Derrick Rose only played 10:40, but he certainly wasn't needed as the Bulls destroyed the Nets 108-87 Monday night. Rose left the game for good with 2:54 left in the first half, but he sat out almost all of the first quarter with foul trouble and the Bulls didn't miss a beat.
As good as Derrick's first quarter was on Saturday in Milwaukee, the entire team played that well tonight. The Bulls shot 76.5% (13/17) overall and 80% (4/5) on three-pointers in jumping to a 35-14 lead after the first quarter.
Rose barely played in the quarter, picking up his second foul only 2:56 into the game. It didn't make one bit of difference, however, as Luol Deng scored 13 points on perfect shooting (5/5 FG, 3/3 3's) and Carlos Boozer and CJ Watson each had six points and three assists.
The game was over then, especially since the Nets were playing without Brook Lopez, Marshon Brooks, Anthony Morrow and Mehmet Okur. But since there is no quitting in the NBA, the teams had to actually play the final 36 minutes.
Watson took full advantage of Rose's absence as he flirted with a triple-double (14 points, 11 assists, 7 rebounds). Boozer was hitting jumpers from everywhere and he finished with a team-high 24 points on 9/13 shooting. Deng finished with 19 points, Brewer had 12 and Taj Gibson had 11.
Joakim Noah also continued his outstanding play as of late, contributing 9 points, 12 rebounds and five assists with two blocked shots.
Deron Williams had 25 points to lead the Nets, and former Bull Keith Bogans had 7, which is actually a pretty good night offensively for him. He complained about the Bulls before the game, something about how he didn't think it was fair that the Bulls cut him.
I'm a huge Kentucky guy and I love all former Wildcats, but come on, Keith, what did you expect? Yeah you started all season for the Bulls last year, but if Brewer doesn't come to camp injured you probably never would have seen the floor. It was obvious to the entire world that you were gone as soon as the Bulls had a suitable replacement at shooting guard, and they let you go right after they signed Rip Hamilton.
I'd be upset if I went from a title contender to the Nets, but if you had anything to offer to an NBA team you would have gotten picked up somewhere else. I was rooting for you as hard as anyone last season, but when your offense is horrible outside of wide-open 3's, your outstanding defense can only carry you so far.
Derrick is officially listed as day-to-day, you really can't ever tell with back spasms. If you've ever had them, you know that they can flare up at any time, sometimes completely out of nowhere. Rose is tough as nails, so I don't expect him to miss a game- but with the Bulls next two games being against the worst team in each conference (New Orleans and Charlotte) I think I would sit Derrick until Sunday, when the Bulls close out the road trip in Boston.
The Bulls moved to 21-6 with the win, the best record in the East. They are still percentage points behind Oklahoma City for the best record in the league, because Portland got royally screwed out of a win on a horrible goaltending call on Aldridge. He blocked Kevin Durant's game-tying layup with under 10 seconds left cleanly, but the official made a horrendous call and said it was a goaltend. The Thunder would go on to win the game in OT, which allows them to stay in front of the Bulls for now.
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