Bulls win behind familiar formula with new ingredients

Bulls win behind familiar formula with new ingredients

The formula is simple.

Derrick Rose + defense.

The players executing it in the fourth quarter was a new twist.   Starting with around 3-4 minutes left in the third quarter, the Bulls shifted to a lineup of Derrick Rose, Ronnie Brewer, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, and Omer Asik.  They didn't look back until they subbed in the scrubs with a minute left.

Derrick Rose shifted into MVP gear again

Derrick Rose found his way into the lane time and time again.  The Hawks tried double teaming him, triple teaming him, but Rose was smart about his shot selection and drove the lane when he had seams to do so rather than forcing the issue.

The result was an outstanding scoring night, many trips to the line, and a dominant MVP performance. 

Some would say Rose needed to play better defense as Jeff Teague was lighting things up, however, Teague didn't do nearly so much damage against Rose as you'd think.  The Bulls switched frequently, and Rose was matched up on Joe Johnson as often as Teague.

Taj Gibson stepped up to do what we thought Boozer would do

Gibson scored 11 points, all in the fourth quarter.  He created his own shot off the dribble twice as well as knocking down some open jumpers.  All in all, he was five for five on the night, and his fourth quarter scoring performance is what allowed Thibodeau to stick with the defensive heavy lineup that looked like it might be to offensively challenged.

Gibson commented prior to the game that playing at home can sometimes add pressure and isn't so easy.  He sure didn't play like he was under any pressure.   Gibson tore stuff up.  His defense was as high energy and effective as ever. 

Derrick Rose did what he typically does, but Gibson really provided the extra oomph the Bulls needed to get over the hump.

Kyle Korver disappeared from the lineup

Interestingly enough, Thibodeau opted against using Korver almost entirely.   Korver played just a shade over four minutes with his typical fourth quarter role never materializing as Thibodeau stuck with the hot lineup.

Will this be a trend or was it a matter of sticking with the guys who got him there?

Thibs made the adjustments

Fans have been critical of Thibodeau lately for a variety of reasons, questioning the rotations, and wondering if he's too stubborn to change.   However, in crunch time, he had the courage to play basically an entirely new lineup together and stick with it even when it looked a little shaky.

The plan obviously paid off big time as the Hawks couldn't do a darn thing against the Bulls defensive unit.

Nice job by the oft criticized Keith Bogans

Bogans finished with 11 on 4/7 shooting and actually had a run of eight straight points in the game at one point.   We've often criticized Keith, but he stepped up today and gave the Bulls a big lift early when Chicago threatened to put this game early.  

The Hawks did manage to comeback, but Bogans was a big part of the Bulls hot start.

What to do with Carlos Boozer?

Gibson has pretty clearly outplayed him, and the Bulls need more Gibson in my opinion.  Thibodeau went Gibson all fourth quarter but will he go to him more in the future?

Do you lose Carlos Boozer mentally if you limit his minutes?  It wouldn't surprise me if we see Boozer's role start to look more and more like Keith Bogans role.   A guy who's in there to start things up for the Bulls but might not be closing games in the future.

Bulls got a make up call for that bad three point shot call

At a point where the Hawks had a chance to make one last run, Jeff Teague steals the ball, Derrick Rose clearly fouls him, but it's not called.   The Bulls steal the ball back and end the play with a Rose floater for 2.  

It was a potential four point swing, and while the Hawks likely wouldn't have won anyway, but it was a huge momentum changing play, much like the 3 Rose free throws would have been, as the Hawks were threatening to mount a comeback and fell apart after the play.

Final thoughts

By winning this game, the Bulls took a commanding lead in the series.   The vast majority of the time you win game 5, you win the series.  The Bulls still have a tough challenge in going into Atlanta and finishing off the Hawks though.

We'll see if they can pull it off on Thursday.

Comments

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  • I still feel a heathy Boozer would make a big difference. However, I agree you need to use Gibson more until that day comes.

  • In reply to loxas2372:

    exactly, meanwhile Gibson must play more.

  • In reply to loxas2372:

    Great points throughout your recap Doug. The games was great and there were so many positives to take away from this one. The only person you didnt really touch on was Luol. He was a BEAST tonight. His defense was absolutely incredible. I had the pleasure os sitting a few rows behind the Bulls bench tonight and got a close-up view of Luol on JJ several times. He was flat out AWESOME! Not to mention he was the much needed second scorer the Bulls will need to keep winning.

    The other point I am happy to be discussing right now is how well Taj is playing and that he may get more playing time. But the really important point is how much better Boozer has been the past couple games. I know most people will say that a 12 & 11 isnt enough from him, but he had only 1 tunover, no dumb fouls like usual, 3-3 from the line... just better the last couple games. If this a sign that he is feeling healthier look out. Boozer playing better and Taj playing at the level he is righ now would really help against Miami (yes- I am assuming they beat Boston and the Bulls dont lay a couple eggs).

    Overall, games like this show how good this team can be when...
    - Rose is Rose, but doesnt have to do all the scoring (Luol/Bogans)
    - the defense plays well
    - and the bench contributes meaningful minutes

    And this was without Korver do anything and Noah having a pretty below average game!

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    Noah's numbers were dissappointing, but thats what happens when you are trying to play defense for 2 guys, and have no help inside from you know who.

    Just divide the 96 minutes available at power forward and center between Noah, Taj and Asik that is about 32 minutes each, works for me.

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    Thanks for the view from the game. Lu ripping the ball away, and getting the turnover along with his shout was a big lift.

  • In reply to bcz1980:

    You're right about Deng, he did a very admirable job on defense.

    I'm not so sure I agree on Boozer. He did look better here and there, but he also finished 4/11 (if memory serves correctly), and he missed more bunnies at the basket again.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Deng did a great job on Johnson, a small forward playing shooting guard, making Johnson one of the only shooting guards that deng can actually guard.

    But we were fortunate that Atlanta went small in the fourth with teague and crawford in the backcourt and johnson at small forward.

    deng was destroyed by Josh Smith in the minutes that Atlanta went big. If he had to guard smith for the whole game smith would have 40 or 50 and deng would foul out.

    If Atlanta were smart they would force this matchup on the bulls, but as we know they are not. If I were atlanta I would go at deng with smith every time down the court and see how the bulls react.

  • In reply to loxas2372:

    I think you are really overstating how much better Taj was than Boozer. Taj was AWESOME in the 4th, but Boozer has been looking better, and he still rebounds like a beast.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Yea, if you completely ignor the other half of the court, then Boozer is still only giving us about half of what we signed up for. I guess thats what you mean by looking better.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    We need both Taj and Boozer. Boozer is hurt.

  • In reply to fsalomon:

    The boozer is hurt thing is just an excuse, even boozer said that he isn't injured.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    yea, its better than the 1/4 we were getting a week ago ;)

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Boozer's still scoring at a very low percentage on offense, and he rebounds because he ignores defending the play in an effort to get rebound position.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Well said, and so true, Doug.

    I feel the reason Boozer

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think that is largely a myth about his rebounding

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    at least 50% of his rebounds come from abandoning his defensive assignment to run away for the rebound. Boozer almost never, maybe actually never blocks out his man or anybody else to get a rebound, he just goes free agent all the time.

    Thats why 10-12 rebounds from Noah or Taj or Asik mean a lot more than rebounds from Bozo.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Absolutely true and obvious if you watch the game and not just the box score

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I love when he rips the ball out of a teammates hands too. It seems whenever the rebound isnt contested he trys really hard to grab it.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    i feel the same way its going to be up to the bulls to save the world from the evil heat lmao

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    At least with Gibson we don't have defensive issue. Rebounding isn't defense.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Actually done right(in the concept of the team) it is. Good rebounding is a team effort, the anti Boozer effect.

  • In reply to loxas2372:

    Agreed!

  • In reply to loxas2372:

    Boozer will remain an atrocious defender

  • In reply to Edward:

    But if Boozer makes his shot, he spaces the floor for Rose if the game is close at the end. The key is if "he is making the shots". We usually don't see the offense from Taj we got yesterday. Hopefully, he has gained in confidence from yesterday to keep it consistent.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Those times when he's making his shots at the end of games and spacing the floor could be very appropriate times to use Boozer and Taj in offensive/defensive substitutions similar to how Thibs uses Brewer and Korver sometimes at the end of close games.

  • In reply to kayak0109:

    That is very difficult to do a lot of times in transition and also with the rhythm. But you are right, Thibs does that a lot.

  • This is what the difference was on offense. With Noah/Booz in the 3rd/4th, they constantly looked to pass the ball back to rose, instead of taking the shot rose gave them or creating offense.This is was lost game 4, putting too much pressure on rose to do EVERYTHING, forcing him to go 4 on 1, and take ridiculously hard shots that even jordan couldn't hit. However,when Taj/Brewer came in they weren't afraid to take the shot or create. Without Taj in the 4th we would of lost this game and the series. However, if Noah and especially Booz don't take more shots and try to create, we will lose to the heat. So far Deng has been the only player to consistently create, that must change.

    You can tell many of the bulls don't feel they can be a great offensive team. I don't believe it for a second. If guys like Teague can come off the bench and look like the next D.Rose, players like Booz, Noah, and obviously Taj can score big points too.

  • The WINNING FORMULA is actually...

    DRose + Defense + Depth = WIN

    * The Bulls are now 24-3 when 5 or more of their players score in double-figures.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    The fact that the Bulls only did that in 1/3rd of their games shows that its not really part of their regular formula.

  • If it was up to me, I would start Gibson over Boozer. Given the way he is playing, Gibson could do as well as him in offense and on D Gibson is way more efficient.

  • It's disapointing ! I'm not sure the formula Rose+Defense is going to work against wade+Lebron+Bosh+Defense ! But i wish bulls the best.

  • I love the chemisty b/t those 2 guys specifically. They were often high fiving each other, and hugged immediately after the game. I like that duo.

  • There's something about Teague I really hate. The way he finishes around the rim doesn't help, but he seems like such a punk.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Teague is not a punk, he's just showing no respect for the Bulls defense and the Bulls aren't doing a good job stopping him. Give the guy some credit, its up to Rose and whoever else to show that he is a bench player afterall.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    yea, I don't see anything punkish about him, he really doesn't say much, he just plays.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The Boozer not playing defense situation probably has to be addressed this off season if they don't try to trade him. Thibs need to simply tell Boozer this off season if he doesn't improve his defense that Taj is going to start in his place and he will come off the bench. The Bulls more than likely are stuck with Boozer as much as I hate to say it.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I agree Thib's needs to have a nice chat with Boozer and tell him he better keep up with the rest of the team or will be shipped out!
    I hope we can keep Taj because he gives us so much and has played a lot of starter minutes as well when called on such as his rookie season, and this season with Boozer out so much!
    He is due a nice raise which I hope Reinsdorf gets out his wallet and rewards Rose and Gibson and keeps them in Bulls red! :-)

    I agree Boozer and Noah aren't good together but every other big works with each other that's a problem!

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The Boozer not playing defense situation probably has to be addressed this off season if they don't try to trade him. Thibs need to simply tell Boozer this off season if he doesn't improve his defense that Taj is going to start in his place and he will come off the bench. The Bulls more than likely are stuck with Boozer as much as I hate to say it.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Props to Teague. They're leaving him open all the time and he is making them pay. This guy should be in our bench mob, actually.

  • In reply to fsalomon:

    OMG I'd love to have Teague on our team!
    We miss a scoring punch from the starting SG spot like Salmons! Well we tried for the Big 3 and you have to hand it to management to try to clear the roster for them! It's a miracle and a true testament to Thibs to have us in the shape we are now with all that offseason BS from the Big 3! I'm happy we didn't overpay like the Hawks did for JJ!
    We will upgrade the SG in the offseason & as long as we are healthy especially Rose, we will be a perenial deep playoff team hopefully going all the way! :-)

  • In reply to fsalomon:

    Rose must gain respect. He can't let a bench shophomore score 20pts on him !

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I just don't like the way Rose is defending Teague. Way too loose, and it looks like Rose isn't fully committed to going full speed when guarding him. Maybe it's the game plan, to force Teague to beat us but no one else, but anytime you see a screen set for Teague on Rose you can see the score coming.

  • In reply to bfranke:

    There's not a lot Rose can do in this situation. Teague is getting a LOT of points off solid screens from the Atlanta bigs. With his quickness, he's darting to the rim right around the Bulls bigs when they switch and he's too quick for Rose to recover the way he can against most PGs. The Bulls either have to commit to doubling Teague hard or Rose has to go under the screen and give up the jump shot.

  • In reply to magestew:

    if they double teague, guess what is going to happen with Joe johnson and crawford !

  • In reply to bfranke:

    Since Teague was a virtual unknown before this series, the Bulls are more times than not challenging him to create his own shot/make the play. And more times than not he is. A lot of those shots seem like they aren't going to fall forever though. They are pretty tough shots to make and I expect him to start cooling off a bit next season. But for now, he's playing like this is his one chance to prove he's a starting caliber point guard.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    I think Rose is scared to pick up iffy fouls if he plays aggressive defense. Maybe Thibs has told them we can live with Teague scoring some points rather than Jamal or Joe going off and getting into a rhythm. They probably know that Teague will not be an option on crucial possessions and if that is the case, Rose can they play aggressive defense depending on his number of fouls.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Teague has hit some pretty tough shots for sure. He deserves a lot of credit for taking what's given and still knocking down the tough looks.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I can see that! Teams play the Magic like that and can't do much anyways for a beast like Howard...but we have been keeping Jamal & Joe at bay for the past few games! It would be nice if Deng could guard the JJ but Smith moved down to SF is plenty of an athletic challenge for him, but Smith sucks shooting so at least Deng can slack off him and dare him to shoot rather then drive. With JJ who shoots great you can't do that and he can drive too. Props to Bogans on his defensive and nice 11 point outburst by him last night! KK come on man we need your shooting bro! :-)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Bench MOB sure brought it last night and outplayed our starters, minus the PG position...or course! :-)

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    You really have to question what the Atlanta coaches have been thinking for the last 2 or 3 years. How can that guy be glued to the bench, he obviously has some talent, especially some that neither Bibby or Hinrich have, speed & quickness come to mind.

  • In reply to bfranke:

    I think a main reason for less Korver is the fact that it is a lot harder for the Bulls to hide him defensively against the Hawks. They often match him up against Teague and he has been abusing him. I think if the Bulls do win this series and go on to play the Heat it will be a lot easier to get Korver some minutes...the Heat just don't have a complete enough lineup where they can take advantage of Korver on a consistent basis. I think he would do fine guarding the likes of Bibby, James Jones, and company who are not nearly athletic enough to abuse him the way some of the Hawks have.

  • In reply to BearDown1982:

    The problem with this theory is that Korver's had a ridiculously good +/- for the series. He's been positive in every game except the game four loss, and his per minute +/- destroys anyone else on the team.

    So clearly the Hawks have not taken advantage of Korver in such a way that has hurt Chicago.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Hmm. That's interesting. I'm not too privy to the world of +/- but I will certainly take your word for it.

    Although, I'd say Teague sure enjoyed the times Korver guarded him in game 4 and then in game 5 in my opinion. Didn't look like he had a prayer to stay in front of him. Although, not many Bulls have been able to all series long anyways.

  • In reply to bfranke:

    Yup, DRose and Defense.

    Ballsy move by Thibodeau in the 4th. Most important game of his young head-coaching career and it was like he just said, screw it, we're gonna beat 'em with defense. Ironically, he left his 2nd-team All-Defensive guy on the bench. Whatever...it worked.

  • In reply to Nossem:

    I agree 100%. Very gutsy call by Thibs and it sure worked out. I also think it must have gotten into the Hawks' heads at least a little bit that hey, the Bulls can run a lineup out there that can make it VERY tough on us to score. Hope that helps tomorrow night!

  • In reply to Nossem:

    Boozer definitely play a lot better lately, even defense in my opinion. His D is still not where it needs to be, but it has been better. The only thing I don't understand about Boozer is why he always slips the pick and roll and never sets a hard pick. I understand this work well between him and D. Williams in the past, but it has been proven that this doesn't work well with D. Rose.

  • In reply to handushk:

    He simply does not even try to play defense, so there is no way that anyone can say that his defense has been better.

    This is the way he plays, it is all in his head and heart, not in his turf toe.

  • In reply to Nossem:

    I think he would have gone away from it if it wasn't working and brought back the starters. He brought in the bench rotation at the normal time, but they played so well, so he just left them in there.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yea, I thought that he was going to switch about half way thru the quarter, when the Bulls were only up 6, 82-76 I think. Glad he didn't.

    As I've said a number of times, I think that Asik is better appreciated in longer stretches. He made a big impact even though his stats were nothing to look at.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    First things First...

    ...beat Atlanta.

    Last night, Thibodeau beat the Hawks. It was competitive to the end of the 3rd quarter.

    Did you hear Thibodeau in the 4th quarter huddle? "Relax, breath deep." I wish I could have heard the entire sequence.

    It takes a gutsy coach to put in his best defensive squad for the 4th quarter. Rose, Deng, and the unexpected offensive production of Taj Gibson.

    And Omer Asik is the inside game stopper as far as I'm concerned. I love it when opposing players veer away from the lane and their layups when they see Asik sliding into their vicinity. Awesome respect for a rookie.

    Go Bulls. Win the next game (always the next game).

  • In reply to Nossem:

    I don't know what took him so long, he has been force feeding(spoon feeding) us a steady diet of Bozo. I guess the fourth quarter of game 4 finally hit him on the head hard enough to get through that cast iron skull.

  • In reply to bfranke:

    A happy day for Bulls fans, as Thibs finally showed that he could make a huge adjustment in a playoff game. Let's face it, as much as we tend to bury certain players (Boozer, Bogans, Korver) after certain games, we need all these guys at different points in these playoffs.

    Last night it was a brilliant move to stick with 4 of the top defenders (Deng, Gibson, Asik and Brewer - with only Noah out of the mix) with offensive dynamo and decent defender Rose. And I don't know about you folks, but suffocating Bulls defense is the most exciting part of the game for me, as you can feel the Bulls imposing their will on the game, giving up no easy looks and truly playoff championship-level ball.

    But while Korver only played 4 minutes and Asik played 20 minutes, it might easily reverse in game 6 and Korver helps win the game with several 3s like he has in the past. Or Boozer goes for 18 and 12, as he's getting his confidence back.

    The key is that Thibs seems more comfortable and confident rolling out different lineups. Meanwhile, the guys on the team continue to play hard and are staying together. After watching the Heat and the Celtics trying to out-choke each other (with turnovers, bad shots, etc.) in their last game, this Bulls team suddenly looks like they have the stuff to make it to the Finals.

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    Apart from Thibs' brilliance as a coach to show confidence in his bench, the fact that he was willing to stick with them all the way is what's special. He rewarded them for their hard work at a crucial stage in the game. What impressed me even more, was the culture of togetherness that's part of this Bulls team. You look at key starters like Noah and Boozer, and they were obviously enjoying every minute of it. There was no pouting, disinterest or any sign of disapproval from those not in the game. IT WAS ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL!
    Boozer might have been a pain in the ass before he got to the Bulls, but that wasn't on display last night, and I can't honestly say I've seen any kind of negative behavior from him since he joined this Bulls team. Boozer's game has slipped a lot but once he continues to be a team guy and buys into the system, he could still be a key part of a championship team.
    I look for the Bulls to close this one out in Atlanta and prepare for the Heat, a team we haven't lost to. We have the coach, the system and the players to beat the heat. I can still remember the way we beat them the last time we met. Noah took on Lebron in the closing stages and denied them the tying basket. THAT'S A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM!

  • In reply to Normie:

    I will give Boozer props, and Noah also for being totally into it and cheering the bench guys. At least for now they all seem to root for each other.

    Taj and Asik are just nice easy going guys, so they are easy to root for. Don't know how Boozer reacts if he loses his starting job to Taj next season.

  • In reply to ethanboldt:

    AM I THE ONLY GROWING A PLAYOFF BEARD??!!! I SHAVED THEY DAY BEFORE GAME 1 VS INDI AND HAVENT SHAVED SINCE!!! I HAVE A HUGE FAMILY PARTY I HAVE TO GO TO AT MY INLAWS AND THEY ARE GONNA BE PISSED THAT IM NOT GOING TO SHAVE HAHAHA!! GO BULLS

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    lol that's more of a hockey thing UtahBullsFan! :-)

    But it's cool, hopefully you will keep it all the way till we win the Championship vs Dallas! :-)

  • In reply to smiley:

    Haha! ITs starting to be adopted by NBA players now too!!

    I kinda wish I woulda thought it through a little more before I made the commitment!! I look ridiculous without shaving!!

    But I'm not going to shave this thing off and Jinx our Bulls!!! And I will gladly wear it til June if I can !!

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Did anybody see the guy who stopped shaving after 9/11 and didn't shave until we got Bin Laden.

    He is a public school teacher(in Washington State maybe) He looked like a Taliban guy right before he shaved the other day. That was some serious conviction.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    On that note I noticed Boozer not shaving his pits lately. Some players do some odd things if they think it helps their game.

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Boozer is the Samson of armpit hair,

    maybe that is were he gets all his strength to scream like a crazed hyena after every play good, bad or otherwise.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    I agree it's important for us to keep Gibson around for our success even if it means parting ways with Boozer!

  • In reply to smiley:

    Boozer is a huge part of our future. Unloading him means taking on someone else's lousy contract for an underproductive or divisive player. Boozer will heal and play better than this - and he is a solid team guy as evidenced by his support for the bench mob.

  • In reply to smiley:

    The only way we part ways is a career ending injury. Let me make it clear that I am not rooting for one, but I wouldn't shed many tears either.

    How about we trade Boozer for ZAZA pachuilia, and the Hawks throw in Hinrich to make the money work.

    Even though we don't really need him, ZAZA could be the white Kurt Thomas. I know that I would trade him straight up for Boozer tomorrow.

    Anyone notice how his face looks like a heavyweight boxer after a 15 round fight, thats tough.

  • In reply to smiley:

    Leave a comment...

  • In reply to smiley:

    No I didn't

  • In reply to smiley:

    Yep it is not worth it keeping Boozer if it means we have to let Taj go, I want Taj to be a Bull for a very long time!

  • In reply to smiley:

    It has always puzzled me as to why Coach K at Duke University, apparently had such shabby regard for Carlos Boozer when he was at Duke. He helped them win a national title at Duke but Coach K never featured him as one of his favorites. I thought it was just a coach's personal bias with regard to his roster of players. I am sure that this was the main reason why Carlos Boozer ended up being a 2nd round draft pick and 35th overall at the 2002 NBA Draft which also featured Jason Williams, Shane Battier and Mike Dunleavy Jr. of Duke. Maybe a lot of whispers went out prior to draft night (Don't know if Coach K was involved) and that caused Boozer's stocks to fall.
    But now as I look back, Coach K was probably never enamored with Boozer's work ethic or his total game (a la defense). Hence, we get back to his glaring shortcomings as a pro. He was never a good defender and probably never will be.

    Boozer obviously worked on his game as a pro and became an All-Star with the Utah Jazz, but his game had noticeable holes and it's being manifested here in the playoffs as a key member of the Chicago Bulls.

    But Boozer, to his credit, proved to be one of the exceptions on the long list of Duke players who never made it big in the pros. So much for Coach K and his elevated opinion of players.

  • In reply to smiley:

    I see a lot Jordan's Bulls in this team. Rose reminds me so much of Jordan it's crazy. Jordan was undoubtedly the best ever, and I really hope Rose walks that path.
    Here's a pretty good list of top 10 NBA Players of all time.
    http://bit.ly/lreuKf

  • In reply to smiley:

    On reflection I think everyone is going a bit overboard with their evaluation of Teague. Remember the Hawks were a team desperate for an upgrade at point guard (hence dumping Bibby and getting Hinrich) yet Teague was barely playing more than garbage minutes all year.

    Sure he's quick and can get by people but this series he's been helped by the fact he's hit a ton of difficult shots at the rim. Judging by his career numbers & the fact the Hawks have been reluctant to play him much he probably can't do with consistency.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Scrwe him! I hate Jeff Teague

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Looks like if the Bulls win the Atl series, there will be plenty of doubters for the ECF series.
    Boston is just plain old and broken like Rondo said. They have heart but no legs. New era is beginning in the NBA.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    The Miami bitches are acting like they just won the title. They're just so darn annoying. They beat a Celtic team that played .500 ball after the Perkins trade and had their best player playing one-armed.

    btw: Danny Ainge looks a little like the older, fat brother of Doug Thonus. ;-)

  • In reply to Rincewind:

    We can all hate the Heat and call them every name in the book but fact of the matter is, the way that the Bulls have been playing so poorly in the playoffs and not understanding that they have to play at a high level with a lot of intensity in every game, they will not beat this Heat team if they can't put everything together in that series and in the series they are involved in now with Atlanta.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    It really doesn't matter on how the teams are playing. It might be good for the Bulls to be sharp in the first game by playing tomorrow. No question that the Bulls are underdogs against Miami. But, just the interior defense the Bulls have compared to what Boston had....big, big difference with Noah, Asik, Taj, Kurt vs Kristic, hurt J O'Neal, Glen Davis, Garnett(out of gas most of the time)

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Any and everyone can say that it doesn't matter but it actually does cause Bulls fans have watched the Bulls not play well in the playoffs. They have had flashes of playing good but having flashes won't advance them to the finals if they get past Miami. As I said before... everyone can hate on Miami, and will be the first to say that I hate that team, but in order for the Bulls or Hawks to beat Miami they will have to play a complete game just because of Miami's talent alone. So again, it does matter.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    and that interior defense is having problems with Jeff Teague getting to the paint so they had better adjust against the Heat.

  • In reply to smiley:

    BRING ON THE HEAT!!!!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Bit of a worry that the Heat are no longer collapsing when the going gets tough. Then again, how tough is the going against Boston, they're a team that is done.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I think Philly gave Miami a better series than Boston. Boston with its old legs and the injuries just didn't have it. It wasn't a fair fight.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Watching Miami beat the Celtics was pretty disgusting. I despise both teams, but I found it weird that I was rooting so hard for Boston (I'll never forget that playoff series 2 years ago and how dirty they played) but I guess my enemy's enemy is my friend.

    Anyway, watching Miami pretty much sums up everything I hate. Their "fans" will abandon ship as soon as they start to lose, but go nuts on a night like tonight. Pat Riley is a big slime ball, Erik Spoelstra just rubs me the wrong way, I don't know enough about him as a coach, but he seems to do a terrible job managing his team (seems like a pushover). Then you have Posh who rode the coattails of Lebron this summer, and you have Lebron, who couldn't cut it on his own, so he had to team up with his buddy D Wade to try and win. The rest of them are just a bunch of scrubs/washed up players trying to win a ring. Nothing about them says team. It doesn't even seem like they really care about each other/the fans/the city. Basically everything the Bulls aren't, which is probably why I dislike them so much. Sorry, end of rant.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    Couldn't describe it better...That is exactly the way I feel.

  • In reply to UtahBullsFan:

    Can you write me a note for my HR department, maybe I will give it a try.

  • In reply to bfranke:

    Teague is being left by DRose to help on JJ. It's paid off. I of course it doesn't take a genius to see it pay off more when the tough duo of Gibson/Asik is protecting the paint-no way the Bulls are worried about Teague.

  • In reply to Godwinslaw:

    Exactly!!!

  • In reply to Godwinslaw:

    +1. Thibs must use more and more with that duo.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    he just always has a punkish look on his face, I wanna slap it off

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    and I am giving him credit, he finishes very well around the rim. If he can lead a team, he will be a great PG. I just hate him right now!

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I really don't think it is punkish, I think that is just how he looks, if anything he looks kind of shy or like a little kid in a candy store. I don't think it is sinister.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I think that's the fact that he's killed the Bulls talking. Teague hasn't done anything 'punkish' all series that I recall.

    He's been extremely effective though which is certainly bothersome to Bulls fans.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    And I look for this series to go 7 games cause Noah said something very interesting last night on his interview with the TNT guys, he said that the Bulls are starting to learn that they need to play at an intense level every game in the playoffs. That says it all about this Bulls team focus and why they have been struggling in the playoffs. Atlanta has plated the Bulls well in every game except game 3 and now with them staring at elimination, I look for them to force a game 7. Can the Bulls show some killer instinct for once? It would be nice to see cause I'm sure Miami will dispose of Boston tonight as much as I hate to admit.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    It says that everyone in the NBA has been drilled on athlete speak so they'll tend to fall back on cliches about effort and hard work. You can be intense and play like shit, just look at Kevin "Mr Intensity" Garnett and some of the stinkers he's put up this playoffs.

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    In reply to Reese1:

    I'm glad Noah said it because you can see it with the team. The whole playoffs they've been playing like they're saving something for later. And the irony is, when they play like that they get tired. When they sit back and just try to weather the storm from the other team the game is exhausting for them. When they decide from the jump to play 48 minutes of attacking defense they're bouncing around like "hell yeah, let's play two!". There's nothing more frustrating as a fan than to watch your team struggle and scrape knowing they've got a keg of whoop-ass they just refuse to tap. If the Bulls go out there thinking, "let's try to execute and not make too many mistakes, and hit our jump shots, and....blah blah blah" they're toast. They win when they look at each other in the locker room and say, "eff it, let's hold atlanta to 60 tonight".

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Exactly the Bulls need to stop playing down to their opponent and take their spirit away early by jumping on them and chocking out their enthusiam! By not doing this you play extra games and drag out a series when you could get much needed rest between series for Rose, Boozer, Brewer, etc.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Great games by Derrick, Taj, Lu, Bogie, and the Bench Mob. Looking forward, I think the Bulls have not reached the level of play they are still capable of as a newly formed team under a first time playoff head coch. Something tells me they could be ready to come together at the right time as expereince/gelling in a playoff setting kicks in. Taj and Jo on their A games both can handle the ball well enough to drive, and score or get to the line when Derrick is extended doubled. If Jo can start bringing any kind of offensive game, and Taj is steadfastly fed the ball down low early then their energy level/level of play reaches another level. With Boozer bringing better scoring and rebounds per minutes lately as the token starter/sparkplug this team could be tough. Think about it, maybe it's better to demand/get decent defense(and offense)/concentration from Booz in shorter stretches. Also, I like Ronnie Brewer's energy as well as Omer's. At Derrick's initial announcement that he was voted MVP, Omer, Ronnie, and Taj all looked so animated and glad for their teammate. It just seems like all that character and presence belongs on the floor more as it did in the regular season. The Bench Mob needs to emerge more now if the Team is going to finish off Atlanta in six, and give Miami a fight. As crazy as it sounds with the struggling against less then stellar competition, I still think the Bulls can give Miami a much tougher fight then Boston did. I stil say though somehow Jo's going to have to find his agression/get out of his funk, and start attacking on offense if the Bulls are to prevail. Something or someone needs to provoke(challenge) him out of his lethargy. I'd give anything for a disparaging comment or cheap shot(not one that hurts him obviously) on Jo, anything to get him back to playoff warrior status night in and night out.

    One thing I have to admire about Jo though is that even with his diminished play he has been All In cheering on his teammates as they fight/succeed. Jo needs to remember how James dissed you guys sideline dancing. He was a fold up artist last year without Daddy Wade. Don't let him beat you guys now that you're armed. Join the fight so we can pull off a big time upset(in my view), and beat the pretend men aka Heat(Bron and Wade).

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    Good points RW..
    1. I feel you are right about Boozer. I was thinking because of him almost being a 1st option on offense in Utah as Deron is more of a distributor than Rose is. Since Rose is the 1st option here, Boozer seems to lose focus. I would be curious on how he does on defense(his positioning) when he puts 6/8 points in a hurry. But if we expect him to create on offense he needs to be in rhythm though.
    2. Not to pick on Bogans...he put up a decent number yesterday when he was a little hurt. But, the
    Bulls are 31-2 when he scores 6+ points. Imagine having a guard who we can rely on more than Bogans who is basically a bench guy in the future. Good times are ahead.
    3. Asik needs to play more against Heat if we advance. How do Wade/James get their points most of the time? Going to the inside. Block the interior by Asik and make them take their iffy jump-shots.
    4. I think Rose needs to learn to move without the ball and dishing as he did yesterday. When he keeps moving around the double/triple team has to move and gets better positioning for Deng or somebody else.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    3. On Feb. 24th against Miami, Asik played 20 min, had 11 rebounds and shut down Miami inside. His +/- number was +17. He can

  • In reply to Edward:

    Agree. We can worry about individual players performance in a particular game. Like Rose says, who gets to 4 wins first. We will have games like Game1 or 4 in a series.
    If Asik can impact 2/3 games in the series positively like he did yesterday...that's all we need. There will be games where Rose/Deng/Noah will get dominated. We need Bosh to have 3/4 bad games in the series. That's where Noah/Asik have to impact.

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    I think Noah's had a lot of good moments in this series, so I'm not too worried about him. He wasn't at his best offensively in this game, but he's still rotation and moving at a high level on defense and has been very active.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    and he is more effective when he someone has his back(Taj or Asik). No man is an island, you need to help the helper or the helper looks bad.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Asik, Taj and Brewer won the game in a way providing that defensive energy which Rose and Deng needed.
    Hopefully, it showed Noah and Boozer a little bit on how to improve their intensity. I know they want to do it but is the lack of certain things in Noah and Boozer which is the problem against the Hawks. We all know Boozer's defensive issues but Noah is helping too much and got burned by Pachulia type of guys. Also, is Noah big/strong enough to just stand around like Asik does with his hands up to make the Hawks drivers like Teague, Smith go back and pass to somebody else. That was something to watch..
    Noah has more strengths obviously than Asik. But, what Taj/Asik combo did yesterday was priceless and amazing. And kudos to Thibs for sticking with them

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Sam Smith said Atlanta shot 31% when Taj and Omer paired in that fourth quarter. I definitely want to see more Omer as he has been an afterthought in the plaoffs at 7 minutes a game unitl last night. Thibs needs to revisit the fact that in the second half of the season Asik's production and impact were significant. But I also want to see Jo out on the floor. We simply have to hope that the playoff warrior and early season all-star force awakens if we have any chance of beating Miami. That means Jo at PF along with Taj in the wake of Booozer's lessor minutes. Booz in shorter stretches to me is able to focuse better both defensively and offensively. As a sparkplug he becomes a great asset rather then a liability. Also Ronnie to me is a character guy who brings a lot of energy. I think he has to have some mroe chances out on the floor.

    Smith noted that Lu played Joe Johsnon defensively for a spell, and played him tough. Maybe Lu at SG some makes sense if he can hold his own defensively. Simply on curls he likes to run other SG's can't stop him at a strong hybrid four 6'9. It's been talked about, but now at the height of his game maybe it's time. That gives Kyle and Ronnie more opps at SF. I think I like the where the Bulls and Thibs are headed. Staying with Taj and Omer was big. Bring on the Bench Mob Thibs.

  • In reply to MikeKeane:

    Many have expressed doubt about Bulls ability to beat Miami. Here

  • In reply to Edward:

    It depends who you pair the big men with. If you have Asik and Gibson out there you definitely need Lu, Rose, and probably Korver. I liked Brewer out there yesterday, but it was all for defense. If those 2 are going to be out for more time, you need some offense to balance it out. Noah and Asik would be a bad idea, because Noah usually gets tip ins and can't really dribble to create his own shot. Gibson can shoot well but needs to find a rhythm, there have been times where he's thrown up a bunch of brick.

    I do agree, however, that Asik needs to be out there to clog up the middle. Maybe even Thomas for a few minutes just to rough up Posh.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Maybe it is all the bold in your post, but I really agree with your reasoning. If the Bulls can make Miami shoot jump shots, they will win that series. However, its going to be next to impossible to do that. They also got some timely offense from the supporting cast in 2 of the 3 games.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

    I was thinking the exact same thing last night, on all counts but especially the part about Noah and Asik against Dallas's huge front line.

    Not so sure that we can beat Miami, but we will need big contributions from Taj and Asik and Noah to do so.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Asik has one thing that Noah will never have and the Bulls desperately need, legitimate NBA size at the 5. Noah is a 4-5 size wise.

    The one recurring theme that I have noticed all season is personal accounts of people seeing Asik for the first time in person. Everybody says he is huge, even other players, so he must be bigger/taller than he looks on TV, even Noah said it in the preseason.

    like they say you can't teach height. Just like with Noah I knew that Asik was a keeper within the first few times that I saw him play.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Sorry, was not trying to say he was a punk. He just has a look that bothers me, and he is killing it this series. Was trying more to say he is so good in this series that I hate him.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    He is also not a typical PG and is more of a shooter/finisher. Either he has to learn the game or get stronger like Rose. Otherwise, he will not be a starting PG on that team with all those shooters.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Please never trade Taj!

  • In reply to fsalomon:

    Amen! & Asik too!

  • The Noah Gibson combo is just as effective, and I bet Asik Noah would be as well. I've said it before Boozer is a horrible fit for Noah. You need 2 guys who will help each other out. Gibson does that for Noah as he did for Asik. Noah and Asik would do that for each other also.

    Interesting note that I pointed out after game 4, Boozer zero minutes in the 4rth quarter in games 3 & 5, Bulls win going away. Boozer plays the entire 4rth in game 4 Bulls lose going away. It wasn't all Boozer, there were some Korver issues also, but like I've said those 2 guys cannot be on the court at the same time.

    The fourth quarter basically proved we don't need Boozer at all. A Noah, Gibson, Asik rotation at the 4-5 gives us an absolute defensive anchor and we get out scoring from the wings and Rose. We just have to find the perfect shooting guard, one who can shoot and play some D.

    Can we trade Boozer for Monta Ellis, he's not perfect, but he would fit our team better than Bozo. give GS a #1 pick or 2 if you have to.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The way Gibson has played, I agree that Boozer's not really giving you much. The only problem with Gibson is his overly aggressive defense sometimes leaves holes on the defensive glass, but Gibson's giving you as much offense as Boozer anyway.

  • Think about it...Rose is younger than Teague and how much we expect from Rose...Amazing

  • He's the HARD HAT LUNCH PAIL GUY!

  • the work seems to be paying off, he had a couple of very nice post moves last night. I noticed this during the regular season also, he might be an effective situational post scorer, which with Rose is all that we really need.

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