Behind D.J.’s 28 points, Bulls defeat Bobcats 89-87

This is one of those games the Bulls are supposed to win.

But as we all know, nothing is promised anymore. While the Cats’ center Big Al Jefferson gave the Bulls some trouble, as evidenced by his 32 points, fortunately, I could keep the volume on for most of the slug fest.

And it’s no surprise this one wasn’t scheduled for ABC’s Sunday Showcase. Quite the opposite of Hollywood indeed.

As even Thibs attested to, no one won any style points. In fact, a call to the Fashion Police might be in order. One of the reporters asked him to comment about the aesthetics of the game: “As long as we come out on top, I love it,” Thibodeau said.

Although third to DRose injury #2 and the Luol Deng trade, the emergence of D.J. Augustin has become the season’s story line. The feel-good movie of the year, at least so far.

Remember – D.J. played for the Bobcats for four years, and was the starting point guard until former UConn star Kemba Walker showed up and D.J. became the backup. Then D.J. played for the Giants (Pacers) last year, coming off the bench.

He was with the Raptors to start this season, but I guess he didn’t play much, and they let him go on December 9. The Bulls picked him up on Friday, December 13, he flew to Thrill-waukee for his first game with the Bulls, and without a practice or a game plan, Thibs put him in. Oh, he did make it to the morning shootaround at the Bradley Center.

He’s currently the Bulls’ second-leading scorer, behind Boozer, and he’s scored 27 or 28 the last three games. He played 43:51 last night.

Following the Bobcats victory, Thibs said: “D.J. was a huge pick up for us. We had a need with Derrick and Kirk going down and obviously he had a need as well. It was good for him and it has been great for us. The one thing that we knew because of how he played here in Charlotte was that he was fully capable. I also thought he had a wonderful year in Indiana even though he played minimal minutes. For whatever reason, he didn’t play in Toronto. But that worked out for us. To his credit, he was ready when this opportunity came around and he hit the ground running. It’s not just his individual talents but it is also what he is doing for our team. He is running our team well.”

“When you find a guy like that, undrafted guy, he has to scratch his way into the league and he always finds his way onto a roster,” Thibodeau said. “Whenever we played against him, I always felt like he competed hard. I knew he would be a good fit.”

There seems to be a life lesson here, about attitude, preparedness, opportunity and fortitude. Never, never, never give up.

Then again, isn’t everything about the Bulls a life’s lesson? How about someone having more belief in you than you have in yourself.

“We have this motto,” Taj Gibson said. “He (Thibs) just keeps saying, ‘I’m so proud of you. I’ll go anywhere with you guys.'”

“Guys don’t complain. Thibs — he stresses it. Like, ‘Come on, fight through it. This is going to be a great year. It’s going to be a good outcome. Just keep fighting through it.’ But he’s a good coach as far as getting [us] amped to play.”

“That’s what Thibs told us,” Augustin said. “We get knocked down but we always get back up and we keep fighting. And that’s the motto of our team, fight til the end of the game, and that’s what we did tonight. It’s been working for us.”

“This team is great,” Thibodeau said. “They know — we talked about what happened [Friday, aka Lob City, aka Three-Point City] night and what we had to do today, and that’s the best part about this team. They got great pride, they’re going to bounce back, they’re going to give you everything they have. For us, we just got to keep scratching out wins, and we can never lose sight of how hard we have to play to give ourselves a chance to win, particularly when you’re short-handed.”

And that’s why I love our Bulls. And, I could personally stand for a bit of giving it everything I have in my own life.

Well, that’s the end of the Bulls Banter turned Bulls Therapy. Back to our usual programming following the Bulls’ defeat of the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday. Uh oh. I think they’re from that non-Eastern Conference. Putting a call into League to complain about scheduling right away.


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