Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Bulls Do The Deep "Sixed" Dodge...How About the Rest?

How’s this for six degrees of separation? The Chicago Bulls avoid being the lead story on every sports show across the country by avoiding the upset sliding past the Philadelphia 76ers 102-94. The Bulls was tied with the 76ers 85-85 late before DJ Augustin continued  being the biggest bargain basement pickup in the NBA this season knocking down two late three pointers finishing with 20 points. The Blues Brothers, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah both finished with double-doubles in this game continuing to show their great chemistry. Taj Gibson scored 19 points with 11 rebounds while  Joakim Noah finished with 14 points with 10 rebounds and had six assists as well. The Sixers have lost 22 straight games and has not won a game since the Liberty Bell was constructed. The last time they won a game was when Evan Turner hit a last second buzzer beater to beat the Boston Celtics 95-94 back on January 29th.  Then the Sixers thanked him (based on the circumstances) by trading him to the Indiana Pacers, the Bulls next opponent. I wonder if Evan Turner was thinking as the GM of the Sixers Sam Hinkle was driving him to the airport (he really did, I’m not making this up) man, I hope they don’t win another game. Come on everyone, like you didn’t wish  that things would go bad a little after you left your last job for your ego’s sake. Well maybe the Bulls can ask him Friday night. But there were other teams that were playing as well that made an impact in the Eastern Conference standings. These teams were…

(These games were on Wednesday night)

#5 Brooklyn Nets (35-31) defeats #7 Charlotte Bobcats  (33-36) 104-99

Uh oh! The Brooklyn Nets  have figured out some things, starting with winning at home. The Brooklyn Nets have the longest current winning streak in the NBA and the longest in franchise history since crossing the bridge to Brooklyn. The Nets have won ten straight home games after beating the Charlotte Bobcats 104-99. The Nets were led by Deron Williams who has channeled his inner Utah Jazz version to score 11 of his 23 points in the 4th quarter. When the Bobcats was up 85-82 in the last seven minutes, Williams hit a three, had a steal and two free throws to put the Nets in the lead that was never relinquished. When the Bobcats made a push late, Williams knocked down a jumper at the foul line to make the score 100-95 and put it away. Joe Johnson, his backcourt mate finished with 20 points. Shaun Livingston had 17 points with Andray Blatche finishing with 13. Marcus Thornton and Mason Plumlee both had 11 points. This is bad for the Bulls, Pippen Peoples. If the Brooklyn backcourt continues to play like this, the Bulls are in trouble because they do not match up well. Kirk Hinrich can’t guard a cup of coke with a cannon these days and DJ Augustin is not a quality defender either. If Deron Williams is back to the guy we were used to seeing…issues.

As for Charlotte, they have to keep winning if they want to keep their hopes alive. The Atlanta Hawks have won five straight games and the New York Knicks have now won seven straight due to getting an infusion of “act right” with the sudden arrival of Phil Jackson. Al Jefferson had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats. Gary Neal has been ballin for the Bobcats scoring 17 points. Kemba Walker did not score well, only getting seven points. The Bobcats are going to need more from Walker to stay in the race.

#3 Toronto Raptors (38-29) outlast the New Orleans Pelicans 107-100

The Toronto Raptors stay one game ahead of the Chicago Bulls overcoming a 14 point deficit in the first half to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 107-100 who was without Anthony Davis who was out with an illness. The Pelicans were sick without him as they were missing a guy who put up 40 points and 21 rebounds in the stat sheet against the Boston Celtics. DeMar Derozan kept up his stellar play since  the departure of Rudy Gay scoring 31 points. Kyle Lowry scored 23 points with eight rebounds and five assists. The story though was Greivis Vasquez scoring 14 points but five was in the last two minutes. The former New Orleans guard started slowly but was there when his team needed him. Amir Johnson had 17 points and Tyler Hansbrough had 13 rebounds.

As for the Pelicans…Adam Silver is getting his suit ready for the draft.

(Last night game)

#6 Washington Wizards (35-33) gets run by the Portland Trailblazers 116-103

The Washington have lost their first two games on a four game West Coast trip. This happens to be a good look for the Bulls as the Wizards fall three games back in the loss column losing to the Portland Trailblazers 116-103. Marcin Gortat did not play after injuring his back in warm ups dunking a basketball. Oops! John Wall scored 24 points and dished out 14 assists for the Wizards in a valiant effort. Let me tell everyone, Drew Gooden has been a flat-out steal for the Wizards. He scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Makes you wonder what the Bulls was thinking picking up Jimmer Fredette who hasn’t scored 18 points since he got to Chicago.

Portland was led by Wesley Matthews with 28 points and was helped out by Damian Lillard with 23 points and 10 assists. The Trailblazers played without LeMarcus Aldrridge who is still out with a back contusion after a bad fall last week. The Blazers have three of their last four and losing four straight games. They are now currently in fifth place in the Western Conference.

The Bulls play the Indiana Pacers twice in the next three games which sandwich another “trap” game against the Philadelphia 76ers. The message is clear…play better and win!


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