United Bulls Stand
(Sports Network) – Outside the United Center in Chicago is a statue of perhaps
the greatest basketball player ever to lace up the hightops.
The likeness of former Bulls superstar and six-time NBA champion Michael
Jordan measures 17 feet tall, but his contributions to the Bulls and the
league were immeasurable. On the base of the bronze structure it reads,
“The best there ever was. The best there ever will be.”
Boy, isn’t that the truth.
Jordan’s “presence” at the United Center is probably a big reason why the
Bulls own an impressive 24-8 record in the Windy City this season. Scott
Skiles’ bunch has won the last three games at home, and will play eight of
the remaining 16 regular-season games there. The Bulls also own an 18-3
record at home versus Eastern Conference foes, a sweet stat since they are
currently fifth in the East standings.
Skiles could use the services of Jordan, circa the 1990s, but he has young
guard Ben Gordon to rip the nylon. Gordon is the only player in the NBA
averaging 20-plus points per game in less than 33 minutes of action, and
posted 48 points in a 126-121 overtime victory at Milwaukee on March 4.
In Tuesday’s win over the Boston Celtics, Gordon only had seven shots for 11
points but opened the door for rookie Tyrus Thomas and Ben Wallace. Thomas had
a career-high 23 points and nine rebounds, while Wallace finished with a
season-high 19 points, 16 rebounds, three blocks and four assists.
Gordon, who is averaging 21.3 points and 3.6 assists this season, owns 43
games in 2006-07 with 20 or more points, 11 outings with 30-plus points and
three contests with 40-plus.
Born in London, England, it’s always tea time for Gordon when he hits the
floor. The Connecticut product has led the Bulls to three straight wins and
victories in nine of the last 12 contests. Gordon and the Bulls will stray
away from the friendly confines of the United Center, as they hit the road for
two games at Philadelphia and Memphis.
Chicago, which will play the 76ers on Wednesday at the Wachovia Center, is
13-20 as the visitor this season and 8-3 overall since the All-Star break.