The Bulls defense was again smothering the Kings forcing turnover after turnover when the Kings were trying to make a run. The Bulls offense was shaky enough to allow the Kings chances to get back in the game, but the big difference this game was the Bulls shot 7 of 12 from the three point line which turned an otherwise tight game into a rout.
Thoughts of the game:
- Joakim Noah records another double double, and on top of it had 2 offensive put backs at a point where the Kings were making their last charge. Those boards and put backs were the straws that broke the Kings back.
- I don't know how I forgot to mention him originally, but John Salmons had a great night for the Bulls that could have easily been even greater. He shot the ball well, scored efficiently, and did everything we've been hoping John Salmons would do all season. That being said, he continued to pass up a number of wide open three attempts. Salmons clearly doesn't feel comfortable as a catch and shoot player, as he passed on wide open corner threes, and actually took an off the dribble around a pick three [which he made].
- The refs were terrible in this game in my opinion. I don't think they effected the outcome in any way, and they were biased for us more than against us. However, they were still terrible.
- Kirk and Rose combined for 3-21 on the night. Ouch. Derrick Rose lived up to his word about being more aggressive attacking the hoop, but he wasn't effective. Kirk biggest offensive contribution was throwing up both bricks that Noah was able to tip in to end the Kings run.
- Luol Deng started off dreadful, but after an 0-4 start, he finished 8-10 from the field reigning down mid range jumpers all over the place. It was great to see him shoot so well, but a part of me cries that he's not shooting that well from three feet further away. Deng's defense and rebounding were outstanding again as he continues to play at an extremely high level.
- Jannero Pargo didn't do much in the second half, but his 10 points in the first half over a 2-3 minute span propelled the Bulls to the big lead that they never relinquished. He was a big part in the victory.
- The Bulls continue to overpass as our shooters get scared to take open set shots. That's one thing to be proud of with Deng, when he gets an open shot in his range he just shoots it. Hinrich and Salmons pass up open jumpers repeatedly which is amusing given some of the off the dribble shots they'll take.
- Brad Miller had a fine outing and shot the ball well and used his up fake to great joy of all who watched.
- James Johnson finally had some quality minutes. He still looked a little lost on offense playing a bit too passively not really sure where to cut. On defense, he missed a box out a couple of times. However, he had an open 3, a break away dunk, a couple boards, and a block. When he gets his confidence back, I still think he can become a big contributor, and it was nice to see a glimpse of the good Johnson tonight.
- Taj Gibson provided the Bulls first two baskets. Everything after that was a trainwreck.
- Bulls defense continues to impress me. Their rotations are so sharp. They do an excellent job on the pick and roll of double/recovery so they don't leave their opponent with a mismatch, but don't let him get the shot off either. The level of help everyone is providing without getting caught is impressive as well.
- The Bulls really needed to win against Philly and Sacramento in case the rest of this trip was a train wreck. Mission Accomplished. It's all upside from here on out IMO. While I'm obviously hoping for a lot more, I'd be content with just 1 more win in the next 5 games knowing how tough this trip is.