No, I’m not talking Heat or Nuggets.
Slightly lesser-known, and not garnering quite as much coverage, it’s the three-year consecutive win streak whereby the Bulls beat their opponent for my birthday game!
Year 1: March 25, 2011 – Bulls defeat Grizzlies 99 to 96.
Year 2: March 24, 2012 – Bulls defeat Raptors in OT 102 to 101.
Year 3: March 23, 2013 – Bulls defeat Pacers 87 to 84.
I had to revise my birthday wish list on the fly, from “All I want for my birfday is The Return” to “How about I’ll just take a win.”
Got to the UC parking lot around 5:26. Gates open at 5:30. Got to watch DRose warm up for about 40 minutes.
When the Bulls took the floor aroun 6:30ish prior to the 7 p.m. CDT start, I had to call security. Where’s Jo? What did you do with Jo? Searching. Looking. He is usually jumps rope pre-game. Couldn’t see him anywhere, and he’s pretty hard to miss. Figured his hair was taking longer than usual to fix, or his tummy didn’t feel good or something.
Since my neighbors further down in row F of section 106 were no help, nor was the couple behind me, took to iPhone and quick google search revealed the unthinkable. The plantar’s back! Jo had to “take a seat.”
Well, he didn’t take that seat in the UC. I guess he was getting more treatment in the locker room, or wherever it is the players (aka half of the Bulls starting lineup on any given night) hang when they’re injured and doing their jobs, which according to Thibs, at that point, is to get treatment and do their rehab.
The theme of the night – “Next man up.”
Calling Nazr. Nazr Mohammed.
Is there a Daequan Cook in the house?
So the little-known, lesser played heroes of last night’s game were Nazr and Daequan. Nazr’s a beast, and although he has a reputation for being an “old man” (I think he’s 35. Sigh), and not so quick on his feet. Umm, other than Rip (you remember him – he used to start, former UConn player, now suffering back problems), the only other Bulls player to have won an NBA championship is Mr. Mohammed.
I like this guy. He rocked it, and then Daequan. What can I say? I get so excited when the kid scores. Fitting, I would say that he really cooked last night…given the giveaway for the first x-thousand fans to enter the UC was a Bulls oven mitt. Yes, I’m the proud owner of said oven mitt, which will come in handy for all of the cooking I do (that’s a joke).
But Daequan was on it, on offense and defense, made key shots. He even sacrificed his body.
Play was supposed to be taking place on our end of the court, but then all of a sudden, Kirk and some of the other guys abandoned play down by us, and for some unknown reason, sprinted down to the other end. That’s because they finally realized they had left their teammate, Daequan lying injured, with the cheerleaders (not sure he minded), a cameraman and some equipment. And it seemed like a pretty long time he was on the floor, with the guys surrounding him.
Poor Daequan. Add him to the list. Thigh injury.
Luol and Los. What can you say? Lu was back to his old tricks again, with 20 points and Carlos had 18 and some kind of dunk over one of the 7-foot Pacers. They all seem to be 7 feet tall, so not sure which one it was.
So the game ended with us hugging and high-fiving our neighbors. The lady next to us. The 10-year kid and his Dad behind us. The 40-something “kid” and his Dad in front of us. It was a big love fest.
The birthday win streak lives on! And while the Bulls didn’t quite pull off a 68-point win ala UConn women, we’ll take the W. At this point, any kind of W will do.
Later today, on to the Timberwolves. No DRose, no Jo, no Rip. Not sure about Daequan, and Kirk got dinged up again last night (surprise). So, short-handed, but it’s next man up.
Eagerly awaiting the change to “Next man or woman up.” Remember, Cinjo is waiting in the wings, especially after practicing spin moves, over and under (hook shots) and the Euro Step at her basketball lesson yesterday.
And then there’s “that other team,” Miami on Wednesday. Quite a birthday week. Let’s hope last night’s win was not my final gift this birfday season.