I’m writing Bulls Banter from my lanai in Maui, where it’s almost 6 p.m. local time, and everyone at the condo complex is getting ready for the sunset and the grillmasters are busy cooking up their steaks and fish at the community grills by the pool.
It’s that perfect time of day.
Weather report has been sun. And indeed, it’s been sun, sun and more sun, despite cloud and rain icons appearing on my weather app. I’ll take it.
I just got to listen to the Bulls defeat the Suns 112 to 107 via NBA League Pass. Game video was blocked because the contest was televised on NBA-TV (a channel which unfortunately, I don’t get here in Paradise).
Was rather fun to listen to Chuck Swirsky and Bill Wennington, the Bulls’ radio announcers with the call, and to hear the crowd reaction to the action, while I tried to visualize what was happening on the UC floor.
For a minute, it was looking like we were all going to finish the night with the collective opposite of sunny dispositions. The Suns seemed to be ahead most of the game.
But I think late in the third, or early in the fourth, Three-kola (Nikola Mirotic), AB (Aaron Brooks) and The Snelly Cat (Tony Snell) started lighting it up with three-pointers.
Taj Gibson, from what I could gather, was everywhere on the floor, with some monster jams and put-backs. Twitter was blowing up, and the pundits are saying Taj turned the game around for the Bulls in the fourth.
And during the post-game press conference, some interesting information was revealed.
Taj said he’s been playing with a stage 2 ligament tear (whatever that is, it doesn’t sound good) in his left hand for a month. And his ankle, which I believe he first sprained during home opener vs. the (evil) Cavs (I was there, and despite my presence, the Bulls lost) and which he has sprained several more times since – “won’t be fully right all season,” as per the docs.
Evidently, Taj told the doctors to bandage him up. “I’m going to get my treatment and do what I can on the court. No excuses.”
Taj: “There was a lot of speculation saying I was frustrated. I’m not that kind of guy. I’m team-first. I’ve never been a guy focused on shots. I’ve never been a guy focused on minutes. I’m about winning.”
[Note: Taj quotes courtesy of K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune’s twitter feed.]
Do you love Taji Woo, or what?
I’m just happy the Bulls got the win against the Suns, to conclude my stay in Maui Paradise on a high and sunny note.
Whatever happened last night (Friday), when the Bulls may or may not have shown up in Detroit to play the Pistons and former UConn man Andre Drummond can remain a mystery. While watching the game on NBA League Pass on my computer helped to minimize the pain a bit because I couldn’t see the action all that clearly, it’s definitely a game to forget.
The Bulls are now home for another six games, and you’d think they could and should win all of them. (“New-look” Bucks, Hornets, Timberwolves, Clippers, Wizards, Thunder).
But as we all know, it can be a bit InexplicaBull with our favorite team. I’m hoping for the best down the final stretch, because this year, Bulls Banter is going to do some first-hand reporting from a playoff game or 10 (funds permitting).
Beat the Bucks.