Last night’s convincing 115 to 106 victory versus the Trailblazers (from the Western Conference) has got to have Bulls fans everywhere rejoicing.
DRose was DRose. He scored 31, and once again, he made it look easy (Note – I had my second basketball lesson of the season today: it’s far from easy). The stat-minders report that he hasn’t scored 30+ points in a game since March 12, 2012.
In the fourth quarter, it seemed like all Derrick. Floater. Jumpers. Driving to the hoop. He couldn’t miss.
But then his sidekick, Aaron Brooks (AB) joined in on the fun. AB evidently is still on the circus road trip, because every attempt was a circus shot. He had 12 in the fourth quarter.
Commenting on the DRose + AB combined 20 straight fourth quarter points, Aaron said: “It’s like the two double running backs they use in the NFL.”
So we’ll take this early Christmas present, with the Bulls finally beating the Trailblazers, who for whatever reason, a Thibs-coached Bulls team hadn’t defeated since 2010.
So now they’re on a two-game win streak, having beat the Nets, also at the UC, on Wednesday. Watch out Golden State, the Bulls are on your heels.
I’ll admit, when LaMarcus Aldridge was playing the game by himself in the first quarter, I thought this could be another one of those East vs. Western Conference disaster. Why bother with teammates when you can score 21 points all by yourself? But the Bulls new-found offense, and re-invigorated defense, well, it was more than enough in the end.
And having DRose looking like DRose sure was a big part of the early Christmas present. “Like I said, even with this performance, I can’t be up on it. I know the next time I play it could be something different like who knows? My confidence level is very high, like it’s always been. My goals are still the same: stay healthy, keep stringing ‘em out, and win games.”
Sunday it will be bittersweet, as the Bulls find themselves in Miami, where they no longer have to contend with that rather well-known player named LeBron. Instead, it’s their friend and former classiest teammate of all time, Luol Deng.
“It’s crazy how everything works,” Jimmy Butler said. “Lu is the main one who always told me to be ready and keep working on my game and be confident. He told me I belonged here. Stuff like that goes a long way and that’s stuff that everybody doesn’t see and hear. Lu is a key part to me keeping my head into the game.”
“It’s going to be fun to go up against him, especially because I know what type of guy he is. He didn’t have to do what he did for me. But he wants everyone on the team to feel accepted and successful.”
That’s Luol. And while I do love and miss him…See Red! Go Bulls! Beat the Heat.