Sunday, December 31, 2006

We must protect this house!

I think Saturday was an important win for this young Bulls team. There was a lot on the line coming into the contest; it was a division rival, the team's star was active for a change -- unlike the Raptors and the Heat most recently -- and a W would have given the Bullies the most wins in the East. And they came out and played a really great game. While Deng shot it superbly and all three backup forwards made a big impact covering for the banged up Wallace, I was really impressed with the play of Duhon. While he only shot 2-9, he dished out 11 assists to only two TO's in over 41 minutes, really attacked the rim on more than one occassion and controlled the tempo nicley during that big run at the end of the third and into the fourth. If Duhon continues his steady play, I think it will only strenghten BenGo's analysis of the Hinrich v. Gordon trade situation, even in spite of the news of the groin injury that has probably affected Kirk all year.

Looking at the standings, the Bulls are now 14-2 at the UC (winners of seven straight), 16-4 against teams from the East and 5-1 in their division. To me, this just proves that they are winning the games that they are supposed to win. It's certainly refreshing after last season, when they blew too many games at home, but I think the next big test will be to convert those games that keep getting away. That's why I think in the long run, the Pistons game next Saturday could be seen as the least important matchup in the coming week. If the Bulls can compete against a Western conference power like Phoenix on Tuesday and then steal a victory from the Nets in Jersey, they will set themselves up psychologically for a really good strecth over the next few months.


Blogger BenGo07 said...

Nice post, Sweets. I really wish I'd gotten to watch last night's game. It sounds like Deng was ridiculous.

Just looking at the box score, I was struck by how nice it is that we get so much production off our bench. I think it was something like 58 points last night. Aside from Ben's 20 something that you can set your watch by, it was nice to see P.J. have a good game. What a great guy: Unhappy in Chicago, hoping to be traded, but still contributing to the team when he's called on. It's strange that such an act seems commendable given the salaries these guys get, but it's increasingly rare. Helluva guy.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Sean G. said...

What do you think about Deng's comments about going back to the old ball? Hopefully it won't effect his J.,1,427680.story?coll=cs-basketball-print

10:47 AM  
Blogger Big Sweet said...

I think Deng has a point. When you get used to a certain feel, it can be tricky to adjust. If I'm not mistaken, Denver was even threatening to sue the NBA at one point because 'Melo was leading the league in scoring. On the flip side, everyone will have to play with the old ball, so there's no distinct advantage. And as my grandpa, a former Illini player, always says, "we used to play with balls that had laces." I can't think that a little change will make much of a difference.

6:02 PM  

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