So the Bulls stand 2-1 so far this season, tied with just about every team in the Eastern conference, with many of the usual suspects – including the Cavs, Hawks, Wizards and Raps. And who would have thought the Knicks would join that list?
Most surprisingly, the Pistons and UConn man Andre “rebound” Drummond are atop the Conference at 3-0.
I will say, I’m having a hard time adjusting to the Bulls’ pursuit of Championship #7.
First of all, it’s hard to keep up with all of these games. Every time I turn around, there’s another game. I’m watching pre-game shows and post-game analysis. I have to remember to set the DVR when I’ll be out. I can see why there’s player rumblings about the long season and the back to backs. They’re killing me already!
I’m trying to tow the line, be a team player about Joakim coming off the bench, but this just isn’t working for me, and I bet it’s not working for him either. “Right for the team.” “Best chance to win.” Say what you will – it doesn’t feel right.
I know, I know, it took Jo until the third game of the season, versus the Pistons to finally score. But I still want him in the starting lineup.
The controversy about whether or not Jo asked to come off the bench continues to get media coverage here in CHI, with multiple stories on the subject appearing prior to the Bulls’ OT loss to the revving Pistons.
“I talk to Jo every day and when we had our conversation, he talked about how he enjoyed playing with Taj,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. “Did he specifically say, ‘I want to come off the bench?’ No, nobody wants to come off the bench. But it’s a decision we came up with. He has been great, as enthusiastic as anybody when he’s not in the game. He’s always going to bring it on the floor, so things are fine.”
I personally don’t think things are fine, and I promise you this won’t be the end.
But the Bulls have bigger problems than Jo and his spot in the rotation.
The new-look offense totally stalled in the Motor City, definitely a less than optimal place for that to happen. The turnovers were reminiscent of many of last year’s forgettable games. And questionable defense is uncharacteristic of our Bulls, but something many predicted could be problematic with the new offensive mindset.
Jimmy kind of summed it up, when it comes to the OT loss versus the Pistons.
“We came out lackadaisical,” said JB. “Can’t happen. Not in this league. Every team, especially on the road, you are going to get their best effort. They came out and whipped our tail, basically, on both ends of the floor. The energy was low. When the starters start out that way, the bench tried their best to get us back in there and the energy just wasn’t there. We were careless with the ball, making lazy passes, trying to catch the ball with one hand, trying to thread the needle.”
On the upside, the Bulls did beat that other guy (LeBron) in the Bulls’ home opener. Obama was in the house. Cinjo was not (school night). Despite the absence of the Bulls’ #1 fan, they were impressive in that game.
The next night, in my hometown, the Bulls dismantled the Brooklyn Nets. But is that really cause for surprise? Despite the fancy arena and the high salaries, they never could find a way to win anyway. And now that Deron Williams is gone…not a surprise Bulls took that one, and the Nets stand at 0-3.
As Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago tweeted yesterday, “Unhappy with his 4-for-13 performance on Friday in Detroit, Derrick Rose has been working on his jumper for 45 minutes after practice with assistant coach Randy Brown.”
See, even the superstars have to make some adjustments.
Hopefully, we’re all in game form by tonight. It’s an early one versus the Magic – 6 p.m. CST at the United Center.
See Red! Go Bulls! Beat the Magic.