This is a disclaimer for Pippen Ain’t Easy. Check us out for your Bulls news, previews and reviews. Please, because when it comes to the Bulls, we are the light that will guide through the night. If you read my preview, you know I made some important points. Number one, I saw this as a trap game. True to form, it was as the Bulls were taken to overtime by a Lakers team that has more guards than the Wu Tang Clan has members. Number two, I said that Nick Young would be a problem. He finished with 31 points plus three free throws (more on that later) to send it into overtime. Finally, I said that the Lakers CANNOT PLAY A LICK OF DEFENSE! Taj Gibson cuts to the basket and hits a LAY-UP over Pau Gasol with .09 seconds left in OT to win 102-100. Look I know this is a Bulls website but, let me talk about the Lakers for a second. You are Pau Ga”soft” I mean Gasol. There is less than 1 second on the clock, why, and I ask this with all of the goodness in the world, do you guard the inbounds guy, then let Taj Gibson beat you for a layup? To watch the Lakers refuse to play defense is hilarious.
The Bulls are back to .500 for the first time since November 27 on the strength of winning eight of their last ten games. Joakim Noah played out of his mind last night scoring 17 points while grabbing 21 rebounds and dishing out 6 assists. He lost some of that mind obviously when he fouled Nick Young while shooting a three pointer with less than five seconds left in regulation. Nick Young knocked down all three free throws and the game went into overtime. Luckily it didn’t cost the Bulls. Joakim Noah is well on his way to an All-Star bid based on the run that he is having. He has grabbed 10 or more rebounds for a franchise record 13 straight games tying Tyson Chandler’s streak back in 2006-07. I know DJ Augustin came on late in the season, but in my opinion, this man deserves NBA’s Comeback Player of the Year award. The guy came off the bench to score 27 points and dish out four assists. Most of the backcourt load was carried by DJ with Kirk Hinrich going down in the third quarter with a hamstring injury. These weren’t soft points either. When the Lakers scored the first five points of overtime, it was DJ that brought them back hitting a driving layup to put the Bulls in the lead 100-98 late. Jimmy Butler had a double-double finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Look, I know the Bulls won this game and I know that they are playing hard. This is a Thibodeau team, we can’t expect nothing less. But this team will run out of gas if things keep going the way they are going. The Bulls are going to have to start beating the teams handily that they are supposed to beat. The Lakers are awful. They are their 55th point guard this season! They have a team set up full of one year players that they will get rid of at the end of the season. Plus, Mike D’Antoni is the coach. If Nick Young doesn’t go nuts, this is a blowout. The game should have never gone to overtime. Last week, the Bulls went THREE overtimes to beat Orlando. The Magic was on a nine game win streak at the time without their two best players. Jimmy Butler played an outlandish 60 minutes against the Magic. Last night he played 50 minutes. Remember, this guy has turf toe. Joakim Noah played 42 minutes. He has notoriously bad feet. How long can these guys hold up under these circumstances?
Like I said this is a Bulls website, but if it’s all the same, I would like to say something about the Lakers. Mike D’Antoni has to be the most ridiculous coach in the NBA. To watch these Lakers play is a disservice to Laker fans and former players alike. To think that they had the opportunity to get Phil Jackson back on the bench over this guy is out and out arrogance by Jim Buss the head of basketball operations for the Lakers. Pay attention Jim Paxson and Gar Forman. Don’t let this franchise go to abyss over arrogance. It’s an ugly thing as last night showed us.