Call the Chicago Bulls “Streak Killers”. Yet another team went into Chicago with a double digit winning streak, and yet again the Bulls were happy to end it. First it was the Bulls beating the Miami Heat to end their 27 game winning streak a few weeks ago, and the Knicks were the latest team to have their 13 game winning streak snapped in the Windy City. No Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah or Taj Gibson, no problem. The man who carried the Bulls for most of the night was a familiar one to Knicks fans, as point guard Nate Robinson did his best Rose impression, and put the team on his back.
Robinson scored a team high 35 points last night, with 18 of them coming in that crucial fourth quarter. Robinson also hit five huge three point shots, and was instrumental in the Bulls coming back from a 17 point deficit in the third quarter. The win not only ended the win streak for the Knicks, but also helped push the Bulls a half game ahead of the Atlanta Hawks for the fifth seed in the East. I know regular season games mean nothing come playoff time, but if these two teams should meet again, you have to think the Bulls will have the psychological edge having beat the Knicks four times this year. Even without many of their key stars, the Bulls are still a physically imposing team, and will not back down from anyone. As a basketball fan, one could only hope that these two teams meet again in the playoffs, where some bad blood will surely resurface.
It appeared briefly again last night as well, as Novak and Robinson have a little feud going on. When Nate Robinson hit a three pointer over Knicks player Steve Novak, he looked right at Novak and did the “championship belt” right in Novaks face. This isn’t the first time Robinson has done this to Novak, as it happened earlier this year, with Novak throwing a little dig at Nate afterwards. Nate replied on Twitter later on, saying..
While the championship belt celebration was made famous by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ( and State Farm’s discount doublecheck commercials), Novak has commandeered the celebration for himself, while being mimicked by thousands of basketball fans after they hit a three point shot. Different sport, no harm done.Novak has done this celebration for a little while now, and if Novak hits some three’s and does the belt, you know the Madison Square Garden faithful would be pumped. The problem lately is, Novak hasn’t been hitting his three’s as well as he can. So when Novak was in the game last night for over 12 minutes and held scoreless, Nate Robinson was lighting it up, and wanted to make sure Novak and the Knicks knew it. Robinson did the belt celebration repeatedly towards the end of the game, which was actually pretty hilarious.
So things between the two aren’t on good terms, but who cares, it makes the Knicks-Bulls rivalry that much more fun. Nate Robinson is a great player, and I used to love watching him when he was on the Knicks a few years ago. While he is a normal height of 5’9″, whenever I see him out on the court running around with players who are extremely tall, I need to remind myself that Nate is actually a normal sized man, not a little person. Despite him being short (in the basketball world) Robinson has constantly hung around and played active roles in the NBA. He won’t let his size be a disadvantage, and Nate plays bigger than he actually is. Just look at this block he committed on Raymond Felton last night. Or how about when Nate dunked over Dwight Howard in the dunk contest back in 2009?
Nate Robinson is a great player. While some teammates and coaches have been known to get sick of Robinson’s attitude, it seems like the Bulls are embracing their little point guard, who brings energy and enthusiasm on a nightly basis. If this team can get back to being healthy, they will be an extremely formidable opponent, not that they aren’t already. The Bulls will carry their swagger and physical intensity into the playoffs, and there will be some team in for a rude awakening once they play Chicago.