The Game would have been a slaughter if the refs didn't move to keep it close by whistling the Bulls for a foul every two seconds. The Sacramento Kings had no answer for the Bulls fast break offense; they were lazy, undisciplined, and didn't get back on defense.
Chicago ran up the score early with fast break opportunity after fast break opportunity. It's tough to contain Derrick Rose on the break, but there's no excuse to let the opposing offense get out in front of you on the break around 10-15 times in one night. Yet that's exactly what the Kings did.
Chicago is fortunate they did, they struggled in other areas of the game.
The Kings had 18 offensive rebounds, an absolutely ridiculous amount for a supposed elite rebounding team like the Bulls to allow, but the number was largely inflated by DeMarcus Cousins rebounds which were largely tips at his own misses. The Kings knocked down 8 of 17 three point shots largely due to poor defense of the three point line.
Once you got past the copious amount of easy baskets Sacramento allowed, the Bulls offense was up and down. Trying to close out the game, Derrick Rose generated three straight wide open mid range shots for Boozer and Hamilton, all of them bricks. Hitting open shots was still a challenge for Chicago, but it was one made meaningless by the Kings pathetic interior defense.
A good team probably beats Chicago last night.
Derrick Rose found a nice groove
He hit just the right not of aggression in this game. He destroyed the Kings with his speed in transition and found his way to the basket whenever the Bulls needed a score. He finished the night with eight assists, but could have easily had 15 if guys knocked down their open jumpers.
Against a better opponent, I think Rose might needs to become even more assertive, but he hit the perfect note in this game.
Carlos Boozer played pretty well
I know I usually like to whip Boozer for lousy defense, padded rebounding stats, and offensive stats that impact the game less than the numbers, but not so today. Most of his rebounds were tough, contested boards. Though the Bulls gave up a lot of offensive boards, Boozer did a nice job of boxing out, and the team felt considerably better with him out there.
His low post offense was working for him this game, no surprise given that he was defended by the 6-6 Chuck Hayes, and he was aggressive all night long.
I rip on Boozer enough not to point out that even playing well he only scored 16 on 16 shots, but there are other days to complain about his level of play. [yeah I know what I did there]
Did you like Rip Hamilton in this one?
He played his best game as a Bull to date, scoring 16 points on 15 shots. He had a few veteran plays like the leak out after a jump ball for an easy hoop and made nice decisions in transition.
He also missed a handful of wide open jumpers in the 6-18 foot range which pissed me off to no end, especially when Kyle Korver [2/2 from down town at this point] passed up a wide open three to get Hamilton a wide open 16 footer that missed.
It shows how hard the team is trying to get Rip involved, but come on now, Kyle, you don't pass up wide open threes unless they yield dunks or uncontested layups. I'll take Kyle's efficiency as an open three point shooter over anyone in the NBA shooting open mid range jumpers.
It was also Rip's first play in crunch time for Chicago and indicates that Thibodeau probably prefers to play Hamilton at the end rather than Brewer and benched him for poor play the previous two nights rather than simply wanted to go with Brewer consistently.
Deng and Noah solid but not starring
Neither Deng nor Noah had a whole lot special to add to the game. Both scored the ball efficiently on relatively low volume.
Noah's rebounding numbers were low due to playing a ton of help defense away from the basket, and he kept getting out of rebound position trying to defend Cousins. His early foul trouble also caused him to play limited minutes which hurt any attempt at gaudy stats. However, I liked his game when he played. He had a nice coast to coast finish at the hoop and shot the jumper without hesitation [though he missed it both times I appreciated the confidence].
Deng blended into the offense more tonight than starring like he has in previous nights. He still performed well, just at a bit lower volume than he's had recently. It would have been nice to find a way to get him some more rest, I'm not found of Thibs playing his security blanket for 40 minutes a night in compressed season.
Speaking of Brewer, two for two from down town?! NICE!
Ronnie Brewer had a nice night going five for five from the field, his other three baskets included a couple of uncontested dunks, but what impressed me most was his lack of hesitation on throwing up some corner threes.
Brewer wasn't sitting all alone Keith Bogans style in the corner when he shot these puppies, he had the defense running out in his face, but he knocked them both down.
I don't know if Brewer ever consistently makes the wing or center three which is longer, but it's a HUGE upgrade to the Bulls as a threat if he can knock down the open corner three, and it was great to see him with the attempts.
Side note, 5/5 for 12 points in 12 minutes, but we can't get him any more minutes? Really?
CJ Watson gave the team a tremendous lift
Derrick Rose was in foul trouble after the refs decided to closen up this game with some ridiculous foul calls which pushed Watson into a higher minute role. Overall, Watson has been one of the bright spots so far this season, for those thinking the Bulls can upgrade at backup PG, I simply don't see how. Certainly not without spending more than Watson makes.
His defense has been very solid, his shooting has been out of this world, and in this game he found the open man all night long. It was a tremendous game by C.J. and hopefully a sign of things to come.
Are people stepping off the Omer Asik bandwagon yet?
Through three games hid defense hasn't been special and obviously anything he gives you offense is nearing a fluke. He's still a solid young big man, and I love him as a backup center, but let's not kid ourselves about how we can't possibly trade him to upgrade the team.