Drink Oak Ridge Ancient Vine Zinfandel
I have not gone back and revisited all my posts from this year, but I bet I have mentioned that this team is not always aesthetically pleasing. This happened to be one of those nights. The Lakers can boast one of the worse defenses in the game. The Bulls can counter with an apathetic offense. The Lakers do not know what to do with Pau Gasol (he began the game on the bench). The Bulls are without their two leading scorers, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng. (I suppose it is a bit presumptuous to state that Rose would be a top scorer on this offensive juggernaut.) These facts do not make for pretty basketball.
Do not let the Bulls final point tally fool you (which is not gaudy by any means), this was an unattractive contest. Bizarrely enough, Kirk Hinirch was the prettiest thing on the court tonight. Ye ole Capt’ Kirk went for 22 points (9-11 FG?!?! and 3-4 from downtown?!?!?!?), seven rebounds, and eight assists. It was… something.
Yes, Hinrich had a great game tonight. Yet, regardless if this happened or not, some announcer/analyst would have gone on and on about “what he brings to the team,” “how much he gives to the team,” or – my personal favorite – “people do not appreciate how he runs the offense.” Tonight, it was Steve Kerr. It hardly mattered, as every national broadcast of the Bulls involves some doucher unjustly putting Hinrich on a pedestal. I used to think he only dished out oral favors for the Bulls front office, but it appears he takes care of the media as well.
The other highlight tonight was Jimmy Butler, who was filling in for the injured Luol Deng. While his offensive contribution was modest (10 points, 4-10 FG), it was on defense where he shined. James drew Kobe on his defensive assignment and held the NBA’s leading scorer in check (16 points, 7-22 FG). Butler was all up in Kobe’s grill the whole night. Add to that some timely buckets and rebounds, and you have yourself an extremely pleasing effort for a player subbing for what Thibs dubs “the glue.”
Now, surely, the Bulls can buck a trend and build on this victory. Three of their next four games are against teams with sub-.500 records. And they could really use some easy victories before entering a very difficult February. But these are your Chicago Bulls – which means they will probably drop Wednesday’s game against the Pistons, beat the Warriors, and then lose one versus the Bobbycats or the Wiz. Well, I suppose they are nothing if not unpredictable. And that is fun… right?