Last night’s game against a Western Conference team at home at the UC was supposed to ease the Bulls into their seven games against teams in that conference. i.e. – This one, versus the Timberwolves – they were supposed to win.
But take away DRose, Captain Kirk, Luol Deng, and then, to top it all off, the heart and soul (Jo) – it just wasn’t meant to be. Who’s next? Benny the Bull?
In case you hadn’t heard, Jo had to skip shootaround, and he schlepped to the UC, but got sent home. He’s got the flu bug.
Bulls lose to the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves 95-86.
A few times, it seems like the Bulls could actually pull it off, but nothing went their way. One by one, they got into foul trouble. Lots of missed shots. More turnovers than the world’s leading bakeries have ever seen.
Jo’s presence was missed. You don’t see a lot of clapping and yelling and finger pistols from Tony Snell. Or Mike Dunleavy. I fell asleep during the third quarter, and I’m guessing most of the fans as the UC did too.
“Whenever you lose an All-Star, you’re going to feel it,” said Taj Gibson. “He (Noah) was playing real phenomenal. He’s one of our vocal leaders on the court rebounding, playing defense, controlling the offensive end as far as making plays for guys. But things like that are going to happen. It’s always up to the group and the guys behind just to gather up and try to push forward.”
“When you lose a guy like Jo,” Thibodeau said, “your margin of error is smaller.”
“Jo does so much on offense and on defense,” Bulls guard Jimmy Butler said. “He can guard so many positions, you can switch him onto guys, he rebounds, passes the ball well. Just the energy and the leadership that he brings, it’s just tough not having him out there.”
Kind of shows you how vulnerable the Bulls are, really.
According to the pundits on Comcast Sportsnet, this upcoming Western road trip of six games (Spurs, Pelicans, Kings, Suns, Warriors, Lakers) will decide the Bulls’ standings in the Eastern Conference, and who they face in the playoffs. That is, if they’re not enjoying an early start to their summer in late April.
Enjoy the 22-22 record now and fifth place, because unless the clever plan Thibs has devised works, I have more chances of winning a pickup game at the East Bank Club than the Bulls have of pulling off six victories on the road.
What’s Thibs up to now? After his whirlwind romance with Kate Upton, his head must be in the clouds – how can he strategize and create a game plan?
Simple. Jo, with his virus or Superbug, or whatever he’s picked up, will be using his charming personality to sweet talk his way into the opponents’ locker rooms (kinda like he did in OKC before Kendrick Perkins kicked him out). But key to this tactic is to get into the locker rooms pre-game.
Then, Jo will work to infect as many players as possible – lots of coughing and close talking.
In ThibsLand, you do whatever it takes. In reality, instead of spreading viruses, we can all implore the basketball gods for some kind of break. Or, like me, since most of the games are on after my bedtime, maybe just skip them and wake back up on Feb. 11 when they return to CHIberia to face the Hawks. Oops, the Hawks are a good Eastern Conf. team.
I got one – Feb. 13 vs. the Nets. There you go. Victory will be ours.