Monday, January 23, 2012

Nets at Bulls - Too fast, too strong, too good

First and foremost, I’d like to send a shout out to the man himself, my brother, and fellow sports fanatic William Daniel Smith, Bill, Billy, Bane, Fresh, Salami Slab, Bub (we're all Bub's!?), whichever you prefer. Lovin what he’s doing here with the blog, providing us with some ‘above average’ sports commentary. From IU/Depaul coverage, to NFL playoff predictions and postgame analysis, to sensitive subjects such as today’s Paterno piece, it’s clear that Bill’s got something impressive going on here. Keep up the hard work bro, your daily blogs are starting to gain some traction. 

Anyways, enough of the brotherly love, let’s talk Bulls basketball and what I took from tonight’s riveting battle with the lowly, deflated NJ Nets. The Nets (5-12) came into the UC on the tail end of back-to-back-to-back games, all the while holding a not so impressive 3-7 record on the road this season, just might be a recipe for a loss (I think so). To make matters worse, NJ would be playing the game without rookie standout MarShon Brooks (15.4 PPG) who had to sit due to a sore left achilles. Not to count the Nets out prior to tip but let’s count the Nets out prior to tip.

Well, typing that last paragraph was a bit depressing, but wait I'm not a Nets fan. Cool if we change the mood? Cool. The Bulls came into tonight’s matchup atop the league with a 15-3 record, would be getting back the MVP, and just don’t lose at the UC (7-0). If that’s not enough to get excited about how about fast forward to the first quarter of tonight’s game where fans were treated to a rare first quarter sighting of the White Mamba, SICK! Oh yeah, how about Derrick Rose putting Deron Williams on his face with a gross crossover in the first few minutes of the first quarter (anyone else catch that, whoa), proving that four games off and a single toe can’t put a damper on the MVP.

Anyways, I'll sum up the first quarter in a brief manner: Ronnie Brewer can't miss (9 points on 4-5 shooting), Rip Hamilton becomes the 120th player in league history to record 15,000 points (congrats, an awesome accomplishment for such a humble player), and Mehmet Okur ice cold shooting which was actually pretty funny to watch, the guy wouldn't stop shooting!

The second quarter opened with a 'Splash!', that's slang for a Kyle Korver three. As the quarter progressed fans got to watch Scal and Asik work down low against some noticeably worn out NJ defenders. Watching Scal finish in such a graceful manner going from the left baseline to the right, all the while in the air, was just unreal and brought Stacey King to his feet, MAMBA! Back to back break outs, capped by DRose finishing at the rim, sent the Bulls into the half with a 59-43 win.

This 16 point lead never diminished throughout the third quarter which was all about Rip Hamilton. Coming off screens, running his already tired defenders to death, burying midrange jumpers, and making some killer assists, Rip surpassed 20 points midway into the quarter. What a difference this guy makes in the lineup by the way, giving the Bulls another scoring threat and ultimately stabilizing the offense with his cool, calm, and collected demeanor, love it. Who else looked good? Joakim Noah. Coming off an ankle sprain, and a less than great start to the season, Joakim really showed some life tonight on both ends of the court. Was great to see that energy back, giving the Bulls that extra edge on the glass even showing us that he can still find a way to put the ball in the hoop. Bulls led 85-68 after the third quarter, 15 points away from Big Macs.

Big Macs! (yipeeee, stuff face!) The Bulls capped the game with a fourth quarter highlighted by continued dominance on the offensive glass and hustle plays. Things got a little chippy late as Larry Owens/Sean Williams and Rip Hamilton got into a small scuffle. Shoot, I guess I'd be a little upset too, can't be that fun watchin Rip drop buckets and dimes on you all night long. Mehmet Okur makes a shot, it's about time haha!. Bulls win 110-95, as all 5 starters and Asik score in double figures. Extending their record to 8-0 at the UC, boy it's fun watchin our Bulls at home.

Overall, I liked what I saw tonight. The Bulls didn't play down to a lesser teams level, the MVP looked dang good, the Bulls got it done with the two D's (defense and depth), 16-3 record, Rip 'rippin' it up, and great effort by the bigs. Heck, get Scal a Big Mac! I'm out, thanks for the invite to the blog Bill, c'mon shooter!    -MS

1 comment: