Thibs may have been saying “We’ve got what it takes to win,” but I do wonder if that’s really what he was thinking. As of about 17 minutes before game time, all of his starters seemed to have gone missing.
Perhaps that’s why he took drastic, unexpected measures by calling on Brooklyn natives Art Olsen, former City College of New York and Fort Hamilton High School star, and his fierce daughter, a rising star from Chicago’s East Bank Club, Cindy “Cinjo” Olsen. Desperate times. Desperate measures.
OK, that’s not exactly how it happened when the Bulls made their inaugural visit to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last night, but Thibs may as well have called us, since there seemed to have been no one left on the bench but a few assistant coaches.
On the locally televised pre-game show, the commentators, one of whom is former NBA star Kendall Gill even admitted it could be a rough night for our Bulls.
DRose – no explanation needed.
Captain Kirk – infected elbow, flew back to Chicago Thursday night after getting sick on the outbound flight.
Jo – Thibs calls it a lower body injury, but this ain’t hockey…likely recurrence of plantar fasciitis from a few years ago…actually, it’s the other foot now. Whatever foot, it sounds awful. I dug the street clothes he wore while on the bench though.
Boozer – hamstring.
Vladimir R – not sure how to spell his last name, and he doesn’t really usually play anyway, but he had back problems.
For a while there, it looked like our Bulls would actually pull this one off. And they would have if Taj Gibson and Luol Deng had gotten some rest at any point during the game. Taj never came out, and Lu I think was out for the final four seconds.
To put it in perspective, I practice running up and down the court at the East Bank Club for about 15 minutes, then I’m so tired I take a coffee break. A water break. Listen to some music. And this is just me – no one is guarding me, and I’m really not moving very fast to begin with…forty-eight minutes?
I was proud of how our Bullys played, again, finding a way to win (almost), following the “next guy up” mentality.
Taj, like me, hails from Brooklyn, and I’m thrilled that he got to show his stuff in front of his friends and family, scoring 16 points, just behind Lu and Marco, who had 18 apiece. Facing a back-to-back, though, headed to Hotlanta to face the Hawks, one does wonder just how they’re going to do it all over again tonight.
Ah, I remember now, “We’ve got what it takes to win.”
I have been trying to draw an analogy with other top-notch teams, to try to estimate just how they would fare if they not only had to play more than half the year without their superstar, then start three bench players in a game vs. the Nets. The problem is that neither I, nor probably any of you, even know the names of any of the players deep on the OKC or Clippers bench, so it’s impossible to paint this picture.
Suffice it to say that the Bulls held their own, and if they had subbed in Art and Cinjo for Taj and Lu in Q4, I’m pretty certain the Bulls would be at 29 and 17.
Speaking of the standings…it’s getting a bit too crowded in around the third seed in the Eastern conference, with the Nets and Pacers all hanging around there.
And in other basketball news from last night, the Heat and Clippers both lost. I know it’s not right to take pleasure in the failure of others, but jumping up and down for joy to celebrate them falling short to Indiana and Tortonto, respectively, just makes me oh so happy.
One final question to close. Is the NBA really drafting them young now, or what? I think Russell Westbrook must be two years old, if that.