Down goes Miami! Bulls sure look better at home

A night after the Bulls lost an embarrassing game to the Raptors, they come out and defeat the Miami Heat.    It didn't look good early as Miami had three or four leak outs for open dunks to take a good lead in the first.    The teams alternated runs, and Miami went into the break up by nine.

I have to be honest, my confidence wasn't really soaring at this point.   Then Luol Deng and Derrick Rose owned the third quarter.   They outscored the Heat by 13 in the period to take a four point lead in the 4th. 

The Bulls lept out to a big lead only to have a Heat free throw parade push them back into the game.   Down the stretch though, Derrick Rose made the shots, made the passes, and the Bulls won while the Heat have to wonder again why they can't beat the best teams in the league.

LeBron's not the MVP

Really, LeBron score 29 on 12 of 21 shooting, but most of his efficiency came from transition play.  He struggled with Luol Deng's defense in the half court, and really wasn't nearly as impactful as the numbers would imply.   Dwyane Wade scared the hell out of me much more so than LeBron in this game.

Chris Bosh is the Bulls MVP

I knew he had a lousy game, but I didn't realize how lousy until I got home.  1-18?   Ouch.    the Bulls gave Bosh the jumper all night, and he kept shooting it, and he kept missing it. 

Derrick Rose struggled early, but hit them when it counted

The Miami Heat built the wall to defend Rose, and the Bulls struggled to make them pay for it.   Rose seemed a bit lackadaisical early in this game while he was struggling.   He had some lazy passes early and seemed to play at a low energy level. 

However, by the end of the game, Rose was killing the Heat in transition.  He was huge when the Bulls came from behind and huge at the end.  When the game was on the line, Derrick was simply too good.

Joakim is still finding his way, but still brings the energy

Noah frequently looked uncomfortable with the basketball in his hands.  His offense regressing back to his rookie year type of ability.   However, he still provided some tips for the Bulls and ripped some offensive boards away from the Heat and beasting them at times.  

When Noah gets his game back fully, the Heat are really going to be in trouble defending him.   They had enough trouble while he was still playing a bit tentatively.

Did Carlos Boozer clock Bosh in the face or not?

I watched the reply a few times, and I'm not really sure if he connected or if it was a great acting job by Bosh.   I may be the only one, but I think Bosh actually got clocked.

Otherwise, I'll commend Boozer for giving much better effort defensively in this game.   He came out and jumped at Bosh on all of his jumper attempts rather than simply turning his back and looking for the defensive board.   He also generally did a much better job of getting baseline to help this game.

He gave the Bulls some decent offense as well, nice game overall by Boozer.

Luol Deng struggled early but had a hell of a second half

Obviously he hit the money three to win the game for the Bulls, but he also was instrumental in the Bulls third quarter.   He did an amazing job on LeBron in the half court as well.   Deng did a nice job knocking down shots, driving the lane, helped a ton on the glass.   He really lived up to the all around game he brings when at his best. Loved his highlight real block on James as well.

Keith Bogans did a nice job on Dwyane Wade

Wade scored 34, but he did most of his damage when defended by someone else.   It got to the point whee I was rooting for Bogans to re-enter the game in the fourth.  He didn't knock down any of his shots which was, of course, an issue, but I still liked his heart out there tonight.

Thibodeau made the adjustment to go to Asik and it paid off

Asik didn't get a shot off in 21 minutes, but he played incredible help defense.   Reports are that several Miami Heat players are going dog shopping after the game, because despite him only blocking a single shot, the Heat seemed scared to go at him most of his time in the game.  Omer did a great job on the glass, a great job rotating, and made a huge impact on the game.  

The UC gave him a standing O when he subbed out as well.  Nice job Omer, maybe people will give up bitching that we didn't trade you for Courtney lee for at least one night.

Seriously, the Bulls lose this game without Omer, and it probably wouldn't have been close.

Ronnie Brewer played pretty well offensively, but was burned by Wade much of the game

You can't always stop a guy like Wade, but Wade seemed to struggle much more against Bogans than Brewer.   However, Brewer played with a lot of energy and still gave the Bulls a big lift.  He knocked down his jumpers and did a nice job giving the Bulls a lift.

I'm might be losing faith in Korver

He knocked down a couple threes, but he's not getting enough quality looks for the minutes he plays, and his defense made me feel really uncomfortable with him on the court at times.    Still Korver knocked down a big three with almost no room with an incredibly quick release to bring the Bulls back within one after Miami reclaimed the lead with their fourth quarter run.

C.J. Watson gave the Bulls good minutes

Won't show up in the box score, but the team played well while he ran it in both of his stints and his individual defense was very good.   Obviously, you don't want to see a guy go 0-3, but it was still a nice game for him.

Dwyane Wade would have been booted if he were anyone else

Wade had one technical earlier, and then during one of the accounts he absolutely went off on one of the refs, but the ref kept trying to walk away from Wade to avoid having to T him up a second time.

Hooray free throws

The Bulls knocked them down for the most part, and if they didn't, they would have lost.

Final thoughts

Bulls still winning every marquee game.   This one keeps the Bulls in the race for the 1st or 2nd seed and was a must win after losing to the Raptors last night.

Comments

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  • I think when the bulls have a long rest between games, Deng does better. Deng's been logging in heavy minutes and he finally got the needed rest over the all star break.

    Great game by the bench and we showed why Miami has the lowest scoring bench in the NBA. I think that stats were for the second half, one make for the heat besides Wade and Lebron.

  • In reply to rnohria310:

    Deng had a long rest before the Toronto game and didn't play well, this game was a back to back and he was amazing.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    However his splits in back to backs on the season are poor.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Great win for the Bulls. And Asik and Deng were kind of the game changers. There is something about Asik because when he is there, he is swatting the ball and it is always loose near the paint. This game was huge and LeBron was flying all-around and focussed.
    Asik gives that energy which is so key in these kind of games and the playoffs.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    add Brewer in the 3rd quarter.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Playing one half of a game is not amazing,although I suppose Michael could pull it off, because he like Deng even if he sucked in the first half would not half played like he was a scared little 3 year old.

    Last night was the Deng problem in a nutshell, he played like Chicken(shit) Little in the first half, and played like we paid him in the second. Too bad the second half happens about once a month at best.

    I remember some guy storming the sidellines mention something about 48 minutes once or twice. Anybody know what he was talking about.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    True, I agree this was a back to back and he didn't do as well against Toronto, but I think he got the rest he needed and he's found his legs again.

  • In reply to rnohria310:

    I saw a stat that said Miami's bench didn't score in the last 38 minutes of the game.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    I saw that at the half time show of the Boston-Denver game...seems like it might not be true though. I missed the game due to a meeting but was checking the score all night on my phone. Couldn't verify the stat, just figured it was right.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    Their Bench only socred 2 points at the 9 something mark of the first quarter.

  • In reply to rnohria310:

    Lebron can take his talents back to south beach!

  • RE: Korver
    It seems to me that Coach Thibs has been pushing Korver to get more involved in the offense than merely wait on the wings for a three-try, but is this sort of throwing Korver off his 3-point game?
    Sometimes, it clearly looks as if Korver doesn't know whether to wait on the wing for a pass to try a three, or run into the paint.
    Still, he hit a clutch basket, and with his percentage, I'm still happier with him than without him.

  • In reply to coachskiles:

    korver is clearly reliant on teamwork to get his looks. let's see if he can get going more now that jo is back. saw him get kyle a couple of looks tonight, just didn't knock them down. also, noah running the break sets up open looks in secondary transition. we'll see.

  • In reply to bucketball:

    +23

  • In reply to bucketball:

    I agree with doug generally, Korver is becoming a problem. However, He hit that 3 to stop a 14-0 Miami, and starting a Bulls 9-0 run, it was one of the 3 most critical shots of the game. The Bulls probably lose if he doesn't hit it.

  • In reply to coachskiles:

    Deng, Asik, Paxon & the rest of the Bulls dedicate this win to all the haters out there, you know who you are.

    Bulls are now 9-0 against the top 5 teams of each conference, since Dec 6th

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Funny how the haters disappear when the Bulls win a big game. They're so quick to criticize but slow to give credit. It's like they want them to fail, just to prove a point. Sad.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    + infinity. Deng showed again why he's the keeper. Not sure what Thibs is thinking about when he decides to play Asik or not, but I am fine with 20 minutes for Asik.

    I'd feel a lot better about the team if they weren't .500 on the road.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    That road record is the obvious concern, and the one glaring weakness. I think it improves once Noah gets fully acclimated, as his energy, defense, & leadership are key to road games.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Asik not only needs to get every minute that Noah does not play, but he and Noah need to get some run together, that will be our best defensive team, along with Brewer. Maybe they can score just by creating havoc.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I wouldn't say I'm a hater, but I am definitely still a skeptic.

    Yesterday, I said that the Bulls would need a minor miracle to get to the ECF, and probably more than that to advance to the Finals. I actually think last night's game totally vindicates that point.

    Bosh didn't have a bad night. If you saw the stat, he had a once-in-35-years horrible night. A total outlier performance. And it wasn't necessarily great defense; he missed at least 7 open shots by my count (started noticing in the 2nd quarter, may have been more).

    I'm not sure I'm hanging my hat in a 7 game series on an all-star player going 1-18 every time.

    Last night's game reminded me an awful lot of the 1st Bears-Packers game this past season. Take that for what you will.

    I think the Bulls heart & effort gets them to the 6th or 7th game in any series against the Celtics or Heat, I am just not sure they have the offensive talent to pull through; especially not on the road. And don't give me the line about defense wins, seeing how both of those teams are just as good as the Bulls on defense (well, at least, the Celtics were).

    On the plus side, I think the Celtics just weakened themselves considerably. I wouldn't be surprised to see them leapfrogged by both the Bulls and the Heat.

    So, depending on your definition, we could have seen one of the minor miracles yesterday (trade of Perkins).

  • In reply to saigman:

    Noah is not near to 100%. He took himself out of the game last night as he was dead tired. Bulls are still not 100% so I think even in Bosh shot a better % we would win had Noah been 100%. Also some shots (very well contested by Deng, Brewer and Bogans) that Wade and LeBron made will not go in in most games in those %. Look, how many points did the Heat sctore in set offensive plays, and not in breakouts, dunks etc. Not a lot.

  • In reply to saigman:

    Bosh having a poor shooting night is not a monir miracle. He was being forced outside. Maybe he makes a couple more next time, but so does Derrick to cancel him out.

    When the Bulls go 9-0 over the current stretch, its pretty insulting to them to say they need miracles to beat the best. That of course, is just my opionion.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It wasn't a bad shooting night. IT WAS HISTORICALLY BAD. Do you how many times 1-18 has happened prior to last night in the last 35 seasons??

    ZERO.

    Derrick shooting poorly against athletic wings and teams that double him has emerged as a pattern this season. The odds of Bosh improving to even 4-18 (which wins last night) and Rose staying about the same against the Heat are pretty high.

    The Bulls will need home court in the second round to have any shot of going to the ECF. The Perkins trade may be enough to get them there, but landing an upgrade at SG would have helped more.

    9-0?? I seem to remember a loss at Toronto just the other night.

  • In reply to saigman:

    I don't mean that as a knock against Derrick, either. He is forced into taking some low-percentage shots in an effort to either bail out the team at the end of the shot clock or try and make contact to get FTs. SG would be of great help in that regard.

    Actually, this Bulls team reminds me a lot of the Bulls prior to the Cartwright trade; just swapping out C for SG as positions of need.

    Krause had the cajones to trade a beloved player (and one that was highly productive still) in Oakley to get a player that was needed (even if on the downswing of his career). I haven't seen that same commitment from GarPax yet.

    I can't believe I just gave Krause credit for something. I feel icky all of a sudden.

  • In reply to saigman:

    ok, but 4/18 isn't as historically bad, yet only gives them 6 more points. You don't think the Bulls could have made up 6 points with better play? Bad shooting nights happen.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Everything that caused the Bulls to shoot badly is easily duplicated (LBJ guarding Rose sooner is actually pretty concerning).

    Bosh missing open shot after open shot is far less likely to occur again. 4 or 5 for 18 I can see. 1-for-18 ain't happening again.

  • In reply to saigman:

    still, the bulls defense will be tigther & better next time, so Bosh still ain't goin off, & James & Wade probably don't shoot as well

  • In reply to saigman:

    also, Wade & LeBrons percentages helped to make up for Bosh's. I don't think they shoot as good next time, even in Miami.

  • In reply to saigman:

    The Bulls of this season will need home court to win any playoff series.

  • In reply to saigman:

    Maybe he's just a historically overrated player. ;-)

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    There are a lot of people on ESPN who have the opposite opinion of you i.e. if Bosh got a few more shots in, Miami wins. We can say Rose, Deng sucked in the first quarter and could have finished Miami, Rose didn't so many calls, they were playing back-to-back, Noah was mostly off,Deng had a shin injury, trade-distractions etc..
    The point is you are right that Noah played good defense on Bosh and basically screwed his rhythm and Bosh was scared to drive inside against Asik, Noah and Boozer for whatever reason.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    If the Bulls do end up playing the Heat in the 2nd round, Asik should 'go after a loose ball' in close proximity to Bosh as soon as possible!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    and about 9-0 & losing to Toronto? So damn what. Do you really expect perfection? MJ's 96 Bulls losty plenty of gimme games. The Bulls have been giving you perfection against the great teams, & that's really what you have to want, certainly moreso than games against Toronto.

    I will give you the road argument though. Bulls absolutely need to play better on the road.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    If you count all 82 as gimmies then I guess that they lost plenty of gimmies, i.e. 10.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    He missed at least 4-5 bunnies that should have been dunks if he didn't have his RuPaul panties in a bunch.

  • In reply to saigman:

    Boston 5-1 against Chicago/Miami
    Chicago 3-2 against Boston/Miami
    Miami 0-5 against Chicago/Boston

    Which of these three teams fans do you think should feel the most skeptical?

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Trust me, if I were a Heat fan, I'd be pretty concerned. If I were the video board operator in an opposing arena, I may start off the Heat introductions with some clips of the Tin Man on his way to see the wizard.

    For the Bulls, though, my skepticism is based on that it seems as if everything needs to fall just right for them to pull some games out.

    LeBron not playing (granted, Noah wasn't playing in that game either, but LBJ's absence was greater to his team)

    Bosh going 1-18 (and no Mike Miller)

    Bynum not playing

    Orlando just coming off the major roster redo

    To me, the three best wins so far are the two against the Mavs and the one against the Spurs. No excuses to be had; just good games by the Bulls. However, those two teams don't really have what has typically been kryptonite for the Bulls. Dominant length (Gasol/Bynum/Odom, Howard), athletic/physical wings (Paul, Kobe, LBJ/Wade, Wallace/Jackson before Charlotte blew that up) and a PG that makes Rose work (Rondo, Jameer Nelson has been a problem for Rose, Felton gave him fits...good riddance to him) a little harder than normal.

    Miami with home court and Mike Miller probably beats the Bulls in 7. Boston with home court probably does the same; maybe even in 6 depending on whether or not the refs are calling Rondo for his 'Prom Date' move (where he rides the opponents hip and reaches his arm all the way around in front). They haven't called it in the games between the Celts and the Bulls so far.

    The Perkins trade is interesting. I think it helps the Heat more than the Bulls in terms of head-to-head matchups against the Celts. However, I think it may help the Bulls more in terms of overall standings.

    If the Bulls get a #1 or #2 seed, I think they can make the ECF (odds at 75% or better). If they are #3, I think the odds drop to about 33%.

    Like I said in another post, this Bulls team reminds me a lot of the pre-Cartwright team. Lots of pieces are in place, but there is still one missing. I'm not sure they have enough to get them over the hump as constituted.

    I sincerely hope I'm wrong; since this is a team that is worth rooting for in terms of personality.

  • In reply to saigman:

    If you are skeptical that the Bulls can win the title, then maybe you should re-evaluate your preseason expectations.

    When the season started, did you think "The Bulls are winning the title this year!" If the answer to that question is no, then they are merely progressing on the path that you expected them to.

    I think they're doing far better than most people hoped, and they don't have a quickly closing window. Yes, I'd of course like them to be even better, but not every team can make all the moves to win a title each year.

    In fact, only one team can do that. The odds, of that happening once we missed on LeBron, Wade, and Bosh were simply virtually none. We basically had to take one second tier star and role players and add them to what we had and hope for the best.

    That outcome has been far better than I think could be reasonably expected so far. We may lose a 7 game series, but I think we have a shot to beat anyone in the NBA right now.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    No offense, but that sounds a lot like the "we're just happy to be here' mindset that has been the ruination of the Chicago sports scene for the last 30+ years. The type that awards a coach for losing at home to a division rival in the playoffs with another 2 years.

    The Bulls should know by now that a). they are much better than expected due to leaps by Rose/Noah b). Thibs is a pretty solid coach, c). the title this years isn't exclusively the privy of the Celtics, Lakers or Heat.

    The only title you have a shot to win in 2011 is the one that is awarded in 2011.

    I'm going to believe that Mayo wasn't an option due to Heisley being a fruit loop. Everything I've ever seen with that franchise screams disaster, so that would be right in line. So, it comes down to whether or not Courtney Lee would have been more helpful to a possible title this year than Omer Asik could be.

    I think so. Hence, my disappointment and skepticism.

  • In reply to saigman:

    As for the Bulls, for 1 game, yes, I think they can play with anyone on any given night. They have a ton of heart, and that can carry them through some rough patches.

    During a long series, though, I think they need home court to advance past the second round. And even then, depending on who they play, they'll need some breaks to go their way.

    That, or Thibs will need to pull something new out of his hat (and I'm not ruling out that there may be something he pulls out just for the playoffs).

  • In reply to saigman:

    You mean like Thibs pulling something out of his ass, like his devotion to Bogans and starting either Brewer or Korver.

  • In reply to saigman:

    I really don't understand why its different

  • In reply to saigman:

    Ruination of Chicago Sports? Chicago is the only city in the world with championship trophies in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB in the last 25 years. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you are a cubs fan, which would explain your skeptical delusions of grander.

  • In reply to saigman:

    do we win last night without Asik, I think not.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    A healthy Haslem and Miller make Miami virtually unbeatable, at least by the Bulls.

    Fortunately for us, Miller is seldom healthy and Haslem had a serioue injury that may or may not keep him from contributing in the playoffs.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    that's a pretty big assumption

  • In reply to saigman:

    You can't claim to be a "logical skeptic" and make statements like "I'm not sure I'm hanging my hat in a 7 game series on an All-star player going 1-18 every time". I mean come on, I can just come back and say I wont hang my hat on the Heat shooting 60% from the field in the first half. If you are a true logical mind you should know that the Heat shot 41% from the floor which is 6% below their season average, while the Bulls shot 40% from the floor which is 6% below their season average as well. Crediting the 6% loss to Bosh's missed shots is no more a legitimate argument than crediting our 6% shortcoming to well below average shooting from Derrick Rose and Kyle Korver(a combined 11-33). Yes, Bosh had a pathetic night, but aside from two missed, well defended layups he was forced to take bad shots all game that he hits for bad percentages. In all likelihood a series with the Heat vs the Bulls would see both teams shooting well below their season averages due to the fact that the Bulls are the number one ranked defense in the league while the Heat are third. And your reminiscence of the Bears Packers game has no place in this conversation, the Packers were a higher ranked defensive and offensive team than the Bears, and the Bears had an unusually high amount of production from its players, where in this game we have the better defense(statistically), worse offense(albeit without our 2a/2b players all season), and fall a mere 1 game behind the Heat in projected wins. We also didn't see an above average performance from our own team. That's not even considering the fact that we've now beaten the Heat twice this season, period. And in both games the Heat had either one or two players that shot lights out/well above their average numbers. You may think you are being a "realist" but you are in reality, being a paranoid "skeptic". But hey, say what you will, 2-0 speaks for itself, just like 1-7 against the top teams in the league speaks for the Heat. Even John Hollinger is coming around to reality...

    "Also, for those of you obsessing over Miami's 1-7 record against the league's top six teams, here's the real mark you need to fret about: The Heat are 0-5 against Tom Thibodeau defenses, and 42-11 against everyone else" -John "the realist" Hollinger

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    dude, there are no haters here, there are only fans who think life is a dream and fan who are realistic. Great Win by the bulls !!

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Wanting the Bulls to be run like a fantasy basketball team is not very realistic, nor is overreacting or expecting them to be perfect.

    Be patient, support your team, understand the big picture, and enjoy this team with Derrick Rose, it won't last long enough.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    and please, let go of your illusions or disillusions of control. Uderstand you have no say whatsoever, nor should you, or I for that matter. Let the professionals do it. Its really not an easy job, but they know what they are doing, and its their job to make the Bulls winners this season, & into the future. Just please let go & accept that trades & such are not always going to go how you want them. Let go of having to control the talent of this team, & just enjoy it. It will be frustrating at times, but like everyting in life, its ultimately more enjoyable & fulfilling if you just sit back & relinquish control. Its also more realistic too.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    +23

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    hope that you didn't just jinx us with that last line, even though I understand the sentiment.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Great win from the bulls. I'm so happy they beat a not short-handed miami. I hate Heat. Good job bulls. good job Deng with the last shot even u were only one fire the second half !!

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Dude took like 2 shots the first half. Give you anti-Deng rally a rest.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    thats because he couldn't get the headlights(fear) out of his eyes.

  • In reply to coachskiles:

    Great win. Showed a lot of character.

  • In reply to thegreatlie:

    i really enjoyed this one. wasn't even nervous when we were down. i was more nervous hitting refresh all day hoping we didn't give away taj/asik/our season.

  • In reply to coachskiles:

    Are you kidding Doug? Booz barely knicked Bosh, then almost a full second later Bosh head whips back as if he were reinacting the Kennedy assasination. Like Stacey says, must be Oscar week.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    And the "Oscar goes too..."

  • In reply to thegreatlie:

    The Pansy, RuPaul. I cannot stand this sight of that guys face, he just looks like a weasel, especially without the dreads.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The slow motion replay was funny ...
    Boozer barely grazed him.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    hard to make out for sure, but off to the side of that replay i thought i saw something behind the grassy nole.

  • In reply to bucketball:

    Ah!! ... it was the second shooter that got him.

  • In reply to bucketball:

    now that the trade deadline is passed, it's safe to buy a non-rose/noah jersey. Question: which jersey best reflects my true dedication to and appreciation of this team?

    #3 Asik
    #6 Bogans
    #9 Deng
    #40 Thomas

  • In reply to bucketball:

    If I were to get any of those Jersey's I'd get an Omer jersey.

    A Deng would make it look like you had a left over jersey, Thomas and Bogans will be gone soon.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Also, a Thomas jersey problem makes people think you have an old Tyrus jersey with the wrong number if people even remember his number.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    lol

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I wonder if they'll do a custom #40 BIG SEXY jersey to avoid that problem.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I bought a Deng jersey about 5 years ago... damnit

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I'm going for the combo Noah/Asik jersey, JoaMer NoAhsik.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    In fairness to Bosh he had to check to see whether other players were safely out of the way before he could make the fall. The ground is a very dangerous place to be, you don't just go jumping on it, someone could get hurt.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I wonder if Bosh will pull out this move next:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pIGXAX4wrRE

  • In reply to Ufficio:

    Ha! This clip kicks ass, and Bosh probably will.

    Why doesn't the NBA look over game tape & start fining guys for flopping? I think that would solve the problem pretty easily.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Deng is a Pro, Asik a Rookie

    As I tweeted to you just after the game Doug, Deng is having his best year. Who is this Deng? He shoots three pointers and makes them. He slashes to the bucket against traffic. His defense is tough. I call it the Thibodeaux effect.

    And Omer Asik is The Big Turk. Thibodeaux lets Noah rest and Asik plays, and plays, and plays. The box score indicates Asik had only one block, but there's no stat on "altered shots". The Heat started avoiding the lane because the Turk owned the lane. OK, he didn't score a point, but that wouldn't be the first time the Bulls had a defensive specialist who didn't shoot much (Rodman nods his head silently). And Omer played 21 minutes and didn't foul out of the game? Hurray.

    OK, and that Rose guy is pretty good too (MVP, MVP, MVP).

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    Asik, 20 minutes, 11 boards, and by far the biggest +/- in the game +17, I call that impact.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    HAHAHA +23

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Had to work late tonight so I drove like hell to get home in time to check out most of the 4th Q. I must admit, I loved the 'tude Deng showed when he launched that three...like, "Of COURSE this is going in, hey Miami, you aren't the only team around...AND I'm gonna pose just a li'l bit, too." Hey LeBron, didn't see you doing much dancing tonight. How come??
    What a win! AND my son is taking his old man to Milwaukee on Saturday for the game. Dammit, they better crank it up to 11 for that one and stay unbeaten in the division; none of this struggling on the road against shitty teams stuff. I want a BLOWOUT, goddammit! (Although to tell you the truth, at this stage of the season, I'll take a one-point squeaker).
    Nice that Miami AND Boston both took the gas pipe tonight.

  • In reply to MadTown56:

    the standings would look oh so much better with a win in Toronto

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    or GS, or Philly, or Charlotte, or any of the chumps we lose to on the road.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Doug, how much did you drink at the game? Not sayin' I was on an IV of Red Bull during the game, but you might wanna' edit Brewer's D and some prisoner-of-the-moment hyperbole.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    What's so hyperbolic in saying

    "(Brewer) was burned by Wade much of the game

    You can't always stop a guy like Wade, but Wade seemed to struggle much more against Bogans than Brewer"

    It's not like I said Brewer just sucks on defense. Wade scored 34 on the night on extremely efficient shooting and had the vast majority of that with Brewer on him.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Wade made a lot of tough shots, it wasn't like he was walking in for layups. Brewer's D wasn't bad. The Heat offense is geared to get those guys the left side elbow jumper.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    @bullshooter: Awesome screen name. And, yeah, that's what I meant.

    The box score really doesn't tell how the Bulls D played on Wade and LeBron. Wade shot 5/11 for 14 in the 2nd and 4th quarter -- 3/8 for 8 pts. in the 4th. Brewer definitely made him work. Bogans wasn't so good on Wade in the 1st, where Wade dropped 9 on 3/3 and 3/4 at the line, but that 1st shift in the 3rd, Wade scored 6, but on 3/7 shooting.

    When a team like the Heat are forced into isolation, LeBron and Wade are gonna score. The halfcourt spacing prevented ball movement and the man-D made them work one-on-one. LeBron and Wade are just awesome scorers. Consider that isolation is the best way to beat Thibs' D, if you can do it, the Bulls only allowing 55 points outside of the fastbreak and that's pretty damn good.

  • In reply to LittleAlex:

    Of the 3/3, one was an absolutely ridiculously well defended shot, one was a leak out where Bogans shot a corner three (and thus it was someone else's responsibility to pick him up other than Bogans).

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Actually, it would help if Bogans and Deng would actually put their heads down and sprint down the court after they shoot instead of standing flatfooted admiring their clankjobs.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Sounds to me like someone has access to Del Thibideaus personal store of Bogans cool aid

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    on DRose being a worthy MVP - you guys will appreciate this article:

    http://asubstituteforwar.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/derrick-rose-the-mvp-race-and-the-isiah-iverson-team-model/

  • In reply to Hanseatico:

    Excellent piece, Hanseatico. Thanks for finding that. It is the most balanced piece on Rose I have read so far. I have this love/hate relationship with advanced statistics -- love the new knowledge they bring to the game, but hate when it becomes dogmatic to the point where anyone who challenges it is simply dismissed a casual fan, not knowledgeable about basketball, or a homer. Basketball stats are anything but irrefutable and people who think they are (I'm looking at you, Hollinger) don't broaden their knowledge of the game as they like to believe -- they limit it. I've posted this quote before, but it's a favorite of mine regarding statistics:

    "An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics like a drunk uses a lamp post, for support rather than illumination."

    This piece illuminates.

  • In reply to walrus:

    Well said. Although I firmly believe Rose can improve is overall efficiency (what would the haters tell us then...), but he does what he has to win. He is not playing for individual stats. That is special.
    He is this season MVP. And fortunately some (smart) people are giving us some numbers to prove it.

  • In reply to Hanseatico:

    Absolutely agree...I'm all for Rose becoming a more efficient player. Like you, I just don't believe it's the only thing that matters. I think it's great that there's a stat guy out there who can go against the grain. It's not an easy thing to do.

  • In reply to walrus:

    John, what a great quite about statistics, I've heard it before and forgotten it. Here's one of MY favorites:
    Statistics are like a bikini: what they reveal is fascinating, but what they conceal is vital!

  • In reply to petert23:

    Thanks...that's a great quote too! Made me laugh out loud!

  • In reply to Hanseatico:

    wrong Isaih, not Iverson , Thomas, although Rose's shooting percentage has been in Iverson territory(low)far to often this season.

  • In reply to Hanseatico:

    I said in his rookie year that Rose's comparison should be Iverson with a higher shooting percentage. He's now getting to the line to make that a reality.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Poor start, but champion-like finish... most exciting Bulls game of the season! Given the playoff-like atmosphere vs. a top team, this by far was Deng's best performance of the season. Boy, if he can play like this on a consistent basis, Bulls have a definite shot at the title, but that is a big IF. Asik played big minutes in 2nd half, and was a huge factor in Bulls comeback. Asik lacks offensive skills, but his defense is solid. Also, he is fundamentally sound and seldom makes mistakes. If Asik was not available last night, Miami wins. I am anxious to see how much upside he has...

  • In reply to igotpar:

    Omer Asik's Upside

    I can't predict Omer's future. But I can see the past clearly.

    At the start of the season, referees called foul after foul on Asik. Thibodeau could barely play him.

    Last night, Asik played 21 minutes with how many fouls? Two? Thibodeaux let him play, and play, and play.

    The Heat shooting percentage in the 2nd half was 32% ? Admittedly Chris Bosh had a lot to do with that. But I didn't see many Heat players making layups when Asik was in there.

    Omer Asik is adapting to the NBA game with Coach Thibodeau's coaching. The big Turk is adaptive and already showing the ability to learn and improve in mid-season.

    Does anyone doubt he'll come back 25 pounds stronger next season with a hook shot or 10 foot jump shot added to his skill set?

    Go Bulls.

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    Just imagine a stronger Asik who can knock down short jumpers, similar to Yao Ming skill. Bulls will have the best center combo in East. Man, just thinking about it is exciting!

  • In reply to igotpar:

    and I still like the twin towers lineup, how great at shutting down the paint late in games will that be?

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    25 might be a bit much, but he should live in the gym absolutely

    I think he already has that 10 footer, & a decent hook, you can see him before games working with the assistants, I think he just needs confidence. Confidence that can only come from playing in games.

    You're right though, he can add a lot to his game this summer.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Actually, Asik already has decent to good lower body strength thru the hips, which is more important than beach muscles for a center. not that getting stronger in the upper body won't help, be he already has functional NBA strength.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    his legs are impressive

    i was just agreeing he needs a little more mass

  • In reply to rkraneis:

    Yes, absent steriod use human beings don't gain 25 lbs of muscle mass in one offseason.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    For deewaves - Deng looked remarkably inconsistent- 4 points in the first half, only 16 in the second. He blocked James intermittently, and recorded steals randomly. All around inconsistent performance.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Deng was superb last night. If he plays like he did last night, then he is an all-star. I agree Deng is not consistent from game to game, but let's not criticize him for last night's game.

  • In reply to igotpar:

    again, were you awake during the first half, his play was every bit as bad in the first as it was good in the second.

    One good half a month does not an All-Star .

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    but i'm right. I'm glad chicago won it. I'm glad knocked down that las shoot. but it doesn't mean i'm wrong about deng. He was invisible the 1st half before scoring 18 pts in the second. He is on fire by quarter and by day. but still a great W by chicago. !

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Let me ask you this - how many points did Derrick Rose have at half against the Raptors? 4? Damn he is inconsistent. If you really are going to refer to Deng's first half to second half production as some measure of inconsistency, you are farther gone than i thought. You are nearing Mr. Happy territory.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    You must be inhaling your own crumbs if you are comparing anything Rose does to Deng, who has an entire career of rollercoaster play.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    +150

  • In reply to deewaves:

    One of the reasons you don't see much offense from Deng in the 4th quarter is because Thibs's offense is not run much in the 4th quarter. They run ISO offense with Rose more. Plus, he has limitations like he is not the greatest athlete, ball handling skills are not good etc.. The point is he is contributing at different things at a very high level like guarding LeBron. You can't have a superstar at every position and you are not definitely going to find another Deng easily. On defense, he can probably shut down most NBA small forwards except for maybe LeBron two out of three times.

  • In reply to KingOfCrumbs:

    Actually it was 2 in the final minute of the first half, and a genreal Bambi in the headlights demeanor throughout the first half.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Wasn't just Bosh. LeBron going down for the loose ball against Rose; judging from his reaction, you would have thought Rose got him with a shiv in the kidney. And of course, Wade is the leading thespian among non-Euro players in the NBA. Seeing how we're many years into his act, I actually have the scale to tell how badly hurt Wade actually is:

    WADE CRIES OUT AND GRIMACES: He passed gas
    WADE ROLLS AROUND ON THE FLOOR SCREAMING FOR HIS MOM: He stubbed his pinky toe
    WADE PASSES OUT FROM THE SIGHT OF HIS OWN BLOOD GUSHING FROM A WOUND: he pulled off a hang nail and got a little too much skin
    THE HEAT MEDICAL STAFF STABILIZES WADE'S NECK AND ROLLS HIM OFF ON A GURNEY: He has a mildly sprained ankle

    Really, I can't tell if they are just trying to get calls at this point, or if they really are three of the biggest p---ies to ever step onto the hardwood.

  • In reply to saigman:

    Love it!

  • In reply to saigman:

    good stuff, and I think its a little of both, along with a lot of dishonesty. Look, I get it, its competition, if you are not cheating you're not trying, there is no honesty, all that BS, I don't agree with that though. If you are truly the best, you don't need that crap. That's yet another thing I love about Rose & these Bulls.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I agree wholeheartedly. When Wade limped out of the All-Star game, you just knew it wasn't serious. I don't know if he has a Willis Reed complex or what, but he is really irritating with the way he handles himself on the court. He recruited two great compliments to his 'game' to come play with him in Miami in that regard!

    I truly hope the Bulls get home court advantage in the playoffs. I think that would give them a better-than-fighting change against the Heat or Celts in the playoffs, and I think it would be better for the NBA overall.

    LA has Kobe the Cornholer (whether she wants to or not)
    NY has Stop Snitchin' and No Knees-for-D
    NJ has D-Will, the Coach Killer
    Boston has the world's toughest guy when it comes to taking on 5'10" PGs in Garnett (I really would love to see someone just haul off on his punk @ss one day...the smaller, the better)

    So, yeah, give me Rose and Noah any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    Just wish they would have gotten an upgrade at SG for this year!!!

  • brewer had 4 steals. his defense wasn't all THAT terrible.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    Are you confusing Brewer with Korver? Brewer had 4 steals last night and is known as an excellent defender. It's Korver who's defense is suspect.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    He had a lot of steals, but he lost a lot of position going for steals too.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Brewer and Asik turned the game for the Bulls in the third quarter, without their manic efforts on defense, Dengs offense in the 3rd would have been meaningless. Bogans did virtually nothing of consequence as usual. You would never have know that he played or didn't play, that is his role, according to Del Thibideau.

    Hopefully, Asik will get more than 24 seconds next game, assuming the matchups are not too scary like they were against that inside beast of a team Toronto.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    I thought Brewer had an above average game overall, DWade is just ridiculous in the UC.

  • did miami get more than 5 points from non-wade/lebron players in the second half?

  • In reply to bucketball:

    Nope ... it looks like Bosh had 2 FT's in the 4th and Chalmers hit a 3pt in the 4th as well ... and that's it.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    that's all i could remember. crazy.

  • In reply to bucketball:

    If we can win this game and the SA game we have to beat the lower level teams that we face. We can still get the #1 seed. Boston is old and made a terrible trade IMO and the Heat are not deep at all. I feel like we are built to outlast those guys in the reg season and hopefully the playoffs as well.

    Kinda hoping not many people get bought out since our opponents are more likely to snatch them up than we are.

    I honestly don't see who anyone could argue the MVP is besides Derrick and I don't feel that's my homerism at all. Seriously who else can you even argue for?

    Hawks won a big game tonight too. Great night for Chicago sports!!

  • Asik was huge. Can't teach 7 feet. I hope we develop some offensive plays for him and allow him to back in to the basket or a Pn'R.

  • In reply to adocarbog:

    Maybe he has been reading the pre deadline posts on this site and decided he needed to up his game, or maybe, if he actually gets real minutes he is really our best defense difference maker already.

    I took an instant liking to Noah upon seeing him play despite his early struggles, and Asik has already become my second favorite player to root for. He will be essential to our success in the future, especially in the playoffs. Hopefully he will learn to become situationally usefull on offense.

  • I watched the frame by frame on my DVR, and it looked like he got hit with both elbows to me. The first elbow was hard to see because of Carlos's elbow sleeve blends in, but it appears to hit bosh on the top of the head. The second elbow gets him along the side of the face.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It looked like to me that only the second elbow grazed him. The most telling part of the event was how hard Bosh made a move on the very next trip down the floor.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    No, he did not hit. Watch it frame by frame. The giveaway is Bosh's delayed reaction, that you can even see in live speed. I watch soccer more than basketball and can tell a flop/dive from a mile away.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I thought he kind of nicked him near the nose with one elbow, and when Bosh noticed that refs weren't going to do anything about it, he acted like he got shot and fell. That's the kind of contact that happens often with no whistle. For a while there, I thought they were playing in Miami and both teams switched their jerseys. Miami got away with a LOT more contact than the Bulls did.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I got nervous during the 4th quarter when they put LeBron on Rose. For several consecutive trips, Rose looked like he was afraid to go at LeBron. I'm sure he was wary of the quick trap but it was driving me nuts. And just when I was considering disowning him as South Chi baller, he started attacking. Loved it.

  • In reply to magestew:

    I hope that if the Heat try this again, the Bulls look to post up Deng against Wade or whomever Chalmers is defending.

    If Spoelstra is worth a bag of peanuts as a coach, someone will be anchored to Deng anytime he is in the corner the next time they play and LBJ covers Rose.

  • In reply to saigman:

    Wade for all his reputation cannot consistently guard Rose one-on-one and Chalmers cannot either for all the nonsense about Memphis-Kansas college game. Rose will command a double-team from either LeBron or Wade because they are the two elite athletes who can leave their man and jump to Rose,go back.
    The problem with Deng posting up Wade is you need to be a good ball handler to do post-up and Wade is a good poker/stealer of the ball.

  • In reply to saigman:

    Deng has never proven that he has any ability to post up even against a midget. The quickest way to shut down our offense is to force Deng into the post.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I disagree, but I was watching TNT in slow mo, maybe they had better angles? Plus, the determining factor is always the delay b/t the hit & the reaction. In this case it was just enough time for the thought to go off in Bosh's head that he should act like a little bitch & flop.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Doug, when you get elbowed in the face you don't think about it for a second and then fling your head back like a porn star riding reverse cowboy style.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    reverse cowgirl, excuse me, then again for Bosh reverse cowboy makes more sense.

  • In reply to jgingeri:

    ha, Bosh would do reverse cowboy wouldn't he

  • I think Durant's comments kind of closed the chapter for Bosh. He solidified in Bosh's mind that he has to take his "wussiness" to another level. It is a coming out chapter in his life. He has understood that he really cannot challenge the Asik types physically...so why not do a little acting and get a foul call and help the team. Bosh is a smart dude. He cannot change his image now...so why not use his weakness as a strength...Smart guy that Bosh!!

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    coming out being the operative word.

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