IntentionalFoul.com is back up and posting, and to celebrate our first day of the new launch, here’s DeMar DeRozan dunking all over Tyrus Thomas in what was the most impressive play of last night’s sports action. Granted, as a UK fan, seeing Tennessee and Louisville both lose at home to unranked teams was pretty grand as well, but neither game had anything as ferocious as DeRozan’s “Let’s make a poster with Tyrus Thomas” dunk.
Hell, even Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan had to acknowledge DeRozan’s one-play victory.
Ben Gordon’s hamstring is hurting, and there’s doubt concerning whether or not he’ll play against the Celtics tonight; and while the reports reads like a little bit of a sandbag — or, perhaps for dramatic impact — if Chicago doesn’t have Gordon, there’s a good chance Boston will repeat the beatdown they handed out in Game 3. Whatever happens with Gordon, hopefully, Rose and Rondo can provide another for-the-ages battle of the new Point Guard Order.
While the Bulls fortunes are riding a great deal on Gordon’s hammy, it would be wise if Boston could get a little more inside presence to go along with the new Big Three of Rondo, Pierce, and Allen — or at least, they’d like to keep whatever remains of it, after the Powe and Garnett injuries, out of foul trouble. This falls directly on Kendrick Perkins, who would benefit from avoiding any tripping fouls, especially if he’s in danger of being disqualified.
It would also help Boston’s cause if Big Baby doesn’t shoot 4-16 either.
If neither of these occur, Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas will maintain the upper hand they established in Game 4. Tip-off is in about two hours.
The Chicago Bulls did a couple of good things last night. First, they routed the 76ers and second, they further secured a playoff spot — the seventh seed — as their record moved to 39-40. Leading the way for the “Baby Bulls” (something they’ve been called since they swept Miami two seasons ago) were Ben Gordon, Derrick Rose, and Tyrus Thomas. Both Thomas and Gordon scored 24 points (Thomas was 14-14 from the charity stripe), while Rose captained a steadily improving ship that’s seen the Bulls win seven out of ten.
The highlight of the game, for me, anyway, was the Rose/Thomas alley-oop in the third quarter. While it was a little early in the game to punctuate a victory, Thomas’ filthy finish helped do just that. As of today, the Bulls have a half-game hold (39-40) on the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with only three games left to play. Behind them sit the Detroit Pistons at 38-40. Provided these trends continue, the Bulls would play either the Celtics or Magic in the first round, while the Pistons would play LeBron and Cavaliers.
Could the Pistons and all their playoff experience derail the James Express? How about the Baby Bulls? Could they dispatch the defending champions (or Dwight Howard) in the first round?
“I really had to prove to myself that I was able to do that again,” McGrady said. “I waited for a long time coming back off that knee surgery. It was a great situation knowing that somebody actually challenged the dunk, not just going up uncontested. It was challenged and I felt pretty good.”
Now let’s see if McGrady can provide another essential for a team hoping for a deep playoff run — consistently healthy play. If he can do that, videos like the one above could become commonplace again. Bonus: I enjoyed the hell out of McGrady’s punctuating stare.