For the amount of time equivalent to a Britney Spears’ rehab stay, the Bulls’ bandwagon was loaded and gaining momentum. That’s what three big wins in a row will do for a team. But a disappointing, if not typical, loss in a hot and cold weekend has jettisoned all but the truest Bulls fans.
Friday night’s 105-90 win against the Wizards before a pumped up crowd at the United Center was an emotional high for the Bulls and fans alike, winning three games in a row for the first time in more than a month.
Luol Deng continued his streak of good play, posting a career-high 32 points in the win. After the game, general manager John Paxson lamented the thought that he ever considered trading Deng.
“After a game like that, it sure would’ve been a bad move to trade him earlier in the week,” Paxson said. “But he better keep this production up or I’ll dump him like yesterday’s lunch.”
The weekend took a typical and disheartening turn as the Bulls blew a 13-point lead in the third quarter to lose 95-93 to the Pistons in Detroit Sunday afternoon. And just like that, the winning streak came to an end.
The game marked a homecoming for Ben Wallace, who visited The Palace for the first time since leaving that crap-hole Detroit for the sunny skies of Chicago.
“It’s nice coming back here,” Wallace said. “It helps reminds me how good I have it now and just how nasty this place really is.”
Individually the Bulls excelled, as Ben Gordon lead the team in scoring with 21 points and PJ Brown notched his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds. But as team, they really screwed the pooch and were unable to close out a win that was easily within reach.
“Our problem is that we play like ourselves,” Skiles said. “Turnovers, missed free throws and just flat-out dumb-ass plays. The past three games these guys were playing like someone else. Deng was playing like Kobe, Wallace like Shaq, Gordon like Wade, and even Hinrich was playing like a young, baggier shorts wearing John Stockton. It was awesome. But Sunday, they played like themselves and that’s why we lost.”
Andres Nocioni, who aggravated the plantar fasciitis on his right foot Thursday night in Cleveland, pouted from the sidelines during both games. He is expected to be out for another month, prompting rumors the team will name him the official scapegoat for the season-ending losing streak when it happens.
Nocioni’s only comment on his injury after the game was something in Spanish that only the reporters from Telemundo could understand.
Number of the weekend: 12
Insulting adjectives about the City of Detroit debated for use in this recap before deciding upon “crap-hole” in an effort to avoid having to use the phrase “[expletive deleted].”