Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Magic 107 - Bulls 78 (Well... shit.)

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You might remember back to when the Bulls beat the Suns that I wrote something along the lines of "The Bulls won't beat a good team if they keep imploding for a quarter every game." It should be no surprise then that the Bulls lost to the Magic after being outscored 33-15 in the second quarter. The domination doesn't end there, so on the night where the Bulls firmly cemented themselves as the third best team in the East (until they blast Boston on Friday and confuse everyone) I give you a special Bulls/Bears where you will find zero Bulls. Hate is more enjoyable to read than love anyway, so enjoy.

BEARS:

-Rebounding: This is the big one. The Bulls amassed 21 rebounds... for the entire game. 48 minutes, 21 boards. If that sounds bad, you A) Need to stop reading out loud, it's pissing off your wife/dog/mom and B) would be completely correct because that is, no exaggeration, the FEWEST rebounds the Chicago Bulls have ever accrued over the course of one game. That is in the entire history of the franchise. How did this happen, especially considering the Bulls have the number two rebounder in the league (Joakim Noah) and also that Carlos Boozer returned to the lineup tonight? Glad you asked...

-Everybody on the team had their worst night of the season. I am going out on a limb and saying Boozer will not have a worse line than 5 points and 2 rebounds in 22 minutes this season. Derrick Rose had 15 points and only 4 assists. Noah had 16 points and ZERO rebounds. Kyle Korver scored 6 points in 30 minutes. Nobody else on the team has stats even worth mentioning. It was so bad KURT THOMAS registered minutes! I thought Kurt Thomas died years ago! (and by that I mean I thought he got traded to Milwaukee OHHHHHHH God I hate the Bucks).

-The Bad Quarter. I feel like a broken record. Nearly every game the Bulls stop playing the way they should for one whole quarter. They rush shots, take too many jumpers, stop switching on defense, and everything falls apart rapidly. Common sense was they couldn't pull that against a great team, and tonight they played one of the two teams they can't pull that against in the Eastern conference. Some nights the bad quarter is because the team on the floor is the entire second string for 8 minutes. Sometimes it's because the Bulls get jumper-happy. Whatever it is, it needs to be addressed and remedied by the end of the regular season. Luckily, after the Bulls play the Celtics on Friday 10 of their 14 remaining December games come against teams with losing records, and two of those games against winning teams are against the Pacers and Knicks.


Lots to be upset about tonight, but I'm not going to jerk my knees and declare the Bulls in a state of emergency after one game. This was just a perfect storm. Everybody had a bad game, there looked to be some confusion due to Boozer's arrival, and that bad quarter reared its head again. I doubt this will all be fixed before the Celtics game, but looking at the schedule ahead there's a lot of hope that the Bulls can mesh in December and come out of it looking like they can challenge Orlando and Boston for the Eastern Conference.

Prognostication Bukakke, Championship Week

The Prognostication Bukakke draws to a close this week, as does the college football regular season, and my impregnable 21 game lead over Iggins! has more or less made continuing after the end of the college season a pointless exercise. For this week, however, I've decided to offer more potential humiliation for Iggins! (and possibly myself) by adding my fiancee to the ring, despite the fact that she was unaware of the existence of the Big East Conference and can't tell you the difference between the AFC and NFC. So here we go, with this final, special edition of the Prognostication Bukakke for 2010:

Standings:
Code Red: 129-66 (72-43 NFL, 57-23 NCAA)
Iggins: 108-87 (66-49 NFL, 42-38 NCAA)

Onto the picks:

Illinois @ Fresno State
Code Red:
Last year Illinois was a terrible team that lost to a much better Fresno State team after a pass on a two point conversion was deflected and caught by a Fresno lineman who rumbled in for the winning score. This year a much better Illinois team takes on a Ryan Matthews-less Fresno team and I don't expect another let down. Illini win.

Iggins!: Quite right, also I would like to take this space to feel sorry for Boise State, who left for the Mountain West to try to gain some respect… and then TCU, BYU, and Utah promptly left. So… the Mountain West is basically the WAC now, right? Illini wins.

Mrs. Code Red:
Since I have no real idea who is more likely to win any of these games, I’ll just make random guesses. I pick Illinois because I’m from that state.

Northern Illinois @ Miami of Ohio
Iggins!:
Northern Illinois has been absolutely crushing people, and Miami backed into this game because of an Ohio loss. NIU wins.

Code Red: Indeed. Go NIU.

Mrs. Code Red: Northern Illinois. a) They have a better record b) I’m still from Illinois c) I can’t stand that the other school’s name is Miami of Ohio. That’s just stupid.

UConn @ South Florida
Code Red:
Not a lot of games this week, so just about every game that wasn't a conference title game made the docket. Because the Big East blows, UConn can make the Orange Bowl as a four loss team if they win here. I'll pick USF out of spite for everything and everyone.

Iggins!: A Big East team making a BCS bowl is an unparalleled travesty. It will be made worse when USF wins.

Mrs. Code Red: Hmm… I'll go with UConn, because blue and silver looks better than Gold and Green.

USC @ UCLA
Iggins!: Wow, how the hell do you lose to Notre Dame? I’ll take USC to win, but GUFFAW right at Kiffykins.

Code Red: My lead is impregnable, so I’ll take UCLA just because I want them to win.

Mrs.Code Red: The Pac10 kind of blows this year. I’ll go with USC because I like the outfits their cheerleaders wear, even though they really aren’t very good since they got in trouble for paying that guy in BJs or whatever.

Code Red: Well, I'm glad that's what you got from my explanation of why Reggie Bush lost the Heisman.

SMU @ UCF
Code Red:
I know nothing about either of these teams. I'll take UCF.

Iggins!: Oh yeah, UCF wins big.

Mrs. Code Red: I didn’t even know what these acronyms stood for. I’ll go with Southern Methodist since I sort of thought about applying for grad school there, and also because I still don’t know what school UCF is even after I looked it up.

Middle Tennessee State @ Florida International
Iggins!:
Middle Tennessee just hired Dan McCarney. I will take FIU.

Code Red: I have no idea who the hell that is. Is that the guy that used to coach Iowa State? I’ll take Jonathan Quinn’s alma mater, Middle Tennessee State, because something about the name makes me laugh.

Mrs. Code Red: Middle Tennessee State? Sure, why not.

Code Red: Whenever I say Middle Tennessee State I say it like Monty Burns saying "there's a New Mexico?"



There's a Middle Tennessee?

Oregon @ Oregon State
Code Red:
This has normally been a huge roadblock for Oregon on its quest for national title game slots, but I don't think Oregon State has the weapons on either side of the ball to keep up with the Ducks. Oregon wins handily and heads on to the national championship game.

Iggins!: God likes to shit on non-AQ schools, so Oregon wins.

Code Red: Non-what?

Mrs. Code Red: Oregon. I recently decided that since my dad lives there and I once watched a really good game in which this team won, they are now my back up to my back up team.

Code Red: Ironically, that was actually an Oregon State game we watched, but whatever, she's on a roll.

SEC Title Game: Auburn vs. South Carolina (NEUTRAL SITE)
Iggins!:
See above, Auburn wins.

Code Red:
It should be a high scoring affair, but much like last time, I expect ole Stephen Garcia to make just enough boneheaded turnovers to offset his generally good play and Auburn will lock up their title shot as well.

Mrs. Code Red: Auburn. They’re undefeated so I bet they’re better.

Code Red: Thorough.

ACC Title Game: Florida State @ Virginia Tech
Code Red:
Oh look, it's the two premier teams of this league, and neither one is actually that good. The ACC in a nutshell. I'll take Virginia Tech, because I'll never shake my life-long dislike of the Florida State Seminoles.

Iggins!: Florida State is epicly mediocre, I will take VaTech.

Mrs. Code Red: I agree with Red. The ACC sucks. I’ve never been able to remember which teams are in it, probably because none of them are worth remembering. I’ll take Florida State, mainly because Red doesn’t want them to win.

Big 12 Title Game: Nebraska @ Oklahoma
Iggins!:
Because I think it’s funny, Nebraska wins the Big 12 and promptly leaves forever.

Code Red: That would be amusing, but I have a feeling Nebraska’s offense will do one of its disappearing acts again. Oklahoma wins.

Mrs.Code Red: I am going with Nebraska because I live in the middle of Cornhusker-ville and it’s annoying when they lose and that’s all anyone talks about. Also, when I try to be interested in local teams, I don’t really mind rooting for the Huskers.

Well, there you go. NFL picks tomorrow.