Trying something different tonight.
Stay up with me here and on social media starting at 9:30 for a live blog of the Bulls/Warriors clash tonight at Oracle Arena in Oakland, it’ll be the best rambling on a random February inter-conference NBA game that you can get from beyond a paywall.
More on tonight’s contest:
Bulls-Warriors preview (ESPN)
Warriors’ Andrew Bogut, David Lee out (ESPN)
Team stats (from Bulls.com scoreboard):
Bulls — 24-24 record, 92.2 ppg (30th in NBA), 42.2% FG (29th), 44.6 rpg (10th)
Warriors — 29-20, 103 ppg (11th), 45.7% FG (10th), 46.1 rpg (2nd)
9:23 pm — Reasons for this live blog: this is the team I’m devoted to (the Bulls) against one of the teams I’m still most infatuated with in the League (the Warriors).
A lot of people are somewhat down on GS right now given their middling place in the Western Conference standings right now, tied with out-of-nowhere Phoenix in W-L and currently sitting sixth in the west. I appreciate the Warriors for what they are, though: a streaky team that when hot with their shots can run anyone in the NBA out of the gym. Steph Curry has stayed healthy this year and he’s been rewarded with his first all-star selection and his first all-star start, I’m more than ready to see the Bulls’ perimeter defenders chase him down.
9:31 pm — Meanwhile, the Bulls are as maddening as ever (and as mad as ever). This is a team that has taken on some of the characteristics of a dysfunctional team as of late — Boozer’s speaking out on lack of clutch minutes, Noah trying to re-enact Scarface quitting his job in Half Baked, etc. — but this team can still put together fantastic all-around performances like in their win Tuesday at Phoenix. For the last time: there will be no tanking in Chicago, the United Center is a tank-free zone because to a man the Bulls won’t give up a game if their lives depend on it. That’s why they are a good bet to take tonight’s game, that and two of the Warriors’ three front line starters being out.
(Seeing no Boozer for the Bulls as well — it would have been nice to see if he could string together another solid double-double performance, and to see if he could withstand the sometimes random physicality of Draymond Green, who’s starting in place of Lee for GS).
9:47 pm — Bulls can play up-tempo with this GS team as constructed tonight and with Taj on the floor early they got a good 5 energy-wise. Just out-playing the Warriors, moving the ball well and taking advantage of slow feet and weak help-side D.
10:02 pm — Missed this graphic cause I’m watching WGN. Courtesy of @jose3030 on Twitter.
10:06 pm — End of 1st: 29-16 Bulls.
10:12 pm — Warriors really don’t have the wherewithal tonight to compete with a squad like the Bulls, who are in a good position to win with impact tonight. And DJ Augustin… man.
10:14 pm — From @ajbulls on Twitter:
10:20 pm — Warriors owning the 2nd quarter so far. Small lineup playing a different up-tempo game — more shots, rebounds coming outside the paint, up and down. And stuff is falling, thats always going to be the difference between GS trying to compete and GS setting the tempo in a game.
10:28 pm — Noah’s got nothing tonight so far. Would hate to have seen Bogut in this game. Warriors within 3 now.
10:29 pm — @SamSmithHoops notes that Bulls were up 23-8 when Hinrich last was on the court, now up 42-39. Kirk returns with 2:53 left in 2nd.
10:36 pm — Steph Curry a bad little man. 16 in the 2nd quarter, 6-7 shooting, 22 for the game so far. GS now up 50-46. Not surprising.
10:38 pm — Halftime. Still 50-46.
10:41 pm — 20-6 run to end the half for GS, according to @CSNBullsInsider
10:45 pm — Taj leading the Bulls with 14, Bulls losing turnover battle 11-6 and rebound battle 20-21, did not see that coming with Lee and Bogut out, so maybe GS really is a good team rebounding unit. Bulls shot 67% from 3 and GS only 27, but Warriors took 11 treys compared to three for the Bulls. Curry’s two from long range seem more important than any jumpers the Bulls hit, the Bulls really were working when they drove the ball into the paint and that got shut down with the quickness in the 2nd.
10:54 pm — Bueno? No bueno?
If the Bulls do lose because Curry scores 50+ I don’t know if I’ll be that mad.
11:23 pm — Just sitting watching the 3rd quarter. Bulls have done a good job staying the game but GS just hit its biggest lead of the game off a transition layup by Andre Iguodala. Bulls have struggled to convert first, second and even third opportunities on the boards, not a good look.
@chicagobulls says Taj has his 7th double-double of the year (18 pts, 10 reb)
11:41 pm — Taj picked a good night for this type of game. Keeping the Bulls in it himself.
11:55 pm — Noah still three points shy of a potential triple-double. Would be nice if he shot well enough to already be there (3-8). Gibson has been less than efficient as well in his high-scoring, 26 point game (9-22).
Only positive +/- is Kurt’s (+9) on 7-11 shooting for his 15 points. Also has three steals and only two TOs, surprisingly only one assist. Noah leads all with 11 dimes.
12:00 am — Small dagger: running floater(c) by Steph to make score 96-87 GS with just under 1:30 left. Curry now with 34.
12:10 am — Big dagger: Jordan Crawford 3pt with 51.8 sec left. 99-87 GS.
That’ll about do it. Golden State overcame a slow start and took care of a tough Bulls team at home and it didn’t even need any raucous noise from its crowd. The Warriors have the talent to do major things this year, at times they haven’t looked like the team that thrilled so many up until getting eliminated by San Antonio in the postseason last year but they are still working through injuries and I think working through their expectations both internal and external, but when the time comes they’ll be ready to ball.
As for the Bulls, tonight was a bit disappointing but not surprising — once again, the team just doesn’t have a gun to match the sharpest shooters in the league and GS has two of them — the Splash Brothers (Curry and Thompson) scored a combined 56, the Bulls’ six scorers beyond Gibson scored a combined 61.
Also, Taj didn’t reach a new career high, so no solace to be taken there.
Final: 102-87 Warriors.
The Bulls are 2-3 on their latest road trip and return to action Sunday afternoon at the Lakers (2:30 pm, ABC).
Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio and Kyle Means on Twitter @Wrk_Wrt