The crowd comes alive, the Butler did it, but where’s Jo?

Luol Deng at Wildcats vs. Hoosiers b-ball game on January 20, 2013. Courtesy of BP.
Luol Deng at Wildcats vs. Hoosiers b-ball game on January 20, 2013. Courtesy of BP.
At last night’s Bulls vs. Grizzlies game, the Bulls gave the crowd a reason to wake up, and I was glad to see, at least from the home town call on WGN, that the Bulls fans emerged from their slumber. This is in stark contrast to last Saturday. I was the only one in my section standing during the introductions, and I should have dialed 911, because medics were needed to resuscitate the unenthusiastic spectators. By halftime, I think we lost most of them. Really, I think they were dead.

I intended to comment on the less-than-enthusiastic UC crowd from last Saturday, but it seemed like I was just a complainer so I let it go. The Bulls gave the attendees a lot more to cheer about last night, cutting the 17-point deficit and bringing the team into yet another overtime.

But it is interesting to consider to what extent the crowd’s enthusiasm affects the players. I’ll have to ask Jo or Lu to comment next time I interview them…in another life.

So how about Jimmy Butler? First NBA start, and I read his family was in town to see it. And he just kept asking himself, “What would Lu do?” Well, he certainly played minutes comparable to Lu, and with 18 points, umm, not too shabby. This is the silver lining of the night’s defeat, I would say.

But on the downside, I think Coach Thibs must not have gotten whatever was on his birthday wish list, because he was even crankier than usual.

And Jo never made it back into the game after leaving in Q3, and the pundits are abuzz about what this could all mean. Maybe Jo has an undisclosed injury. He was too tired? The flu-like symptoms have returned. He didn’t like the way his hair turned out for the game? In reality, they’re claiming that something’s awry between Mr. Bulls Heart and Soul (Jo) and Cranky Pants (Coach Thibs).

When questioned during the post-game press conference, this is what Thibs had to say “Coach’s decision.” What do you really mean, Thibs? “Coach’s decision.” Maybe Thibs hasn’t forgiven Jo for going on and on about Thibs screaming at them at practice following last Saturday’s literal meltdown to the Suns.

No Jo in the locker room afterwards for quotable quotes, and to showcase one of his eclectic outfits. He evidently just slithered away.

Talk about playing shorthanded? No DRose. No Lu. A discontented Jo.

And this unassuming NBA player you may or may not have heard of, Kobe is showing up for a late-night game tomorrow. At this point, I might have to thank my lucky stars that I can only watch half of the Lakers game. Have to be at the office for a client meeting at the crack of dawn on Tuesday; I’ll be in the cozy bed quite early Monday evening. I’m happy to entertain interested guest bloggers.

This just in: BP, my source on the ground at the Northwestern Wildcats vs. Indiana Hoosiers men’s b-ball game reports Luol Deng is in the house. BP says, “He’s tall.” Earth-shattering news! I guess the Bulls get the day off to enjoy some R&R, or to take in some additional basketball. Meantime, I’ll engage in some retail therapy. And we should all feel better by game time tomorrow.

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