Derrick Rose threw out terms like 'revenge' and 'easy game' when before tip off. Even with the extra blackboard material, the Bulls rolled over the Bobcats while playing fairly poor basketball most of the night. I like the term 'easy game' more than revenge in this case as you can't really avenge an embarrassing loss as you still have that embarrassing loss on your record.
The Bobcats made their run at the Bulls a couple of times. They closed out a lead in the second quarter before falling behind again at the half. They tied the game up again in the mid third, but immediately fell behind again and entered the fourth with a big deficit. The Bulls didn't smite the Bobcats, but they did win fairly comfortably giving us a Scalabrine and Johnson appearance at the end of the game.
Derrick Rose ripped up the blue print on stopping them by passing well out of the trap
Rose finished with 18 points, 13 assists, 3 rebounds, and 6 turnovers which isn't a particularly good game for him. However, after an atrocious first half where he scored only five and had four of the turnovers, he did step it up considerably in the second half.
Early on, Rose struggled trying to split the double team and seemed to lose every play that could have gone either way causing a number of his turnovers. He also lost the ball twice when over penetrating and having to pass the ball out from deep under the basket.
The good news is that despite six turnovers, Rose passed the ball effectively when trapped creating easy baskets for the team. The Bobcats has been one of the most effective teams in trapping Rose previously, but the Bulls managed to punish them severely when they tried it this game, ripping up one more blue print on how to stop Derrick.
Luol Deng really stepped up his play
Deng was probably the most instrumental guy in helping Derrick Rose out when trapped. He was frequently getting the ball with a weak zone in front of him and drove to the hoop to punish the Bobcats.
With Deng driving very well with space in front of him, the Bobcats has little hope to defend the Bulls. Deng also highlighted the Bulls second quarter when the bench came in scoring five points in about 30 seconds to give the Bulls their first real push in the game.
He didn't have a lot of defensive pressure on him most of the night, and he made the Bobcats pay for that.
Carlos Boozer had a so-so night
He had 16 points on 7-13 shooting which is always pretty good, but a lot of those points were pretty much gimmie baskets where Derrick Rose delivered him a great pass after a perimeter double team.
Still, Carlos did his job with the shots he had and gave the Bulls some efficient offense. It wasn't a dominant night for him, but he played reasonably well.
Big Sexy and Keith Bogans set the tone early
Kurt Thomas knocked down two jumpers and a tip in the first six minutes of the game to help lift the Bulls early offense. Keith Bogans knocked a couple of threes in the first quarter as well. Having the weaker offensive players knock down their shots makes a huge difference for the Bulls offense and was one of the big reasons the Bulls had such an explosive first quarter with 29 points.
Kyle Korver was the X-Factor
Along with Luol Deng, Kyle Korver really made the big difference in this game for the Bulls. He had 15 points with 2/2 on twos, 3/3 on threes, and 2/2 from the line. When a guy scores 15 points on just six offensive possessions it makes a huge difference for the team.
Consider if the Bulls scored their average six points on those possessions instead and this game is a nail biter down the stretch. The Bulls found Korver some good looks behind the three point line, but he drilled a few of those two point shots off screens that he's struggled with recently as well.
Great game for Korver, though he almost fouled with five fouls in just 15 minutes.
C.J. Watson and Taj Gibson both got robbed on non calls
In two plays that happened over about a 30 second span, the Bobcats got credit for two blocks that I believe both should have been goal tends. The Watson one was absolutely a goal tend as the ball hit the backboard and bounced about six inches off it before it was blocked. It was obvious at full speed and mind blowingly obvious in slow mo.
I don't know how the refs managed to screw up that one. The Gibson shot was closer, but it also looked like he got the ball on the glass prior to getting blocked. In between those two plays, Omer Asik got called for a BS foul as well. Those three consecutive calls were a six point swing in the game, and the Bulls still lead comfortably at the time.
Without them, the game may have turned into a blowout early though.
Scottie and Michael together again
Jordan attended the game with the Bobcats and watched from courtside sitting next to Scottie Pippen, the title on the yahoo sports picture said 'former players' which made me laugh as if it was Mike Sweetney and Eddie Basden checking out a game together.
Nice to see the pair together again though.
I don't think this was really a 'monkey on our backs' type of game. In reality, the Bulls should have beaten the Bobcats in their other two games, and they played fairly mediocrely here. Rose and Boozer brought their C game, and they allowed the Bobcats fairly lousy offense to shoot 48% from the field.
The one thing they did was move the ball well offensively and the role players stepped up and played well. They won largely because of a combined 11/14 30 point performance by Korver, Thomas, and Bogans and Luol Deng shooting 10/19 for 24 points. The Bulls can't really count on that nightly, but then Derrick Rose isn't going 5/14 with six turnovers most nights either.
Good to get this one in the books, bring on the Spurs.