de-lu-sion-al (di-loo-zhuhn-al)

1. suffering from or characterized by delusions

2. refer to post game comments by Joakim Noah on Sunday 9th March 2008.

“With our style of play, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have beaten that team…I think Detroit’s a great team, but I still think we are better than them, really. I feel like we’re a better team.”

This is almost approaching Tough Juice levels of delusion. I should have known the guy was a few bolts short of a bolt set and prone to brain-fades after seeing his ridiculous outfit on draft night. I’m trying hard to understand where those comments come from, I really am, and I’m guessing its because up till this game Joakim had never lost to the Pistons in his young career. So perhaps we can simply put it down to a cocky rookie statement and move on… but that wouldn’t be any fun. So instead I’m going to break his comments down word by word and maybe then we’ll be a little closer to understanding where this pearl of wisdom came from.

“With our style of play…” – What style of play would that be Joakim? A jump-shooting team with a tendency to take low-percentage shots and an inability to recognise when their jump shot isn’t working? Doesn’t seem like such a good “style of play” when you’re team is shooting a woeful 42.7% from the field which only puts them behind… no wait, it does make them the worst shooting team in the league. Combine that with the fact that your team’s inside scoring presence consists of Drew Gooden and I’d say your “style of play” is pretty darn terrible. Drew Gooden should never be the #1 inside option on a team, by law. The referees should really be whistling for “illegal offense” any time the Bulls look to Drew in the post unless A) it’s to run a give-and-go play or B) it’s because Kirk Hinrich is the only other player on the court. Kirk Hinrich should not be allowed to shoot under any condition – it’s just not good for your “style of play”. Oh, and you also have Larry Hughes.

“There’s no reason we shouldn’t have beaten that team…” – Ahh yes there’s actually a few reasons:
1) You gave up 34 points to Chauncey Billups, a player who has mostly looked to defer to his teammates this season. But thanks to your lousy defense he found it easy enough to equal his season-high by shooting 9-12 from the floor.
2) You got absolutely roasted on the boards, 42-28. Since you’re now a starting centre you might want to grab more than 5 rebounds against a Detroit front-line that has no centre and is missing Rasheed Wallace. Hell, you even let Theo Ratliff grab 8 rebounds and he is 47 years old.
3) Your “style of play” worked relatively well for Ben Gordon (27 points, 10-12 shooting) but the rest or your cruddy team shot 40%, highlighted by a craptastic 2-10 performance from the amazing Drew Gooden.
4) You gave up 116 points and when that happens you generally lose, especially when it’s to a team who is one of the slower, lower scoring teams in the league.
5) You guys have 25 wins and are currently sitting 10th in one of the weakest Eastern Conferences we’ve seen in years, while the Pistons have 46 wins and the second best record in the league. I’d say logic would dictate the Pistons “should have beaten you”.

“I think Detroit’s a great team…” – Whats that? You may just be starting to save yourself a little credibility here. Yes Detroit is a great team, they’ve made five straight Eastern Conference finals which is five more than your current team has made. Nice to see you showing some respect. Maybe I’ll forgive you for the previous two sentences…

“..but I still think we are better than them…” – Ok you blew it again. I guess you think you’re the better team because of the three earlier victories in the season? Never mind the belting you guys received on the hands of the Pistons in last year’s playoffs. I’d admit you guys would have a chance to redeem yourselves come playoff time, but you’re probably not going to be in the playoffs. You’ll miss out thanks to better teams such as the Philadelphia 76′ers and the Atlanta Hawks. They are real playoff teams. Your Bulls are not. Still think you “are the better team”?

“…really…” – You sure?

“I feel like we’re a better team” – Right. Well I guess that just about does it. Thanks for your time Joakim. Good luck for the rest of the season. Hope your “style of play” fares you well and that you can learn a few post moves from Drew Gooden without him having to do them in a game. Enjoy your time off in May and June. Maybe if you can spare the time you should jump on a flight to Philadelphia to catch a playoff game. They’re a young and exciting team Joakim… you’d love their style of play.

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