Bulls roll past Rockets for 2nd straight win

They may not have moved up in the standings, but the important thing is that they didn't move down.   Miami was playing New Jersey while Toronto took on Minnesota.   The Bulls played a Rockets team that was still clinging to hope for the playoffs.   Of the three, the Bulls were the only ones who had a real game though it didn't stop Toronto from making it interesting.
Long ago, I said Ariza was a three million dollar player who got the MLE solely because he played on the Lakers and had a nice playoff run.  That his niche talents fit well there because he was the 5th-8th most important guy on the team, and the top four were incredibly more important than anyone else.

I then admitted that I was wrong early in the season when Ariza was lighting things up.  After seeing this game, it made me go back and take a look at Ariza's season numbers.   His 3 point percentage fell to the expected 32%, his PER is down to a career low, and his TS% is sub 50.    I officially take back my take back.

We now return you to your regularly blogged Bulls action.

Derrick Rose's three point shooting fell back to Earth with a two for seven performance, but he dominated the game in more or less every other fashion.   He even looked impressive defensively which is a great sign for the future as well.   Rose looks ready to lead this team back to the playoffs, and the team itself is carrying itself like it believes it will make it.   When you hear the interviews it just feels like everyone oozes confidence, that they know they're going to make it.

It was interesting to see the Bulls bring Joakim Noah back into a game they looked like they had put away.   It makes me figure management had an exact time in mind of when it woudl play him both times, because I thought for sure they'd leave him out.   If there's any relapse from Joakim, Del Negro will escape blame given that he tossed already.

Joakim looked a lot more solid in the first half of his minutes than the second.   He looked like the MIP candidate in the first stint while the Rockets forged their comeback attempt while he played in the second in part due to several poor plays by Noah.

Kirk had a nice shooting game, and his 17 points on 9 shots was probably the one straw that really broke Houston.   Without his ultra efficient performance on the night, including a huge three at the end, this game is very close or possibly a loss.   Not that we should expect Kirk to go 4/4 from behind the three point line again tomorrow, but it's nice to savor it when it happens.

Flip Murray had a rare quality game, but I'll take it.

Jannero Pargo played 15 minutes of shoot me in the head basketball while Acie Law road the pine again.   I suppose it's not that big a deal, Acie Law probably isn't that good anyway, and he probably just had a couple lucky games that he couldn't repeat with more opportunities.   However, I know Pargo's terrible, and he proves it everytime he touches a basketball.   Why can't we play Law and just find out if his good play was a fluke?   Could he really do worse than Pargo?   Really?

Taj was impressive on the glass and on defense.   He's playing with great defensive effort and energy, and the ferocity with which he attacks the glass impresses me after starting the season as such a timid rebounder.   Everytime I question whether or not VDN knows what he's doing in terms of personnel decisions, I'll at least have to first grant that I wouldn't have played Gibson nearly so much early after his start, and he wouldn't be nearly so far along today as he is right now.

The Bulls need to continue their roll for their next three games with home games against the Heat and Nets and a road game against Detroit.  Given the Bulls position, they really need all three of these wins to make a run at the 8th seed.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • POSITIVE-SIDE:

    Derrick Rose (27pts, 8assts and 7rbs) showed good leadership and assertiveness. Taj Gibson (12pts and 10rbs) and Brad Miller (12pts and 10rbs) gave another blue-collar effort. Flip Murray (17pts) produced well off the bench.

    NEGATIVE-SIDE:

    Jannero Pargo (2pts on 1/5 FG Shooting) got 15 minutes of action, while Acie Law got a DNP. Why is that? It just seems to me like VDN is STUBBORN and IGNORANT and Gar Forman doesn't know how to evaluate talent or encourage growth.

    Those two idiots need to be FIRED!!!

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    Some good stuff in this game. I don't care that Derrick was 2/7 from 3, he needs to keep taking them because,

    1) Somebody on this team has to for petessake and
    2) Everyone else gets better shots when they have to defend Derrick out beyond 3 (hinrich 4/4).

    I really don't know the story about Law. Maybe they're trying to keep him out of the spotlight so they can bring him back at a discount? After this season of injuries, I can't see how anyone can deny the importance of having a backup for derrick that can fill a stat sheet.

  • Make the playoffs or not, Rose coming back and getting us some wins the way he has is at least keeping us in the FA race. Can't see 10 game losing streaks being too attractive to anyone, no matter how many injuries there are as an excuse.

    We're going to need a big time defensive game by Kirk on Wade to beat the Heat, with Noah still limited if Wade gets by Kirk it's going to get ugly.

  • It was goods to see Vinny fire up though.

  • Pargo; WTF, Law(DNP); double WTF.

    Del Bimbo; brick headed moron.

    Miami, Toronto and Charlotte all have 34 losses, so we are 3 games down in the loss column for not just the 8th seed, but the 6th & 7th seeds also.

    With games against Miami, Toronto and Charlotte, the Bulls virtually control their destiny. They pretty much have to win all four of those games to have a shot.

    Noah actually looks like he is 100% health(not necessarily conditioning) wise. As important as Rose is, we don't get in without a totally healthy Noah. This Plantar thing can come and go at a moments notice, so I am dubious that Noah will make it, especially if we get into the playoffs, and he has to go 40 minutes a night at playoff intensity.

    The only way that I could tolerate a playoff series, even if it ends in a loss, is with Noah(and Rose) at full strenth. Otherwise, I would rather take the 1 in a million shot at the lottery.

    By the way, WTF are we going to do without Brad Miller next season, I am serious? Is Asik going to show up and play as well as Miller, I doubt it.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I'm right there with you Bigway.

    Vinny Del Dumbo and GarBage Forman must go. It's clear that Acie Law is the better player over Jannero Pargo, yet these two CLUELESS leaders continue to be STUBBORN and IGNORANT to that fact.

    VDN can't stand the media or fans questioning his rotation, so he won't play Law.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You really can't blame the PT distribution of Forman. And it doesn't really make sense for you to demand Forman must go when you clearly love Acie Law, a player he acquired.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Doug,

    Ya i meant every game but that Cleveland game. Like everyone else is saying, if we take one game at a game, we can do this. Toronto has a pretty tough schedule coming up as well.

    And i agree about Phoenix....but somehow we beat them everytime lol I think we are 3-0 or 4-0 the last couple times we played them. But they are always tough.

    Anyone else see Shaun Livingston last night...He had his 2nd solid showing with the Wizards. I would love to have a 6'7 backup PG on the Bulls team next year. Plus he is from around here! Bulls should sign him next year to a small deal.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The Bulls really need to win at least 12/14 games to make the playoffs.

    It's do-able, if they approach each game as if it were a playoff game.

    It's all about HEART, TOUGNESS and EXECUTION!!!

  • Real stars play the game at both ends. If Derrick can become a consistently good defender it will take his confidence/energy/game to a whole nother level. You can see how hard it is covering these ultra fast point guards when you can't even put a hand on them. Watching D in the NCAA's his defense was smothering. If he gets the right coach, practices the right way, and learns how to Look! at the big/pick to get by them on pick and roll D, that will be huge. Not to mention if D can start dropping three bombs. PER Doug.

    If D, Noah, Taj, Brad, and the boys stay healthy I think they can make the playoffs. Hopefully Deng comes back in the last eight to ten days. I don't know why, but I think if the Bulls beat Miami in front of the Chuckster, god, and everyone, they will find a way to get there.

  • Bulls are right there...we just have to keep fighting. We can win all of the remainding games we have left...we just need to go out there and play hard. We got the Bobcats twice,the Heat, Nets twice i believe. Celtics when they should be resting their guys. Bulls can do it.

    Rose has been amazing. Last night he really looked like a star. Whenever the guy touches the ball, teams have to double team or just focus their attention on him. He was creating plays every time he touched the ball last night. Now we just need our role players to knock down those shots. He was getting into the refs ear last night too...im glad to see that, he deserves to get more calls then he is getting. The 3 ball was a big surprise! AND im glad he is shooting it, because now he really is ungaurdable.

  • Noah and Derrick look awesome. I just have one problem and maybe you guys can help me. That is the lack of movement in Vinnie

  • Why can't we play Law instead of Pargo to find out how good he is? I'll tell you why because DelNegro's a dunderhead. Why does James Johnson only play 13 minutes when Dung in on the shelf? Because DelNegro's a dunderhead.

    This team will rue the two games they lost; 1.the game they led by 35 points and 2. the Nets loss when they finish a game out of the play offs at the end of the season.

  • Ya James Johnson and Law should be getting minutes. James has really been impressive of late. The guy takes it hard to the hole and i love his handle.

    The BULLS RUN THE SAME OFFENSE I RAN WHEN I PLAYED IN 8th GRADE!!!! FLEX or Motion is what it is called. Ive seen them run it multiple times. PG passes to a post player at the elbow and then the SG/SF run through the lane. PG sets a down screen for the PF/C. The offense is based off of moving....but its pretty much only good when your a JR High kid not a NBA Professional Basketball team. VDN.......SUCKS

  • Doug, I said NCAA's, I figured you'd/people would know I was talking about the tournament. In that NCAA tournament when they made it to the championship game, and should have won that game with Derrick as a freshman: against Texas/D.J. Augustin went 1 for 9. Derrick smothered him. I watched those games. Watch the tapes if you want. And against UCLA/Darren Collison: 4 for 18 22%. Derrick was all over Collison and Augustin i.e smothered them.

  • No darni't if MrHappy wants 14 games won He'll get it all the bulls need to do to win all 14 of 12 games is MANUP. Byars will magically join the team and we'll beat, no we'll sweep Cleveland in the first round with Byars ofcourse shooting 75% from the 3point line. All Deng needs to do is MANUP AND PLAY HARD. He needs to stop babying potential career ending injuries and focus on what's really important. I hope you notice my sarcasim. Lol....

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