arc, and ended up 2-8 from distance. Still, with limited offensive options (I feel like I have typed that phrase hundreds of times this season.) (Probably because I have.), someone has to shoot on this Bulls side, and Marco answered the call tonight. … On a much quieter and efficient note, Luol Deng finished with one less point than Marco, on two less FGA and three less FTA. Deng showed some beautiful cuts to the hoop – an aspect of his game that comes and goes at times. … Joakim Noah picked up his league-leading fifth technical foul of the season. … It is pleasant to watch James Butler develop as this season goes on. He obviously is not insanely talented, but the man hustles and plays mostly smart. It is a welcomed surprise off the bench – especially with Taj Gibson’s early season struggles. … It is too bad that a coasting win had to come at the price of 44 minutes for Noah and 42 minutes for Deng. I really hope these are indestructible robot versions of the human players they represent.
Play of the Game There were two money “plays” tonight, and I just cannot decide which was more delightful.
1. In the third quarter, Carlos Boozer yelled his patented, “Aw shit!” on a shot that barely scraped iron… said shot was a free throw.
2. As the game was wrapping up, Belinelli tied up Jeremy Pargo on a layup. None too pleased about being tied up, Pargo chucked the ball behind him, and right into Belinelli’s face. It was magical. It was as if Pargo was giving the Bulls fans a symbol of what we thought of the Bulls offseason roster moves.
Let’s wrap this up on a high note, shall we?