Derrick Rose had an MVP like game against the 'best' team in the league to lead the Bulls to victory. HIs 42 points represent a new scoring high for him, and in the fourth quarter he just scored possession after possession after possession. The Spurs tried to claw back into the game over and over, but every time they threatened, the Bulls would immediately go on a 5-6 point run and push the lead back up.
Rose completely closed the book on them in the fourth quarter by just becoming the unstoppable offensive player. The Bulls continue their streak of beating marquee teams since December, and to think, they aren't even fully healthy yet.
Joakim Noah comes back against Toronto.
This win was huge for Rose's MVP chances
Let's face it, not every voter is really watching that much basketball, but they do watch the marquee games and matchups. Let's put this in perspective:
1: Derrick Rose dominated the best team in the league
2: He dominated an elite defense
3: He killed another one of the league's elite PGs head to head
4: He did this all on national TV while the MVP voters are watching
Big, big team win, but if Rose has a legit shoat at the MVP, then this game likely played a pretty big factor in that.
Rose killed the Spurs in the paint. He killed them with the pull up jumper. If he had the three point shot going on, it wouldn't have been fair, assuming that trying to defend him without it is fair.
Luol Deng knocked down the three that broke open the game
The Bulls had ended the 4th up by eight and went to the bench. They picked up one more point on the Spurs in C.J. Watson's 2 and a half minutes, and the Bulls brought back Derrick Rose.
Luol Deng knocked down a three to put the Bulls up by 12. That shot, more so than any other broke the Spurs back IMO. The game was previously waffling back and forth where the Spurs were closing in then falling back, but that shot turned it into a borderline route.
Deng had a nice night overall shooting 50% from the field and scoring 19 points. He passed the ball well, finding the open man when the defense closed out on him quickly and helped the Bulls considerably on the glass.
Carlos Boozer jump started the team early
I didn't like his play so much down the stretch, but he helped carry the Bulls early when he knocked down his first four shots including a couple 18 footers. It was a back and forth offensive battle early, and Boozer did a nice job delivering for the Bulls.
On the night he shot 50% scoring 16 points on 7/14 shooting. He had a cringe worthy help defense moment late in the game when San Antonio was attempting a last gasp and Ginobili got the step he just ducked out of the way and let him dunk.
Give Bogans credit, he continues to shoot reasonably well
Yes, we'd like more volume. Yes, we'd like an off the dribble game. However, Bogans just continues to knock down around half his three point shots, and for a guy who's playing 16 minutes a night, I'm okay with that. His defense comes and goes, but I thought he had nice energy for the most part tonight.
Thomas did a fair job out there as always
He didn't kill it in the box score, but he played solid defense in the paint, as always. He helped on the glass and gave the Bulls some toughness inside. The Big Sexy is going to be getting a heck of a lot more rest soon, so let's just give him some credit for stepping up big time while Noah was out.
Loved Taj Gibson's energy out there
Gibson only scored 6 points, but he scored them all during the run where the Bulls built their huge lead. He gave the Bulls a big lift on both ends of the court making numerous great defensive plays.
Don't sleep on Omer
we talk a lot about how Kurt Thomas has played well in Joakim's absence, but Omer has really done a great job defensviely and on the glass. He makes excellent rotations and gives the Bulls some legit size and beef in the middle.
Ronnie Brewer had a nice night offensively
Down the stretch, he hit a big leaning jumper over Ginobili to help ice the game. He had numerous deflections and tips that could have resulted in big plays for the Bulls and brought it all night long. Another quality game by Brewer
The Bulls have done a great job closing things out prior to the all-star break. They go into the break winning four straight including wins over the Jazz, Hornets, and Spurs. That's a great stretch of basketball.
I said on my podcast that I felt the Spurs were a bit overrated, and I said it again on the pregame show hwen I said that I felt the Bulls could win this game. The Bulls only need to beat the Hawks and Knicks to defeat every team on the season at least once now.