The Bulls had lost something. They looked everywhere for it, called information, prayed to St. Anthony, but they just couldn't find it. Without it, they couldn't win games. Then Drew Gooden showed up with it, and magically, the Bulls won their game last night against Sacramento.
What did they lose? Defense. Defense, of course!
The Bulls' downward slide since Christmas was triggered by injuries to the Bulls' few players who could actually play on both ends of the court. Though the team had been without Kirk Hinrich for sometime, the twin injuries for Luol Deng and Drew Gooden is what sunk the team. They needed their defensive skills, especially in post play, to win some games.
Luckily, Gooden returned last night, played 32 minutes, pulled 10 boards and scored 18 points. He made the difference for a Bulls team that appeared to be dead in the water. Deng is set to return soon, and the Bulls face a favorable schedule to make up for the ground they have lost in the past few weeks. Though some think it's better for the Bulls to tank the season and clean up on draft picks, they are too close to being a playoff team to give up so easily.
This weekend, the Bulls will face two of the most terrible teams in the league, Washington and Oklahoma City in the United Center. They will have Gooden, Gordon and Rose firing on all cylinders, with Gooden leading the way on defense. They will have Vinny Del Negro ... ok, that's not exactly a plus. But besides VDN, Chicago has no excuse to lose on Friday and Saturday.
You know the neighbor who you hear yelling at the TV during various sporting events? That's Maggie Hendricks, a lifelong Chicagoan who has fond memories of attending Bulls' championship rallies and taking Michael Jordan for granted. She also writes for Cage Writer, Yahoo! Sports' MMA blog, and worked on Fourth-Place Medal, Yahoo! Sports' Olympic blog.