Drink: The Grangestone 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch
Joakim Noah decided he would smite the Pistons tonight. And smite he did. The rest of the Bulls largely agreed and got out of his way. Jesus Christos, Noah went all Brian Bozworth to the Pistons’ Brotherhood, hammering down 30 points, 23 rebounds, and six assists – the first two stats being career highs for the gun slinga’! (In other news, the Pistons totaled 28 rebounds.) The Billy Goat was simply a buck among kids (those are goat terms), as it seemed like he got any board when he was in the vicinity of the paint. In addition to his boards, Noah was scoring with his full array of knuckle ball shots, dunks, and lay-ups, while also dishing it around with his usual accurate passing. It was one of the better displays of gritty/determined basketball that I have seen in all of my wise years.
Yet, for as large as Noah’s shadow was cast, the Bulls still needed the last minute to hold off the Pistons. There were two instances within the last few minutes of the fourth where the Bulls looked like they would competently close out a game(!), but it took their normal graceless stumble to seal the deal. The culprit here was some truly wretched defense early in the game (30 points for Detroit in the first!) that resulted in a 17-point hole, which made for an uphill battle for the majority of the game. The crux of the shoddy D was the Bulls being absolutely baffled by these newfangled “screens” and “picks” that all the kids are using these days. The D was totally lost on rotation (RIP Asik) when the Pistons ran simple basketball plays, and this created some easy buckets to the hoop. And not to pick on one player – as most everyone was to blame in some capacity – but James Butler looked downright silly on this other fad, the “ball” or “head” fake. Criminy, in the second quarter alone, Rodney Stuckey got him twice in a row on it, then Corey Maggette did likewise. Hopefully, the Bulls are not caught up with the head or ball fake effectiveness, as it already seems that they are throwing up an astounding number of few fakes this season – especially on threes. Why fake anything resembling an open look?! It is not like Hinrich is going to create something better while he pines to dribble around the baseline.
Noah the Bulls overcame their defensive woes and persevered to win their second game in a row. (That’s called a winning streak.)
Are we human; or are we robots? Not one to break with season themes (a la Bogans starting every game), Thibs continued his cruel experiment and drained his starters once again. Jo clocked in 43.5 minutes, Lu did one less, while Boozer and Belinelli flirted with 40 – welcome to being a starter, kid. God help them all if the Bulls stick close to the Knicks into the fourth tomorrow night. … By my count, Carlos Boozer had three dunks. (That has to be the most by him since joining the Bulls.) But that was not all! Boozer and his stenciled-in beard put in a solid effort tonight. He went for 12-19 FG (like his career-high buddy, Jo), logging 24 points and six boards. Much more impressive was Boozer knocking down shots down the stretch in the fourth! Remember, I -for one – have always stood by Boozer as being clutch. (Note: No I haven’t. No one has ever said that.) … Why is it that CSN detests in-game stats? It makes watching a DVR’d game frustrating – particularly because it is not as if Neil Funk or the talking doll next to him are going to offer any help. The only bone CSN would throw (multiple times) was that the Bulls had beat the Pistons 15 straight games. Now 16. … The Samsung Text Question tonight was: Who will be the Bulls leading scorer tonight? The options were: Deng, Boozer, Belinelli, and Nate. It was hardly a surprise, but it is funny that Hinirch is trumped by his backup on the list. At least he creates so much offense for the other players on the court.
The Bulls now head back home to face the red-hot New York Knickerbockers. Hey, maybe Melo will still be out…? Eh. When is Rose coming back?