1) After three straight games of infantile and deliberately poor behavior, the Bulls decided to put that stuff aside, buckle down, and play basketball. Oops, bad move! This game was never competitive. I don't want to tout my new Mario "Emcee" Chalmers shirt too much, but it's 3-0, and early in tonight's contest, Rio slipped down to the defensive baseline, stripped the ball away from Carlos Boozer, brought it up the court, spent 23 seconds weaving in between and through the other 9 players on the court, then, with everyone frozen in amazement (and admiration), flipped an 8 foot runner straight into the hoop for an early 7 point lead. MARIO CHALMERS SHIRT POWER!!! Let it fly!
2) The Bulls slowed the game to a snail's pace - limiting the number of possessions in the game is their best chance to stay close. Miami never put together one huge run, and turned the ball over too many times (16), but were methodical, and able to create good shots all night, finishing at 49% from the floor. King James James (Hubie!!!) directed the offense, with 8 assists, and scored 27 points himself....The Bulls, umm, yeah. They weren't so good. Miami trapped the ball a little harder, contested shots a little more crisply, but mostly, the Bulls stunk the joint out. They shot 26% from the floor and scored a new franchise playoff low 33 points in the first half; then shot 26% from the floor again and finished with a new, new franchise low 32 points in the second half! I guess the refs and all the Heat's flopping stopped them. Nate Robinson missed all 12 of his shots and scored zero points in 32 minutes. Joakim Noah got shoved around all night by Chris Bosh and Bird Anderson and finished 1-6 with 6 points, 9 rebounds, and no blocks in 37 minutes - he was non-existent. Bosh and Bird combined for 23, 10, and 6 - 4 blocks by Chris Bosh tonight! It's like an annual right of spring that he starts jumping and contesting shots at the rim!
3) Play of the game, runner up: in the fourth quarter, which was 12 minutes of garbage time, Chris Anderson cut to the rim with only little Bulls point guard Marquis Teague covering him, and Chris Bosh threw a bullet pass for what would have been a sure dunk. But, Teague wrapped Bird's arm up with his arm, pinned it to his side, and kind of tackled him as they careened through the lane. As the pass arrived, Bird and Teague both swiped at it with their one free arm, the ball popped up into the air, and down into the basket! Somehow, no foul on Teague! That's why we need to flop - we can't get a call!!!
4) Play of the game, winner: late in the third quarter, with the Heat leading by 16, the Bulls held the ball for one last shot. They ran a little screen-and-roll, and slipped the ball to Noah at the left elbow. Noah did what any good big man does on an entry pass - quickly turned and looked opposite out to the right wing, where Marco Bellinelli was spotting up all alone for a three pointer. Noah quickly and deftly raised the ball up over his head and fired a two handed moon-laser up into the second deck of the crowd. Luckily, most of the Bulls meat sandwich-eating fans had given up on the game by that point and were already gone, so no one was injured by Noah's errant scud missile. Meanwhile, there were still two seconds to go, so the Heat inbounded the ball to Norris Cole on the move at midcourt, he took a quick dribble or two, and drilled a 26 foot triple with the buzzer going off: 19 point lead, ballgame. Start your American cars, tubby Midwesterners - beat the traffic out on The Loop!
5) Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau took a few moments off from whining about the officials, the Heat's flopping, and the Salt II Treaty to insert all-time Connecticut great wing Richard "Rip" Hamilton into the game in the second quarter, setting up an on court matchup between Rip, and the man he succeeded at UConn, Walter Ray Allen. That's a dream matchup for me, I love both of those dudes. But even more importantly, it created a battle between Rip's awkward headband-over-the-top-of-the-facemask-even-though-I-don't-have-a-broken-nose arrangement versus Ray's shooting-sleeve-with-the-tag-sticking-up-out-of-the-top-of-the-sleeve-and-waving-against-his-tricep, a look he has been rocking all year, and which drives me crazy. I'm a little A.D.D., and every time he misses a shot, I blame the wayward tag. Who could shoot well with a tag sticking out like that? Rip scored 11 points, and his late, four-point, garbage time explosion was almost enough to prevent the Bulls from setting the franchise record for scoring futility. Ray had a quiet 5 on 2-3 from the floor - didn't really need him. The winner? Connecticut, and America! But mostly Connecticut.
6) Movie review: "Zero Dark Thirty." I decided to watch "Zero Dark Thirty" over the weekend, even though I had not yet seen "Zero Darks One through Twenty-Nine." Turns out that "Zero Dark Thirty" was not about Michael Beasley. At all.
Of all the things you can blame Mike Beasley for messing up, he had virtually no involvement in 9-11, or the subsequent search for Bin Laden. By the way, I still contend that my theory that Bin Laden was actually former Bulls great Scottie Pippen with a beard and a wacky cap was perfectly sound. Turns out I was wrong, but it seemed perfectly plausible at the time.
I'll give the movie a 10 out of 10, I was reasonably entertained, although I couldn't understand any of the dialogue because I can't understand accents. But you know what my big takeaway from the movie was? It finally occurred to me: how come in other parts of the world, people don't know not to walk right in the middle of the freaking street? Here in the Western World, even when we don't have sidewalks, we still have this general notion of car-pedestrian integrity. People get over and walk on the side of the road, and the cars go down the middle part. In other parts of the world, people just walk wherever, they wander all over the road, the cars are honking with that little "meep-y" foreign honk, but people still mill around, and nobody ever gets where they are going efficiently. You know how when you are at the grocery store, looking for a place to park your Jesus Car, and someone in front of you is wheeling their groceries down the middle of the aisle, and they don't realize you are behind them? In other parts of the world, it is that way all the time, on every road, and they don't even have groceries! Mon Dieu!
Miami will try to flop its way to a series win on Wednesday night. If you need me before then, I'll be watching "Zero Dark Forty: The Udonis Haslem Story," in which UD unleashes weapons of mass destruction (his fists) on Taj Gibson. See you Wednesday!