Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bulls are in it to win it

In Game 1, the Bulls were nine point underdogs. After shocking Boston with a 105-103 victory, the Bulls were ... 8.5 point underdogs in Game 2. Well, the Bulls couldn't quite pull off another upset, but they once again played with Boston the entire game and lost on a Ray Allen 3-pointer with just two seconds remaining. No one--including yours truly--gave the Bulls a real shot to win this series, but they have thus far scored at will and been unfazed by the defending NBA champions. Now the Bulls will try to do what the Blackhawks just did--win two playoff games at the United Center.

Ben Gordon kept the Bulls in Game 2 with 42 points, including six threes. But the Bulls were killed on the boards, allowing the Celtics to claim 21 offensive rebounds and take 96 shots compared to 80 for the Bulls. One would hope that the energy in the United Center Thursday will help the Bulls clean up the glass more effectively.

The young Bulls were once again composed, remaining calm despite going down by 12 in the first quarter. Vinny del Negro didn't always have his guys focused this season, but they've been locked in during the playoffs. It's also becoming more and more clear that the midseason trades made by the Bulls were good ones, as trade acquisitions Brad Miller and John Salmons combined for 33 points Monday.

Bulls notes
-The Bulls set a franchise playoff record with 14 blocks, including six by human pogo stick Tyrus Thomas.

-The Bulls shot 50% and scored 115 points on the heels of their 105 in Game 1--this despite the fact that Boston allowed just 93.4 ppg during the regular season, good for third in the NBA.

Samardzija watch
Jeff started for the second time Saturday, going six innings and allowing two ER on just one hit. He walked one and struck out five. The outing dropped Samardzija's ERA to 3.75.

-In other minor (league) matters, OF Jake Fox is absolutely tearing it up with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. He's batting .478 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in just 11 games. Fox was the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week last week, and leads the Minors in homers, RBI and hits.

In spring training with the Cubs this year, Fox played in 22 games, batting .350 with four home runs and 16 RBI. Fox is 26 years old.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like Jim Hendry also noticed Samardzija's strong outing on Saturday. I'm glad he's getting called up, but why isn't Neil Cotts getting sent down? He's beyond awful and is going to give Lou an ulcer if he doesn't stop walking people. Samardzija should be starting with Marshall helping out from the pen.