Game Notes: Bulls at Hornets
A recap of last night’s game down in ‘Nawlins.
by Toney Blair
— My man Kevin Griffin is shooting Fan Fest for the Hornets, as part of the 2-Cent team. Check them out, a positive force in today’s Big Easy.
— Press room reunion of the legendary Greytone Hit Squad, a.k.a. Comcast Chicago personality, Aggrey Sam and myself. Shout out to everyone who recalls our hijinks from the ‘07-08 run, like Taylor Smiley and Ron Hitley. We made you proud last night in the Quarter.
— Aggrey is mum on whether Derrick Rose is playing.
— The Hornets got wise and contracted with trumpeter/entrepreneur Irvin Mayfield to promote local music at the game. Tonight, that means a quartet, featuring trombonist Corey Henry with drummer Derrick Freeman on a stage near one of the tunnels. Corey is like the Kurt Thomas of the brass band scene—hardcore vet forever on the grind, a beast as a youngster and still makes your squad better, just a pro’s pro. Derrick has a project called World B. Freeman. Good to see them getting paid.
— Tonight is ‘80s night. Side ponytails on the in-game entertainment.
— DRose comes out. Nice. So does Chris Kaman.
— ”He’s a Scorpio and a terrible dancer, number 13, Joakim Noah,” says tonight’s PA Announcer, Will Ferrell. Hammer of Thor! Yep, from a platform at center court. The Hornets are preceded by Don’t Stop Believing. “He doesn’t speak a lick of English, but we still love him, number 15, Gustavo Ayon.” “Ironically he hates Italian food, number 8, Marco Belinelli.” Nice job by the team getting him here. The Rubix cube outfit for Hugo ain’t bad, neither.
— Luol Deng hits a three to make it 7-0. Ricky Bobby still standing with the rest of the crowd. Hornets take a TO at 9-0, most of the crowd elects to remain seating after the break. Emeka huge jump step lay-in ends the awkwardness.
— Kaman in for Ayon. What to say? Demps doesn’t deserve this, and I hope he’s been promised greener pastures for staying quiet. Caveman hits a nice baseline jumper, another from the elbow, Bulls up 15-8.
— Joakim alone on the break, 21-8.
— Mardi Gras season means the return of the creepy ass King Cake baby mascot. I’ve been having nightmares about that thing for four years now. I hope he breaks his head in this scooter race.
— Kaman bucket greeted by a clip of Chewbacca where once we had CP3 and Rick Flair. Dude hits another just after the buzzer, but has 10 in the quarter, 23-16 at the end of 1.
— The ’80s were all about fluorescent colors. Why?
— Twenty middle-aged ladies dancing to Rock the Bells during the break. Starting to wonder if Will Farrell is in charge of everything tonight.
— Terrible shooting from the Bulls’ second unit.
— Xavier Henry, Ariza, Aminu, Vasquez, Kaman cannot take advantage. Repeat, cannot take advantage. 31-16 Bulls. I don’t see X-Henry having the leeway to throw away behind the back passes.
— In the 1980′s, Jarret Jack was very into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kaman liked the Cosby’s and Alf, which makes sense. He sings the Sesame Street theme song, at least what he remembers of it. XavierHenry was not born then.
— The 80′s thing works for the Honeybees.
— Gustavo Ayon skips in for a lay-up, gets the obligatory you’re-Mexican-so-Ole!-sound clip. Gonna think about that. Hand on the Pump?
— CJ Watson would start over Jack. He’d also throw a cross-court pass out of bounds.
— Derrick Freeman sings Let’s Go Crazy with a decidedly un-crazy enthusiasm level. Prince still was the best halftime show ever. And this is a sadly sensitive world that can take offense at MIA instead of celebrating the emptiness that is all things Super Bowl-related, her included. Next year, Lil Wayne will bring Diplo out to grab his crotch in the Superdome.
— Last year, the Bulls couldn’t buy a point against Miami in the Playoffs. He’s hurt tonight, but do you really think Rip Hamilton will fix that? And I like dude.
— If I ever saw CP3 seem to viscerally hate a dude, it was Kenyon Martin, but everything is a business.
— Beautiful Ayon putback! 35-24 Bulls.
— Awful, awful Aminu charge on the break. I sure hope this Draft is deeper than the Mississippi.
— Korver drains a three, lead back to 15. Okafor feathers a baseline jumper. Dudes look tired on both sides. Gonna take Will Ferrel and the ’80s every night to keep people interested ‘til May.
— Belinelli and one! That dude is fine Italian soda water to my bellyaching!
— Aggrey texts that he’s unimpressed with the band.
— 44-31 at the half.
— In the press room, I hear teenaged screams from the tunnel. Ron Burgundy crossing?
— Good to build with the god. Was reading an old Greytone today, from the Dallas-Hornets series, when we roundly pronounced the Mavs dead and Dirk eminently tradeable. Know it alls. Today we agree the Bees are bad and should run the offense through Kaman. See you in three years.
— Kaman checks back in with 7:30 left in the third. I’m all for Ayonamania, but if you’re shopping someone, why not start the German Olympian?
— Up 20, Thibs is in Playoff pacing mode. He may be our next Popovich/Sloan animated lifer to watch. Shouting plays and being irritated.
— DRose fouls Belinelli on a three attempt. Hell, why not?
— I’m about to be in a timeout promotion led by DJ Rob Nice. Always interesting to see the amount of work the supposedly “lucky job” guy has to do before the camera comes on.
— Brewer blows a dunk, begs for it back on Jo’s rebound, misses that shot. Goaltending on Emeka against Derrick’s lay-up. Other end, the MVP out-jumps Kaman for the rebound.
— Bulls love quick passes in the paint.
— Kaveman reverse layup. You’re down by 27. Run the offense through that dude!
— I haven’t eaten McDonalds in 18 years and a free Egg McMuffin ain’t doin’ a thing to change that.
— Kaman dunks, and one. Dudes are playing hard. They’re just getting their shots blocked, being outrebounded, and allowing shots to get off cleanly, basically because the talent gap is that large. Down 70-46 at the end of the third, and playing their asses off. Scary.
— Nowhere near the proper amount of attention is being paid to this situation. The League-managed team has the least talent, the least hope, and apparently no chain of command that allows them to make deals. They’re kept cheap for a hypothetical buyer, perhaps to travel light to Seattle or wherever. What passes for optimism: new rumor that Saints owner Tom Benson is interested. Not a big fan, but any owner is better than this. Permanent blight on Stern era and a major storyline for the season.
— Hadn’t thought of this, but I wonder if Thibs is aware of the Louisiana tradition of Boudreaux-Thibadeaux jokes. I’d give an example, but they definitely won’t translate.
— Kyle Korver hot off the bench.
— Looking at eight minutes of garbage time. How about “Poison” and t-shirt guns? Off the top, I can think of at least a few trusted-a-big-butt-and-smile incidents in my life.
— Omer Asik seems out of breath and looks strangely enough like he could be from Pittsburgh.
— Kaman’s picks are atrocious elbow brushes.
— Taj Gibson holds his offensive game in high esteem.
— Beat It. I was in a spot called Jazz Daiquiris the night Michael died. Right place, right time.
— Without Gordon, the Hornets lack anyone who commands any special attention on offense.
— White Mamba time with 3:00 left. I always thought Black Mamba was the kind of name Tracy Morgan would give himself. I dig everything about aging Kobe, too, most of all his explanations of what it means to be old and grizzled.
— Air Guitar Cam creates some suggestive hand gestures.
— Final score: 90-67.