“We’ve got more than enough. Next guy get in there and get the job done.”
That’s what Thibs said after shootaround on Saturday, when it was announced the Bulls would be without two starters – Jimmy Gets Bucks, who is on bereavement leave, and Mike Dunleavy, Jr., who has a “jammed” ankle and is in a walking boot. [Note: This is the first game Dunleavy has missed since joining the Bulls in 2013. Yes, he is known as the ironman.]
Same story. Different year, with being shorthanded. But this time, we’ve got Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!
Stacey King was thoroughly enjoying Pau’s blocks: during the Denver game on New Year’s Day, when he had nine; and last night, when the Bulls defeated the Celtics in OT (109 to 104), behind Pau’s five blocked shots.
Oh, and Pau had 29 points and 16 rebounds too (only the third time a player has attained those stats since 2012; the other two were Anthony Davis and Tim Duncan).
We heard a lot of this from Stacey “Welcome to the block party,” “Did you get your invitation to the block party?” and some new ones, something along the lines of, “Pau sent out invitations to the block party over the weekend. Welcome to yours.”
No, it wasn’t pretty. The rims were over the baskets again. The Bulls couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half, and to add to their offensive woes, it was turnover after turnover.
I put in a better performance at basketball practice on Saturday at EBC. OK, maybe not. But I think my shooting percentage was better anyway.
It got so bad, Sam Smith (unofficial official Bulls blogger) tweeted, “NBA Entertainment calls in thanks after 1st. With 13 combined turnovers and Bulls shooting 22 percent (0-9 3s), says plenty of material for a blooper show.”
Later in the game, it did improve, but not enough to Sam’s liking, “Bulls and Celts tied at 99 at end of regulation, but after combined 35 turnovers and 11-40 on threes fans vote for shootout to end it quickly.”
Despite earning their way into the NBA’s bloopers show with their two past performances, a W is a W, and the Bulls remain undefeated in 2015. They’ve advanced to third in the Eastern Conference, as some of the pretenders (Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors) are finding out it’s not so easy maintain the momentum, and to my ultimate satisfaction, they’re starting to lose games.
It’s important to mention that the rookie, Niko Mirotic started for Dunleavy at small forward, which I guess isn’t his usual position, and put in a good performance, and Captain Kirk was in the lineup at shooting guard for Jimmy Butler.
One of my wishes did come true, as Taj was back to his old self. The Secretary of Defense had 12 points, and six rebounds, including five offensive, and seemed to have his swagger back.
It’s not going to be quite so easy to get a victory while shooting 22% or whatever, when the Bulls face the Rockets on Monday. Let’s hope they figure out how to score the ball and limit turnovers so Houston is not a problem. Sure, it’s easy for me to say.
Beat the Rockets.