Even if they sweep the season series against Detroit, it wouldn't convince me that the Bulls can beat these guys in a playoff series. Although even for a team notorious for lackluster regular season efforts, you'd think after the first 2 losses the Pistons would've flipped their magic 'on' switch for this one.
Bulls needed this game bad after letting one go last night and knowing Luol would be out with his recurring myriad injuries (officially an issue). Hinrich did return from his injury absence but was pretty rusty (or bad, if you don't want to give an excuse), and if I were an official I'd pick on him for fouls too after seeing his act.
Ben Gordon was fantastic (13-13 from the line!), and 2 of the youngins, Noah and Thabo, played excellent. Even with Hinrich back, Thabo still received over 35 minutes, playing a lot of small forward in the 2nd half. Chris Duhon exited the game in the 4th after banging knees with Chauncey Billups, so despite Boylan's leanings towards Thabo going back to the pine, if Thabo's performance didn't put that to rest then injury circumstances will.
So maybe Smith and Noc need to get kneecapped to get Tyrus back in the rotation. I doubt his 6 nondescript minutes at an unnatural position (backup SF in the first half) tonight helped his cause. Boylan at least seems to be giving Noah guaranteed burn now, but I can't see Tyrus getting out of the doghouse any time soon. Amazing there can be such a roster crunch on such a bad team, but it's looking that way.
But even I'm getting sick of banging that drum. I can at least be happy with a big win coming with Noah and Thabo contributing. If it takes a scrape and crawl to .500 to belatedly get Tyrus back at that level, then so be it. To mediocrity, and beyond!
Oh, and for some reason I'm going to Memphis this weekend to see the Bulls play the Griz. It seemed like a good idea at the time. So posting and comment policing (::groan::) will be light for a couple days.