Since the trade deadline, Luol Deng has quietly proved each game that John Paxson did the right thing by not trading him for that bearded giant from Memphis. Such was the case in Sunday’s game, as Deng stepped up to shut down the Celtics’ five-time All-Star Paul Pierce and help the Bulls roll to a 94-78 win in Boston.
But despite the fact that Deng held Pierce, who’s averaging 24.7 points and shooting 43 percent, to just eight points, coach Scott Skiles was unimpressed after the win.
“A JV girl’s team could’ve beaten [the Celtics] out there tonight,” Skiles said. “They should honestly be in the WNBA, and I’d be willing to bet that they’d still be in the basement of that league.”
Skiles added that he was very upset his team let up and showed mercy to the free-falling Celtics.
“I’m a product of the Cobra-Kai dojo,” Skiles said “Our credos are ‘No Mercy’ and ‘Always Sweep the Leg’, so I’m pissed as hell these guys ignored my orders to crush them. We should’ve beaten them by at least 50 points.”
Skiles’ disappointment aside, the Bulls played a solid game all around. Kirk Hinrich led the team with 26 points and seven assists. Ben Gordon had yet another stellar game with 21 points, further helping his season-long campaign to shed his ‘6th Man’ image. Deng added 17 points to his stellar defensive play, and Ben Wallace crashed the boards and put up a double-double with 14 rebounds and 10 points.
The Bulls will face the Celtics Tuesday in Chicago, where the Bulls have played their best this season. Skiles is forecasting ‘pain’ for the Celtics on Tuesday.
Number of the Weekend: 1
Bulls beat writers for The Heckler who have the Indiana Hoosiers winning the NCAA National Championship in their office pool. Boo. Yah. Believe it.