Three things happened with Chicago’s win over the Bobcats last night: Derrick Rose locked up Rookie of the Year (QB’ing his team to a .500 record and a playoff berth as an everyday starter is good enough for us; it’s also why Mario Chalmers deserves more credit than he’s getting); Ben Gordon ensured himself a hefty pay raise this summer (and made the Luol Deng contract look even worse); and the Bulls kept themselves in position to go as high as the 5th seed in the East … D-Rose had 22 points and seven dimes on the ‘Cats, while BG dropped 39 points (7 threes), jacking H-O-R-S-E shots all around the arc that you’d normally be scared to pull for fear of getting yanked by your coach … The win was Chicago’s fourth in a row and 11th in their last 14 games, putting them one game up on Detroit for the 7th seed and just a game and a half behind Miami for the 5th seed. If you’re the Hawks holding that four spot, would you rather play D-Wade right now, or the Bulls, who are clicking on all cylinders? It’s not an easy answer … When did the Pistons lose their maturity? Not having Chauncey is obviously a big part of it, but even those who wanna scapegoat Iverson for everything can’t put this on A.I.; it’s not like the Pistons accepted him into the fold enough to let his personality impact the team anyway. One play summed it all up at the end of Pistons/Pacers: Down one with 15 seconds left, Tayshaun Prince got hacked going to the basket, but the refs didn’t make the call. So Tayshaun stood there and complained, the rest of the Pistons stopped what they were doing for a second, and the Pacers ran about 10 seconds off the clock before Detroit caught up and fouled. You never saw stuff like that during the Billups era … After the loss, Rip Hamilton had this on the Pistons’ playoff seeding: “It really don’t matter to us, to tell you the truth. We’re already near the bottom in the playoffs, so at this point, regardless who we play, we can’t worry about who we’re going to play. We’ve just got to know that we made it to the playoffs and hopefully we can have a run.” Not buying it. You know the Pistons would MUCH rather play Orlando than Boston or Cleveland, especially with the way they’re in Dwight Howard‘s head … And speaking of, maybe Orlando is trying to avoid the Pistons; otherwise, how do you explain two uninspired losses to the Knicks and Nets in the last two days? Yesterday’s loss in Jersey secured the 3-seed for the Magic (as of today they’d play Philly in the first round), and Hedo Turkoglu got hurt in the process (ankle), joining Rashard Lewis (knee) on the banged-up list … The Jazz are slipping at the wrong time, too, only their reward at the end of the line is a date with the Lakers in Round One. Deron Williams put up 26 points and 14 dimes in last night’s home loss to Golden State, but he also got lit up for 38 points by C.J. Watson. On top of that, Deron strained an oblique muscle and is listed as day-to-day … The other unfortunate part of this Utah skid is that in the one week where you might get a smile out of Jerry Sloan — given his Hall of Fame induction and all — he’s still in 24-hour frown mode because his team is playing so bad. Sloan slammed the Jazz defense last night, saying, “We’d rather score than play defense.” … This is kinda late, but did you hear about that D-League game the other night where Colorado beat Albuquerque 155-127 in regulation? That’s just crazy. Colorado scored 52 in the third quarter alone, and four guys scored 20-plus points on the night. Albuquerque’s Will Conroy dropped 53 points in the loss, sticking five threes and going 18-for-25 at the line. Is there any current NBA matchup where you could see those kind of numbers put up in four quarters? … We’re out like Hedo and Deron …
Who’s afraid of the Bulls?
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Zach Johnston 12.14.17 4 days ago