Sometimes, you’ll find a game on the schedule that means just a little bit more to one side than it does to the other. It could be for a number of reasons, often as much for the psyche boost rather than for the ‘W.’ Last night’s Bulls/Hawks games in Atlanta was one of those nights … That’s not to say that the Chicago Bulls didn’t need to get a win in Atlanta versus a Hawks team that is now 18-9 at home. They are battling for the best record in the Eastern Conference and need to keep winning to avoid having to potentially face Miami and Boston in back-to-back playoff series. It’s more to say that the Hawks’ 83-80 win was absolutely necessary for Atlanta. The Hawks have struggled all season against the few good teams they have played (they’ve had one of the easiest schedules in the League so far) and aren’t in danger of becoming the League’s “worst good team.” They already are. Atlanta’s is at the beginning of a stretch that includes match-ups with nine playoff teams in 10 games. They desperately needed a statement win, even if it was at home and even if it was at the expense of a Kyle Korver air ball at the buzzer … Josh Smith sat this one out because of an injury (sore right knee) and Chicago jumped out to a 14-0 lead to start the game. But Al Horford (31 points, 16 rebounds) was an absolute beast (despite what Amar’e has to say about him), bringing Atlanta back during a huge third-quarter run that gave the Hawks their first lead of the night on a final-minute pick and roll with a dunk … If the Derrick-Rose-is-not-the-MVP movement is ever going to gain ammunition, last night was the time to do it. He was off all game long (5-21 from the field, 12 points), his struggles signified by one drive to the tin in the last two minutes that ended up getting smashed back into his face by Marvin Williams. Also, on the game’s final possession, Rose missed a potential game-tying three. But, he should be allowed one mulligan, considering that he’s been as consistently good as smoked buffalo chicken all year … Will the real Knicks please stand up? Read More »
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