Warm congratulations to both Jo and Lu for making the All Star team. Great acknowledgement from coaches that they are solid players who work hard and put up consistent numbers. Not superstar numbers, but steady. They anchor our team and with Boozer coming on late, we could have legitimately had three.
Since I made my rather bold prediction that the Bulls had indeed turned a corner and would start winning more games, they have been doing just that. After the Bulls went on the road and trounced the Knicks for a SECOND time I felt that they could go 6-2 over their next eight games. Well, so far we’ve played 7 out of 8 and have gone 5-2! Wins over Atlanta, Toronto (OT), Boston (OT), Lakers, Detroit and losses to Phoenix and Memphis (OT).
That leaves us with the last game in this stretch of eight. The Golden State Warriors. I predict a loss here, but the Bulls have been beating teams that they were supposed to fall to all season long. They have been better on the road obviously, however I have no doubts that the Bulls will bring energy to this contest. Should be a good one with both David Lee (GSW) and Noah fresh off of their first time All Star nods.
Lu will most likely scratch again (4th game in a row) with his bruised right hamstring. If you haven’t been following this injury, Lu injured it in Toronto and tweaked it the very next game at Boston. Jimmy Butler has been getting the start and has exceeded expectations. We should be fine allowing Lu to really heal up before coming back.
Golden State is the only team in the league that has beaten Miami, OKC and the Clippers (twice). They are seriously talented and have taken a huge leap this season… Let’s take a look at what they have:
- A floor leader in Curry, who is resurgent this year after finally conquering that pesky ankle… True shooting percentage of 52%, just a beast (shame he’s in the stacked West and couldn’t get his 1st All Star nod).
- Paint presence, as well as some range shooting in Lee.
- More than competent role players coming off the bench (particularly Jarret Jack who is really a starting caliber player).
- An athletic, 6’8″ rookie wing player – Harrison Barnes who plays above the rim and needs to be checked (calling Jimmy Butler).
- A winning coach in Mark Jackson, who has only taken a couple of seasons to change the entire culture in Oakland and should be considered for COY honors.
The Bulls will obviously have their hands full, let’s see if they can grind out a win.
Go Bulls! –ct