Well the Chicago Bulls tied the season series with The Miami Heat winning 95-88 in overtime. The Bulls were led by their “MVP” Joakim Noah who was “Stuntin Like His Daddy” 1983 French Open champ, Jannick Noah. Noah cemented himself in the hearts of the Chicago favorites scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out seven assists. He set the tone defensively blocking five shots including a HUGE one on King James with the score tied 82-82 late in regulation. In overtime he had a put back over “Birdman” Anderson to basically seal the game. DJ Augustin after playing like the Toronto Raptors had good reason for cutting him loose going 0-10 in Miami, basically put Mario Chalmers out in the streets and told him to sell some handbags and “get money”, lighting him up for 22 points. Jimmy Butler has made everyone forget Luol Deng scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 boards while containing LeBron James. Butler looked the MVP candidate in the eye at the end of regulation and the King blinked as Butler knocked the ball away forcing the game into overtime. For the total recap of this game, please check out Ashley Wijangco’s recap, it also has footage of Butler getting a foot massage with LeBron’s face. As always a good read, this one has moving pictures!
This article is about learning. I always learn something new about this squad (which sometimes can be frustrating) that is very fascinating and entertaining which is saying something considering the Chicago Bulls is DEAD LAST in the league in scoring. Here’s what I learned.
1) Joakim Noah really HATES the Miami Heat.
This is not a cliché. It all started with the “Hollywood As Hell” comment. Miami is run by Pat Riley, so you know they copyrighted it, made T-shirts and made some money right? I’m not saying that I wouldn’t work for them, but Mr. Riley can a brother get a Juwan Howard deal? But I digress, Joakim Noah plays hard but it’s taken to an all new level when the Big Three come to the arena. I bet it was a long plane ride home for Noah’s team when they got run in Miami a few weeks back. Joakim Noah played hard, cursed, called Mario Chalmers out his name and berated the Heat in overtime. If anyone else had acted like this, their mama would have come down with a belt and would be giving out whippings like lemonade. I know mine would have (love you mama!) But you really have to see his post game interview to understand how much disdain he has for the Heat. It’s not what he said, but HOW he said it. Noah said the Bulls played with a lot of hate. I remember years back when Tupac Shakur played in the movie “Juice”. I remember people saying that he played the role of Bishop a little bit too well. The look in Noah’s eyes and the sinister smile on his face reminded me of that statement and it really said it all. Joakim Noah HATES THE MIAMI HEAT!
2) If you don’t have a low post, back the basket threat, you are NOT beating the Bulls.
There is a reason why the Bulls give the Miami Heat fits. They do not have a low post threat. They put Chris Bosh out on the perimeter which is a problem if he hits. The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Bulls Friday night because Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol beat the Bulls up with second chance baskets. They had numerous offensive rebounds that hurt the Bulls and wore them down. Couple that with Mike Miller (ask the Miami Heat if they miss him?) knocking down outside jumpers, the Bulls ended up not having enough in the last quarter. If teams think they can come in and play pretty, they end up getting punched in the mouth and have a tough time recovering with the Blues Brothers, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah protecting the rim and Jimmy Butler developing into a shut down defender. To beat the Bulls on the boards you better have a lot of heart and discipline. Not a lot of NBA teams have both.
3) Somebody call Commissioner Silver! Somebody is impersonating LeBron James!
Ever since LeBron James destroyed the Charlotte Bobcats lighting them up for 61 points. He has gone into a funk and his jumper has left him out in the cold for the last three games. Over the last three games SINCE the 61 point explosion, he has scored only 58 points total on 23-59 shooting from the field. He only scored 17 points on 8-23 shooting. But it was bigger than that. He really tried to shake Jimmy Butler during this game which transpired with a double technical. But when the game was on the line, let’s be real folks, I’m not going to say he choked, but he did not exactly come through like a superstar of his caliber should. How’s that. As big as Lebron James is (you really can’t appreciate how big this dude is unless you see him in person) he always struggles against the Bulls. Why? Because the Bulls always has someone in his space making him work hard. Kirk Hinrich was even in his armpit once during the game. Scorers hate constant contact over and over. LeBron is no different.
Here’s my three…Now YOU learn from this!
11 points! That’s how many points Carlos Boozer has scored in the 4th quarter…THIS SEASON! Taj Gibson leads the NBA in 4th quarter minutes. Remember when Boozer was complaining about finishing games? Um, I don’t think it worked, Do you?