Can this win kick-start the Bulls playoff chances?
The Chicago Bulls’ 99-93 win over Cleveland could have huge ramifications for both teams. The Bulls have had a very indifferent season this year, they boast a 4-0 record over the Cavaliers, but also have some embarrassing loses, coupled with some confusing front office decisions and another Rondo saga, you’d of thought another humiliating play-off-less season was approaching.
However the Bulls have hope, in the shape of Jimmy Butler. The guard/ small forward has been an inspirational figure for the Bulls this season, and he has always come good when the Bulls have needed him most. It’s weird to think that if you ponder back to the off-season before this season had started, that it was a toss-up between Butler and Rose, you must have thought they were mad to even consider these two, Butler in his prime, crazy! Crazy still is that they’re considering to swap him again this season, when he is their MVP, he is invaluable to them.
The performance against the Cavs was impressive and one that had to happen, it could turn to be a catalyst for their season. The Bulls erased a double-digit deficit, and scored 37 in the third quarter. Led by Mirotic’s 28 and Butlers 25 and the Bulls now have a platform to build on. Dwyane Wade’s injury hurt the Bull’s play-off chances, and they will miss his experience down the stretch and his leadership, yet if Butler can continue to perform, then they are definitely in with a chance of making the play-offs.
What does this mean for Cleveland though? Going into the game with a record of 0-3, you felt they had to win, just to restore some confidence if nothing else, instead what they got was another loss, one that can only dampen the mood of a wounded giant. Lebron was quoted after the loss saying;
“We’re just in a bad spot”
But is it more than that? The Cavs have lost 5 of their last 7 games, and you have to say complacency could be a factor in their recent fall from grace. Losses against the Wizards and Spurs must have hurt the Cavs and will have given them a reality check. I feel however that the Cavs believe they are better than they actually are, and deserve the top spot in the East, without playing well and earning it.
Hats off to Lebron for overtaking Shaq to 7th all-time in the scoring list, but he will need to play better as will his team mates, if they are going regain their “rightful” place at the top of the East, they have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it in.
Other News in the NBA;
Did we just see the greatest triple-double in NBA history? After getting the first ever ‘perfect’ triple-double, he went on to record 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 dimes, in the game vs the Magic the Thunder erased a 21 point deficit, their largest comeback in their history, but it was Westbrooks 3 point fading jumper that secured overtime with 7 second left, a play that has put him as the favorite for the MVP title.
Since Klay Thompson signed his infamous ‘toaster’ the Warriors are a perfect 9-0 and their recent victory over the Spurs was a real statement. Iguodala has really stepped up in the absence of Durant and the Warriors recent run of form has reminded us that they’re the team to beat this season, with or without KD.