Bulls with a rare road win; easily beat Boston

The Bulls lead from wire to wire if I'm not mistaken, and the Bulls raise their record to 17-20.   I discussed the Bulls upcoming stretch of difficult games, and the Bulls take the first one of that group against Boston.   Even without KG, Boston's a pretty good team and was playing at home, so this was a big win. 

Game ball goes to Luol Deng who was scored 25 on the night getting the Bulls off to a hot start and carrying them all game long whenever they needed a score.  It's one game I won't even give him a hard time about shooting his 20 footer, though the off the dribble, defended 20 footer he missed when Boston was on the cusp of getting back into the game still made me mad.

Derrick Rose had a good, bad game if that makes any sense.   It was what I considered a grow up game in some ways, because he wasn't playing great, he lost control of his dribble repeatedly, and despite shooting well, scored only 17 points on 16 shots.   However, he did an outstanding job keeping Rondo off the glass which he struggled with last playoffs, and hit some shots when the Bulls needed them while most of his ball handling problems didn't result in turnovers.

It felt like Joakim Noah was getting beated by Perkins, but at the end of the night: Perkins 14 points (on 12 possessions) with 10 rebounds.   Joakim Noah 15 points (on 10 possessions) and 11 rebounds.   He had four blocks to Perkins five, but sometimes it's easy to forget that Joakim is starting to do a nice job dishing out some offense himself these days, and the big physical guys that beast him aren't always putting up better numbers despite a couple plays of physical dominance.

I thought Kirk Hinrich had an excellent game, early on and through the mid parts of the game he was really a big key in what the Bulls were doing. He did a nice job running the offense, playing defense, and hitting his shots tonight.  If Kirk could play like this every night the Bulls would be much better.

I've been thinking "head over feet" might be Taj Gibson's new theme song for Bulls fans.  "You've already won me over, in spite of me," ... [ouch I probably shouldn't be writing that I know these lyrics]..   Seriously, I can't think of any player who came into this team needing to do more to win over fans than Gibson, and he's pulling it off.   However, Gibson has improved immensely since the start of the year from a guy who looked like a 4th big man to a guy who could maybe be a legit 3rd big man. 

Look at his numbers compared to Dejuan Blair.  They really aren't all that different, and given the fact that Gibson (unlike Blair) has a better than 50/50 chance to still be able to walk in 3 years, you can't complain about this pick.  As it turns out, Gibson has been one of the steals of the draft.   Nice job on that pick, even if we didn't believe it at the time.

The Bulls bench put forth 14 points on 27 possessions [not counting turnovers].   That's just pathetic.   John Salmons couldn't throw the ball in the ocean, Tyrus Thomas couldn't get anything going on the offensive end.   On the other hand, Tyrus really made an impact on the game with his energy tonight coming up with six offensive rebounds and four steals in 17 minutes.   That's the type of stuff that lets you live with him not giving you offense.

Brad Miller just looked terrible.  It seemed like every time the ball was in 10 feet of him he'd exaggerate some kind of contact and hope for a foul.  Johnson was quiet, but had a couple of blocks and Pargo managed to at least find the floor.

It's easy to feel good about this win.   It's the type of game I've been waiting to see the Bulls pull together.   It was a critical win given the upcoming schedule, Boston was weak due to fatigue and injuries, and the Bulls took advantage.   Vinny has won 7 of his last 10, and with the wins has come enough job security to last out the season most likely.  

The Bulls are three games under .500, they've still got a brutal stretch over the next couple of weeks, but if they pull it through the ice capades trip then they'll have a relatively soft schedule the rest of the way.    Who knows, by the end of the season Vinny may still have a job for next year too.

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  • I'm happy they took advantage of Boston's injuries and exhaustion (4 games in 5 nights).

    They have to keep it going and avoid any letdowns.

  • Their stretch might not be as brutal as you think. As I thought, they beat Boston. Now, they need to take care of business against of troubled Wizards team.

    After that, they have two very win-able games vs. Golden State and the LA Clippers. Phoenix is struggling, OKC needs some payback, and San Antonio may be resting Duncan.

    Houston scares me, because it's the second game of a back-to-back and they never really play good there. New Orleans is also scary, because they have a strong home record.

    We'll see how things go, one game at a time.

  • A 13 PER isn't that much different than a 17.8 PER?

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    yeah sorry doug, those numbers are very different. .51%TS vs .58%TS? really big. rebounds too.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    I wouldn't look at TS as much with Blair because the way he scores is completely different. Blair scores a lot on easy put backs and can't stretch the defense out like Gibson hitting jumpers. Look at the PER36 and you'll see what Doug is saying.

  • In reply to Ralphb07:

    im not sure hitting wide open 15 footers stretches the defense. there wide open because tajs man is not near him; hes in the paint.

  • In reply to Gavolt:

    bingo..i said it before n ima say it again..^ but ima let you say it for me..teams play the paint on us..

  • In reply to Gavolt:

    we all knew taj can play from the summer league..he just always had foul trouble..my only concern with him is why is he starting? even though he plays better than tyrus on most nights..this guy should be backing up a big time pf and joakim so it could bring us a contending front court..bring in bosh atat or somebody..

  • In reply to Gavolt:

    i still think and believe in my heart the bulls should trade loul,tyrus and cash for iggy and jason smith...tyrus doesnt bring anything honestly if we can stop looking at his name and take away the highlights and thoughts and understand he doesnt dunk the ball the the time,block every shot and make all the right plays that we act like he does then his name wouldnt be that big..he's ok but taj is certainly playing better and tyrus is only a year under taj and plays like he's 6..philly gets somewhat cash relief but honestly again iggy is better than loul doesnt disappear like loul and if iggy jersey read lebron than people would look at him as one of the best defenders iggy clamps down on d and is a 20-30 point scoring option..loul cant bring that every night..only on good matchups he takes advantage..iggy is a go get..we ouldnt have to worry about injuries and up and down games with iggy..keep gibson til the end of the season staring at pf and make a run at bosh in the offseason with better players..iggy>deng tyrus=i honeslty dont know anymore but he aint coming back anyways..then trade hinrich to where ever but iggy instead of kevin martin,dwade and others who are better but would be with a max sitting on the sidelines anytime soon..rose,bosh,iggy,and joakim with a strong supporting cast and great head coach..thats my 2010 plan if bosh makes it to the end of the season..iggy & smith for deng & tyrus

  • In reply to Ralphb07:

    Anyone debating about Taj better get a clue. This kid can play.

  • In reply to Ralphb07:

    Taj impressed me tonight, maybe its just he hasn't played as well in nationally televised games but this was the first time I was impressed with his play. I don't mind D. Rose not scoring a lot, but if that is the case he needs to finish with ten dimes. A point guards job is to pass the ball. Its understanding he have few assists when he is dropping 30pts, but when he is scoring under 20pts he needs to have 7+ Assists.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    Taj deserves some love. Those stretches where he guarded Paul Pierce, he showed how versatile a defender he can be and even came up with a key steal.

    Both Taj and Blair are good players. Blair is a little more willful, but for the Bulls, I think Taj is a great fit and a defensive contributor, and a better fit on offense with Noah. His play as a rookie is part of the reason the Bulls have been a top 10 defensive team.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    We need to beat the Wizards tomorrow otherwise it just cancels out this solid win.

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    Taj is the man by the way. With Noah and Taj on our team all we need to do is add a legit scoring 4 and our bigs will be complete. I am so happy we took a 24 year old rookie, he is so mature and his game is very polished.

  • nah. whatever his teammates are, taj is wide open all the time, and his bad hands and poor finishing ability tell me even if his teammates were better hed be basically the same player.
    and its not like blair has some fatal disease, he just has no ACLs, just like heintz ward; theres a good chance he could handle the mins.
    look, its not that big a deal anymore; taj is good. but blair is still better by quite a bit.

  • In reply to Gavolt:

    I am pretty sure that Mr Ward, unlike JOhn Kerry is not related to the Ketchup family.

  • While I agree with you in general on Taj, and I had him as the pick at 26(that was assuming that Blair would be long gone)I don't see Taj putting up 28 and 21 anytime soon if ever.

  • Blair just put up 28-20 without Duncan in the lineup. He is just the bulk we need. Here is some good clips from that game.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/12291/dejuan-blairs-20-20

    p.s. Bulls said they would take Gibson over Blair disregarding the health issue.

  • I may be the only one who looked at this really closely, but JJ played really good defense against Boston.

    Two solid blocks and no real mistakes. I think with the right time he is going to be a player we look to off the bench for offense and solid Defense. I dont blame his fouls on the smaller tony allen. He is quicker but he held his own.

  • Tyrus' offensive rebound stats got bloated by his own out of control no brains in that head misses n spaz outs under the boards. what a bone head. He is like a checkers player at a chess tournament.

  • over time? how much time? the time it takes taj to be featured prominently in scouting reports? again, back to the TS% would you rather give up paint points to penetrators, or let taj get his 14 points on 14 shots? whats more likely to beat you?

  • do you watch enough spurs games to say blair is terrible at defense?

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