Jimmy Butler just-so-mildly out-clutched the Memphis Grizzlies with a terrific fourth quarter performance that sealed his visiting Chicago Bulls’ good road win, 108-104, against a superior Memphis Grizzlies team. Jimmy G. Buckets, as Stacey King calls him on home broadcasts, had 9 of his team’s 13 final points in the game’s last four minutes and forty-two seconds.
But what was going through the heads and hearts of stressed out Bulls fans/reporters before, during, and after the ESPN nail-biter?
FIND OUT. RIGHT NOW.
So much excitement over the Bulls’ mediocre backup center. WATCH OUT, DEYONTA DAVIS. CRISTIANO FELICIO IS COMING FOR YOU:
Dwight Howard (17.2) & Cristiano Felicio (17.1) are the only 2 players in the NBA who play >10 mins per game & have a 17% or more OREB%— Mark Karantzoulis (@MKarantzoulis) January 15, 2017
Below, you’ll find Rip Hamilton proving he hasn’t actually watched a Knicks or Grizzlies game this season — or a Bulls or Grizzlies game since 2013, for that matter:
This jerk from Pippen Ain’t Easy is thinking so short-term:
1-0 in their last 1 game! https://t.co/C26GGL570o— Alex Kirschenbaum (@kirschhoops) January 15, 2017
Bulls reporters agree.. the Grizzlies really should win this game. Chicago finish the quarter having missed 11 of their last 12 shots from the field, in addition to the free-throw stat below, and yet.. the Grizz only finish the first quarter up 19-14.
The Bulls have started 2/9 from the foul line.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) January 16, 2017
Captain Obvious over here:
The Bulls so far: missed 12 of 17 shot attempts and 7 of their 9 free throw attempts.— Pippen Ain't Easy (@BullsBeatBlog) January 16, 2017
It hasn't been a good first quarter. pic.twitter.com/veahCXADN1
Here you’ll find Chicago Tribune Bulls beat reporter K.C. Johnson trying desperately to talk himself into back-up point guard Rajon Rondo not being a horrible waste of $14 million and change:
That's a pretty spectacular bounce pass from Rondo— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 16, 2017
Sure, it was a nice pass, but come on, you guys. Calm down:
Another Look At Rondo Bounce Pass To Doug https://t.co/NkrJSMiYWM— Gustavo Vega (@iamvega1982) January 16, 2017
The simultaneous push-pull of supporting the slow-as-molasses Robin Lopez:
This is both the slowest-looking chasedown I've ever seen and a total celebration of life. https://t.co/AoTATkStQD— Daniel Coughlin (@xvanwilderx) January 16, 2017
National media throwing shade on ESPN’s game selection tonight:
cavs-warriors tomorrow i am so ready and so thankful— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) January 16, 2017
Fred Hoiberg in his infinite wisdom decided to start little-used second round German rookie Paul Zipser tonight. Midway through the second period, Doug McDermott has scored 15 in a row for the Bulls (he’ll wind up with 20 in the quarter alone, all told). That’s our Hoiberg!
McDermott with a “You guys can go ahead and start Paul Zipser over me if you want” performance— Sean Highkin (@highkin) January 16, 2017
#1 Bulls fan Dwyane Wade is apparently just enjoying the game and racking up All-Star votes from the comfort of his Chicago couch:
Doug— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 16, 2017
D-Wade is not the Bulls only Hall of Famer to notice Doug McBuckets having the best half of his NBA life.
Doug McDermott prospering in the Mississippi River sea level air of Memphis with 2nd 4-pt play of qtr; McDermott 20 pts in qtr w/5 mins left— Sam Smith (@SamSmithHoops) January 16, 2017
Keeping things in perspective:
Lopez calling for the face-assist might be the best thing from the Bulls this season.— FanRag Sports NBA (@FanRagNBA) January 16, 2017
Gasol has 20 points with 7:22 left in the third. He’s averaging 19.3 points this season. Don’t think Bulls folk haven’t noticed.
Marc Gasol always kills the Bulls. I have no stats to prove this theory but I'm 90% sure it's true— Bulls Confidential (@BullsConf) January 16, 2017
CSN Chicago putting the damper on Bulls fans' second quarter vibes here in the third:
I cannot stress enough that Rajon Rondo signed a $29 million two-year contract this summer:
Rajon Rondo hasn't shot a FT since Dec. 16. He hasn't made one since Dec. 6. (I'm subbing for @Bulls_Jay on that tidbit tonight.)— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) January 16, 2017
Doug McDermott, you the real MVP:
Doug doing work in the post. How many other "shooters" can do that?— JimmyButler #NBAVote (@BullsBlog) January 16, 2017
Doug with the Dirk fadeaway to start the fourth. He's having a special night. pic.twitter.com/E70um46ANz— Stephen Noh (@hungarianjordan) January 16, 2017
Elsewhere, the sheen of Rajon Rondo’s one cool bounce pass in the first half has worn off:
Ball stuck in rondos hand that possession forces felicio into tough midrange fade at end of possession. Don't need that now #BullsNation— Paul Steeno (@KingSteeno) January 16, 2017
Grindfather doing work:
Tony Allen is just hounding McDermott. Making Doug work so hard to get open— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) January 16, 2017
NBA.com has gotten into backhanded, passive-aggressive trolling, I see:
There is only one tweet I need to share with you here, one that perfectly encapsulates exactly how every Bulls fan watching this win — yes, win — felt after the game.
The Bulls are not good, but they have Jimmy Butler, so they usually have a decent chance of winning— Ricky O'Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) January 16, 2017
Again, that was the one Tweet that I needed to share with you. What follows below are just Tweets that I want to share with you. You’re welcome.
After several hours fraught with rampant fan chatter and NBA.com trolling, Robin Lopez finally addresses that magnificent accidental face-pass.
Basketball is in danger of growing stale. I'm taking it strange new places. #IWouldLikeASinglePlumFloatingInPerfumeServedInAMansHat https://t.co/3TEFbLnjBE— Robin Lopez (@rolopez42) January 16, 2017
Aaaand let’s just close out this whole Rondo conversation with some sage words from Jason Patt.
If Rondo is going to be around, him simply feeding Doug and not playing in crunch time is the optimal usage of him.— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) January 16, 2017
ESPN’s Nick Friedell documents the reason Jimmy Butler came alive in the fourth quarter and willed his team to the win: a trash-talking Grizz fan. Definite shades of MJ using random slights as inspiration.
Butler has been having a back and forth with fan behind bench for the entire 4th. As he walked to bench he stared as if to say: "Like that?"— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 16, 2017
Butler as he heads back to floor to fan: "You're trying to talk to me? Why?"— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 16, 2017
The fan now to Butler: "Don't do that to me!" Butler looks up and smiles.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 16, 2017
Fan to Butler: "How are you going to do that to me?" Butler smiling to fan: "I'm sorry. I love you, man."— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 16, 2017
Fan talking to his buddy in the stands about his conversation with Butler: "I pissed him off."— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) January 16, 2017
...Adorable. One more:
This has been your View From The Enemy.