Derrick Rose plays the superstar, Boozers proves his worth in Bulls OT win

Okay, the game should have never gone to OT.   Derrick Rose couldn't get a single foul call despite 17 shot attempts from inside the paint.    Carlos Boozer shot 7/10 from the line, but 3/6 at the end of the fourth quarter.   The Rockets went on a three point shooting binge at the end of the game to come from behind. 

A lot of things conspired to make a game that should have been a semi-blowout for the Bulls a close one.  In fact, with 36 second left, the Rockets had somehow built a five point lead, and things looked grim indeed.   Carlos Boozer tipped in a Noah miss.   The Rockets split their free throws, Boozer, scores off of a Rose layup miss, the rockets split free throws again.

Then Rose hit the shot.  

Okay, 'the shot' can only refer to one thing as a Bulls fan, but Rose threw the ball to Noah for a give and go three pointer over three Houston Rockets where he had enough elevation to dunk on a 12 foot rim.   It's the type of shot, you simply don't think Derrick can hit, but he did, and sent the game to OT on a buzzer beating three.

In the OT, the teams traded baskets, but the Rockets had a one point lead because they had a Brad MIller three.    Rose came to the rescue hitting another three, scored again, and the Bulls went on to finish off the game.

Derrick Rose played the rule of the superstar

See previously written description.   Two things stood out about this game for Derrick.   The first was that his lack of foul calls was ridiculous.   The Bulls need to start sending tapes to the league.  Thibodeau needs to step up and get fined.   Paxon/Forman need to step up and get fined.    Rose needs to get in the refs ear and draw a technical every game perhaps.

Something needs to give here though, because while he does avoid contact sometime, he's not getting borderline calls.  In the first play of overtime, Kyle Lowry just ran in front of Rose while he was airborne (illegal), didn't get his feet set (illegal) and somehow drew a charge call on Rose when it should have been a clear (for two reasons) blocking call.

The good news though, is that Derrick Rose wasn't lying about his three point shooting this summer.   He's now shooting 35.7% from the three point line.   It's not an elite number, but he's hit a lot of threes when the Bulls have needed them, including two last night.    He's creating space for himself with his shooting and becoming more and more difficult to guard.

Carlos Boozer showed what he can give the Bulls

He scored on all kinds of nifty moves in the post, gave the Bulls that second option, got to the foul line repeatedly, and he came up with big offensive rebounds and put backs at the end of the game to ice it. 

The only thing marring his game was the fact that the team defense still doesn't look nearly as sharp while he's playing, and the fact that he missed some critical free throws down the stretch.   Still it was great to see Boozer come back in and do the things we expect him to do. 

He scored 25 points in only 30 minutes and made it to the free throw line 10 times.

Is it me, or is Noah's energy down?

Joakim is still playing great overall.   He was key in the big three  that Rose hit at the end of regulation, and he helped get the Bulls off on the receiving end of a pass from Rose in the first OT.   He had 12 boards, 13 points, 4 blocks, 4 assists, and shot over 50% from the field (though 6 TOs).    It seems like that's a stat line where he was really getting it done.   Especially with Boozer back taking some inside looks away.

However, what concerned me is near the end of the game, there were multiple plays where he failed to get out and cover Brad Miller.   He wasn't picked off or hedging a screen, but instead he just looked like he lacked focus and allowed Miller to drift away.   He did so after Miller had already knocked down a couple threes, and he allowed Brad to shoot a couple more that he missed that would have been big. 

Maybe Thibodeau wanted to give Miller that shot, and he missed three of them in OT, but prior to that he was 4-6 from behind the arc.

Luol Deng played the type of game we want

He had 15 points, knocked down a couple  threes and had lots of attempts on basket cuts.  He shot 50% from the field and while he didn't have a dominant performance, he chipped in efficient scoring and played well as a third option.

Many people will likely criticize Deng for not putting up more points or stats, but settling down into a third man role is really what the Bulls need from Deng, and a 15 point average going forward seems fairly likely.

Deng's three point percentage is also up to 38% again as he's had a couple good games from behind the arc.    While Deng may not be special for his salary, he's solid as a third offensive player for this team who's primary role is playing off the ball.  The only downside is that he's typically not capable of creating his own shot to become a 2nd option when needed.

Keith Bogans is Tom Thibodeau's Duhon

He's playing far more than you'd think his stat line warrants.   He has a player you feel is more impactful on the bench behind him, and you get the feeling that this isn't going to change regardless of the production.   

Bogans did knock down two of his three shots in this game including one three, but overall you just wish he was doing more.   I still like Bogans as a guy who chews up minutes without killing you.   He's paid 12th man money, and he's a great 12th man, but I'd be tempted to play Brewer/Korver/Johnson/Watson more and pull Bogans out of the rotation.

An interesting argument with James Johnson can be made, do you play Johnson, you might get something really good, which you aren't likely to do with Bogans.  However, Johnson's also likely to turn the ball over three times and make some bone headed plays which you also aren't likely to get out of Bogans.  

If you continue to play Johnson, his mistakes will probably improve considerably over time, while Bogan's isn't going to get any better at this stage, but if you're losing games due to Johnson, and he did put the Bulls in big holes earlier this season when Thibs gave him an extended tryout, then that's not acceptable either.  

Korver should start.

I said early in the season that I'd start Korver, and I still would.  
Korver's, by far, the most effective playing with Rose in terms of his
own shots and in terms of helping Rose's effectiveness.   While spacing
the floor helps everyone, it impacts the game most while Rose is on the
floor, and I'd tend to make 100% of Korver's minutes overlap Rose's
minutes.

I've campaigned for Brewer to start over Bogans as well, but that's because I don't think the Bulls are willing to start Korver while they are likely willing to start Brewer.   However, I would choose to start Korver over both Brewer and Bogans. 

Kyle Korver was 1-7 from the three point line, but he still managed 13 points on 12 possessions which gave him an okay night overall.   Even when he's missing his shot, teams are so scared of it that they refuse to leave him.  Korver's still shooting over 40% from the three point line on the season though, and that's an impressive 40% because the degree of difficulty in a lot of those attempts is very high.

Ronnie Brewer needs to start taking more of Bogans minutes

He doesn't shoot as well, but Bogans isn't shooting well enough for that to matter.    He defends better, makes more impact plays, and he gives you some offense with his athleticism which Bogans can't do.

He also helps the Bulls on the glass from the guard spot which has been an issue at times and tends to fill up the box score in the hustle stats.  My preference is for Brewer to start playing 30 minutes a night.

C.J. Watson did some good things out there

Watson's played decently in small minutes, but I think Watson's play would improve if he played more minutes, not just in totals, but in terms of efficiency.   I realize it's hard to take Rose out of the game, but Thibodeau is really burning up his starters, and Watson's been decent in relief, especially when playing with more talent.

Funniest moment of the night was when Brad Miller laid out his own teammate, shouldering Courtney Lee in the face on a screen and then C.J. Watson being called for a foul on the play.  It was that type of night for the Bulls from the refs.

Final Thoughts

The Bulls won this game, they should have won this game.   They made it harder than expected, required a miracle from Derrick Rose, but they pulled it off, and that's the important thing.

The Bulls play two of the next three games against tough teams (Lakers/Thunder), but after that 2/3rds of the games left in the season are against teams under .500.   At 10-8, the Bulls record may not look too special, but they're in position for a 50+ win season right now.

Comments

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  • GOOD AND BAD:

    - Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer were real GOOD.

    - Tom Thibodeau and his defense was very BAD. Plus, he should have defended his PG.

    * Thibs could have EARNED CREDIBILITY with his team, if he would have blasted the refs after the game. I don't like blaming the officials for wins/losses, but they were AWFUL last night, especially late in regulation. Good for Derrick Rose for showing EMOTION and displaying his displeasure.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Wow, I'm proud of you happy, your comments make sense. I'm going to agree with you on on those three playing well. And the fact that TT does need to stand up and say something to the refs. Yea the defense wasn't great but u have to keep in mind that brad miller and k mart got real hot for a while. All in all not a pretty win but I'll take it. Good comment happy

  • Ok, I see that fans keep giving this team a pass, I mean I want them to win as well but the way they have played as of late needs to be addressed by someone. If they were playing a better team last night, they would've lost. The defense has been terrible and the rebounding totals are starting to fall off because of the terrible scoring from the wing players when needed. Yes the coach and the management need to start complaining about the hack jobs on Rose and the team does still need time to gel with Boozer on the floor but bottom line... this team will not win many games if they continue to shoot poorly. No team un NBA history has won anything with bad shooters. Like another Blogger said, if the Bulls don't make some kind of trade to sure up the scoring from the perimeter, the owner has won his championship already with the UC being sold out for every home game. He's too busy spending big money on the White Sox, his true love. This team will not win fifty games if they don't get better and Noah will continue to play with less energy cause teams don't have to worry about the Bulls stretching the floor and just pack in the middle to tire Bosh out. But I guess fans will continue to give this team a pass when the problems with this team is obvious and other teams see it, example...Orlando and Boston blow out loses. Can't none make the Bulls management make a trade but we Bulls fans have the right as paying and supporting fans can really keep complaining that we are not satisfied with this team cause they should and need to be better.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Hi Reese1,
    Yeah, that was me who mentioned the 'Reinsdorf Ring' of leading the league in attendance without paying luxury tax.

    I

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Hey Reese I have noticed that after every win or loss, u mention about needing a perimeter player. You have said that almost every game. I think we all know that already. The problem is it isn't as easy as you make it seem to be. Nothing against you but maybe you should give it a little rest or something at least until the trade deadline.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Reese1 = Broken Record.

  • My fault in mentioning Bosh in last post, I was watching sportscenter.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You watch too much sportscenter. Go watch NBA TV
    The Bulls don't need all that much, just need to get better from within & play with intensity all night long

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    If anything, it has become clear that the Bulls still struggle againsts team with size upfront, all of our guys(Taj, NOah, Boozer, Asik) are undersized in one way or another.

    While a 2 guard who can score and knock down 3s(Anthony Morrow, 19 last night) would be helpfull, the Bulls will live and die(Rose is pretty much a given) by the production of thier front line, or lack thereof, depending on the opponent.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    If it's a Morrow type player you want then look to what the team already has and just start Korver, they're scoring at about the same rate on about the same percentages. It's just Morrow is getting more minutes.

  • I said Bosh but meant to say Noah in last post, my fault.

  • Bulls will lose next 2 games. Thibs needs to give more rest to noah. After 15 of december go after scoring wing. End of telegraph.

  • In reply to supercesto:

    given the energy that he plays with, and that at times he is guarding all 5 guys on the floor, Noah needs to play less.

    Playing him the first 18 minutes of the half is a mistake. He shoud take a blow at the end of the quarter and not come back until the 6 minute mark, giving him 36 minutes for the game.

  • this isnt playstation you cant just go out and make trades unless you have sombody to trade with so get use to the players that we have and let go of all the trade scenarios for a second because there is not alot of perimter scoring to trade for deal with it.. i do wish the bulls had given kyle weaver a chance im sure he can give you more quality minutes then bogans..coah needs to swallow his pride sit bogans down bulls worst quarters 1st and 3rd when bogans plays

  • In reply to MrSwAgG:

    Agree with giving Kyle Weaver a chance. Sam Smith said Thibs didn't because GarPax brought in Weaver on their own and Thibs wanted his boy Lucas, kind of a mini-power struggle thing. Lucas sucks and Bogans is ineffective.

  • Doug, random question - would you do Boozer for Melo straight up (on Dec 15)?
    I realize it's purely hypothetical, as the Bulls would never do it.
    But given everyone's affection for Taj (attitude/performance/value/effort) and their reluctance to trade him away, I think I'd do it. Taj had a couple quotes in which he didnt seem too thrilled to quickly and automatically lose his starting job to an unprepared Boozer after all Taj has done the last two years. Boozer's clearly better, but not as much better as Melo is over Bogans.
    Cons (other than PR for giving up their big new acquisition) - Deng would know he's very much on the trading block for the rest of his time playing here, as we'd have to try to move his contract for a decent SG or PF or both.

  • I wish one of the fifteen year old You Tube wizards out there would put together a montage of ridiculous Derrick Rose no-calls and bad calls, comparing his drives to other players that get the whistle and showing stats on how few calls he gets given how much he drives.
    If the bulls front office won't do it, maybe Bulls fans can drum up some grass roots publicity.

  • In reply to Davidmon5:

    yes! me too, come on kids

  • In reply to Davidmon5:

    I think Noah's play towards the end is partially the fact he had 5 fouls and the refs were calling absolutely anything against the Bulls, I'd be running around on tip toes too.

    I just don't get how Rose can get hit three times going to the basket without a call then down the other end the Bulls get called for a touch foul or because there was the slightest amount of contact while jumping for a rebound.

  • In reply to Davidmon5:

    is it me or do we miss kirk & brad in the worst way?our two biggest holes are the ones they left..

    imagine the depth with both of them..on THIS years team.. im pretty sure we can get hinrich back by trading jj & a 1st for maybe washingtons 2nd and a promise to let kirk go.. then we can sign him for maybe 6 million and trade c.j to a different team and package it with omer to get a piece to aquire brad.. sounds complex but its like this

    the same way we gave them kirk and a 1st for a 2nd round pick we can give them a 1st and jj and even watson to rid some cap space and they give up a 2nd round and release him & i know he would love to leave there and there isnt another city he wouldnt mind going to then chicago again..(they didnt move him for the fans they moved him for a shot a 2 superstars..even noah heard rumors when it comes to them)

    we then can finally sign him to a valuable contract around 6 - 6.5 million as our starting sg and backup point..(our playmaker,floor spacer,2nd creator and defensive ace) what we miss deeply at our 2

    then we trade omer,maybe 2 2nd rounds for whatever its worth and a another piece(but a good one) for brad miller and get a needed shooter,big man with size,& a veteran with passing skills & most of all a big chemistry guy whos been here already.. i like omer.. but if we want to win championships we got to upgrade talent in every way every time and as far as talent and potiential especially with this team? brad is miles ahead of omer..rookie season or not.. he just fits and brings wayyy more..if you guys can say that about moving noah all the time then moving omer shouldnt hurt your feelings at all.

    rose/hinrich/lucas
    hinrich/brewer/bogans
    deng/korver/filler(maybe try out almondson)or find someone
    boozer/taj/scal
    noah/miller/thomas

    who would have more depth? no one honestly..dont say the magic or celtics either.. we already can play with the best and thats with holes in our team..we already look legit.. and dont be stupid to saying cj and omer is ok.. their backups..if you want to weigh the value of a backup.. you ask this..

    who would you start in a championship game.. omer or brad? cj watson or hinrich?

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    I said it all last season(when many were ragging on Miller)that we would really miss him this season. After these 2 HOuston games the loss is worse than I thought, especially on offense, and he would have made a great mentor for Asik.

    I know that the Bulls supposedly could not afford to keep him at what he signed for(3yrs/$15), but they likely could have. Bogans, Kurt Thomas, plus the money we have left under the cap, adds up to just about what Miller got. You just fill out the last roster spots with minimum contracts and go over the cap like Miami did to get Miller and Haslem.

    Although, I agree that we miss Hinrich in much the same way we miss Brad, we just never had the money to keep him, you basically have to forgo Korver and Brewer or Watson to keep Hinrich, even if you decide to give up on Lebron before free agency even starts. Having all three of those guys is better than just havign Hinny.

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Somebody, (Pax, Gar, Reinsdorf, even Doug) needs to slap Thibs silly until he realizes that playing 4 on 5 for the first 6 minutes of each half is assinine, and that is what starting Bogans amounts to.

    The guy is absolutely useless or like the last guy taken in the NFLdraft, Mr irrelevant. Sometimes these coaches just need to take a step back and see what is obvious to everyone on TV.

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    As for Rose, it is about F-ing time, that is the first time that he looked confident that he would make the shot in that situation.

    Hopefully this is ascension to closer status.

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    This game against the thunder will be the perfect game to play Kyle in the starting line-up because the thunder has no big and will have to double team who are they going to leave Deng,Rose and Kyle all can hurt you and I think Rose and Watson should play together more since Kyle and brewer can play three....we need to stop playing the starter forty min and be more creative with the line-ups..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    It would be nice to have a money 3pt shooter starting out there with Rose, but their biggest problem on offense has been an inability for anyone other than Rose to consistently create offense for himself or his teammates. That's what hurts them against good defensive teams.

    Good defenses like Boston double Rose early to make him pass and force someone else to be the catalyst. Boozer should help to improve that weakness as he did last night. There's room for improvement, no doubt, but with Boozer back, offense isn't likely to be their biggest problem.

    The Bulls biggest problem seems to be their inability on defense to rotate back to outside shooters. They do a decent job of clogging the lane but they're slow to recover to challenge long range shots. That killed them against the Knicks, it hurt them against Orlando, and it got Houston back into the game last night.

    Sure, it would be great to get Melo or some kind of upgrade at one of the wing positions with an all-star or near all-star. But there are a few things that they can shore up that will make them a much better team with the personnel they already have.

  • In reply to magestew:

    Amen. Many have drawn ridiculous correlations that all end at "we need a wing who creates his own shot". You don't need 3 starters that create their own shot, you need two. One outside, and one inside, which we have now that Boozer is getting back to full strength. The ideal situation has two creators and 3 excellent team players. Noah and Deng fill the team player role, Korver might be that key third starter. The Boston and Orlando games looked really bad, but Boozers return couldn't have been timed worse, it threw off our entire flow. Look for things to get back to where they were and then rise above any level of play we've seen thusfar.

  • In reply to magestew:

    To the commenters that say Noah should get less minutes, In all with you.. This guy will be burned out by the new year.. This coach has no clue.. All he thinks about is winning at all costs.. NOt what could happen to the team and his starts when they start falling and loosing badly in the 4th because they are tired.. Ive seen it already with Deng NUmbers in the 4th and the numbers of the guy hes gusrding in the 4th .. Both show he gets tired.

    To the commentor that says the Bulls are undersized .. I say definetly with Taj (lightweight and Boozer(just short 6'8 at best . But if this dumb coach would play the bigs togetther they would do just fine against a big team like Orland and Boston .. Asik portects the rim and allows Noah to roam and help defend. JJ should be out there with Deng covering good outside PURE shooters like Melo, Kobe.. But Deng cant do it all game.. JJ is the best Defender (quicker to close on the 3 than Booz and Taj.. But this coach DOnt know any better..;Im already disgusted with the playing time CJ and Korver and JJ get along with Asik who we need to develop fast... Not with Thibs

  • In reply to Davidmon5:

    NBA officiating has never been worse, at this point they just plain suck. They miss at least 50% of the calls. They are constantly calling phantom calls where no contact occurs and seconds later ingnoring a mauling on the other end. It has really become a farce, and ruins the enjoyment of the game.

  • My hope is Thibs will begin playing Noah and Rose a bit less once these next two games are finished. My general feeling is he has been attempting to get the Bulls through this tough part of the schedule with a decent record and relying on his go to guys for that. Hopefully he will trust the bench a bit more after that. On another note the one thing I think Vinny did better than Thibs was his rotation with Rose. Vinny always took Rose out with a few minutes left in the 1st and 3rd quarters and then brought him back with about 8 minutes left in the 2nd or 4th. This is what most coaches do with their "star" player and I wouldn't mind seeing Thibs implement this. It allows the player to get a few extra minutes with rest between quarters.

    Also, I thought it was interesting and a pretty smart move for Coach Thibodeau to play Gibson and Noah to start the OT, which allowed him to bring in Boozer when Noah fouled out.

  • Who needs Carmelo when you have D. Rose! CLUTCH!!

  • I agree w/Doug that the game never should have been this close, they really let them back in it. But it was almost worth it for that Rose shot, both for my viewing pleasure (thank God I bought League Pass two weeks ago) and for his confidence. His biggest weakness has been the clutch shooting since the National Championship game. I don't mean high pressure fourth quarters and playoff games - where he's always been good - but free throws and shots in the last sixty seconds and actual game winning or game tying buzzer beaters. It has seemed like he had a complex from those free throws in Memphis and was overthinking it. But this year his confidence has been a different animal, sticking with that three when everyone told him he couldn't do it - and showing the results last night!

  • Derrick Rose when asked if he was bothered/concerned about a 30 point night with a myriad of forays to the paint, and no fouls called - 0??

    "Not at all." D, wrong answer. Dirk Nowitzki just smacks Derrick on the snout definitely with harm intended/more force then needed. And then D shakes his hand with a cut over his nose.

    Could we rent Pat 'the Snake" Riley to put some street smarts into this kid? He's gotta fight for this no-foul NBA ref conspiracy to end. How could Wade and Kobe etc. spend that much time ragging incessantly to the refs if it weren't a necessity/important??

    If not Thibs, then somebody around Derrick needs him to wake up, and fight for his rights. He is getting shafted, and if he continues to put up with it that does not bode well for his future/karma. Also it makes me wonder about Thibs and the coaches around Derrick that while every single scorer or starting guard for that matter in the NBA takes advantage of the refs calling fouls on any(?) drawn contact real or faked by the offensive player pump faking, and then diving into the defender and also sometimes yes you have to fall down to sell the contact ala Lowery and Martin last night. Most scorers you see this at least every other game. Derrick: 0 for his career!

    Derrick looks like an old fashioned 1950's player groping along naievely in slicked up phony gilded era of doctored up calls by savvy/slick players. Look at Westbrook! The guy can't shoot a jump shot to save his life(40% or below from the field his first two seasons), and yet he's getting over 10!!!!!!!!!! trips to the line a game.

    Derrick, a champion sees a major flaw in his game or an injustice(Jordan raped by Detroit, Pippen weak/migraine against the same/Pistons), and they overcome! You have GOT(sorry for caps) to start fighting for your rights. And you have got to start pump faking, and drawing contact(and yes sometimes falling down). Not doing so makes you look naieve and weak. Yes you are the classier guy. And this is a phony doctored up NBA. BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS(again sorry for mall caps). PUMP FAKE the god damn basketball in the f-ing lane. Please for the love of god start getting to the line. Sh*t, you should be averaging at least 7 trips/FTA';s a game. At least!. Watch the Iverson tapes. Dude couldn't shoot worth a DAMN, and got ten trips to the line for a decade!

    Derrick, B.J. Armstrong, Thibs somebody!! wake the fu*k up, and get Derrick to inrotduce the pump fake and dive in when a player jumps to his game. It's tim to take off the fenders and spoilers and turn this Cadillac into a Ferrari. And man up, and stick up for yourself on these bullshit calls.

    I mean that Kyle Lowery diver underneath him for a f-ing charge? And Derrick doesn't just go off on the refs!!?? Derrick, seriously, you are awesome, but right now there is a major flaw/injustice/weakness in your game hanging over your head. Please, fight. Fight starting right now and every day on for the remainder of your NBA career.

    Thank You. The Management(i.e fans).

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Man I really never realized that DRose virtually NEVER uses a pump fake period. Good call, but RW lets not act like Derrick has lead you to believe he doesn't look at his flaws realistically, it would seem he just hasn't gotten to this one yet. Jordan usually added one thing to his game every offseason, this Summer Rose added a three point shot. I have faith he'll be addressing these other weaknesses soon, and he really has complained quite a bit lately, he threw a couple fits this past game. I really want to see him toy with some pump fake moves though.. could be scary.

  • I do like the idea of stretching the floor with Korver from the start, but I think getting our opponent frustrated with defense is more important for this team. Start Brewer, which also has the benefit of keeping their defense off balance with his energy and movement, and plan on bringing Korver in for Deng around the 6 to 4 minute mark unless Deng is on fire. Keep Watson backing up Rose, of course, and then have Watson and Korver split the SG backup minutes.

    We have a ton of versatility here. When Rose sits, you can bring in either Taj or bring Deng back in at PF. You can switch things up with Brewer spending time at SF against a team like OKC. And you can slide Korver over to SG with either Deng or Brewer at SF to make a run when Rose comes back in.

  • Sure they do, they're just not going to get it done when the refs are placing bets against the Bulls. Ridiculously called game last night. Totally took our inside guys out of it, because they got punished for playing hard (and well; not fouling). I'd say about half of the fouls against Taj and Noah were bogus. How can you play with a killer instinct when that's happening?

    Also, how can you say this team hasn't shown killer instinct (besides it being a totally subjective attribute)? There were some games on the circus trip they absolutely shouldn't have been close or have won, but they did. These guys play fierce, at least when the refs let them.

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