Being a sports fan can be so brutal
It all started back last year after the Chicago Bears won 5 straight games to improve to 7-3. Jay Cutler's season came to an end on such a fluke play; making a tackle after an interception that wasn't even his fault. Then Matt forte goes down 2 weeks later, consequently the Bears would only win one more game on the schedule.
Then North Carolina's point guard Kendall Marshall goes down in the second round of the NCAA tournament. They would survive against Ohio before losing to Kansas on the elite 8.
The last 10 days has just made me think an ex girlfriend has a voodoo doll of all these players getting injured, just knowing the mental anguish I would be subjected to. First Derrick Rose goes down with a torn ACL, then legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera suffers the same injury--shagging fly balls in the outfield??? Are you kidding me???
Are the Mayans right? Is this the end of the world as we know it? First Dick Clark dies and now a Beastie Boy? Okay, now I'm rambling.
So then Friday night the Bulls in total control of the game when Noah leading a fast break inexplicably, turns his ankle and goes down. Noah is the heart and soul of the team. I call him Mr. Intangible. Now he does put up respectable stats, so he's not a bum offensively, but he works so hard in everything he does on the court. I wish he were smarter and stopped trying to be Magic Johnson, but again, another fluke injury.
The worst part was even after the injury the Bulls still had a 14 point lead with 8 minutes to go. Now while it's easy to say Noah's absence defensively was the reason they lost; I point the finger at the inability for anyone to step up and carry the team offensively.
Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton vanished in the 4th quarter and the Bulls lost as a result. The defense allowed 79 points and held the Sixers to under 35% shooting. Was the defense compromised without Noah in the 4th quarter? No question about it. However, you can never expect to win an NBA game scoring 74 points.
I was livid as I watched this offense shut down completely. I hate to play the Duke card, but when adversity stares boozer and Deng in the face, they barely touch the ball. I know Deng needs surgery in the off-season (another injury), but where's the Luol Deng who shot 8-14 and scored 17 Points in game 1? Andre Iguodala in a great defender, no question about that. However, Deng must take more than 7 shots, even if he misses them all. The Bulls need to recognize that when defenders overplay on the ball they are susceptible to give and go's. I feel the Bulls offense lacks creativity at times and doesn't recognize situations and ways to exploit.
Head Coach Tom Thibodeau said after Game 3 that he needs players on the court with a will to win. Without Noah and Rose who will that be? Someone needs to put the team on their back and carry the load, and make big baskets--and they must come in the 4th quarter.