Revenge is sweet isn’t it? All is right in the world and the Bulls beat the Hornets 102-97 on their home floor. Last week was a totally different story after Charlotte absolutely hammered the Bulls. This game was much better than a twenty plus point beat down. I will take a win over a blow out loss any day of the week but that’s my personal opinion.
This game did not really answer many questions but it is a start. The Bulls have been really inconsistent and that trend continued. This team has yet to put a full game together but the effort was notably different from the last time these teams played.
I thank God for Jimmy Butler often and I think you should do the same. Jimmy went through struggles early on in this one but still ended with 27 points on 8-16 shooting. His effort defensively was great all night even though Batum could not miss a three connecting on 5-6 of his opportunities. Jimmy countered that effort by closing out the game for the Bulls. Butler backpacked the Bulls down the stretch and it is clear that this is Jimmy’s team.
Joakim Noah, BACK. Well kind of. Jo was all over the place tonight and it was good to see some spring in his step. It looks like his surgically repaired left knee is fine after some soreness that kept him out of the game in Philadelphia. Joakim only had 3 points but tallied 18 rebounds. He was doing things that Joakim Noah does and that is yell, fight, and try to get every loose ball. When Noah plays hard the Bulls usually follow suit. Sure it is one game but it would not shock me if Noah returned to the starting line-up soon after another bad game from Nikola Mirotic.
Speaking of average games, Tony Snell was nowhere to be found tonight. As soon as Dunleavy gets healthy and is back in the starting lineup Snell is going to have to fight for some minutes. I see a possibility of him dropping out of the rotation completely considering Hoiberg’s trust in McDermott and E’Twaun Moore. McDermott was not spectacular tonight but hit a couple of nice shots. Moore is turning into a good bench piece to have. He doesn’t make many mistakes, he is not afraid to shoot, and he plays into his role. Moore finished with 11 on 5-6 shooting.
There are still so many questions with this team that are still not being answered. One of them being, which Derrick Rose are you going to get every night? Rose finished tonight’s game with 10 points and 8 assists. He continues to not shoot the ball very well but it is encouraging to see those assist numbers rise. He still has double vision so I am going to be patient. If I broke my face I am pretty sure I would never play basketball again. So give it a little time.
Pau was consistent shooting 7-13 and scoring 19 points. Gasol’s bread and butter is the elbow jumper. He had that going tonight. I’m not expecting the same type of numbers that we saw last year from Pau but he is a crucial part of this offense. If the Bulls are going to do anything in the postseason they will need Gasol.
Tonight was a bad night for Bulls twitter, as Capt. Kirk Hinrich returned. He even got minutes ahead of Aaron Brooks, which was a little bit of a surprise for me. When Brooks gets hot from the field he is tough to stop. However Aaron refuses to run any type of offense and is a liability on the defensive end. Hinrich was limited to 10 minutes tonight and it looks like Hoiberg might go to him more than we expected. Kirk is not dead yet.
Overall a good win for the Bulls. It was nice to get some revenge. It was only the ninth game of the season and the Bulls have a long way to go. The good news is that the Bulls have time to find answers. Only time will tell.
Here is a box score courtesy of ESPN.