Drink Distilled Water
Given the personnel, this may have been the Bulls best performance of the season. Going into the game, I just assumed Boozer would be out. I had work obligations during the day, so I did not get any updates until after the game started (I was recording it.) – at which time I got a text from Joelseppi that read, “Sweet Jesus, you see the Bulls line-up?” I was intrigued. Upon getting home and rolling the ugliness, I saw that said starting line-up consisted of: Nathaniel Cornelius Robinson, Rip Hamitlon (that symbol of resilience!), Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and Nazr Mohammed! Fun Fact: Two of these starters would combine to miss all of four seconds of the game. Yes, FOUR EFFIN’ SECONDS! Luol Deng was pardoned for those four seconds, while Taj stayed out there for 48 minutes of play. On the other side of the spectrum, Nazr logged eight hilarious first-quarter minutes, got the hook, and never showed his ugly mug again. You see, Thibodeau went “small ball” or “not-Nazr ball” after those first eight excruciating minutes. After that, Taj shifted to center and Deng to power forward. The team proceeded to put in a Thibs-centric display and almost pulled out a road win in a game they no business being in. In the end, they simply got gassed (Good thing they are playing again tonight!) while Brooklyn was able to open up a small lead and maintain it.
Taking the Lumps As inspired as the Bulls performance may have been, the biggest story of the night had to do with a player who did not even see the court. Sam Smith reported after the game that Joakim Noah has been bit with plantar fasciitis again. You may recall Noah going down with the same injury (but this one seems to be in the opposite foot – joy) in the 2009-10 season and the Bulls promptly losing ten straight games. On the plus side, he did get back on the court, battled the Cavs in the playoffs, and delivered the best ripping on a city to date! So maybe this will fuel Noah to have some great post-game pressers in the playoffs. (That is about as positive of a spin that I can think up.) … Carlos Boozer missed another game with a hamstring issue, while Kirk was “flown back” (I love that term.) with a broken heart, or elbow, or some thing. Who cares. With Noah down and having a Nazr on the roster, the Bulls desperately need Boozer back. (Yes, I just wrote those words.) … Rip Hamilton went 4-5 and looked effective, yet only played 17.5 minutes. Is he just unable to play more than a quarter and a half now? Is this all we can expect, a glorified Keith Bogans? It has been 19 games since Rip has returned from injury and he is averaging a little over 20 minutes a game. And many times, like last night, it really looks like they can use him, but he simply sits. … At one point, it sounded like Stacey King called James Butler, “Jimmy Brother.” For whatever reason this made laugh way more than it should have. Jimmy Brother would make for a great new Shaft-like character. Let’s get that trilogy going!
Even with the loss, this game gets all three Reagans. The Bulls played their hearts out. I think at one point, Taj Gibson’s heart literally did fall out of his chest and flop around the court like a fish out of water. Also, Keith Bogans played 11:39 of this game for the Nets, filling up the stat sheet with three points (1-2 FG) and five personal fouls – that is a foul every 2.33 minutes! Bravo!