It was fitting.
Michael Jordan is soaring high, larger than life outside the United Center.
Now, inside the building and in full color, Scottie Pippen has his eyes on everything.
The Bulls unveiled a bust of Pippen at halftime of their trouncing of Boston Thursday night. The statue of the Bulls legend will be displayed inside the United Center as a tribute.
Pippen was unquestionably a key cog in the Bulls dynasty era, but few would have pictured this honor when he left the Bulls organization on bad terms in 1998. Now he now a regular fixture at games with courtside seats. In the playoffs he will be doing game broadcasts for CSN Chicago. He is again part of the Bulls family.
He needed to be honored in a way that distinguished him from Jordan — while the two are forever linked through titles their roles were different, their styles different.
This is fitting. Pippen was gracious in his acceptance and threw bouquets to the Bulls fans throughout his talk.
Those fans — and Pippen — went home happy. Good times are back with the Bulls. And as part of that, honoring Pippen is fitting.
The Bulls suffered a rough loss in Boston last night.
It didn’t get better afterward.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge – who played for Boston in the 80s – pleaded ignorance to any nefarious plumbing:
I think the idea that teams plot to shut off the visitor’s hot water is often overstated. Arenas have complex infrastructure, and things can go wrong on their own. Sometimes, the home team loses hot water, but that never gets remembered.
But reasonable excuses don’t make a cold shower in the moment any more tolerable.
Robin Lopez had reason to be upset from the Bulls’ Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.
This miss was all on him.
Dwyane Wade (26 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists) was the Bulls’ best player in their Game 5 loss to the Celtics last night.
But the 35-year-old guard clearly didn’t go all out on every possession.
Players can justify not closing out by claiming they were prioritizing rebounding position. Wade clearly has no such excuse.
The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.
One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.
We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.
Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.
If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.
For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.