He’s been called the season saver, and now add to that, game saver. So D.J. scores a career high 33 points (16 in Q4), comparable to the UConn men, hits all 10 of his free throws, and has the media waiting as his locker for post-game interviews.
And to think, before the Bulls picked him up in mid-December – hardly anyone knew his name.
There’s a life lesson here, about perseverance and believing in yourself. And importantly, about others believing in you and team spirit and togetherness.
In all reality, without D.J., the Bulls could be in the Celtics’ shoes, or sneakers, on the other end of the Eastern Conference. But because of him, the Bulls are in the upper half, and the top quarter, to be exact.
I’ll give the Celtics fans credit – they showed up, and I like to think Bulls fans would do the same. But when you know you’re not going to make the playoffs, it must take some wherewithal to bring it every night.
Just be thankful D.J. put this career-defining game together, because at half time, the only headline I had come up with was, “If I wanted two dozen turnovers, I would have gone to a bakery.”
See, D.J. saves the day again. But the food theme really could have worked, with Stacey King’s “He’s setting the table, all you gotta do is sit down and eat,” or something to that effect, every time Jo’s pass to a teammate led to a basket.
Although D.J. did score one third of the Bulls’ points, channeling his best Melo and KD, let’s not forget that Boozer had 14, and got them going early. I think I might have seen a dunk too, although these old eyes sometimes do fail me.
And the triple double watch was underway for Jo…again…with the 13 points and 13 assists for #13, along with 8 rebounds. Dunleavy 11, Hinrich, 11, JB, 15.
The Bulls offense made a rare appearance, but the defense, not so good.
“Every time we got a four or five-point lead we seem to have a turnover or we had some sequences where I thought we blocked out and we didn’t go after the ball,” said Thibodeau. “Those are things,..three guys thought the other guy had it and they start running. Those are the things we got to eliminate.”
So while the Bulls get their house in order with figuring out, by tonight’s rematch, how to run after the loose balls and get the offensive rebounds, I guess the Celtics will devise a game plan to stop D.J.
See what happens next, as the Bulls take on the Celtics at the UC tonight.
Beat the Celtics (again).