Chicago Bulls @ Dallas Mavericks…2/28/14

Bulls @ Mavs

This would be the last game of my Texas Tour.  I was excited, but a little sad.  I’m so happy that I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to see my boys play three times in Texas.  While I really miss seeing them play in Chicago, I was thrilled to see them play in my current home state.  I was nervous about this game because the first time we met the Mavericks this season, it was a blowout loss.  I tried to get to the arena early enough to see them all shoot around, including Derrick.  But, unfortunately, traffic did not cooperate and I didn’t get to see any of them shoot.  I was in the perfect section; It was baseline closest to the Bulls bench and it was filled with Bulls fans.  I was so happy to see that.

My view of the court.

My view of the court.

At around seven the teams came back on the court for the official shoot around.  I went camera crazy!!

During the game I didn’t take any pictures.  I just focused on the action on the court.  There wasn’t much action on the Bulls end to start the game.  The more they got down in points, the more I started to squirm in my seat.  I was so upset.  I didn’t come all this way to see them blown out again.  UGH!  They got down by as much as 16 points in the first half.  Fortunately they got it together in the 2nd half of the 2nd quarter and came within 3 points to end the half.  At least now I had some hope.  When the guys came back out for the second half, we now had the Mavs shooting on my side of the court so I snapped some pictures of them.

The third quarter had a lot of back and forth play.  Neither team really dominated.  But at least I got through it without keeling over.  The fourth quarter was the quarter that FINALLY got my team going and ME going too, for that matter!  I hadn’t screamed and yelled very much during this game…until NOW.  The defensive pressure that my team put on the Mavs is really what won us that game.  My boys were relentless.  They went after every loose ball.  I think my very favorite play is when Dirk was dribbling the ball (somewhat carelessly) and he sort of fumbled it.  In that instant, Jo pounced!  He literally dove for the ball and quickly called a timeout to maintain possession.  I was leaning over screaming “Time out!! Time out!!”  And finally the ref made the call.  THEN I was going nuts.  I guess I felt the game in hand at that point.

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Jo grappling the ball away from Dirk

And really the rest of the game was all BULLS!!  They won it by a close 100-91, but it was all done in the fourth.  I think this was one of the best games I have ever seen my guys play.  Usually when they get down by that much in the beginning of a game, they don’t make it up.  They lose those games.  But tonight was so different.  They never gave up.  They just kept fighting back.  And that tells me so much about where their heads are at right now in the season.  They truly believe they can win.  They truly believe they can beat ANYBODY!!  And now they’re just proving it over and over again to all the non-believers.  I know that they are going to shock a lot of people who have been overlooking & dismissing them in the race for a championship.  They’re not just out there playing with a lackadaisical attitude.  They’re out there to take it as far as they possibly can.  I’m a believer…have been!  But there’s a renewed fire in this team that gives me chills every time I watch them play.  I’m so proud to call myself a BULLS fan!!!

 

 

 

Chicago Bulls @ San Antonio Spurs…1/29/14

Scan 3Before I bought the tickets to this game, I called my brother up to see if he wanted to come with me again.  When he agreed, my next question to him was, ‘How much do you want to spend on tickets?  What’s your max?’  Once we agreed on an amount, I got to work getting us the best seats for that price.  And what I came up with were these plaza level seats behind the Bulls bench.  The seats were not as close as my Houston seats, but they sure gave us a great view of the court.  I was very happy with the choice.  I took some photos of the guys as they shot around before the game.  Unfortunately, since traffic was so horrendous, we got there much later than I had planned.  We only got to see the official shoot around.  Here are some shots:

I had decided against wearing my Noah jersey because the Bulls lost both games I had worn it to (last season in San Antonio and against Houston in December).  I rocked a Chicago Bulls jersey I’ve had for years.  I guess that did the trick because my boys played great basketball against the Spurs.  Granted, the Spurs had several key players out…Ginobli, Leonard, Splitter…but so did we.  And my Bulls just played a stronger game.  They outscored the Spurs in 3 out of 4 quarters.  They played incredible defense, especially Noah against Duncan.  Noah was up in his face the entire game.  I love when he plays like that!  He didn’t shut Duncan down, but he definitely contained him.  My boys started strong and ended strong.  I was screaming and cheering through all four quarters.  The only time I got a little quiet was when the Spurs made a run in the 2nd quarter.  Thankfully my boys kept pushing and held onto their lead.  I was surrounded by Spurs fans.  They didn’t say anything to me, but I’m sure they didn’t appreciate me cheering for the Bulls.  Luckily I had one guy in front of me who was as enthusiastic a Bulls fan as I was.  During one of the time outs, I captured the guys in their huddle.  Derrick had already started traveling with the team, so he was involved in every huddle.  During this particular timeout, he could not stand still.  I was laughing because I didn’t think I’d even be able to capture him in these photos because he kept moving back and forth.  You can see that in each shot he’s in a different spot.

Ultimately my boys ended the game 10 points over the Spurs.  I hung out until Noah left the floor.  I screamed out his name, but I was too far away for him to hear me.  Once again, I had a blast and so did my brother!!  So happy I treated myself to this game.

Chicago Bulls @ Houston Rockets…12/18/13

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When the Bulls regular schedule came out for the year, I made a very important decision.  I decided that since I live in Texas, the home of THREE NBA teams, I should take full advantage of that by going to see my team play each of these teams:  Houston, San Antonio, & Dallas.  The Bulls only play each of these teams twice during the regular season, once in Chicago and once in each respective city.  As a diehard fan, what could be better than to see my team play in Texas since I couldn’t see them play in Chicago??  After a little thought, I dove right in to the ticket search.  Within a week I had purchased tickets to all three Texas home games.  I was super psyched, but I had a lot of time to wait until my first game, which was against the Houston Rockets in December.  Not only was this my first time to Houston, but it was my first time in such incredible seats.  I was  baseline, next to the Bulls bench, fifth row back from the court side seats.  I was so happy!  I wanted to get to the game early so that I could see the guys shoot a little bit.  I took a cab to the arena because I was afraid there would be a lot of traffic getting down there.  Unfortunately, I made a really bad decision.  There was no traffic and cabs are super expensive in Houston.  Now I know better.  When I got in front of the Toyota Center, I snapped a quick photo.

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I was so excited that I practically RAN to my seats.  As I was walking down the steps in my section and started to realize HOW close I really was, I got really nervous.  Then to top it all off, who do I see shooting the ball right in front of my face when I actually get to my seats??  YES, my boy Joakim!!  I was a mess.  I started shaking and freaking out inside.  I almost forgot to take pictures.  But here they are:

I stopped taking pictures so I could actually enjoy watching the guys shoot around.  These were the best seats I had ever had to ANY game.  I was in total heaven.  After awhile, the guys left the floor and didn’t come back until the official shoot around with their jerseys on and the music blaring.  It was getting real.

I was looking forward to seeing them play.  I knew that Houston was going to be a very tough opponent, but I stayed optimistic.  Unfortunately, even though my boys got off to a decent start, the Rockets quickly took over the game.  They pretty much led the entire game.  During one of the time outs, I snapped a picture of the huddle.  Man, did I want to jump in there and do some yelling at them too!

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The Bulls were down 12 at the half.  When the teams came back at halftime they had switched sides.  I figured since I now had the Rockets in front of me, why not snap some photos of them?

The second half belonged to the Rockets.  Even though I was lucky enough to sit by some Bulls fans, I still got pretty down about the game.  With less than a minute left, I finally gave up and left.  The final score was 109-94, Rockets.  I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy the game, but I was very disappointed in how my team played.  December turned out to be a really tough month for them.  But it definitely fueled their drive to win in January.  I guess they needed a really bad month to push them to do better.  I was now looking forward to my next game against San Antonio in January.