Z.W. Martin and Bobby Loesch discuss the Bulls dominating victory over the Suns sans Derrick Rose and the unfortunate culture of sports haughtiness.
Every week we three kings of the SBN Chicago writing staff sit down and talk (email back-and-forth) sports. One of us will ask the other two some questions about the sports world around us. The other two will answer the best they can. We call it "The Ballad of Ricky-Bobby & Z.W." Yes, we stole the name from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. This week we talk about the Bulls win over the Suns without Derrick Rose and sports snobbiness. Get some.
Z.W. Martin (@ZWMartin):
Like the Bulls last night, we are without our point guard and uber-swell front man, Ricky O'Donnell. But have no fear, SBN Chicago zealots, one of us went to the Bulls game on Tuesday, so we'll do our best C.J. Watson impression, divert your attention and talk about that. Bobby, the Bulls beat Phoenix sans Derrick Rose. You were the one of us that was there. What in the name of JL3 happened? How did the Bulls pull this off? After the game on Monday, a 102-86 loss to Memphis, I figured such a thing would never happen (again)? Also, what did Benny say to/about your GF? Bring it.
Bobby Loesch (@bobbystompy):
The Bulls beat the Suns because Phoenix is -- 0% disrespect intended -- a sub-par team, while the Chi Bulls are one of the best teams in the NBA. Both of these facts are unarguable. Combine them, and you have a recipe for a blow out at the United Center.
I know people (like you, Z.W.) expected a Bulls slide after they looked sluggish playing a noon game sans Rose in Memphis on Monday, but that's just it: they were playing a day game, on the road, against an also elite team -- the loss was very much understandable.
A few other reasons for the great performance on Tuesday other than "Bulls = good, Suns = bad"…
1) With no one to match up with Boozer, he went off. The maligned power forward finished with 31 points, and 26 of those came in the first half. He even had a few moments with legitimate cheers. It was so unsettling.
2) Rip Hamilton also made his return to the Bulls lineup, and he continued to play well, scoring 11 points and dishing out six assists (all of which came in the first half, I believe). Rip's passing has been such a pleasant surprise. The way he moves off the ball -- recently voted No. 2 at that skill by NBA GMs, behind Ray Allen -- is a thing of beauty. Sometimes I feel like that guy can do anything on the court*.
* - except power dunks
3) C.J. Watson was also extremely stellar, finishing with 23 points, three assists, and, according to Matt at BaB, zero turnovers. That's about as good as you can get, short of a JL3 dominance.
4) Phoenix's overall defense was shoddy. The Bulls had season highs in points in a quarter as well as points in a game.
Side note: Steve Nash was a complete delight, owning JL3 on a play where he tried to single handedly full court press him and absolutely clowning Boozer on a play where Booz literally stopped defending him despite the fact he was in the paint at the time.
A few other notes…
- Anyone who cheers the 100 point/Big Mac thing is an idiot.
- The Scal cheers are annoying, and it's really tough to reconcile a lot of what goes on with it, but it's hard to be 100% against it, I think. It ultimately comes down to what he thinks about the cheers. I'd feel kinda crummy if he viewed the cheers as patronizing. That said, he has some sweet assists last night. I don't know if opponents are expecting him to jack threes or what, but he's had some nice dishes lately.
- Benny The Bull apparently follows my girlfriend on Twitter -- and I guess has for a number of days -- and, Tuesday, he favorited a tweet she had about a spider.... She was extremely pleased.
Z.W. Martin (@ZWMartin):
To your point about the United Center crowd's jubilee for weird things... I'm honestly not against the cheering for Scal or the 100 points and a free Big Mac. Sports are supposed to be enjoyed. People pay premium dollar to be entertained. If their joy comes in the form of a bread partitioned burger or a Ginger NBA twelfth man, that's their right as a paying customer.
I hear this kind of snooty sports arrogance a lot towards Cubs fans. Lately, it has been about them going nuts when it was announced Kerry Wood had re-signed at the Cubs Convention. Many folks -- I've been listening to a lot of talk radio lately, so it is mostly my fault -- are bashing this reaction. To that, I say, who cares? Let 'em have their fun in what will be a very bleak year to be a Cubs fan. I don't really get the criticism. If you find it stupid, then don't cheer. Why be a shithead about it? It's just as lame as what you're calling lame. Live and let live, or something. I dunno, maybe I'm being too sensitive.