1) Sheeeeeeeeeeeeit. Overall, I can't really call this game a negative, as unselfishness and energy ruled the day on our side. We missed a ton of shots, but most of them were fine shots to take; Anthony Morrow taking thirteen shots from behind the arc is something we should always support, and just about everybody played under control. Monta and Maggette forced a few shots, and Randolph airballed a couple open jumpers, but in the final analysis, that's not a big deal. Sometimes your shots just won't go down... the fact that we passed freely and happily is more important. I'm liking the vibes that are emanating from this team.
2) At the same time, we lost to a team that's lost nine out of ten, a team whose struggles have been front-page news in the basketball world, a team whose coach is not long for this world, and deservedly so. It's a road game, and the Bulls are talented... still, a credible team wins this game. Why'd we lose? One could blame the missed shots, but the Bulls shot terribly, too; bricks didn't tell the tale tonight. Let's just Occam's Razor this shit. One team outrebounded the other 58 to 44, with three players who grabbed at least 11 rebounds, and outscored their opponent in the paint by 34 points. When that happens, that team is probably gonna win. Fuck a smallball, is the point.
3) Homer announcers don't annoy me easily. I actually seek out road announcers for our games, as I'm always interested to see how outsiders view this team; while I grow tired of the recounting of Morrow's NBA entry and the surprise revelation that Steph Curry is Dell's son, I usually don't regret hearing opponents' commentators do play-by-play. But Neil Funk and Stacey King were the most obnoxious contrarians I've heard since Skip Caray on TBS and Rudy Giuliani at the '08 RNC. These turkeys crapped on Morrow for shooting a lot, forgave each of the myriad Bulls bloopers, and spun every call like they were Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Stacey, your NBA legacy is that Phil Jackson figured out how to win an NBA title despite the presence of you. And Neil Funk, Wikipedia tells me that you're known for using your signature phrase "ka-boom" -- man, you must've danced a good long in the vineyard of the Muse to come up with that one. Gentlemen, I wipe my ass with you.
4) A little behind-the-scenes for our (three? zero? one?) readers -- I tried to find Doug online to commiserate about this loss, only to find him absent. Before I could depart, a GoogleAd told me to click so that I might master the art of "advanced lucid dreaming." Friend, if I could even do some basic lucid dreaming, do you think I'd be watching every outing by a dogshit basketball team?
5) Really, really liking the Monta of the last two games. He missed his share, but not because he was sprinting into triple-teams... he just bricked a couple, as happens on this crazy mudball we call Earth. I support his decision-making. I support his taking five three-pointers. I support his passing results and six rebounds. I like this Monta much better than the delusions-of-grandeur version we saw last week.
6) Anthony Randolph's decision-making was beyond reproach; while he whiffed badly on two jumpers, they were fine shots to take, and he passed up a good number that were only slightly more questionable. Once again, he played really, really smart basketball. His results tonight were not stellar, but if his basketball IQ is the ostensible reason that he's still a reserve, there's no reason to keep him on the bench.
7) That's not to say that Mikki played badly. Randolph was +1 on the night and Mikki was -16, and I don't think that's entirely coincidental, but Mikki played with spirit and fire. He should not be our starter... he had more turnovers than rebounds this evening. Still, we are seeing the best that Mikki Moore can give, and I respect him for that.
8) This is the lucid-dreamer I am supposed to click towards.
Look: we're all just stumbling around on the Internet, trying to feel something. This very blog is evidence of that. And when a guy interviews both Ed Dames and Gerald O'Donnell, you have to respect it. But, fucking fuck... I feel like I put a lot of money into my computer. Seeing this guy should not happen to me.
9) Vladimir Radmanovic reminds me of post-1991 New Japan Pro Wrestling legend Masahiro Chono, a guy whose body simply can't actualize the grand designs of his brain. Every decision Vlad made would've been fine, if he was physically capable of executing the play he'd envisioned... his Serbian shell just wasn't willing. To my knowledge, Vlad does not have as totalizing an alibi as a life-threatening neck injury from a pre-tipping-point Steve Austin piledriver. But he has schemes. No hate on that.
10) It's more or less impossible to discern what Keith Smart's been doing of his own accord and what he's been doing on Nellie's marching orders... everything from the starting lineup to the half-court plays may be out of Smart's control. We still don't know much about his coaching philosophy. But anecdotally, it really does seem like a happier, peppier team when he's at the helm. Dispiriting loss aside, I'd really like to see Keith Smart keep coaching this team.