Bulls crush heat in OT after Watson's miracle three keeps them alive

Bulls crush heat in OT after Watson's miracle three keeps them alive

With Derrick Rose suffering his worst game as a pro, clearly not remotely healthy, C.J. Watson stepped up and carried the torch. His 16 points and nine assists don't do justice to how well he played. Not only did Watson have an outstanding job initiating the offense for himself and his teammates, but he also played outstanding defense as well.

I love you C.J. Watson

I'd like to take a moment to sit back and say thank you to C.J. Watson, long term followers of this blog and podcast will note that I've been very high on Watson since we signed him. I think he's been a tremendous value contract for the Bulls and has played really terrifically in his role. His improvement this year has been outstanding.

He may not be a starting caliber PG on most teams [though he could fit in nicely on someone like L.A. that mostly needs ball handling, ball movement, and shooting], but he can be the Bulls Jason Terry. He can come in and give the team three point shooting, bring them offense, and he's capable of stepping up and having monster games even if he's not capable of consistently having them.

C.J. Watson did not let go of the rope. C.J. Watson tied the rope to the United Center and dragged it to victory lane with all of us sitting in it watching. C.J. played his ass off, his passing was on target all night, his defensive pressure incredible, and he pushed the ball on offense like Derrick Rose couldn't to create easy opportunities for others.

Hats off to you C.J., this game has a chance to break into my top five in person memories, the top 4 off the top of my head:

Contenders for 5 off the top of my head:
This game, Bulls win against Miami last year, Deng's 2 threes in OT to beat the cavs two years ago, Elton Brand game winner in his second season [buzzer beater I saw in person], games 1 and 2 against the Heat in 2006/7 when we swept them, the John Salmons/Paul Pierce duel, and the Washington preseason game in which Eddy Curry punched Brendan Haywood in the nuts.

#4 "The play/The block" 2004/5 season, Nocioni makes a flying block, Chandler dives out of bounds, throws it over his head blindly to Hinrich who tosses it to Noc, to Curry for the basket with two seconds left. Knicks could have held for the last shot, but Bulls get a miracle win.

#3 Game #3 in Indiana last year, Bulls down by one with Indy having a two for one left. Bulls make two stops, and Rose drives right in for the layup, Bulls win by 1 [Also my first ever Bulls game on the road]

#2 "Nocioni" playoff game (2004/5 season game 1 against the Wizards, still the loudest I've ever heard the UC)

#1 Ben Gordon grab the crotch, double OT win against Boston in game 4 [shame I could have gone to game 6 but opted not to]

Taj Gibson is not afraid

I sometimes get the feeling that the Bulls are a bit intimidated by the Heat. One man who is not intimidated is Taj Gibson. There was no hesitation, no second thought, no pulling up on his jumper or lack of confidence. Taj didn't always make the play, but no one always makes the play. Taj always made the attempt in the flow of what he should do.

He had the great post up of LeBron down low where he spun around him for the basket. He had the monster plays in overtime which put enough pressure on Miami that they dropped the rope. His defense was suffocating all night long. One of my favorite moments of the night was when Shane Battier inexplicably decided to attempt to take Taj Gibson down in the low post. Why Battier would ever try to post up a guy who's taller, longer, more athletic, and an elite defender is beyond me. It did not end well for Shane.

Taj Gibson played his ass off in this game, and he showed why having so much bench depth is important.

Kyle Korver humiliates the Heat and me, but I'm a lot more happy about it

I went to the game with Fred Pfeiffer of the Chicago Bullseye podcast [we did a show on the way home, which I'll link to when he publishes it], and at some point uttered the phrase "You can't play Kyle Korver against Miami, they just abuse him too badly defensively".

I'm sorry Kyle. Kyle Korver had one of those games where everything he thew up went down. He hit big shot after big shot for Chicago. He was 5/6 from downtown, and the pressure he added to the Heat defense was immense. It got to the point where they ran two guys at him every time he touched the ball, creating plenty of openings for Chicago.

Asik and destroy

You'd think Asik gave you very little if you looked at his stat line, but I'm pretty sure Asik just solved the stray dog problem on the streets of south beach. At least 12 men will be looking to acquire one when they get back to Miami. [okay, that was bad, I blame it on being deliriously happy]

Asik completely shut down the paint. Miami had nothing inside. They couldn't drive or get easy shots at the basket. Asik shut them down on the interior, rotated smoothly, did a great job on the glass, hedged on the pick and roll, and double teamed smartly. It was a brilliant execution of big man defense by Omer. Truly a thing of beauty.

What impressed me most about Omer was that he had to rotate out to play help defense, but then recovered after the shot to still get defensive rebounds when he no longer had good position after the initial hedge. That's an incredibly difficult task to do, but Omer really made it work.

He still scares me to death when he touches the ball on offense, but when he's dialed in defensively, he's an absolutely elite interior defender.

Ronnie Brewer owned Dwyane Wade

I don't know what the splits were when Brewer was on Wade, but it wasn't good for Wade. Brewer was just tremendous defensively, and while he didn't play in a bunch of the Bulls best lineups last night, his defense really helped hold off the lions at times where the Bulls could have let this thing slip away. At one point in the first half, Brewer defended Wade successfully on consecutive isolation plays simply making him look terrible.

Carlos Boozer kept the Bulls around

Boozer did a nice job scoring in this game. He's become almost exclusively a mid range jump shooter, but he knocks it down so consistently. While he won't win any defensive MVP awards, his effort level has improved much more this season, and he looks pretty good in the Taj/Boozer wrinkle which Thibs has started using recently.

At a time when the Bulls were struggling with points, Boozer delivered to keep them close, and his defense wasn't a negative factor at all.

So now we get to the bad news

Joakim Noah didn't seem to really have it going on. I think part of the problem was that the Rose based lineup which he played in almost exclusively [possibly all his minutes were with Rose I'm not entirely certain] struggled mightily largely due to Rose's struggles. However, Noah struggled to get bring the energy and defense you expect. Taj Gibson came in and did what we expect Joakim noah to do.

Now, Noah wasn't, but it simply wasn't his night either.

Rip Hamilton looked like a train wreck to me. Fred had said to me he thought Hamilton played well in the third period, but outside of knocking down an open three, I don't remember him making any plays. He also continues to throw a couple inexplicable passes every game where he tries to thread the ball into a guy who's triple teamed in the paint on a play that has no chance.

Rip's still trying to adjust to the team, but he didn't have a quality game. Much like with Noah, he played all his minutes in the Bulls lineups that generally struggled badly.

And of course Derrick Rose...

What do you do with Derrick Rose?

I said he did not look healthy in the NY game two games ago, that was somewhat obscured by the fact he scored 29 by knocking down four threes and getting free throws. In this game, he had a play where he started with the ball even with three heat defenders, tried to push it up the court and got beat by all three.

That shows the lack of explosiveness he's playing with right now. Derrick struggled to finish shots he normally finishes, couldn't take Ronnie Turiaf off the dribble, and couldn't push the pace of the team on the break. It was the worst game of his career, and he looked like he was simply not ready physically.

So I don't blame Rose for not being ready. I credit him for wanting to help his team. I credit him for toughing it out when he likely doesn't feel good, and I credit him for being genuinely happy for the guys who won while he sat on the bench.

That said, the Bulls still need to decide what to do with Rose now. Does he need more rest to recover fully? He's clearly not 100% right now. Does he only gain that explosiveness back by playing real minutes and attempting to use it? I don't know which way the Bulls should go there.

They do have two games off before Sunday's tilt against Detroit for Rose to rest up. At this point, we can only hope he's truly ready for the playoffs in two weeks.

Magic number update

Heat - 5 (without tiebreaker, 4 with it)
Thunder - 6 (lose tiebreaker)
Spurs - 5 (win tiebreaker)
Indiana - Indy can no longer finish ahead of Chicago with the Bulls win, so Chicago clinches their 9th division title.

The Bulls all but locked up the #1 seed in the East. With seven games to play, the Bulls would need to drop three games and lose the tiebreaker to fall out of the #1 seed slot. However, on top of that, one of those seven games can't be against Dallas.

The Bulls remaining schedule is:
@Detroit, Washington, @Charlotte, @Miami, Dallas, @Indiana, Cleveland

Hard to see where the Bulls lose three games if one of them isn't Dallas. Is Chicago really going to drop one of the @Detroit, Washington, @Charlotte, or Cleveland games [and then both @Miami and @Indy?]. Even if they did, can Miami really win out at this point?

So, or all intents and purposes, the battle for the #1 seed is over. I called this the most important regular season game of the year, and Chicago stepped up to the challenge despite the odds stacked against them with Rose unable to contribute.

Filed under: Game Threads

Tags: chicago bulls, miami heat, nba


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  • Outstanding game! A few of my highlights from the game were the Korver wheel play where Watson fed Taj for the dunk. Miami bought hook, line and sinker thinking the ball was going to Korver and Gibson was wide open for the slam. Great look by CJ. Also was blown away by how well Thibs coached. Who else would sit his star players, including DRose and surprise surprise Deng in the 4th qtr and much of overtime. Thibs once again clearly out-coached Eric S. and showed why should be COY. I'm truly psyched for the playoffs and the development the team has shown without Rose. Every night a different player steps up and every player knows their roles. This is the stuff championships are made of. I don't think have the best talent in the league but they do have the best team. It's a joy to be a bulls fan no matter how far they go in the playoffs.

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    In reply to TR Bulls:

    I completely agree about Thibs. I thought Spolestra did a horrible job in attempting to win this game. He had too many minutes with just one star in there, and the Heat got annihilated in those minutes. There's no reason why they can't stagger their rests to always keep in two guys or to at least limit the time with one guy to 2-3 minutes.

    Loved the wheel play where Watson found Taj as well, when Korver is hitting his shots like that night, it makes him that much more of a threat.

  • In reply to dougthonus:

    That being said, the big three still averaged 43 minutes each with LeBron playing an insane (by non Luol Deng standards) 47 minutes. I think their biggest problem was the lack of recognition that the disparity between the Bulls starters and bench was so great it may have been beneficial to run the big three out against the bench earlier in the game.

  • In reply to dougthonus:

    I thought that was the key to the game, although, he(Spo) did that more in the first half than in the second.

  • The bulls have the best coach in the league and it's really not even close... just with gameplan and motivation he can have a completely outmatched players talentwise (bulls bench vs heat starters) dominate. Just look at Spoelstra, he doesn't even really coach... they don't really run any plays or anything.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I agree that Thibs is one of the best coaches, but to think he is the best coach after outcoaching Spoelstra is like proclaiming Lunchables the best food because it's better than SPAM.

    Is he better than Popovich? I don't think so. He certainly doesn't have the years of experience to learn how to truly rest his players throughout the season.

    However, maybe he's just so smart that he knows that Deng MUST play 40 minutes a game in a blow out to perform at quality Deng-levels in the playoffs.

    We shall see.

  • That was an amazing win. Second unit won that game. Heat had no answers for the frenzied Defense and athleticism of the Bulls second unit all game long. Even with their starting lineup the Heat couldn't matchup with the Bulls second unit. It was awesome. Huge clutch three from CJ! Great job by Thibs switching to the hot lineup.

  • Bulls Second unit played with lots of energy and on a night where their 'important' shots were all falling, looked unstoppable. Heat, with LBJ for the most part playing the point all night looked confused esp in overtime.Look for Miami to ensure that LBJ does not play the point should they meet the Bulls in the playoffs.

  • Rip played well enough. He wasn't part of the problem. And the difference between this year and last year is that with the compressed schedule, you can't game plan to take advantage of a weak defender like Kyle Korver. All Miami had time and energy for was "Don't let Rose get loose." When Thibs took Rose out, Miami didn't adjust.

    One of the really interesting things about this game was that while all of the quarters scoring were within three points (except overtime), the bulls had +/- of -15, -20, -27 and +24, +25, +27 and +38. Those are incredible differences for a game that went to overtime.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Kyle has been playing solid D this season. Don't get me wrong he is no stud defensively but I definately don't see him as a liability that is going to get abused. He has been playing very strong all around.

  • In reply to Chad:

    His defense has been so much better than I ever imagined it could be, and proves what a difference, effort and application can make, regardless of your physical shortcomings. At least one of his teammates could use him as an example.

  • Rose the loser should have been traded like last year when he was WAY WAY WAY overated, he needs to learn what being a PG means. He was the MVP (what a joke) mainly because it was said the Bulls is a lottery team without him, which is totally untrue. Just think what we can buy with $19Million/year.

  • In reply to liztan:

    Too bad intelligence and rationality aren't for sale, or I'd buy a pair of each.

  • This was a great win. Of course the Bulls stellar effort should be the headline. But first briefly: To think, the Heatles, just 3-7 in their last 10 road games, punked twice by Boston, and now this. Maybe C.J. Watson should have been at that Heat rally, "Not one, not two, but(not) three... in your face!"

    In reality Darth Wader and King Vitamin probably still win one or two titles or maybe more depending on who the next twilight years ho is to bow down and play for peanuts in Riley's gang, just so they can carry Wade and BronBron's jock. Nash? Terry? Charles Barkley?(maybe after he shears off another 100 lbs off his Weight Watcher's ass of course. He should have signed up Eddy Curry too.

    Leaving aside Miami and Coach Spo(oge), the Bulls know what they have - the best and deepest bench in the league. Especially if you acknowledge James Harden as a sixth man in name only who Brooks prefers coming off the bench.

    What else do the Bulls have? A very iffy situation with Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton. Think about it - the dudes name is "Richard." Other then R. Jefferson spending his twilight years with the Golden State Nobodies, can't think of too many Richard's out there these days.

    That said, If RIP can somehow stay healthy, he can still play as a solid starter who scores 13-15 maybe every other night. And he has all the intangibles good in transition, passing most of the time, and IMO including he still looks like he can play D. If Derrick can reach 90% health, and maintain that then the Bulls very, very possibly if not likely(the way Miami is falling apart) will win the ECF. However, That is a huge if right now.

    So we'll have to wait and see. If Rose and RIP start off slow, but somehow can get it going if not at the start then at some point during the playoffs before the ECF, it could be a great story, a great sport's drama. If not, a crushing dissapointment after the great season this Bulls team has had.

    The passing on this team has been the best team passing on a consistent basis perhaps I've ever seen. With character to match. It's almost like something out of a movie the unselfishness and class of this ball club not tmention the will to win.

    Give Thibs a lot of the credit in that department as well. IMO he has grown from a player relationship standpoint. There is some real comraderie there I think. Last year, not so much.

    Joakim I will say is also a concern. One of your best players at one time, at times thee best player, is really just not a difference maker on many nights. Asik is peeking right when we need him to, but if Jo doesn't up the ante, eventually it will cost us IMO. Jo, Derrick, and Rip come alive, and the Bulls will be in the NBA Finals. Durant, Westbrook, you got it, Flop City. Be there.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Sometimes I wonder about your writing "voice".

    You used to be high on analysis and insight... Very straightforward (minus the slash abuse/saturation).

    Now I feel like you are drunk half the time. Relying too much on cheap nicknames and foolish displays of Skip Bayless-esque comments.

    "The dudes name is Richard"?

    What. The. Hell?

    Come back to us RW - you had so much potential... then you went off your rocker.

    I still love you, though.

  • In reply to Who is Willie Gault:

    Agreed... almost seems like someone went off their meds

  • Great win for the Bulls but can't get too excited just like last year when the Bulls sweeped the season series against Miami. The Heat are a different team in the playoffs and until the Bulls or another team in the east eliminates them they will always be the favorite to come out the east.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You kidding me? Since 1999 Bulls fans have been mooping, waiting, analyzing. More than a decade of cogitating wild schemes to score a decent PF or SG, relitigating every coaching decision, watching management choke each other...

    Bulls at home defeating Miami when both teams pretty much knew they were fighting for HCA? Screw caution, get excited man! Gotta seize the moment to go nuts when you have it.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Man this is bout winning a championship not winning a regular season game for home court in the playoffs against the Heat. I mean yeah it will help the Bulls having home court but it didn't help them last year having the best record in the league. Let's all just hope the Bulls players have grown and have gotten better mentally against the Heat come playoff time cause I for one, and I think Doug has mentioned it as well, that the Bulls are intimidated by the Heat in the playoffs cause the Heat trust me on this will be a different team come playoff time...too much talent for them not to be.

  • You know what I love about last night - beside Asik blocking Wade's shot then clubbing him in the eye with that engine block he calls a hand? It was watching this team pick up their star and leader when he was struggling. They know Derrick never forgives himself when they lose games like this one. And it's crazy because everyone else is hurting too. But they go get it done, instead of standing around waiting for something to happen. Thank you CJ and Kyle for setting up a game 7 in Chicago.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Except the only guy on the bench or on the floor for that matter that didn't seem totally geeked last night was Rose.

    Whether you think that he is a Mama's boy or not, he behaved and played like one last night. His lack of energy and enthusiasm both on the floor and on the bench was exactly the same as his look during the entire time that he has been out injured.

    I don't see this as the behavior of the team leader. In contrast, Noah, who is getting abused by the Thibaboozer, is still up and cheering his teammates at every opportunity.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I also noticed Rose's behavior on the bench. He was depressed and feeling sorry for himself. Not supporting his teammates at all. He should have been the first guy off the bench greeting Watson for saving his ass.

    Rose's poor play is not his fault - he simply is not ready yet. But the behavior was boorish.

  • My CJ Watson love just grew. If you think he could be Terryesque then we do have a chance at beating the Heat.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Not sure about the Terry thing, completely different makeup as a player, but I love his even keel composure no matter how crazy things get on the court.

    I don't remember Doug being as big of a CJ fan back when we signed him, but glad your on board now. I told you guys back then that we were going to like him a lot better once we got to know him.

    He had a tough year last season, which worried me, but now it is going to be really hard not to bring him back next season.

    The fates of Asik, Korver and Watson all depend on what happens to the Matasnoozer this summer. I just don't see Reiny paying the second and third tier luxury tax in order to keep all 4 of them. Basically, it comes down to the 3 of them vs the Matasnoozer.

    Whats your choice, lets here it from the Matapussy appologists.

  • Doug (or anyone else) what makes you think Rose is still injured rather than extremely rusty? He didn't look to be limping or have any movement limitations. Seemed to me like he was just out of shape and his timing was off. After all, he's what... run a couple times, practiced twice, and played 1.5 games? Before that the most he was doing was running in the pool. Maybe I'm just trying to convince myself that he's okay, but I think he's going to have to play himself back into shape. So it's good he got a few minutes last night.

    Favorite thing about this CJ performance (and CJ in general actually): calmness. The only time his facial expression changed all night was the slight smile he gave off while watching his 3 to tie it on the big screen replay. He never gets noticeably frustrated (even when Chalmers was bumping-and-flopping), never gets on the refs, and barely ever celebrates. I honestly think his face muscles might have atrophied.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    He was very slow on the break, he couldn't out run guys that he'd normally sprint past. Several times, he tried to take Ronnie Turiaf off the dribble and couldn't get around him succesfully.

    He just wasn't at anywhere near his top speed. Rust explains missed jump shots. I don't think there's a "rusty" that explains running significantly slower.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    This is why Rose has to strengthen his game cause he's not going to be fast forever. When he start to lose his speed then what??? He'd better develope a consistent jump shot or he will be another Allen Iverson.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Reese1:

    Allen Iverson played at an elite level until he was 30 or so. If Rose manages the same thing then I'll be pretty psyched. Now if he can become an elite jump shooter over that stretch as well and last until he's 35 all the better, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

    Rose's skillset/build sets him up for a career where a serious decline happens around 30 IMO.

  • In reply to dougthonus:

    I pray he doesn't go the Iverson route, as it almost guarantees he won't be a Bull for life.

  • In reply to dougthonus:

    I agree, this is why the Bulls management have to get Rose better perimeter scorers around him to take some of the pressure off of him to score.

  • In reply to dougthonus:

    Iverson was still pretty good at age 32 in Detroit with Melo. In a lot of ways it was his best season even if he was no longer putting up 30+ PPG. Iverson's real decline was when he was traded to Detroit immediately afterwards, so I'm not sure how much was physical and how much was mental.

    Another comparison for the way Rose plays might be Marbury, also a guy who declined not because of the physical but because he had issues.

    Since Rose doesn't seem the type to eat vaseline, I think he can keep going past 30 even as his body slows. A lot of it has to do with how he deals with not being able to do what he could when he was younger. I hope Rose having his head screwed on better means he can have a longer career.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Ugh, obviously in Denver with Melo, not Detroit.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I dont recall this too well, but didnt Steve Francis have a similar start to his career. He was lightening fast, amazing hops but it fizzled out much earlier than expected. I hope DRose doesnt go down the same route.

    I certainly believe also that it was more than rust. Rose just couldnt push it up the court. Some sprain ankles can take 6 weeks to recover. I hope that it is not that serious and the Bulls just arent letting us know. Combine that with a groin issue and its a recipe for a lot of missed games

  • In reply to emptyknow:

    I don't think Steve Francis was ever as good as Iverson or Marbury or Rose. When you're not as good to start with then decline is going to hit you harder. He also had a bad knee that slowed him even more than just normal aging would.

  • In reply to dougthonus:

    that assumes that he can get over his physical problems. Me myself and Iverson seemed to stay healthy for the most part.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I never have understood why A.I. has become a joke. He took a team that really had no business being there to the Finals. The 76ers were contending in the early 00's with a roster significantly worse than what LeBron left in Cleveland. I used to love watching the old 76ers. A.I. would leave it all out on the floor. You'd think for a second that he was just going to collapse and die by the final seconds of the 4th.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yeah, he definitely looked slow, but I figured it might be that his handle wasn't totally there, his coordination was off, and he was flat out tired, almost from the get-go. You might be right that he's still basically injured. Hope not, though.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    As I said above, I was not happy with Rose's body language at all last night, way too mopey. I cannot determine whether this was a physical or mental problem. My gut says that it looked more mental than physical, which if it persists, is really a bigger problem for the Bulls than are his physical travails

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree with the mental part. I think that will be Rose and the Bulls problem if they meet the Heat for the ECF crown, they won't be able to get over the mental aspect of the Heats athletic players and the lock down defense that they are capable of playing. Rose imo hasn't had too many good games against the Heat and especially when he's being checked by Lebron. Mental or not, the Bulls have to overcome the obstacle that will be the Miami Heat in the playoffs.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    When does Rose ever not look mopey. The Bulls could win the championship and the most that will happen is Rose will crack a bit of a wry smile. I just think that's his normal demeanor.

  • Derrick is just rusty but I agree he needs to sharpen especially that midrange jumper which was money a few years ago. He needs to play under more control like a Tony Parker and avoid the Allen Iverson high volume scorer type. I think Derrick Rose is best optimized as a 21 pt 8 ast player who should have a 46% fg instead of high turnovers and low fg%. He has to sharpen his midrange jumper and become better at passing in the picknroll situation.

  • I used to think that Bulls fans weren't as bi-polar or had such short memories as your typical sports fan, but apparently I would be wrong to think that.

    Was a great game to watch.
    But for such a fun game, there's way more angst and far more unnecessary questions than there needs to be.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    You're right about the angst, that's for sure. I was just listening to a Fridell interview and he said the Bulls are in much better shape going into the playoffs this year than they were last year. He's right about that. Even though they're not 100% with health or chemistry, they've sustained excellence and they're not completely dependent on Rose to pull out games. Good stuff.

    I think how you view this win depends entirely on this: do you think a Bulls/Heat ECF goes 7 games? I'm pumped, because I'm convinced it will. But, I think lots of people are still nervous because despite the excellent season there's one barrier the Bulls still need to break. They've yet to beat Miami on the road in the playoffs. This team is good enough to win in Miami in the playoffs, good enough to push it 7 games, but I don't think good enough to win game 7 in Miami. So yeah, I'm bouncing off the walls right now just because from my pov this was a necessary (but not by itself sufficient) step toward an NBA finals appearance.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Absolutely right. The people who regularly bitch about everything in this comment section is embarrassing. It's like they're supporting the Bobcats rather than the team with the best record. Why not just enjoy the basketball? Now they turn on Rose because he wasn't cheering enough?

  • My favorite in person games

    1) the triple OT win against the Celtics...when Noah dunked the ball +1 that place was up for grabs

    #2-20 all the times I was lucky enough to see the dynasty play between 96-98. See MJ/Rodman and Pippen live was an amazing experience, including 2 playoff games in 98.

    TNT had a great shot in Overtime that showed Rip, Rose, Noah and Booz all sitting on the bench in Overtime against the heat. That is probably not a good sign, but it worked last night.

    Im not sure there is much to take away as far as the post season is concerned, but homecourt will most certainly help if we get to the ECF.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I still tremble whenever I think of that Noah dunk +1 against the Celtics, a legendary dynasty. That's when Noah became a Bull. He earned it in spectacular way. I'll never forget it and that's why I get incensed when fools on this Blog attack him, and also with Thibs' at times insensitive approach to handling him. And I know Bulls management know they got a gift from the New York Knicks when that draft pick the Knicks gave for Eddie Curry turned out to be Florida's back-to-back NCAA title winner. He was the heart and soul of that Florida Gators team, and I firmly believe that the Bulls will win their first championship since the Jordan era, this year.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Totally agree with you on #1, at least since the dynasty years. Not sure that anything besides a championship will beat that one.

  • The 76ers lose again and the Knicks win knocking the 76ers to the #8 seed. With the #1 all but wrapped up and the 76ers falling like a rock it looks like it's the 76ers in the first round, unless they really fall and the Bucks can sneak in.

  • Good for us. Even if we've struggled against Philly, the Knicks are way more dangerous. We'll see on Sunday whether they might have enough to oust Miami in the first round...

  • I am as happy about the win as the next guy, but basically we are overreacting to what was a "lucky" win, just like we overreacted to the Knicks loss, which was an "unlucky" loss, otherwise known as a blow job.

    Lebron missed a free throw which allowed us to be within 3 for 3-J Whaatsons shot. Then before the ball got to Watson, Korver was trapped against the sideline by 3 Heat players, that looked like a turnover waiting to happen. Luckily he got the ball over the heat defenders without it being deflected. Thank god, that Korver was in that position and not Hamiltion, because Hamilton has turned into a turnover machine, and seems incapable of passing the ball over the outstretched arms of even a single defender nevermind 2 or 3.

    Ultimately, just like last season, this game means nothing come the ECF, assuming both teams get there. To me all Bulls heat games come down to whether or not Lebron feels like winning the game at the end or not. Don't know how much ability we have as a team to affect that decision.

    So, Doug, your #1 personal memory of your Bulls career is Ben Gordon grabbing his crotch, I expected more from you than that, and apparently, I have more respect for you than you do yourself. I thought that it was vile and disgusting when it happened and have virtually no memory of it now, other than how revolted I was at the time.

  • "So, Doug, your #1 personal memory of your Bulls career is Ben Gordon grabbing his crotch"
    BigWay, you have a way of coming up with gems such as the above. Maybe Doug took that as a compliment!

  • Before this season began (during the lockout) Doug was lobbying for Bulls to reacquire Ben Gordon from Detroit. I thought he was over BG given how terrible he's played. But no, we have the obscene Ben Gordon moment as Doug's #1.

    We've got to get Doug's feet back on the ground. It all begins with forgiveness. I'll hope that Doug remembers the exciting 2OT game more than the gesture, and can refer to the game rather than the gesture going forward.

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