Great Bulls D? Poor GS shooting? Maybe a combination of both. The Bulls finally get a win, and they needed one if they want to revive the season. With two potential blowouts coming in the next two games against the Celtics and Lakers they really needed this one to have any chance to stem the bleeding.
When you think about it, it makes the NJ loss hurt all the more. Still, the record at this point isn't nearly as big a problem as the play.
The one thing that's really gotten me lately is the way we defend the pick and roll. Noah steps out to show on the pick and roll, but then immediately turns and chases his guy to the basket. This ultimately slows down the guard momentarily, but then after that moment both the guard and the big man are free for a second while Noah's moving to recover and Rose is still trying to get in front of his man.
The Bulls interior defense typically rotates to get in position to help Noah on the roll man until he gets a chance to recover as well, but then this forces everyone to do a half rotation for a moment and then rotate back. Good teams have just picked this defense apart, because there are moments where there are multiple open players with chances to get to the basket or hit jumpers.
The main problem is that they use this coverage on almost every pick and roll. If they mixed it up to have a full trap, Rose go under/over the screen, or a full switch occasionally then their defense would probably be more effective. While the hybrid fake trap is pretty effective at giving you the best of both worlds, it's effectiveness wanes when it's used so often teams see it coming.
As for the win, it was largely due to the front court. Taj, Noah, and Miller simply used their size against a Golden State team that was playing small virtually all game. Mikki Moore, Radmonovic, and Randolph were their "big men", and the Bulls used their size to kill them with their trio posting 39 points and 38 rebounds shooting 18/32 from the field.
The Bulls guards struggled something fierce all game. Rose, Salmons, and Hinrich combined to shoot 15/50 from the field and put up only 32 points. Why the Bulls didn't force the ball inside more given that their guards were throwing up a brick fest and Warriors had Corey Maggette guarding the Bulls center for big chunks of the game is beyond me.
Luol Deng had an okay game overall, he played an insane 52 minutes to put up his 21 points, 6 assists, and 6 boards, and took 20 shots to do so. Still given the crapfest that was the rest of our perimeter players, Deng was again a bright spot more so than a negative.
James Johnson had three minutes of action, and now that Hinrich is healthy that's probably what we can expect going forward. Not that I blame Vinny, who's coaching for his life at this point, but it makes his recent statements about playing Johnson more laughable. He had several weeks he could have played him considerable time while only "sacrificing" minutes by Lindsay Hunter and didn't do it. Now it's too late. Opportunity wasted.
I'm glad the Bulls got a win. I'm not in the "let's tank" mode as this team could still turn it around, but this game didn't show me much that makes a turnaround seem likely. We lost to one of the worst teams at home a few days ago, and needed OT to beat another one of them today. It's still not good.