So act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means.
- Immanuel Kant's Formula of Universal Law
Everybody got to sleep in and we didn't even need a shoot around. I'll just ask Timmy and Manu to play hard for the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half and we should be good to go. Do I smell Cinnabon?
- Gregg Popovich's Formula of Winning at Target Center
Screw moral victories in individual contests. Let's get that out of the way. What really matters this season is that the Wolves are no longer a means to the end of getting out of town as quickly as possible. They are taken seriously. MVPs get irritated and feel the need to acknowledge their rookie counterparts. Opposing defenses turn two bigs to face Agape the Oregonian Rebounding God when shots go into the air. Rival scouts giggle with joy when Wes Johnson and Darko Milicic are still allowed to start. Visiting coaches actually have to make in-game adjustments instead of hitting the Kurt Rambis autopilot button.
The Wolves were beaten by the better team. Fine. What really matters is that they're close. They're close with Agape and the Spanish Unicorn and not much else. With just these two guys, they are no longer a means to an end. They are existentially defining who they are and that very act gives them dignity. It gives them purpose. It makes the Wolves an end unto themselves. It makes the inability of the front office to surround these two with a competent wing player all that much more infuriating.
As for the actual game, here's all you need to know: 47/30. That's Chicago's rebounding advantage. The Bulls shot 53.1% from the field and outrebounded the Wolves by a wide margin. Thanks for playing. That's really it. There's nothing else.
The rebounding poster play of the night came from Anthony Randolph (Randolph the Grey--NONE SHALL PASS!!!...h/t to Dave from Chisholm...buy his CD from the link on the left sidebar). When Derrick Rose daggered the Wolves with a late contested 3, he was only able to do so after Randolph the Grey failed to block out Omar Asik, who collected the oreb and tossed it out to Rose for the trey. That's the game in a nutshell. The Wolves gave the Bulls extra possessions on a night where they were shooting well. As I have said over and over and over and over: this isn't rocket science. Make easy defensive rebounds. Problems solved. Again, not rocket science.
- Wes Johnson should never see the court again. Unless that court is involved in an ISU rec league.
- Darko should only see the court when the....well, he can play with the ISU rec league too.
- Forget all the talk about Rose being the best point guard. He's not the best point guard. What he is is one of the best 10 players in the league and a fantastic athlete. Everything else is gravy.
- Derrick Rose is great but let's not forget he is also surrounded by some pretty damn good players. The Bulls only have 2 players on their roster with a wp/48 below .100. That's insane. Super deep, super good.
- The Wolves only had 11 turnovers.
- Rubio had 12 assists and 13 points. We're looking at at least 37 of the team's 100 points. Adding in the 3s, he accounted for 42% of the Wolves' scoring. Derrick Rose assisted for 25 points with his 31 points. His 56 points accounted for just over half of the Bulls' scoring. He played 6 more minutes than Ricky. As dagger as Rose was, Ricky was pretty damn close in terms of overall production. He even added rebounds and steals.
- The less we say about this D-Thrill game, the better.
- Anthony Tolliver and Randolph the Grey should handle all the team's non-Love 5 minutes from here on out. This shouldn't be up for discussion as Darko is terrible.