An Improving East, Rose’s Buzzer-Beater, DeRozan’s Game 2, Ticket Prices, and Other Bulls Bullets

As the camera panned over to Steve Kerr and Taylor Jenkin in last night’s Warriors-Grizzlies game, a simple question popped into my mind: What would be my coach quirk?

Would I be a sideline pacer, a hand waver, a sit-on-the-bencher, a croucher, a clapper, a sweater? Billy Donovan is clearly a chewer. He’s almost like a baseball manager in that regard, as I’m positive he completely pulverizes a stink of gum over 48 minutes with those rigorous chomps. For me, though, I think I would be an impossible-reader.

I might be one of the worst people to watch a game with, and I have to imagine that would quickly translate to the sideline. While I’ll internally freak out about an awesome play or a bad call, rarely do I ever show any emotion on the outside.

Remember when DeMar DeRozan hit his first buzzer-beater this season? Yeah … I didn’t move a muscle. Remember when he hit his second buzzer-beater *literally* one night later? I merely mumbled “wow.” Again, my insides were screaming in disbelief, but my skin seems to act as an impermeable wall to most emotions derived from sports.

Another good example is that famous clip of Jay Wright as Villanova wins the National Champion on one of the most iconic shots in college basketball history. As Jenkins hits the buzzer-beater, Wright looks completely unphased. And that would surely be me.

https://twitter.com/TheCauldron/status/717238312356982785?s=20&t=n9UN2YIakMDK2yJQwyojQA

I know it’s super weird, but I blame my journalism degree and all those years spent in the press box. Curse you, education! 

•   Jason Patt brought up an important point:

•   We’ve already talked about how desperately this team needs to add size and shooting, but we should emphasize the “why.” The fact of the matter is that teams like the Bucks, Celtics, and 76ers likely aren’t going anywhere in years to come. Sure, it’s always possible some superstar asks out and an organization suddenly finds itself in rebuild mode, but none of these franchises appear to be near that ballpark. The Bucks aren’t losing Giannis Antetokounmpo soon. Joel Embiid probably isn’t going anywhere. The Celtics will now surely keep Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown together after this season’s turnaround. Heck, the Heat might be getting up there in years, but they still have an encouraging future with guys like Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro.

•   We also can’t forget about the East’s rising squads. The Hawks still have Trae Young and a recent Eastern Conference Finals appearance under their belt. The Cavaliers took a massive step in the right direction this season with two emerging stars in Darius Garland and Evan Mobley. Charlotte has a potentially generational talent in LaMelo Ball. Oh, and even the freakin’ Detroit Pistons have some real upside with No. 1-overall pick Cade Cunningham leading the way. I guess all I’m trying to say is the East is no longer the inferior conference. There is a tremendous mix of young and veteran talent on this side of the NBA map, and it only stresses further why the Chicago Bulls have to invest in the right talent moving forward. If they can’t continue to fill holes, they’re going to get stuck in the middle of the pack.

•   DeMar DeRozan sat down with the Chicago Sun-Times for a quick Q&A, and he only gave one wrong answer! When asked to rank the top-3 players to take a game-winning shot, he listed Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James … in that order. Considering DeRozan is a massive Kobe guy, I can’t say I’m surprised in the slightest. But we also all know the right answer is MJ. Sorry, DeMar.

•   Happy Anniversary to one of the most memorable shots in Chicago playoff history!

•   DeMar DeRozan’s Game 2 against Milwaukee was the best playoff performance since that Rose buzzer-beater, right? Our only other option would be some game in the Three Alphas vs. Boston series from 2016-17, and I can’t think of anything that stands out more than DeRozan’s 41-point takeover. Seriously, even with this most recent series ending in a quick five games, I’ll never forget that individual effort. He shot an absurd 15-31 from the field on a blizzard of contested jumpers to tie up a series against the defending champions. The Bucks were already guarding the All-Star starter pretty darn well, and this game forced them to put practically all their defensive attention on him for the remainder of the series (and, spoiler alert, it worked). Yes, the overall outcome was bitter, but I think this singular DeRozan performance belongs in the Bulls’ history books.

•   No one is surprised.

•   I don’t see anything malicious here, but the optics aren’t great. Hopefully, Ja Morant doesn’t have to miss any games because this series has arguably been the most entertaining so far.

•   Someone tell Billy to put this in the playbook!

•   HAPPY MOM DAY!!

•   The Cubs played two … and they lost two.

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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