Bulls defeat Bucks as Rose gets road MVP chants

It was probably a 50/50 crowd in Milwaukee.  Apparently, the Bulls are big enough to actually travel a bit now.  I'm sure seats are better and cheaper in Milwaukee.   Outside of the MVP chants, there wasn't much too noteworthy in the game.  

The Bulls won a road game that only barely counts as a road game.   They didn't play real well, the offense was stagnant, and they let Milwaukee hang around.   In the end, the managed to do enough to win fairly comfortably after building a big third quarter lead.

Abbreviated game wrap up below..
Luol Deng deserves a game ball as much as anyone

Quality defense and provided the best offense for the team tonight.   He wasn't setting the world on fire, but was the team's leading scorer with 19 points and added three assists.   He had his slashing game going on and made it to the free throws a four times (for eight FTs).   

Deng's giving the Bulls a bit of everything every night.   Thibodeau described him as a glue guy, but with Deng, I think it's true rather than a cover phrase to use on a guy who stinks..

Derrick Rose had his first mediocre game in awhile

Rose didn't do a whole lot in this game.   He scored 17 with four assists which, by Rose's new standards is a pretty poor night.   He didn't really earn those MVP chants, but I'm sure it always feels good to be treated so well in someone else's building. 

It's funny because 17/4/4 isn't  a terrible night, but our expectations of Rose have grown so much that it feels so much less than he's capable of.   Of course, the nice thing about Rose, is that we know he doesn't care about the stats.  He cares about the win, and any night Rose's team comes away with a win is a good night in his eyes and ours.

Joakim is hitting the glass hard but looks lost on offense

His play right now reminds me of his play last season.   He's playing with a lot of energy, making good defensive rotations, bringing down tons of rebounds, scoring on tips, but failing to really do much with his own offense.

He doesn't look like the player earlier this season who played really well on offense with confidence to put the ball on the floor and create his own shot or pass.   Joakim is pausing too much, and the hesitaion is slowing down his offense.

Carlos Boozer has been quiet since Joakim returned.

Let's hope the two figure things out soon.   Obviously his rebound numbers are down, but so are his shot attempts and effectiveness.   Many of his scores have been gimmies that Taj Gibson or Noah could have put away as well.   If Boozer isn't creating some of his own offense, hitting jumpers and spreading things out, then it's really not worth putting up with his defense.

The Bulls found Korver some shots

And Korver found a way to get the Bulls 11 points with those 11 shots.  Not setting the world on fire, but a nice rate for this type of game where everyoen was struggling to score.

The other noteworthy thing was, at one point after a blown assignment, Thibodeau looked like was absolutely going off on Korver on the sidelines.

I just feel asleep for the third time while trying to finish this one, so at this point, you're just going to get what I have.

[morning update]

Wow, never hit submit on an article you typed out while so tired you fell asleep three times in the process of writing it..

Omer gave the Bulls nice defensive push again

I love Omer in the paint.   Fouling is still a big issue because he plays aggressively, but because he's the back up center and not the starter, the Bulls can live with him always being in foul trouble and it's worth it for the rim protection he provides.

He's doing a great job on the glass and contesting shots.   He appears to have developed a reputation as well as I see players starting to actually shy away from him when he's in the lane and give him the respect of a great interior defender.

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  • The stats didn't really show it, but I thought CJ Watson played well today. Got the second unit offense into the flow and gave some ball pressure on defense. In fact the entire second unit was really good tonight, got the Bulls the lead in the second quarter and Thibs stayed with them for a while in the fourth too. It would have been even better if three wide-open Korver shots didn't go in-and-out.

  • In reply to punkedgepc:

    I think that's often the case with C.J. lately. I like his play a lot more than his box score on a regular basis. I think he's playing very well in his role lately. I love his defense.

    I think he's a volume scorer trapped in a non volume scoring role though. He looks a lot better when he has the confidence to put up a lot of shots, but he knows he can't do that.

    He's doing a good job of what the coach asks even if it hurts his numbers.

  • In reply to punkedgepc:

    +10

  • Asik once again played very well. In 10 second-half minutes he pulled down 6 boards with 1 steal. His defensive presence continues to stifle the opponent. Bulls built their biggest lead in the 3rd quarter when Asik was on the floor for an extended time.

    Much of what Asik accomplishes does not show up in the box score. His help defense is excellent, he clogs the lane with his size, and is always in proper position for the rebound.

    In 48 minutes Bulls got a combined 23 rebounds from their two centers. Not many NBA teams have this good of a 1-2 punch at center. And Noah

  • In reply to Edward:

    Agree completely on Asik. He's doing a great job defensively, and is probably one of the best back up centers in the league.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Couldn't agree more.

    Yes Thibs wants to get JoNo back in the flow of things but we need Booz to be taking 15/20 shots a game and he DEFINITELY needs to get a lot more touches in the post. If we don't, we go back to the perimeter shooting team of last year where we knew we needed a post presence.

    Booz is great in the low post; that is his biggest asset to the team. If Thibs is not gonna run plays for him then why have him on the floor? Its not because he's a defensive force thats for sure. JoNo is bound to struggle getting back in sync but allowing Booz to have the ball in the post will create great offensive board opportunities or simple lay-ups from Booz assists.

    The one big plus with JoNo's fittness struggles at present is the extra minutes Omer is getting. I really like the pairing of Booz and Omer with the second unit. Unlike JoNo who wants to be involved in the offence Omer understands his role and defers to Booz, and because its the second unit Booz tends to be up against the other teams reserve PF. This is also a natural substitution rotation for Thibs as well as he likes to bring Taj and Ronnie in around the 6-8 min mark and then bring Booz back in with Kyle(for Luol) at the 3-4 min mark of the 2nd qtr. Would be interesting to see Booz's +/- during those 2/3 minutes before all the starters are back where he is the primary offensive player. Also with CJ's shot SnR with Booz should be used more. Thibs like Luol to be the "glue" for the 2nd unit but a slight tweak of his substitutions might allow Booz to be the dominant player whilst JoNo is finding his feet.

  • In reply to Edward:

    +100

    Personally, I hope this nonsense about Asik not being worth keeping is over with.

  • Ugly or not and against a crappy offensive team or not it was good to see the Bulls hold an opponent to a low point total on the road. They've struggled to stop teams from scoring away from home.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    +1. i agree. the first two game after the allstar break made think that bulls werent able to play good D without Kurt thomas on the floor. But that game against the bucks shows that Noah is back in D !!

  • Interesting interview with Bulls assistant coach Ron Adams:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bulls/post/_/id/3390/bulls-confidence-at-an-all-time-high

  • In reply to Edward:

    Love the comments on Asik, mirroring what I have been saying about his defensive ability. He is certainly looking more and more like a keeper and even an impact player in this years playoffs.

    Thank god, we didn't listen to the Mappy's, Ressels, and Dee'lusionals of the world and trade him for Courtnery Lee.

    As and aside, Bill Simmons on Aaron Afflalo, "I wake up every morning scared to death that Denver has just traded him to the Bulls for a couple of picks and $3 million."

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Love the Simmons quote on Afflalo, he's the type of guy the Bulls really need though I think Lee would also help the Bulls a ton.

    I'd have loved it if the Bulls could have gotten someone at the deadline, but I agree with their stance that picks + cash was what you wanted to give up.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    + Googleplex

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Good win by the Bulls on the road even tho it wasn't a road game. If Deng would play the way he has the last two games, no one would complain about him. And I agree that Noah and Boozer still has not figured things out yet and hopefully they will by the playoffs. Anytime Rose does not have to do all of the scoring for this team is always a plus. The bench came in and contributed good minutes and Asik continues to improve and on that subject, I for one did not say Asik should be traded cause his size was too important, however I did want the Bulls to try to make a deal with a combination of their picks along with other players from the bench not including Taj and maybe Bogans. Next time don't be so quick to mention my name Bigway before you do your research on what I have commented on. I understand the good feeling that some Bulls fans get when they can say "I told you so" to the guys that criticize this team sometimes. it was a good win but no one was delusional as you say when it comes to the Bulls trying to make a trade cause they did need to make one but it didn't happen. I'm sure the teams needs will be looked into this off season cause it is a major need

  • In reply to Reese1:

    a shooting guard.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Yes, Bulls do need to make a SG acquisition. But please be patient.
    If we had traded Asik for Courtney Lee Houston would have been

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Got a chance to make up some ground against Miami.
    Over their next 10 games, 7 are against top 10 teams, & the other 3 against top 15, plus 1 game against us head-to-head

    The Celtics on the other hand play pretty much a bunch of cake games until March 31, although they do have a decent 3 game road trip, but after 3/31 they do play 6 playoff teams. Its really not that tough though. We need them to lose some games they shouldn't.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I somehow feel the Celtics are due for a letdown. They have played with a lot of intensity from Day 1 and I think they are worse than Miami in terms of having great intensity one day and losing it the next game and plus will have their chemistry issues with the new guys coming in.
    With Miami, it really doesn't matter if they are 1,2 or 3rd seed. They can win on the road or at home if they are executing well. It is not like they will do well at home and struggle on the road like the Bulls. I agree, if the Bulls can leap over these two teams and get a 1st seed, that we can probably book tickets for atleast ECF..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Yeah, let's hope the Celtics might be settling into a coast to the playoffs mentality.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I sure hope so. I really want that #1 seed now.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    disagree about Miami though, they need all the help they can get as the've struggled mightily against the elite teams

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Agree, they have struggled. But, we know that if they can execute/play their team game they can beat anybody anywhere ...so their seeding doesn't matter because of their sheer talent which no other team has. The problem is will they execute even if they are at home! I was talking in the context of how seedings will help or not... The Bulls and the Celtics would probably use their home court to a bigger advantage than Miami would. That's my point.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I just think that applies to any team really. And bosh has proven he's mentally fragile & prone to road woes, and I think LeBron in the playoffs will be too

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Is there a website that tracks who owns other teams' draft picks?
    There is always so much trading of draft picks it can be difficult to keep track.

  • In reply to Edward:

    yes there is, this site kicks ass:

    http://basketball.realgm.com/nba/draft/future_drafts/detailed

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Great Site! Just what I was looking for. Thanks.

  • In reply to Edward:

    no problem

    RealGM.com is one of my favorite sites, as well as 82games.com & basketball-reference.com

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The point is not whether you said the actual trade should happen. Everybody knows that the Bulls need a SG upgrade including probably Bogans himself. What we need is patience because of the Summer of 2010. The Bulls had to let go of many assets to try for LBJ/Wade/Bosh. We have a limited number of assets now and it is a waste to give away big assets for a marginal upgrade like Lee when there was no big upgrade available or can be got with our assets. Our bench assets(Asik,Taj etc..) are not good enough to get an all-star SG but are good enough not to get a marginal upgrade at the SG. I do agree the chances of the Bulls winning a championship this year is not great. This group hasn't even made it out of the first round once.
    But, that said(ignoring the Miami happening)I don't think of many dynasties where they didn't have a home-grown superstar. Having patience and appreciating what we have doesn't we are homer fans or we don't want championships.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Interesting thoughts on Omer by Adams. Thanks for the info.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Still a chance Hamilton gets bought out?

    Per Ken Berg of CBS...."Though sources are downplaying a significant rebellion against (Pistons coach John) Kuester, a proposal to buy out (Richard) Hamilton -- who had another in a series of confrontations with Kuester recently -- will be presented to ownership before the March 1 deadline for him to be eligible for another team's playoff roster. The chances of a buyout for Hamilton, however, are "slim," a source said, given that he has two years left on his contract."

  • In reply to walrus:

    I have my doubts about Hamilton if reading about him on Yahoo Sports. I hope it is a one time event but going off on a coach in front of his teammates tells me he is a bum with no self-control. He would probably behave well with the Bulls but they better have be ready to kick him out if he acts up..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I didn't like that either. On the plus side, the Bulls have obviously shown they can win without him at SG, so it wouldn't be costly in terms of money or lineup issues to cut their losses if he becomes a problem -- and I would hope Hamilton wouldn't be so foolish as to get a second chance and throw it away.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Ganging up with Ben Wallace to try to get rid of a coach is not the scenario to endear you to Bulls fans is it?

  • In reply to walrus:

    I'm not high on Hamilton. IMO he isn't in the basketball shape. he hasn't played since a long time. I wonder if he could be good as he used to be before playoffs.
    In my mind, we should go after TJ ford. I heard that he isn't to be bought out. He would be a vergy good back-up PG(i like his ball handling and dynamism). it would also allows to CJ waton to play SG (he is a good shooter).

  • In reply to walrus:

    Deng plays good again. keep going like that Lu !
    I want to make things clear. I'm not a Deng hater or whatever. My point is deng is the key for us to beat heat and celtics. I mean, we've already two allstars(rOSE and boozer) but which makes to beat others contenders is definitly Deng. I'm sure u notice that when he is good chicago win easily and when he isn't D-rose has a lot to do. And unfortunatly i think deng is irregular, we want Deng to play well every game or at least during 7 games in row(a playoff serie).

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Derrick Rose is every bit as inconsistent as Luol Deng. It's just plain old fact. You'll never say it of Rose, though, because his usage is so high. I've given up on trying to break through your obvious denial when it comes to Luol Deng's consistency. When Rose shoots 30% from the field but still scored 25, inconsistent? Of course not.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    And im talking about inconsistent in terms of shooting, just because it is one of the most easily quantifiable numbers out there. We won't even get into defense.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    i dont think we look both the same derrick rose !lol

  • In reply to Edward:

    Deng is building a momentum to his game. I remember the momentum he had that season they beat the "defedning champs" ha ha, but he destroyed them with his shooting and agressivess. I see him being a force in this year's playoffs.

    That's the same type of force Noah looked like before the thumb injury. At some point I do think they are going to have to get more offense from the guards. Especially if they are going to win on the road. What kills other teams is when your bench guys and depth show up in their house. And it gives the team's energy a boost defensively as well IMO.

    C.J. to me has improved so much as the backup PG that despite his poor shooting his signing has turned into the great move I/many thought it was at the time it happened. While his field goal percentage is at .358(yikes) he's shooting a surprising 39% from three. I just think C.J. and Kyle are going to have to get more burn with Derrick and more opps to score. If we can get Korver's scoring up a little and his shot really hot along with C.J.'s scoring and confidence up, I think we can compete for the Eastern Conference as presently constituted.

    Also as an aside, anybody see where Perkins is out three weeks with an "MCL" sprain? Did Boston just offload/dump a bill of goods on OKC? No, not Danny Ainge, a nice guy like him would never try to do something like that. And Kristic looked very active/good in their win over the Clips who even without Eric Gordon have become a more then solid home team(though they hav been collapsing/losing as of late).

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    3 weeks? I knew he had an injury but I thought it was minor and that he was coming back soon. Geez, with Perkins history I'd be pretty worried. Wonder if OKC knew that at the time of the deal. There isn't a whole lot of time left in the season

  • In reply to walrus:

    Yeah, and unfortunately there apparently isn't a whole lot of time left in Perk's knees either. ;)

    Ah, you gotta love that old school prick(ishness?) in Danny Ainge.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    With Perk's knee issue and the Celtics winning without him this season plus he was not getting in at the end of the 4th quarter, it is probably a well thought out decision by Ainge. He gives less than what the combo of O'Neals give(if healthy) in limited minutes.
    That said, he is young and OKC needed one like him(Defensive and Experienced big body). I think OKC was looking at next year more than this year. I doubt they are on the level of winning a championship this year anyhow and Perkins will help them next year or later.

  • In reply to Edward:

    As for Thibs going apeshit on Kyle, on that play Noah was collapsed in the paint on what would have been a mismatch on the perimeter guy. Kyle was stuck out there with two Milwaukee shooters. I mean what was he suppsoed to do? Thibs as a ranter/ass chewer will overreact/makes mistakes on his outrages as all screamers do. I think he should have apologized to Kyle after the game on that one. Being fair and just goes a long way in players allowing you the license of chewing their ass over the short and long term. Thibs is not infallible. And I think he's smart enough and cool enough to realize that. That's what makes him a success as a ranter/in game crazy(at times).

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Sam Smith talked about the Korver/Thibs situation in his game recap.

    http://blogs.bulls.com/2011/02/bulls-shoot-past-the-bucks/

    Although, as you point out, Korver was caught between Boykins and Salmons on that play, Thibs apparently had an expectation of how Korver should defend it. And then let him know it, in no uncertain terms. Not knowing the exact defensive responsibilities, it might seem that Thibs overreacted, but he obviously wanted Korver to stay with Salmons in that situation.

    What I thought was most interesting, however, as Sam pointed out, is that coming out of that timeout, Thibs called on Korver to shoot a 3, which he nailed. It's what Sam said is a great trait of Thibs. He'll get pissed off, but then moves on quickly. Very quickly in this case. He has a way of demanding accountability, challenging them, but also instilling confidence in their ability to make a play when called upon.

    I thought it was interesting an insight into big time coaching by Sam.

  • In reply to zentastic:

    I undertand your view and Sam's. Thibs is a defesnive genius, and personally I think a good/well meaning guy. But the man lives on the edge, and mistakes when you live by near contantly lashing out will be made.

    I think Kyle has put in a tremendous effort with hs defense. Sure he gets burned soemtimes, but I think he's been far above and beyond what I thought he could do defensively, and often has not been a weak link due to his effort which has been tremendous in my view.

    Kyle may have made the wrong coverage/rotation, but Joakim was just satnding in the paint when there was no penetration and wasn't really guarding anyone. I'm sure Korver must have made an error, but I just don't think he was the only one who screwed up on that play. When you have perimeter guys uncovered, and you go take one of them out there's worse things you can do on a basketball court. I just thought if that would have been Derrick, Boozer etc. Thibs never would have personally confornted them in such an extreme fashion.

    I don't want to debate about it. I understand and respect what you and Sam are saying. If people think Kyle was simply at fault, and deserved that kind of personal reprimand of such ferocity so be it. But Thibs can make mistakes and will no doubt with his ass chewing style as it can be a fine line. He's not perfect, and IMO going after Kyle with that feoricty with all his effort defensively this season was just a mistake. And just because he then had Kyle take the next shot, and kept him in the game doesn't just make what he did OK in my view. I think he should have apologized to him after the game. Kyle is just as important to this team if they are going to win as Boozer or even Derrick IMO. So stick the double standards. I know Derrick says Thibs cusses him out, but not like that in front of everyone during a game on the court basically. He wouldn't do that to Derrick, and he shouldn't do it to Kyle.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I certainly understand and respect your perspective, as well. You frequently make solid points and insightful observations. I just thought Sam's comments were interesting and a different take on the situation.

    I agree with you that Thibs treats his players differently. But I think that's to be expected. It's that way with almost any situation where there's an authoritative figure leading a group. Korver is mentally tough, though. He'll be alright.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    I kind of agree with you RW....This is one instance we saw on TV. But, we don't know how many times it has happened without the cameras or in practice etc.. These kind of things can take a toll on the team and you need constant turnover of the players to make them produce at the high level Thibs expects.
    Although if Rose, Boozer and Noah have bought into this; it should not be a big deal. I hope Thibs just doesn't burn out. But, he doesn't seem to be a surly guy like Popovich or Skiles and seems to be calm when he talks to the media.
    I only hope they make it to the second round at a minimum because if the Bulls have a first round exit, Thibs might go crazy next year.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    My post dissapeared apparently, but short version I'm wondering about buyouts. I know, probably not going to happen.

    Joe D said he will not buyout Tayshuan Prince's expiring/final year. But wouldn't that save cost cutting sellers/owners, and might they not tell Joe, "Hey, go ahead"?

    Tayshaun, despite the current mutiny, for years has been loyal, and stayed with Detroit through tough times. Maybe he desrves a shot with a contender as they go young/rebuild? The Bulls have $4 Mil this year and could add a second year possibly for him to recoup most of that.

    You give Kyle more minutes at the two, and Prince gets to play some SF. And even maybe sneak him in some at the two? His numbers are surprisingly good. I think he's shooting .460 or higher with 14ppg and nearly 40% from three though with only one attempt per game. But he's a clutch performer/winner. And can play D as well. I know, not going to happen. But March 1st is approaching and stranger things..? Oh well, I guess I can dream. Go ahead, some salary wonk tell em it's not feasible/just a dream.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    From what I read, Dumars wants to do a sign and trade deal for Prince. That's why he didn't trade him at the deadline as you probably know that he would have been a great trade asset. So, I wouldn't hold any hope of him getting free in a buyout.

  • Well as I mentioned I was at the game tonight. It was great to see the Bulls in person, especially of course DRose, Joakim, etc. I somewhat agree with Doug's analysis, but I'll just add a few points since this was my first time seeing this version of the Bulls in person:
    1. The crowd was AT BEST 50-50, I thought it was more 66% - 33% in favor of the Bulls...those "MVP" chants were really loud!
    2. I thought Derrick played at a pretty low energy level. After the first half it felt like the Bulls could put the Bucks away any time they decided to, and did just enough to more-or-less coast to the win.
    3. I thought Noah was VERY aggressive on offense especially in the first Q - he may in fact have gotten all 8 of his points in the first Q. He still doesn't look like he's 100% in game shape yet, but in the first he was making strong moves to the hole.
    4. Ronnie Brewer's shot looks even goofier in person - and I never really noticed before that he has kind of a funky free throw stroke as well.
    5. I don't know if he is still nit healthy, but this is the second time I've seen the Bucks in two weeks, and to me Andrew Bogut looks like a freaking stiff. No energy, no aggressive offensive moves, looked like he can't or wouldn't finish moves to the hole strong; I was shocked when I saw the box score that he somehow had 16 boards...I'll tell you what, either the hometown scorekeeper gave him credit for a bunch of tipped shots I couldn't see very well because our seats were in Section 225 which is behind the visitor's bench, or he got all his boards when I was out getting a bratwurst or taking a piss, because to me he had virtually no impact on the game at all. Noah just made him look like a statue, Bogut looked to me like he was just mailing it in.
    6. Really like what CJ and the second unit bring to the court, and we noticed that in the fourth, Thibs stayed with CJ until there were only like 5 or 6 minutes left - although I still wish that he'd play CJ and Rose together more.
    7. I thought Korver had a nice touch tonight, and I must not have noticed Thibs going off on him.
    8. Thibs is going to have a stroke right out there on the court one of these days. Doug, I listened to your podcast with KC Johnson (who I saw at the game looking pretty snazzy in a nice blazer) and I'll take his word for it that Thibs isn't going to burn out and lose the team, but Geez he NEVER sits down, NEVER stops yelling, and NEVER seems happy.
    9. Nice, nice game from Deng tonight. Actually saw him go into the post a couple of times and try some fallaway jumpers. This is new. Don't think they dropped for him, but I was pleased to see that new dimension to his game. He also actually looked pretty smooth for a change on some of his little curl drives towards the basket.
    In case you can't tell, I enjoyed the hell out of myself and I really liked what I saw. Despite not putting out max effort or energy, the Bulls had this game by the ...err, we'll say by the throat - the whole second half. It's a long season, And I was very glad to see they didn't let Thursday's big win get them feeling too complacent. Still unbeaten in the division!

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    Good Stuff right there.

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    Great recap thanks!

    The part whre Thibs went off on Korver was when the Bucks hit two open threes and Korver was responsible, I think in the third.

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    Good recap...
    1. Rose was spent/had a little letdown after the Miami game. He also maybe trusts Noah to take care of the ball/get rebounds so that he can conserve some energy. I think Bogut is hurt and it looks Skiles is on the end part of his last head coaching job.
    2. I also think it was probably one of CJ's better games as a backup.
    3. Asik has great court awareness. It is great to see how he
    looks around and then positions himself on defense.

  • Yeah I saw that this morning and edited. I probably should have just waited until morning to type out this recap :)

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