Joakim Noah got off fairly lightly after his tirade against the officials on Monday earning a 15k fine with no suspension. The fact that the refs were SO bad they deserved to have someone scream drop the F-bomb on them all individually may have helped. His apology after the game likely didn't hurt either.
Bulls top Suns, again
How embarrassing for Phoenix. They want to be a good team in the West, but they lost both their games to the Bulls. If you told me the Bulls would be 2-2 on this road trip right now, I'd buy that. I'd probably guess the two wins would have come at the hands of Sacramento and New Orleans rather than San Antonio and Phoenix though.
The Bulls can clearly lose to anyone on any given night thought. They're prone to nights where their offense doesn't even remotely show up like their 28% shooting night against the Kings. Their offense can be horrific regardless of how bad the opposing defense is on a bad night which can cause them to lay a few eggs.
However, they have their quality nights like last night against the Suns as well. Nights where their defense played well enough and the shots were dropping. D.J. Augustin knocked down three threes in the fourth, Butler and Noah kept things rolling in the middle of the period, and Carlos Boozer even gets back in everyone's good graces with a big fourth quarter bucket (See below if you hadn't read about that whole deal yet).
The Suns never threatened after that as the Bulls knocked down their free throws and Phoenix couldn't hit any of the end of game desperation shots to pressure Chicago.
And now for some older news.... My apologies but Chicago Now's blog entering section was down during my normal posting time, so I didn't get a chance to share my thoughts on these epic topics...
DeMarcus Cousins is Brendan Haywood tough
You know how I know he's a punk? Because he starts a rivalry up with Mike Dunleavy of all people. It's not as bad as Kevin Garnett picking fights with a bunch of six foot guards, but it's kind of on that level.
It reminds me of Brendan Haywood getting up in Kirk Hinrich's face before running for his mommy when Antonio Davis (still smaller than he was) backed Kirk up, proceeded to chase down the running away Haywood then body slammed him into the ground, right before Eddy Curry decided to punch him in the balls while he was down [seriously, this preseason game was one of the most interesting basketball games I've ever attended, Bulls also came back from like 20 down].
Anyway, Cousins calls out Dunleavy in the press for being scared of him. First, it doesn't appear that Dunleavy is scared of him. Second, that makes Dunleavy a tougher dude then me, because I'd be scared to death of Cousins not only because of his size but because he strikes me as one of those totally unstable angry dudes.
The pair got into it again in the Kings game where they both looked like they might be trying to hurt each other on various plays where they were undercutting each other and fouling each other. Odd rivalry, especially given you wouldn't think the two would more or less ever be matched up against each other.
Boozer asks why not play me in the fourth?
Boozer may have been complaining about a lack of playing time in the fourth quarter, but Bulls fans have been complaining about Boozer's playing time in the first three quarters.
Now, if Carlos wasn't a long-time veteran, you might think he just gave an honest answer to a question that a reporter asked him, but Aggrey Sam and Boozer have a good long relationship. Boozer wasn't tricked into the question and went on at length about the answer. He clearly wanted to make a point.
Tom Thibodeau sputtered around for awhile saying we need both Taj and Carlos. They're both starting caliber players, and Taj has to sacrifice not starting while Boozer may have to sacrifice not playing in the fourth at times.
However, much like Carlos, Thibodeau also wanted to make a point. He could have stopped after saying that, but went on to add that the thing about Taj is he's willing to sacrifice and doesn't whine like a little bitch. (I may have paraphrased some). More or less telling Carlos to shove it which seemed appropriate, and that he has to go with whomever is playing the best, and well, that's Taj.
Playoff and pick update
The Bulls presently sit in sixth place in the Eastern conference and would match up against the Toronto Raptors of things ended today. Right now, the 3-6 teams in the East are all separated by a few games, and probably don't have much preference in terms of whom they'd play in the playoffs as long as they stay in the 3-6 slots.
The 7-8 teams (Brooklyn and Charlotte) are two and three games back from Chicago presently. That's not a huge cushion given we're not at the all-star break, but it's a decent amount of separation right now. Charlotte's been holding steady at this pace most of the season while the other teams in the playoffs all started off considerably worse and are surging.
it wouldn't shock me to see the Knicks make a run to knock Charlotte out of first, and at the moment, if such a thing happened, the Bobcats would pick 11th which is just perfect for Chicago.
I'd also like to see a Brooklyn/Miami first round matchup. KG and Pierce know and hate the Heat, so while Brooklyn likely gets slaughtered, it'd at least have some emotion to it which is more than you could say about any Heat first round matchup outside of Chicago. Of course, I'd rather play them in the second round or not at all.
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