So, when the Bulls were enduring their three-game losing streak, I was doing everything I could to come up to the solution to all of their problems.
And prior to the more recent resurgence with a HUGE two-game win streak, I had come up with the answer. I was going to call up NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and petition him to change the Bulls schedule.
Whereas in the past, as Silver was taking on his new role, and prior, with David Stern, the ask would have been for the Bulls to only play Eastern Conference teams on non-holidays, and not wearing alternate (i.e. pajama top jerseys) uniforms, the request has changed.
Now, for the Bulls to be successful and have a chance of defeating Golden State in the NBA Finals, the Bulls need to play at the UC, against teams with winning records, and also only on national TV. Actually, to achieve their true potential, the Bulls can only play games televised on TNT (not ESPN or ABC).
Naturally, I didn’t come up with this new-found strategy on my own. It came to me after reading a riveting expose by Jay Patt titled The Bulls don’t lose regular-season home games on TNT. In the article, he uncovered the fact that the Bulls have won 14 straight home games televised on TNT.
If I had been forced to reach out to Adam Silver to plead my case, there would have been trouble in Bulls Banter paradise. That is, I can’t even have the volume on when watching the TNT games. If there’s no hometown call on television, I will have to invest in a new radio so I can listen to the radio hometown call with Chuck Swirsky and Bill Wennington.
Thankfully, the Bulls managed to pull themselves together before it was necessary for me to take these extreme measures.
They beat the partially Blake Griffin-less Clippers (at home, on TNT), when Derrick played without his mask in the second half.
Then, on Saturday, even though the surprisingly hapless New Orleans Pelicans showed up (with a losing record, despite counting Anthony Davis as their star), the Bulls managed to beat them too.
A lot of time was spent during the game, and post game analyzing how Derrick’s haircut affected the Bulls’ play. Additionally, he once again was maskless, and this added to the cause and effect discussion.
But it seems to be coming down to pace and energy. The second unit, led by Joakim sets the tone and pace, and then contributions by AB (Aaron Brooks), Dougie McBuckets, Captain Kirk, and the mask-free DRose all contributed to the win vs. the Pelicans.
Here is what Coach Fred has to say about Jo: “The play he drove around [Anthony] Davis and dunked it, I thought he was going to run in the crowd and start chest bumping people. That’s what you need. That’s what you need when you’re going through the type of game that we had is you need a guy to pick up the overall energy of the team. He was coming over to the bench, he was yelling and screaming and foaming at the mouth. It was awesome. It’s exactly what we needed at that time in the game.”
“They were having fun out there,” said Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg of the closing group that had the ball moving. “It was such a grind out, ugly slow motion type game coming out of the gate (28-20 New Orleans after one quarter). And finally we got a little energy injected out there and those guys were moving it. It was fun, fun to watch, to sit there and see it as opposed to going down and moseying into our offense. A lot of times we couldn’t get the ball reversed because we were coming down so slow. It’s one we hopefully can build on.”**
Let’s hope the Bulls can continue the momentum tonight. It is, however, necessary to throw out a few cautionary notes now: The Bulls will face the poor 76ers, with their 1-24 record, and the game is definitely not on TNT.
Let’s hope the Bulls continue to foam at the mouth, leave the masks and home, and all get their hair did. Whatever it takes…as the Bulls do NOT want to be the second team to lose to the 76ers, even though I do feel badly for them…they sure do try, and I like the coach and all of the players. But I’ll put that all aside when I root for our Bulls and a convincing victory.
Beat the 76ers.
**Source: Sam Smith, Offense clicks in fourth quarter to carry Bulls past Pelicans