Bulls barely beat the LeBronless Cavs, but end the night tied for 8th

Mo Williams pulled a Devin Hester.   Ridiculous.   He burned the hell out of Rose off the dribble early getting to the rim and setting up others for dunks and scoring himself.   Later he went Ben Gordon on us, reigning down fire from behind the arc, hitting a couple crazy threes.

While some could say the Cavs without LeBron are nothing, but quite honestly, after watching them tonight, I think the Cavs without LeBron would probably be sitting with a better record than the Bulls right now if they had Jamison all year.   Mo Williams and Antawn Jamison are borderline stars while Zydrunas and Verejao are solid front court players.  

LeBron's absence didn't really make this a game a gimmie, it just turned a hopeless game into a game the Bulls had a chance in, and they did enough to get the win.

Derrick Rose had moments of dominance on offense with his ability to get to the rim.   Kirk Hinrich's shooting really was instrumental in the Bulls winning this game.   In fact, you could argue that in the past three games, the Bulls have gone as Kirk has gone more so than anything else [not a particularly comforting thought for the next four games].

Luol Deng had a solid night as well and was a few gaffs away from having a really great night.

All that said, the hero of the day for me was Joakim Noah.   He hit a 20 footer to give the Bulls the lead late in the game, then when the Cavs took the lead back, he came in and got an offensive put back dunk to give the Bulls the lead again.   He had 15 boards, 17 points, four assists, four blocks, and gave the Bulls the lift they really needed.  

He even knocked down several jumpers when teams left him alone on the perimeter.    Noah's improvement in this area is significant, and while his release speed is poor enough that he'll likely never be a great pick and pop player, his improvement will still improve spacing for the rest of the offense.

On top of all that, when the Bulls were trying to throw the game away by missing foul shots at the end of the game, Noah was the guy who tapped Rose's miss to Hinrich giving the Bulls the offensive board to seal the game.

It wasn't pretty, but the Bulls got the job done.   They sit tied with the Raptors [though they lose the tie breaker] while each team has four games to play including the one head to head matchup where the winner will almost certainly take the final playoff spot.

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  • Actually Deng is one of the best at defending Lebron, it still would not have been a cakewalk for the Cavaliers. Every time I see Rose miss a free throw, I remember how he painfully missed his free throws at the Championship game for Memphis. He needs to work on that in the off-season.

  • Hopefully, the Bulls don't look past the Nets tomorrow and Atlanta beats the Raptors.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    Clayton we need Joe Johnson to suit up tomorrow or else.

  • Wow... they really tried to give this game away at the end. Makes me wonder if they really want to get into the playoffs. Trap game against N.J. hope they can pull off the win. I wont get my hopes up.

  • Doug you know I love you dude but you are insane, nuts, crazy etc to think the Cavs would be anything but a 9 or 10 seed in the EC. Do you really think Mo Williams would play like that for full season? do you think Jamison would be the #1 guy? how come he couldnt get the wizards out of the cellar last season and the first half of this season? this cavs team without LBJ is a tad better than the NY Knicks. Now I didnt watch the game do to the work however i did keep the score board on and I couldn't believe we let them stay with us the whole game. From what I am reading Rose had another horrriiiiddd defensive night, we know he has bad but he has really regressed in the second half defensively.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I second everything you said, brother....

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I have never seen the refs give the Bulls a game...until tonight. We easily threw that game away. We shouldnt have won it. Honestly...

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I'd like to congratulate Vinny for the win. I have no idea why he was coaching the Cavs tonight, but the play he drew up for Sideshow Bob to take the game winner was genius.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    If you saw the stats yesterday, the CAVS shoot a better FG% without LeBron. I am not sure how it would have translated for an entire season in terms of wins/losses but they do shoot better FG, FT but a little bad in defense without LeBron.

    Another thing is Deng has to finish plays and glance at where the ball is going before he starts running back after a missed layup.
    I don't understand why Rose plays so horribly on defense. He is strong and fast and maybe he wants to conserve his energy for offense.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Wow....Deng is horrible. Stats be damned...his play makes me want to slit my wrists....

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    What, you're not a fan of the blind passes in the lane that try to thread 4 defenders, or the spin moves that look like they're being conducted by a double-leg amputee, and result in turnovers?

  • In reply to evilhoban:

    No matter what happens with the Bulls (playoffs, FA signing, etc), Rose really needs to work on defense if they're ever going to get to the next level (fringe playoff team to top-tier seed, if not contender). He has always been bad, but it almost seems as if he is regressing.

    If Pippen and Jordan were the dobermans, Rose is like a toy chihuahua that is kept in a fuzzy pink purse.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    This might be an odd question... Why did LeBron have to be inactive? Couldn't he have just dressed and not played - until the final half-minute when he would have forced himself into the game? I know it's a greater injury risk, but if he's in the final two plays of that game, the Cavs wiin.

  • In reply to sherryghost:

    You answered your own question...if he suited up he would have played. Only playing two minutes might give him some pre-playoff rest, but it's still enough to risk a freakish Bogut/Bosh ill-timed injury.

    (The real reason he didn't play was to see how the two teams stacked up without him. He had already decided to sign with the winner of this game. Same reason Bosh intentionally rammed his face into Antawn Jamison's elbow...He'll be signing with the winner of Sunday's game.)

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    I was frustrated with the game last night, but I guess we'll take the win, even though the bulls didnt play good enough to get it. Noah was the only reason the bulls won. Mo williams and street baller Jamario moon were making the bulls look like they played in the ymca, those two players are not that good yet the bulls made them look like superstars, its frightening to see what happens today, I'm skeptical again....

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    CHICAGO BULLS PLAN OF ACTION:

    This game is simple, yet complicated.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers, with LBJ, are setting the bar in the Division and the Conference. Therefore, the Chicago Bulls have two choices and/or chances to complete with them and raise the bar.

    CHOICES/CHANCES:

    #1.) THE 2010 Plan

    - Kirk Hinrich needs to be traded and they need to sign Dwyane Wade and David Lee.

    #2.) THE 2011 Plan

    - Luol Deng needs to be traded and they need to sign David Lee (2010) and Carmelo Anthony (2011).

    If the John Paxson and Jerry Reinsdorf don't execute either one of those plans, then they won't compete for a championship anytime soon. Like I said, it's a simple, yet complicated game.

    * I chose David Lee because he will earn what either Hinrich or Deng make.

    POTENTIAL LINEUPS:

    PG - Rose
    SG - Wade
    SF - Deng
    PF - Lee
    C - Noah

    or

    PG - Rose
    SG - Hinrich
    SF - Carmelo
    PF - Lee
    C - Noah

    I'd take my chances vs. the Cavs with either one of those lineups.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Last play of the game coming out of a timeout and Vinny Del Negro draws up a play that has Derrick Rose inbounding the ball? WHY? Why would he have Rose in bound the ball? Then he sends them all the way across the court only to get Rose the ball on the wing. The play was pointless. Why wouldnt you just inbound the ball to Rose and let him go to work. Vinny is just stupid. Hinrich did step up in the final couple minutes, but he was getting punked out there by Mo Williams lol But like someone said, that was probably Mo Williams best game he has ever played lol

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    It was nice to see JJ for 10 seconds, though....

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Yea I wish they would have played JJ more, he made good plays with no mistakes for the slmi time he was in. He had a foul or two but Mo was dominating so fouling him was the best option.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Yea I wish they would have played JJ more, he made good plays with no mistakes for the slmi time he was in. He had a foul or two but Mo was dominating so fouling him was the best option.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Another player who isnt all that good (Mo Williams) looking like a world beater against the Bulls...wow our defense really intimidates people. And I wanna like Deng but he needs to get to the rim and slam some more shit home. He plays like an undersized guard who is not sure he can really get up enuf to slam it. He seemed a bit more aggressive against CLE than MIL where he fanned on layups. I'm afraid he'll never be tough enough to get there tho.

  • Bulls if they squeeze in have a shot at winning only one game against the cavs. Still worth it though lol.

  • Shaq, Big Z and Verajao with no LBJ would look pretty bad Doug.

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