The Bulls lost (77 to 85) a winnable game last night, as the pundits are saying their “mirror image,” the Memphis Grizzlies gave them a dose of their own medicine – that good old-fashioned, not too exciting, and yet very effective defense.
Despite what you may think, I don’t have a my knickers in a knot about this one. The Bulls admit the Grizzles were better than them, out-rebounded, out-hustled, out-did, out-played. You get the picture.
No hard feelings, but a bit disappointing, given there aren’t too many more Western Conference foes outside the top 8 making their way to the UC in the near future.
The Bulls’ signature defense took the night off, and the offensive juggernaut, which made an appearance for a few games, well, it faded fast.
You wondered if the Bulls would even score 60 in the entire game. Everybody was off. When only one starter scores in double figures (Jo with 15), it doesn’t make for a Bulls win. At the rate we’re going, the fans will never get the free Big Macs again.
Like the Pistons, I have no reason to hate these Grizzlies. Marc Gasol seems to have less jump in his jump shot than me, yet still, he’s a beast. Z-Bo, although a load, and rather surly, doesn’t bother me as much any more. There were high fives and hugs all around between the winners and losers after the game.
The Bulls were willing to give credit where credit is due.
So onward to Sunday’s matinee, the Bulls vs. the Heat. I contend that the Bulls were unknowingly reserving both their offensive and defensive moves for tomorrow’s game vs. the reigning, soon to-be-dethroned champs.
I’ve begun to get a little confused about whether we’re watching the NBA or TMZ, with the emerging storylines coming the forefront. Jo won’t address his alleged recruiting of Melo, using the word gossip and other derivations more times in one interview than a week’s worth of Entertainment Tonight. Then he proceeds to talk in some kind of girly voice on a clip ESPN has been running, and he’s in GQ Magazine. Just too much.
Meantime, the star of the opponent is complaining about his mask and his short-sleeved pajama top uniform, which evidently is causing his offensive slump. When do we place the call to the League Office to request the pajamas for tomorrow’s game.
The fact that anyone is running analytics on LeBron’s scoring in the standard uniform versus the pajama top uniform, well, I don’t know what to say.
What I can say is that tomorrow’s game is the final regular season game between these two teams, and so far, the home team has won every game.
In a rare move, evidently Thibodeau called practice for today (Saturday), which I am sure involves watching tape of the Heat destroying the Bulls during this year’s losses, and maybe even last year’s final playoff game when they sent the Bulls on their summer vacations in the spring.
Here’s what Taj had to say about tomorrow’s game: “I know we’re not going to need any extra hype to get ready for that game.”
Following the Bulls’ last win against the Heat on December 5 (when the Bulls beat them by 20!) Jo said, “I think that the people in the city, there’s something about when Miami comes to town. You wake up in the morning and you feel it, you feel people in the city they don’t like the Miami Heat, we don’t like the Miami Heat, and it always feels good to beat them.”
So I heard the rivals arrived here in CHI last night, and I, for one, hope they spend all night out on Division Street enjoying our beautiful weather and less-than-Hollywood-like scene. In fact, we’re pretty casual out here in the midwest, so feel free to just wear your jammies to the game following your all-nighter.
On the other hand, the Bulls and the extended team (me, who needs to arrive at the UC by 10:30 a.m.) must be in our cozy beds by 11 p.m. at latest. I hope the Bulls aren’t as nervous as I am. I think I need to take a Valium or three.
Beat those other guys.