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It was about as dead as the United Center has ever been. The fans couldn't get up for a game against Milwaukee, whom we widely expected to beat down. That is, until Kurt 'Big Sexy' Thomas started unloading on Milwaukee.
Right around 12-14 points, the fans started going nuts for Thomas. Everytime Thomas scored the crowd erupted. He got a huge round of applause whenever he left or entered the game the rest of the night.
Derrick Rose dominated the game
Rose continues to shoot poorly due to the immense defensive pressure he faces every game, however he moved the ball well creating tons upon tons of open shots for his teammates, and at least Kurt Thomas knocked them down.
He's also found a way to consistently get to the foul line, something he's struggled with earlier in his career. Rose managed 21 points on only 16 shots while shooting only 5/16 for the game.
That's the sign of a star player, when he's able to get the free throws when his shot isn't falling and create for others. Rose played great defense again throughout the game.
One thing the Bulls didn't do with Rose was really try to push him to post up Earl Boykins. The Bulls went to it a few times, but seemed to decide it wasn't worth the effort.
Kurt Thomas basically won the game for the Bulls
No one else was knocking down the open looks Derrick Rose created, but Kurt Thomas came through. While his plays were all based off of being left wide open due to coverage on Rose, he converted. He knocked down 10 of 16 shots and has 5 assists when teams rushed up to defend him and left someone else open.
The Bucks dared Kurt Thomas to beat them, and he annihilated him. Thomas continues to amaze me with his play.
Where in the world was Carlos Boozer?
Everything you expected out of Boozer was done by Kurt Thomas. Boozer padded his stats at times in the game where it wasn't really close, and he seemed to not have a prayer at defending Ilyasova except to just hope that he missed.
It wasn't a great game for Boozer to say the least, but they didn't run that many plays for him or have much success when they did.
Luol Deng missing in action
Luol Deng built an addition on to his house from the three point line last night. He was left wide open repeatedly, Derrick Rose got him the ball repeatedly, the shot missed repeatedly.
He was 1 for 5 on the night from behind the arc and passed up numerous open three point looks due to shooting poorly.
On top of that, when tasked to defend Chris Douglas Roberts, he got eaten alive (though same was true of Brewer).
Keith Bogans is back
Nevermind that stretch of good shooting. He also bricked two three pointers when no one else was in his zip code. He had enough time to heat up some microwave popcorn and eat it before the defense got out on him and still missed both corner threes.
I'll give Bogans some credit though, he chased down Andrew Bogut on a breakaway and had a clean strip of the ball as he was going up for a dunk. It was a tremendous defensive play, so he had that going for him.
Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver added to the brick fest
They combined for 4 for 17. Korver did knock down two threes and Brewer had an open dunk, but these guys also missed a crapload of shots. The Bulls went back to trying to use Korver like Rip Hamilton again after going away from that for awhile, and he missed every shot he took in that running off a screen role.
C.J. Watson quietly contributed big again
Another 3/7 game with two threes made and eight points. Watson gave us scoring in a game we struggled to score. He moved the ball really well, and he was probably the key reason we took the lead in the second quarter where he played excellently.
After Waton's nice second quarter, the game was never in doubt the rest of the way. It wasn't an explosive box score, but it was another quality performance by Watson who has settled into his role really nicely recently.
Taj Gibson found his grove a bit
He didn't play that many minutes, but he was good in all phases while in the game. He did a nice job on the glass, was big on help defense, and hit three of his five shots. One of his misses was a possession where he got the ball in the post late in the shot clock and had to shoot a really terrible look or risk a 24 second violation as well.
Hopefully Gibson can keep the momentum going.
The team has three days off before facing Orlando, and it looks like they'll need them to get the offense back together. No one is hitting shots recently, as the Bulls are playing fairly atrocious offense.
Their defense has been tremendous though. They hold basically every team to considerably worse offensive efficiency than their average. They protect the hoop, do a good job of avoiding too many fouls, and have improved on closing out on three point shooters.
The Bulls needed this one due to the schedule getting really tough soon, so it's nice that they picked up the W.