Bulls come back on Pistons to chants of MVP

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First, let's not get overly excited about this win.  The Detroit Pistons are terrible, and they were beating us by 19 at the half and had a 21 point lead early in the third.    Ben Gordon did most of the first half damage with 21 at the half, but finished on the same number and couldn't capture the magic back in the second half.

So ignoring the putrid start, there's nothing quite like coming from behind in a huge deficit to bring out all the emotions of a sports fan, so this game was incredibly fun.   Was this the first Derrick Rose MVP chant?   It's the first I recall, but he'll get plenty more if he keeps playing this way.

Rose showed off his three point shot, draining 3 of 7 from the field.  He made it to the free throw line with 13 attempts on the night as well.    He came up big time after time as the Bulls mounted their comeback.   He hit a series of crazy layups and drives to the basket, and was simply relentless in his attack on the Pistons.   Excusing a little sloppiness with the ball at times, and Rose was playing at an MVP level tonight.

The tipping point of the game, was when James Johnson entered.  I was discussing Johnson earlier today with Fred Pfeiffer, of the Chicago Bullseye, and I said Johnson had the best preseason on the team of the bench players, and if Korver, Brewer, and Watson didn't step up that he needed to play.

That's exactly what happened tonight, and Luol Deng, who shot only 2-10 from the field (though was 5-7 from the foul line), was the primary guy who road the pine.    Johnson came and immediately earned a trip to the foul line and knocked down two free throws.  He made a steal on the next play, ran the floor and made the right decision to pass to Gibson for an assist and dunk.

Johnson took a few really poorly timed shots, and had a couple near turnovers, but he rebounded strongly and harassed the heck out of the Pistons defensively with three blocks, two steals, and played great defense. 

Johnson still has a lot of work to do on offense, but his defense is going to earn him minutes, and with time, his offensive skillset will come around. 

Joakim Noah was the Bulls other major contributor for the Bulls getting numerous tip ins, and was relentless on the offensive glass.   At times where the Bulls struggled, Joakim Noah even scored a couple baskets in a row in the low post for the team.   Joakim's now put up games of 18/19 and 17/15 on the season.  A nice start to the season for him, and he continues to look like he's worth every penny.

Omer Asik chipped in with some quality minutes.  He didn't dominate anyone, but he played decent defense, hit a few gimmie shots when the Pistons tried to leave him alone, and collected a fair amount of rebounds while he was in the game.  He also picked up four fouls in just 15 minutes.

C.J. Watson struggled in the first half, but did a nice job running the team in his second half stint.

I'm not sure when Brian Scalabrine picked up the Luol Deng disease, but he did.   He takes so many shots with a foot on the three point line.  I don't get how a veteran shooter makes that mistake.   Scalabrine's stat line wasn't atrocious, but his play was considerably worse than the stat line IMO.  

Kyle Korver hit a big three, but was only 1-5 from the field.  His presence and motion in the offense still helps when he's out on the floor, but he needs to pick up his shooting to help the team.

Ronnie Brewer still struggles to contribute in a meaningful way. 

Overall, this game highlighted that Derrick Rose is awesome.   Joakim Noah is darn good, and that the Bulls have a lot of problems still.   Through two games, when Rose isn't dominating the offense, the Bulls are struggling to do much of anything.

Thibodeau is running his bench almost like a second line at a hockey game frequently playing five reserves at one time, and the Bulls are getting blown out in those stretches.   I think through time, he'll become smoother with his rotation management, and the team needs to figure out what works and doesn't work.    In the end, Rose/Noah played 38/39 minutes, but it felt like an eternity when either one was on the bench because things went south so fast.

The problem may not be the rotation as much as there are just not enough options on this team to create offense without Boozer.   In the end, the Bulls found a way to win a must win game, even when down by 21.   If you ignore the fact that they got down by 21, then there's plenty of positive to take from that.

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  • This is why I was refraining from making a prediction before tonight's game. When I read your last post that tonight was supposed to be an easy game, I didn't leave a comment because I didn't want to agree. Sometimes, I feel like our Bulls plays to the level of their competition. For some reason when they are the underdogs, I believe that they have a better chance in winning than when they are playing someone that they should beat.

    I posting on another blog that Asik and Noah looked good in the preseason and also JJ deserves to be let out of the dog house. This is a new coach and JJ has shown his dedication that he deserves more playing time to get a better feel for the game. I don't agree that Scalabrine gets more playing time and comes off the bench before JJ. If JJ continues to learn from Scottie, then JJ can be a very good defensive stopper and not necessarily have to rely upon on offense.

    I don't think Deng should be the one who is always tasked to guard the opponent's best perimeter player because Deng needs tons of energy on the offensive end. I feel more comfortable for JJ to be the defensive stopper until Brewer gets his game right. How nice would it be to see JJ hounding the opponent's 1 and/or 2 guard? I believe that Coach Thibs will get better with his decision making as a coach and he showed tonight that he is capable of making in game adjustments.

    I really wanted Rose to set a new career high tonight and I'm sticking to what I said that Derrick is a better SG than a PG. He should be the next D Wade. If Derrick wants to be a better PG, then he should improve setting up his team mates for easy baskets. I was watching him run the break earlier when he dumped the ball to Taj for a dunk and Noah was trailing, and I was waiting for him to pass it to a trailing Noah for an easy dunk instead to an open Taj. What I'm trying to say is, if Taj wasn't there, I don't expect Rose to set up a trailing Noah for an easy dunk. What probably would've happened if Taj wasn't there is, Rose goes for the lay up and Noah is trailing to clean up Derrick's miss. Also Derrick needs to get better throwing alley oops and he could actually get Taj, Asik, Noah easy points down low. I've said it before that Noah is a better interior passer than Rose and I saw another good pass from Noah again tonight.

    In my opinion, Derrick plays better as a SG and his team is going to rely on him for points until everyone gets used to the new system and the new players.

  • Getting in foul trouble can change the way you play and Deng was taken out of his game due to foul issues. Overall, the Bulls need to adjust better and stop giving easy points to the other team when they put the other team on the line.

    I'm not sure if Coach Thibs will put Korver in the starting lineup because his mins right now is during the 2nd and 4th quarter. Thibs wants him to be a scorer off the bench and he is a defensive liability against the starters so Coach prefers Bogans to play with the starter until Brewer gets better. Honestly, I prefer that JJ gets better under Pippen as a defensive specialist that he earns more mins. I think JJ will have a break out year this season if he is let out of the dog house. People are being too critical of JJ's mistakes but he can contribute in other areas (like a Thabo Sefalosha role).

  • Rose has gotten the MVP chat a ton of times before actually Doug. Probably at least 5...maybe more. Alot in the playoffs...probably a few during the season.

  • It seems that if we want to win a lot of games, we are going to have to play D Rose a lot of mins and he can't get into foul trouble. It is really an issue that when Derrick sits down, our offense takes a major hit.

    Sooner or later, most teams are just going to have to pack in the paint and play a lot of zone to beat the Bulls, but if Derrick continues to make opponents pay from the three point line, then that will open up the middle more. Even if Asik gets in foul trouble, I want to see more of the twin towers together because they are effective with Noah being a good interior passer.

    Sooner or later, I hope Coach Thibs gets rid of his man love with Scalabrine and give JJ more mins.

  • It looks like either we need a PG who has good vision to pass and knock down a 3 pointer or a SG who can shoot the 3 pointer and play decent defense. The challenge for the FO is to find the right complementary guard for Rose. It doesn't have to be a defined position like a SG or a PG but a bigger sized guard who complements his game. Maybe the FO is waiting for a couple of more years to see how Rose's game develops and what are the skills which best complement his game. Right now...it feels like 1985/86 of MJ....we just know he is a special talent but don't know what or how good he is going to be...It is fun to watch him grow.

    BTW, we cannot say it was a bad lousy team for Detroit. They were a desperate team after losing 2 games even though they were playing back-to-back.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Agreed, its unfair to call the pistons a lousy team. T Prince and Rip are still very solid players, and Ben Gordon is still a scoring machine, these Pistons will contend for the 8 seed with cleveland.

  • Shutdown Rose and to some extent Noah and the Bulls are in trouble. Somebody else needs to step up until Boozer comes back. Deng, we are looking at you!

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    Deng is too tired playing defense and rebounding that he is inefficient moving without the ball for cuts and Deng doesn't have a go to move except a jump shot. Deng needs to post up more...

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    Rose was much better getting to the line today, especially in the second half ( it also helps that the refs admitted the Pistons comitted fouls as well too - finally). Deng was also attacking the basket in the first half but missed to lay-ups on definite no call fouls. He also had 2 or 3 shots that wen half way down and popped out. He played a strong defensive game again as well. His stat line looked much worese than it was. Sometimes your shot just won't fall.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    Besides being a great comeback, this game brought about a few unexpected benefits. JJ looked great. With how bad Brewer and Korver have been so far and Bogans inability to create his own shot, JJ looks to be the next best creator after Rose. I cant believe I am typing this, but it is true. I also thought Taj was especially agressive and effective on offense. Too bad he is still picking up too many silly fouls that kept him on the bench so much.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    I felt like the Pistons lost it more than the Bulls won it, I mean how much credit can you take when they must have shot half a dozen airballs in the last quarter?

    Still I think I'm going to take the glass half full approach and say that so long as Rose and Noah are playing this well then that's what matters. We know that Boozer will be back, Deng will play better than he has the first two games, Korver can actually shoot, Brewer isn't a D-league scrub, etc. That other stuff will all work itself out, and so long as Rose & Noah play like all-stars then we're on track.

    Funny how we're all praising JJ yet there was a debate on whether to even pick up his option. I really hope he continues to get time this year, it seems silly to pick a guy for his potential then not give him a shot.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    The officiating in the first was horrible. You can see that from the 25ft attempts for Detroit to Chicago's 5ft attempts. After the half the Bull's were getting all the calls they were not getting early on and Detroit couldn't get to the line for a while. And yet they claim there is no make up calls. If Chicago had 8ft attempts in the first half instead of five and Detroit only had 20ft attempts instead of twenty five then your looking at a half time score where Detroit is only up by 10. So those bad calls were huge in Detroit leading.

  • In reply to CPBuff22:

    Every game we can't always use the officiating excuse. If we have players that actually tries to get to the line and try to force the officials to blow the whistle, we can put the other team in foul trouble and the other team will be complaining about the officiating. The more we go into the post, the better our chances of getting fouled. I actually think we should try to go to Noah down low because Noah seems to be getting better with his post game. I would also love to see Deng develop a post game and also have Taj improve his post game. Last year we were a jump shooting team, but our ball movement sucked and I really am excited for Thib's new offensive schemes.

    The reason why Derrick is not elite yet is because he doesn't know how to get to the line when he needs to. I haven't seen D Rose try to pump fake someone and jump to the opponents body to draw a foul yet. If he tries to draw a foul and in mid air the referee doesn't blow the whistle, he can always pass it to a team mate instead of shooting it for a low percentage shot (D Wade does this tactic often). The reason why I don't see D Rose doing this is because when D Rose gets called for a foul when he gets caught up in the air, I see him complaining to the refs that "he jumped into me" and that play is not fair or something. D Rose needs to learn veteran moves. I read in an article that Brandon Jennings credits Corey Maggette for teaching him how to draw contact and go to the line more, and it was working in the preseason. Someone needs to teach Rose to play smarter and not more athletic.

  • In reply to truniac307:

    If Rose doesn't develop a higher basketball IQ and stop relying on his speed and athleticism, Rose might have a short career or might not be that good once he is no longer explosive. I'm already worried about Rose having bad knees and he's been known to have bad tendinitis prior to his Memphis days. If Rose wants to have longevity in the league, he should develop his game to not rely on speed and power. Once Rose is a threat in a half court, slow the game down (playoffs) setting, then he will prolong his playing days.

  • In reply to truniac307:

    Right now Rose is doing what he has to do for the Bulls to stay in games. No one else has been a dependable scoring option. Once Deng's shot starts falling and Boozer comes back, Rose will start distributing more in the half court.

  • In reply to truniac307:

    Mr. Happy,

    Don't hear much of your shit talking on James Johnson tonight

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    You will hear it tomorrow

  • In reply to truniac307:

    Jet,

    Nope.

  • In reply to truniac307:

    CLASSIC JOAKIM NOAH SPEAK:

    http://twitter.com/KCJHoop/status/29242654081

  • In reply to truniac307:

    2 of Asik's 4 fouls were attempting to draw offensive fouls. On one of them he almost got in front of Ben Gordon. In the fourth quarter he draw a pivotal offensive foul on Ben Gordon. He drew 2 offensive fouls on Detroit in the game. Also he didn't get any stats for blocks, but he really disrupted some otherwise easy shot attempts by the Pistons in the lane.

    I was really impressed with Asik last night.

  • In reply to truniac307:

    what happened to Deng? GREAT PRESEASON! Two str8 bad games when it counts. He is never consistent. Only consistency is being inconsistent. I like him but im tired of his disappearing acts. Barely taking the ball to the hole with power. Dude DUNK the ball no soft layups. Then when he do decide to go in strong he always get stripped. Dont protect the ball tries to avoid contact. Hopefully we can trade this dude. Jeez

  • In reply to sharynlewis:

    I don't know how the Bulls will do it but the they need to rid themselves of Deng in the worst way. He's like one of those guys that don't play high school basketball very well, he sucks when it comes to playing guys his own age, then when he goes overseas to play the guys over there which some of them are like middle school players, he plays like he's the man over there. Deng is an OK player, he's just too inconsistent and the Bulls don't need that right now. It was OK when the Bulls were rebuilding but that's old news these days. It's time for the Bulls to start trying to get back to elite status and if he can't get his game together, he needs to go.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Deng's major issue is between the ears, the dude should hit up Ron Artest's psychiatrist.

  • In reply to sharynlewis:

    Reesel,

    Philly, Sacramento or Minnesota...seem like the only possible suitors for Deng.

  • In reply to sharynlewis:

    i think we're stuck with him because of his stupid contract. We gotta hope this guy can get on a role for a potential melo deal. Otherwise we are stuck and there basically is no one else to replace him with. No need of trading him just to be trading him if cant make a significant upgrade at either SG or SF.

  • In reply to sharynlewis:

    Maybe by the trade deadline, a team trying to make a championship run and needing some extra scoring will be desperate enough to take him. I mean if we think about it... there's not a lot of big name free agents over the next couple of years and the Bulls need to keep that in mind as well which is why they need to make another move this year or next. They need to try and rid themselves of Deng some kind of way.

  • In reply to sharynlewis:

    Tracy McGrady 2 points??? Yeesh!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Brewer might not be 100% til December, so how about playing Korver at the 2 while allowing James Johnson some minutes at SF?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I want to see a line up of
    Rose
    JJ
    Deng
    Taj
    Noah

    or

    Rose
    Deng
    JJ
    Noah
    Asik

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    After 2 games this is what I know....

    Derrick Rose is AWESOME!
    Joachim Noah is a Beast and looks like he is worth every penny of his new contract! KEEPER
    James Johnson has earned and deserved more PT! Good game JJ.
    We really need Boozer!
    We need a 2 guard, really!

    What I think I know...

    I think Korver may still be holding an ankle injury! He has not been the same since the injury.
    Brewer doesn't look like he has enough confidence in his hamstring!
    Bogans....ugh!
    Omer Asik is more than expected. I hope he develops.

    There is a lot to fix, but what a great 4th quarter. DRose - MVP! Why not? It's only 2 games, but I can dream can't I?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I've never seen a player like Deng who basically disapears in about half the games he plays. Thibodeau doesn't know how to use the bench yet. Hopefully JJ will become the first player off the bench as this team needs someone other than Rose and Noah with energy. Pesonally, I'd like to see JJ start.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    A couple of observations from the 2 bulls games. Even though it is very early DRose is going for the MVP award. His high volume in shots shows that he wants to be aggressive from the get go. He is not settling for jumpshots, but is taking what the defense is giving him. Also, if Noah stays healthy this season, he will challenge Howard for Defensive Player of the Year. Keep in mind that last year he averaged a double double in 30 minutes a game, this year those minutes will increase. His stats will improve for sure. He also brings great intangibles to the court as the defensive anchor such as energy, communication and drive. It really depends on if DRose and Noah can stay healty and focused for the season at hand.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    ChiRy,

    I appreciate the mention.

    I don't dog a guy when he plays well. I'm still looking for CONSISTENCY though.

    That goes for Luol Deng as well.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Mr. Happy,

    I agree with you completely, looking for coinsistency. If Thibs give JJ consistent minutes, JJ needs to consistently be that spark off the bench.
    I agree with Loul as well, and he really needs to stay out of foul trouble

  • In reply to truniac307:

    Dude, Rose is 22 years old. You say he should be using veteran moves...why do you think the word 'veteran' is used there? Why should he learn to not use his explosiveness? His body will continue to become nothing but faster and stronger until he turns 25 at the earliest. I agree he will need to change his game as he gets older, but does Lebron look any slower or weaker than he did at 22? No. Rose will be using his speed and strength for the next 8-10 years. The kid has a sponge for a brain and will take in whatever advice he is given by his coaches. I have no worry whatsoever that Rose will continue to hone his game into an outstanding product. He DID draw more contact just one game after we all had conversations about how he needed to initiate contact. Thibs is no fool, he likely had talks with Rose after the OKC game about needing to get to the line, and what happens? Rose gets to the line for 13 attempts. Your doubt in him isn't reinforced by any logical evidence.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    I guess I was being hard on Rose. I have to remember that this is only his 3rd year in the league. Maybe next year, we will have different conversations about Derrick because he will make improvements this year.

    I just get annoyed when I hear talks that Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook is better than Rose and Rose is over rated.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    JJ and Scottie Transforming under Thibs Watchful Eye

    Nice to read that JJ is improving. Followers of this blog no longer "writing him off" but hoping he develops. Always nice to see a young man improve in the NBA.

    Good to see Scottie Pippen being a strong tutor for JJ and the Bulls. It's always been said Pippen was a great teammate. Now perhaps he's as good a mentor as teacher.

    Finally, this is under Thibodeau's watchful eye. Player development before our very eyes.

    I don't claim that JJ will be a great pick. But I do think it's a great sign when three members of the Bulls (JJ, Pippen, and Thibodeaus) at 3 different levels work together to make the team better.

    Whatever happens this year, I believe our Bulls will be a better ball club at the end of the season then at the start.

  • BTW, a side note, Rip Hamilton seemed listless against us. Does it have something to do with Hinrich no longer being with us ;). Hinrich seemed to always get under his skin and inspire a shooting outburst from him.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    He is getting older and it looked like their defensive specialist Tayshaun Prince is looking to be more offensive minded.

  • In reply to claytonabigsby:

    I agree, I remember Rip getting peeved at Hinrich's defensive play.

  • Another thing that was troubling tonight is comparing Rodney Stuckey's ability to get to the line by knowing how to attack the basket. Watching the difference between him and Derrick, I was pissed that Derrick still tries to avoid contact due to his athleticism to try to make the lay up. When is Derrick going to realize that getting your opponent in foul trouble can change the game and it is better to try to get an and 1 than just a lay up?

    Derrick is pretty good with circus shots but he will be more efficient if he tries to go to the line more and he will keep the defense more honest. It's harder for refs to call a foul and see the foul if you are always going for the up and under and the stacey augmon body contortions layup.

    The day that Derrick understands how to get his defender in foul trouble, the day that he will take another step towards being elite. Does anybody teach Derrick the saying of "you reach, I teach"? If the defender reaches or has their hand down in front of you, you swing the ball under their arm and try to go up for the shot while hitting your arm against theirs for an easy foul. I guess he needs to watch Kevin Durant more because KD understands the concept. Also, I thought Billups already taught him that?

  • Unfortunately, we have been saying that Deng is just out of sync since about the Miami series 3 years ago. At some point we just might have to admit that this is just his sync.

  • Do we really want Rose averaging 29 shots per game.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    He had a pretty efficient game overall tonight, regardless of how many times he puts it up, efficiency is the key. That first game will skew his average so far, tonight was exactly what we need from Rose until Boozer gets back.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    FINALLY DERRICK SAID IT!!!!!!!

    "I look at myself as a scoring point guard," he explained. "You don't always have to be a great shooter, you just have to find a way to get to the basket.

    "One person I look at is Dwyane Wade," he continued. "I think he shot like 27% from three last year, but he's a great scorer. When he's feeling it, he's feeling it. Those are the type of people I look at in the NBA."

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=17767

  • Doug I think your mind is a little unfairly preconditioned to notice the little negatives in JJ's game, and I don't blame you. Do we take note of all of Rose's near turnovers each game? I don't think JJ's game will ever be described as crisp, but there are plenty of guys in the league who bring major contributions that always have you making ugly faces at how they get it done. But hey, as long as they get it done. And dont you go understating someone on our team hitting an open 3! Unfortunately thats actually a big deal for us.

  • FINALLY DERRICK SAID IT!!!!!!!

    "I look at myself as a scoring point guard," he explained. "You don't always have to be a great shooter, you just have to find a way to get to the basket.

    "One person I look at is Dwyane Wade," he continued. "I think he shot like 27% from three last year, but he's a great scorer. When he's feeling it, he's feeling it. Those are the type of people I look at in the NBA."

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=17767

    Derrick is definitely a better scoring guard than a set up guard. This argument of: is Rondo and Russell Westbrook a better PG than Derrick Rose is not what I want to focus on. I prefer to debate and argue where Derrick Rose ranks compared to the other Franchise Players based on impact and value regardless of position.

  • Luol Deng just sucks at basketball....thats all

  • The light bulb is officially on for Rose. He sees himself as a scoring point. This is what I've been waiting for. Even when Boozer comes back Rose will still be a scoring point. But he'll make sure Boozer gets his touches. And he'll use his ability to break down defenses to create looks for the shooters. This should be fun.

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