The Bulls defense did a solid job in the fourth and held Dallas to poor shooting night from beyond the arc as well as from the field overall, but the game was truly won for the Bulls on the offensive glass. The Bulls had 20 offensive rebounds to the Mavericks 25 defensive rebounds which is a simply overwhelming advantage.
The game ball in this one goes to Taj Gibson. He had 8 offensive rebounds, and his extra work on the glass allowed the Bulls to stay in the game. He even knocked down a buzzer beating three off a Dallas block to give the Bulls their first fourth quarter lead, and the Mavs never lead again. Overall Gibson was 7/12 on the night for 17 points and 18 boards.
His hot start also got the Bulls off playing well early on in the game and set the tone for the first half. Great game for Gibson after a couple of duds. Only downside was his foul out at the end on a terrible decision to reach in on Dirk while the Bulls were up by 4 and in the penalty.
Derrick Rose's game was so much more than the box score. 22 points and 6 assists sounds like a mediocre game for D-Rose these days, but it doesn't do justice to how much he carried the offense. He led the charge on the fourth quarter comeback, and the Mavs had to start double teaming him 40 feet from the basket.
He got sent to the floor numerous times and had to play most of the second half with a cut on his nose that kept re-opening after Dirk Nowitzki hammered him. Rose's four turnovers may seem like a lot, but it's amazing that he turned it over that rarely given the immense pressure Dallas applied to him at times.
Joakim Noah got his grove back. He was outstanding on the glass and made some point guard-esque passes to teammates for open dunks. He chipped in 10 points as well, but played solid defense on the interior, took care of the glass and cut down on the silly turnovers that had recently plagued him.
Luol Deng struggled through a miserable game, but made the big play. Deng may not have shot the ball well or got to the free throw line, in fact he was in for one of those terrible games, but he did redeem himself somewhat at the end by getting the offensive tip to Watson that more or less sealed the game for the Bulls.
Outside of that, he had the ball on the move in positions he typically scores well from, but he just struggled to find his shot on the drive or with the jumper.
Maybe Keith Bogans needs to stay in the starting lineup. No, he was terrible, but on a random sidebar, I was thinking that perhaps you keep Brewer coming off the bench because he has better chemistry with Korver since they've played together for a few years and because it strengthens that unit.
Bogans is going to play 18 minutes a night either way, so maybe it's best they come at teh start. Really, I've got no other rationale as to why you continue to start him, because Brewer is clearly the better player right now.
I love you Kyle Korver. Korver is so much better than I thought he'd be, and on top of his shooting he made several good defensive plays and solid defensive stands this game. The game really changed with the insertion of Korver into the lineup in the second half as the Bulls gave up a huge run, but the spacing and offense turned around completely once the defense had to account for Korver as well.
He had a foot on the line on one shot preventing him from nailing a third three, and the Bulls missed him on multiple opportunities where he was open in the corner. He still had a great night including one crazy double clutch three from 2-3 feet behind the line.
Ronnie Brewer needs to play more. Now i noted in the Bogans thread that Brewer is clearly the better option, but maybe you start Bogans because Brewer plays better off the bench.
That was a stretch. I really think it's time to start Brewer and really limit Bogan's minutes in the rotation. Rose, Watson, Brewer, Korver, Deng could eat up all the minutes at the 1-3 with Bogans chipping in maybe 5 minutes a game, and I think the Bulls would be good.
Brewer had a decent night making some quality basket cuts in the first half for easy finishes, and he's always contributing on the glass well for a guard.
C.J. Watson totally redeemed himself. I know most Bulls fans outside of myself really dislike Watson, but he showed what he could do tonight when playing well. He's become a solid defensive guard, and he still brings shooting in spurts. Watson knocked down a key three during the comeback and hit all four of his free throws (which sure felt like a rarity tonight as the Bulls were terrible from the stripe again).
Hang tough Omer Asik. Okay, so maybe Omer wasn't the key to getting the win tonight,
This team is playing really well right now, and it will be interesting to see what happens when Boozer comes back. I think Boozer gives a huge lift to the offense, but there's a cynical part of me wondering how much he hurts the Bulls defense which is playing at a pretty high level right now.
Still, he's obviously a huge positive overall as it allows you to squeeze someone like Bogans out of the rotation by not playing small so much, and the Bulls desperately need another quality offensive option on the court to ease up the pressure on Rose.
One thing that kept annoying me all game long was the Bulls kept switching and hedging screens with Dirk Nowitzki pick and rolls. At some point, don't you say, I'll go hard under the screen and if JJ Barea beats me with the jumper that's okay, at least I didn't leave Dirk wide open again? The bulls tightened up on Dirk a ton at the end of the game, but much of the damage the Mavs did was because the Bulls were providing too much help for Derrick Rose on defense.
I waffle back and forth on whether the Bulls got lucky with some of their fluky shots, or whether they just so thoroughly outworked Dallas that the Mavs were lucky to be close in this one.
Did I mention Derrick Rose is awesome? Man is he good.
Are the Bulls the worst team in the NBA at inbounding the basketball? How can we struggle with this so much? I don't think I ever remember watching a team where the inbounds play scared me in a pressure situation before. If I was playing the Bulls, I'd press the inbounds play every time and probably force 3-4 TOs a game.
Tom Thibodeau is a hell of a coach. Talk about whatever flaws you want to with this team, they're 7-4 right now and have played road games against four of the best teams in the NBA (Boston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Oklahoma City), they're only 1-3 in those games now, but that shows you how well they've played everywhere else, and they're doing it without Carlos Boozer.
Do you ever wonder where this team would be if they hired Thibodeau two years ago instead of Del Negro? I guess it might be about the same given that we'd still have to dump players to make the push for FA this summer, but I bet our guys would have had a heck of a lot more trade value.
The Bulls completely folded at the start of the third quarter again, allowing a 15-2 run until they took Bogans, who missed 3 open 3s during the stretch, out of the game and replaced him with Korver. Nice job for the Bulls to show hear and toughness after getting down.
Not to pin the whole bad stretch on bogans, but he's got to knock down at least 1 of those shots and you'd hope two given that they were open. However, the run wasn't all on him by any stretch, every player took turns trying to avoid the offense in order to go one on one towards epic failure.
What I liked though, is the team came out and played really well coming out of the timeout and got back into things quickly.