Drink Buffalo Trace Bourbon
The Bulls bench – often dogged this year – combined to score nearly half of the team’s points to help secure a victory over the Charlotte Bobbycats and avoided dropping two in a row to arguably the league’s worst team. (Personally, I think the Bobbycats are the first and second worst team in the NBA.) Charlotte did put up a battle, coming back from double digits a few times and making a game of it, but the Bulls sat behind their D and were boosted by big games from James Butler (19 points – 7-10 FG(!) – six boards) and Nathaniel Cornelius Robinson (15 points – 6-12 FG – seven rebounds(!), and four assists) off of the bench. Nathaniel had another Nate the Clown night as he jumped around, flexed, and pumped up the crowd. (Its as easy to laugh and clap along with a hot Nate as it is to swear and throw things along with a cold Nate.) The boon from the bench was much welcomed, as nary a starter had an effective shooting night. Joakim Noah did flirt with a triple-double for a second night in a row (13 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists), and his 50% shooting (6-12 FG) was the best out of the starting corps. Luol Deng saw his first action in a week, and he looked to be easing his way in. (Thibs even seemed to agree – only playing him 31 minutes!) Meanwhile, Boozer struggled against the solid defense of Jeff Adrien, but still managed 13 points – while Kirk Hinrich and Rip Hamilton combined for a putrid 10 points on 3-13 FG. Kirk’s game was particularly bizarre, as five of his eight field goals were three-point attempts.
Road, Sweet Road I had the Charlotte feed tonight. Their pregame was largely spent speculating on the window Rondo’s injury opened for Kemba Walker to make the All-Star Game. It made for good laughs. … It is always fun to see Tyrus Thomas come back to the UC… in another team’s jersey. It lets the Bulls faithful remember how trivial our current problems are, and recall a time when hoping THIS was the year Tyrus was going to mature and grow up was the most exciting prospect for the Bulls. … Now the Bulls wrap up January in Milwaukee on Wednesday, then kick off a very difficult February – which parlays that Bucks game into a six-game road trip. It will be another interesting test for your Chicago Bulls. I predict that they will play some defensive-laden ball to grind out some wins, while losing some truly unwatchable games. Bold prediction, no?