Sadly, I cannot find a clip on youtube of the famous scene from “Hardcore” with George C Scott that hasn’t already been altered to show “Corky Romano” or “That’s My Boy” clips, but, I’ll tell you this – it would fit pretty damn well with any given moment of last night’s Bulls/Kings game. Let me start by saying…I am a Bulls fan to my very core. I stuck with them through Corey Benjamin, Kornel David, and of course my personal favorite, Dalibor Bagaric. But this is becoming hard to watch. And what makes it worse? Unlike those teams in the post-Jordan years, this team HAS talent, this team SHOULD be winning games like this.
Now granted, the Bulls are dealing with a number of significant injuries. Taj Gibson has been out. Rip Hamilton and Kirk Hinrich can’t seem to string together more than 3-4 games before sitting out another 10. And then of course there’s Derrick Rose, a saga that deserves (and will get) its own post. But to lose by 42 points to the KINGS….let me make myself clear. Lost by 42 points to the 22-43 Sacramento Kings. A team so bad and unpopular, they are literally being run out of their own city.
A team that, injuries aside, had the best record in the NBA two seasons in a row. A team with two All-Stars (Deng and Noah) and one that many argue should have been based on this season at least (Boozer) – a team that in spite of all of their injuries and set backs are still a playoff team in what has become a somewhat competitive Eastern Conference. Every team is allowed to have an off night, and the Bulls have had their share this year – but for me to come home to see the Bulls, who understand what is still at stake this season, who are on a road trip where this was supposed to be the “gimmie”, lose like this? What motivation does even the most die hard fan like myself have to watch? Do I want to see Derrick Rose battle back just to carry this sad ass group on his back again and then lose to the Pacers in the playoffs?
I’ve been in coach Tom Thibodeau’s corner every step of the way. But you gotta think that a team that normally allows 91.3 points per game (3rd best in the NBA) giving up 121 points to the Sacramento Kings (who rank last in opponents PPG, 105.1), and held the Bulls to 79, may be starting to quit on their coach? Their coach that rides his starters in the 4th quarters of games that are already out of reach? Are the wheels officially falling off? Could it be true that Derrick Rose is afraid to come back and be asked to play 40 minutes a night on a still rehabbing knee? Or is this just one bad game?
One thing I know for sure – thank GOD the Hawks play tonight….