There were a few things I asked for this year for Christmas; a healthy Derrick Rose, a Chicago Bulls trade that made the team exceptionally better, and a win over Omar Asik’s new team the Houston Rockets. Unfortunately I got none of those (the Rose wish is more of a long term wish anyways), instead what I got was an ugly loss wrapped in an uglier uniform.
I’ve seen the commercials, you know the one where the different players bounce the basketballs to a holiday tune, and I hated the uniforms then and I hate them now. The Bull’s players looked like a walking Santa minus the weight and the white facial hair. None of that however detracted from the terrible style of play they displayed.
Asik gave them another reminder of his worth as he turned in 20 points and 18 rebounds. Nothing seemed to go right for the Bulls and they didn’t seem very merry after it was all done. Why should they have been? They were outscored 66-32 in the paint, 31-8 on fast breaks and dominated on the glass 45-31. There defense did not exist and to top it all off minutes leader for the team Luol Deng left the game with a sprained ankle.
As Joakim Noah can attest to, a sprained ankle can be serious depending on its severity but Deng’s ankle points to a more glaring issue: minutes. Deng is playing an upwards of 40 minutes every game. I’ve talked about this before and I hold to it if the starters play to many minutes night in and night out there bodies will wear down and injuries will catch up to them. How can this be fixed? Well that can be answered by my second holiday wish: a trade that will make sense now and later. The Bulls need help whether we want to admit it or not and the trade deadline is getting closer every day. With Rip Hamilton still injured and Rose on the mend it is clear which players should be on the table.
I had a Merry Christmas despite watching the Bulls lose but it doesn’t change the fact that I want to see them excel without Rose. I want to see them excel without him so that they can greatly excel and achieve new highs when he returns. Until then, Santa, you can owe me one.