Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat: Chewin' on Taj Gibson

Chicago Sports NoiseContributor IIIMay 17, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 15:  Taj Gibson #22 of the Chicago Bulls dunks against Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 15, 2011 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Sometimes you never know what you have until it unexpectedly disappears. In the case of Chicago Sports Noise, during my recent hiatus I have continuously been pestered at local watering holes for not adhering to the daily regimen of my unpaid, secondary occupation (blogging) and thus have decided to get back on the proverbial pony.

Since my last blog, the Chicago sports scene, as well as the United States as a whole, is a fairly different place: Starlin Castro's batting average has dropped 87 percentage points, the Bulls are in the Eastern Conference finals and the CIA picked off public enemy number one's dome like Mark Wahlberg in the opening scene of Shooter. Also, with the Easter holiday not far behind in the rear-view mirror, I didn't want Chicago Sports Noise's resurrection to be overshadowed by that of Jesus Christ. Alas, in the words of General Douglas MacArthur, "I shall return."

Still, with the Cubs and Sox playing like the Rockford Peaches and The Bad News Bears respectively, there is only one team resonating in the minds of Chicago sports fans. That team, of course, is the Chicago Bulls.

In one of the more captivating good vs. evil spectacles in recent memory, the Chicago Bulls and their 22-year-old NBA MVP find themselves entangled with the villainous equivalent of Wallstreet's Gordon Gekko, the Miami Heat.

In Game 1, the Bulls and their highly-touted "Bench Mob" put together perhaps their most convincing effort of the season. In holding the King of Cowardice to only 15 points on 5-15 shooting, and disrupting the otherwise rhythmic flow of the Holy Triumverate's offensive cohesiveness, the Bulls have solidified themselves as legitimate contenders in vying for the Eastern Conference crown.

Much of the positive reinforcement can be directed towards Taj Gibson. The Bulls reserve forward finished with nine points and seven rebounds in only a 23 minute body of work. To go along with his gawdy numbers, he provided the Bulls faithful with two of the most scintillating throwdowns I have seen in some time. It was almost as if Harold Miner and J.R. Rider were released from the penitentiary and morphed their talents into Taj like a plot line hijacked from the Monstars in Space Jam.

Fittingly enough, the name Gibson is already synonymous with good things in the Chicago loop. As a restaurant, the Gibson's name has represented delicacy in the form of porterhouse steaks and succulent seafood, yet often leaves you with a dine-in check that feels like you just sponsored the entire Baldwin family in a $1 per mile walk-a-thon. Plus, Gibson's is also prominently featured on The League, so you can't go wrong.

On the other hand, Taj is a blue-collar bruiser whose business-like approach has rendered him as a wildly successful backup and an attractive name whenever the Bulls are amidst trade talks. As consistent as he has been though, Sunday night was the Taj Mahal. Not only did he provide the Bulls with a boost of mammoth proportions with his defense on LeBron, but as I mentioned prior, his dunk on D. Wade had the superstar feeling a role reversal like he was recently cast on Wife Swap.

In reality, this Bulls team is looking more and more like an eclectic assortment of talent that Gar Forman's pockets will only be able to afford for a few years. I mean, Asik is dating Miss Ohio, so clearly his stock has never been higher. Taj is making NBA legends look their jumping with ankle weights on, and Ronnie Brewer and CJ Watson have both proved to be guards who can get in a third-tier team's starting rotation.

So, with the Bulls stock as a collective unit higher than the pins on the Hancock, this might be the year for the Bulls to retain the NBA prominence that was so prevalent in the 90s. Chew on that, Chicago.

As for Pick of the Day, the Pulse Man likes the UNDER in the Dallas/OKC Game 1 matchup. The Durantula and the Scorin' Foreign and we're taking the UNDER? I suppose. I trust the Pulse Man more than sexually active women trust the Nuva Ring.

Lastly, if you haven't done so already, check out and grab some gear before the brand blows up. My man Dave Mauro is behind the lucrative enterprise that is Realm Sportswear, so you know there has to be a women's bikini in the Realm repertoire.

Pick of the Day: Oklahoma City @ Dallas, total points-195-OVER

Record: (65-52-0)

Now I'm done. Rack me