StreetWise vendors know their sports! StreetWise volunteer Bill Coats and vendors Russell Adams, John Hagan and Vince Collaso (below, left to right) talk about why they are grateful for the Chicago Bulls this Thanksgiving.
Vince: Today what we’re going to talk about is the Chicago Bulls and what we’re thankful for with what they’ve got this year. What are we thankful for, John?
John: The Bulls’ addition of Pau Gasol. With him in the lineup it takes a lot of pressure off Derrick Rose, and it puts him in a situation where Rose can take better shots and he can even take some time off. It helps out in terms of Joakim Noah. It also eases his inside game. Pau Gasol, he can do a little of both, inside and outside … He can do a better job of shot selection, and that will be better for the Bulls offense, too.
Bill: He’s had what, three or four double-doubles?
John: Yeah. That’s pretty amazing. What’s even more amazing is he’s had a triple-double.
Vince: Russell, what do you think?
Russell: I agree with John. [Cameron] Bairstow. I’m thankful for him. Without him, they wouldn’t be so good. And they got a point guard, [Aaron] Brooks. He’s pretty good. I don’t know how they get these guys every year. They seem to get these guys out of nowhere. Last year, [D.J.] Augustin. Before that, Nate Robinson … But now, I’m very excited. Now we got some offense. We have over 100 points a game! For the first time in, what, two years? No more fourth quarter meltdowns like last year.
Bill: What I’m grateful for is [Jimmy] Butler. I just think he’s coming of age. I really didn’t think he would be as good as he is. When he’s had his opportunity, that guy is really playing … He’s a force. And with Taj [Gibson] and him coming off the bench, Judas Priest, that’s just not right. It’s brutal. I think we’re going to see a really great offensive year now. Vince, now you mentioned defense. Are they going to be able to do it?
Vince: Well, that was their strength, and I’m thankful for the offense definitely. Defense, though, my concern is, we know they’re not going to have that shut-down defense that they used to have, but can they at certain times turn that on and turn the defense up? Because sometimes offense is not going to be clicking. Sometimes the shots are not going to fall. If you can fall back on the defense, you’ve got a complete team. To me, the Bulls, dare I say it, are Spurs-like. And I’m going to leave it at that.
Bill: That’s high praise.
John: But the question is when push comes to shove, can they beat San Antonio in the finals? It depends on the defense, too … The Bulls need a good mix of both, good offense and shut-down defense occasionally.
Bill: How about these young guys? They’re gifted, right, Russ?
Russell: Yeah, [Doug] McDermott. He’s pretty good. He needs more playing time, I think. I think he’s going to come around. It’s kind of early right now. I think defense is going to come around sooner or later. We saw signs of it last night [Monday, November 10]. I mean, they played tough defense. They shut them down. They had to.
Bill: So we’re grateful for that, too.