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Bulls finally put together a complete game; top Suns 115-104

Derrick Rose continues to haunt the Phoenix Suns, as the Bulls have now topped the Suns in three straight games dating back to last season.  He must loving dunking on the Suns, because his two best in-game dunks have come against the Suns [at least off the top of my head] as he had a monster jam over Dragic tonight and the huge dunk on Barbosa last season.   The vicious dunk in this game was a momentum swinger which closed off the Suns last challenge to get back into the game.

This game featured some great offense from the Bulls which was a rarity, but the Bulls played a complete game holding the high powered Suns to a sub 40% FG% for the night.  Steve Nash in particular struggled playing far worse than normal.

Derrick Rose was absolutely dominant early in the game.   There may have been a point where he was better, but I remember checking the box score and seeing he was 9 of 11 from the field at one point early in the game.   He came threw for the Bulls finding John Salmons for an open kick out three followed by his own buzzer beating three at the end of the third.   The Bulls had fallen down by 1, but the 6 point swing put them ahead for good.

Now for some bad news, Noah reported that he's also dealing with plantar fasciitis, and that it's flaired up badly after the Clippers game.  Plantar fasciitis can be anywhere from annoying to crippling, and it can haunt some guys for a career, so we'll have to hope for the best there.  

On the plus side, Noah really had a tremendous game offensively hitting 9 of 10 free throws ad chipping in 19 points for the Bulls particularly in the fourth quarter where he scored eight and went 6-6 from the charity stripe.   This was one night where Noah did an outstanding job executing the pick and roll and making the Suns pay for trapping Rose.

On the majority of possessions when the Suns heavily trapped Rose, Noah was able to dive in and draw fouls, make a shot, and had a couple nice pass outs for open jumpers [though the Bulls only connected on one].     Noah even knocked down a couple open jumpers.

I don't know if it was the Suns scheme, but they seeemd to give Noah way more space after the trap than most teams do allowing him to get in deeper position.

Luol Deng scored 23, and he hit a clutch three off a Rose assist with the game tied at 77 in the third, but like most Luol Deng games, he did most of his damage in the first half, and scored only 2 in the fourth quarter.   I never thought I'd compare Luol Deng to Eddy Curry, but he really has a Curryesque ability to score early and be nowhere to be found late in the game.

Still, I don't want to rag on him too much, because he did hit big shots while the game was close in the third, and that was the real tipping point of the game.

John Salmons came up with a bunch of clutch plays tonight.   As mentioned previously, he knocked down a three at the only point in the second half where the Suns had a lead, and scored five straight points in the fourth when the Suns got within three, the closest they'd make the game again.   He only chipped in 14 points, but most of them were in clutch situations.

Kirk Hinrich played some outstanding defense on Nash all night long, and while his box score only looks average, his effort was a huge factor in giving the Bulls the victory.

Taj Gibson's most notable moment came on a scare where he skied for a rebound and fell flat on his back.   It appears that he just got the wind knocked out of him as he came back into the game, and I haven't read anything about his condition afterwards.

Tyrus Thomas would have had a great game if he didn't jack jumpers all night long, but he was very active when not shooting them.   Why he's hell bent on shooting jumpers I will never know.   It was great to see him make some big blocks, including a couple plays that went against him that shouldn't have, but you just wish you could flip the switch on for him to stop floating around the perimeter on offense.

All in all, a big win for the Bulls, the worst case scenario on the road trip now is come out of it seven games under .500.   As bad as it sounds, they could easily rebound from that and still make the playoffs in the east.

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  • i disagree with your tyrus comment. i recall him getting shut down 2, if not 3, times on otherwise easy lay-up/dunk attempts. his semi-impressive defensive performance last night was not enough to say he had a relatively impressive night. maybe you meant impressive in relation to how he's been playing recently.

    with that said, this game was one of the most exciting Bulls games this season that I have watched. we seemed to bring it the whole game (mind you i didn't start watching til halfway through the 2nd...as i was at work before then but still followed up on the score and boxscore) Hinrich really played hard, even if his numerous 3s were rimming out, they were all pretty good shots. The Bulls were fun to watch...for a team that can normally be rather boring or Spurs-esque.

    Further proves the inconsistences of this team. I get to watch again tonight. Hopefully Doug's not right about our performance on the backend of a back-to-back.

  • I have to come to the conclusion that the Bulls are schizo.

    They can't beat a depleated Warriors team, a subpar Clippers team, a GOD awful Nets team at home or hold onto a 35 point lead against the young Kings, but they can beat the the Central Division leading Cavs on the road, the Atlantic Division leading Celtics on the road, the Southeast Division leading Hawks at home and the defending Eastern Conference champion Magic at home.

    Go figure.

    To coin a phrase from Forrest Gump, "The Bulls are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get!"

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Your most cogent post ever, amazing!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Thomas, Johnson and Miller combined for 7 points off the bench.

    "PUTRID."

    I hope to God John Paxson and/or Gar Forman STEP-UP and make a smart trade that can help THIS YEAR'S Bulls team win more games. By the way, Nick Young last night...13 points on 5/10 FG Shooting, including 3/5 from the arc.

    Get him on the Bulls!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I was a big fan of VDN putting Hinrich on the PG and Rose on the SG last night, and I'd like to see more of this. I think until Rose gets better defending the pick and role, we are much better off having him defend the off guard. This way, his poor defense doesn't force everyone else to switch/help. Instead, it comes down to him and his man, either running off screens or in the post. This is what happened with Richardson last night. He started taking Rose to the post, and had some success, but not to the extent that PGs have against Rose (and the rest of our D because of the helping). Rose is strong enough and can jump high enough that he can contest shots by a bigger SG. Let's hope VDN noticed this.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    lord Tyrus Thomas has the worst court sense....endlessly out of position. as if he has never seen a game film and been told "hey dummy you are in the wrong place AGAIN."
    if they can't trade him then cut him, this has become to dreadful to witness

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Did you watch the Bulls last year? Because it is quite similar to what they were like last year. They have this bad habit of playing to the level of their opponents. Play great against great teams and terrible against the terrible teams. Plus its the NBA, you can't predict anything. A 10 point lead in the 4th quarter means nothing.

  • Nice and needed win vs. the Phoenix Suns.

    Not only did Rose score 32 points, but he helped raised $32,000 dollars for the Haiti Relief Fund.

    Great game and great gesture by Rose and his people.

  • The Suns are far from a defensive team, but Rose looked unstoppable. I think games like this definitely help his cause for the Allstar game and his/the Bulls' appeal to free agents this summer. I thought most of the guys played well. Good win.

  • I have thought this for some time now, but last night made it official. Tyrus thomas is the worst finisher/dunker in the history of the NBA, especially for someone who is supposed to be a freak athlete.

    I'd bet he shoots under 50% on his dunk, or at the rim attempts, that is attrocious.

    At the trade deadline, he will be like Devin Hester in 2006 and 2007, He Gone.

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