48 Minutes of Intensity (or Not)

Bulls legends Norm Van Lier and Johnny Red Kerr both passed away four years ago on February 26.

In the pre-game, Mark and Kendall mentioned how much they are both missed, and Neil and Stacey echoed this sentiment during the game.

Evidently, one of Norm’s famous quotes was about bringing 48 minutes of intensity. Well, the Bulls managed to bring it for about a quarter and a half vs. the Cavs.

After taking home the Academy Award for “Best Comedy” Sunday night in OKC, I thought the return to the UC to play a mediocre team could be the remedy. OK, maybe there is no Oscar for best comedy. But there should be. The Bulls are a shoe-in!

They truly did exceed expectations at the outset of the season. But the team has disappointed, night in and night out, ever since that fateful Friday in Brooklyn vs. the Nets. I believe that was a turning point. I seem to recall that most of the starters were out, and they supplemented the lineup with Bulls fans from the stands (yes, there are Bulls fans in Brooklyn).

Since then, it seems like everything has gone askew. The defense is a few steps behind. The 48 minutes of intensity turns into about 23 and a half minutes of sort of intensity. No one can buy a basket.

I used to review the upcoming schedule and list off all the teams I knew the Bulls could beat. I was looking for 50 wins…and for a minute there, the numbers added up.
Now, winning to teams like the Cavs is questionable.

Thibs’s “We’ve got what it takes to win” needs to be changed to “We’ve got what it takes to win. (Pause) Just kidding.”

The pieces just don’t add up. The players the Bulls have definitely do individually overachieve—but not all on the same night. It would appear that more than a few elements are missing. And even if Jo and Luol both play 58 minutes, it’s still not going to get the job done. Although I’m sure Thibs would be willing to give it a try, much to the league’s chagrin.

This Bulls blogger has tried her best to find the positive spin. I aimed to internalize Thibs’ philosophy. But now I’ve realized we need more. Maybe DRose will be enough.

Or maybe the fact that I’ll be at the game Saturday will bring new life to our beloved team. They’ll see me in the stands, and just my mere presence will be just the inspiration they need. Or maybe they’ll remember how to score, shoot, defend and DRose will come back. Now that would be an amazing night at the UC.

And we all need that kind of night.

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