In a game that wasn't so close as the 10 point final score, the Bulls crushed the hapless Wizards. Derrick Rose sliced through the lane all night long in his second straight monster performance.
What do you think about the beating Derrick is taking?
Derrick scored 35 on 10/20 shooting and 14/15 from the free throw line. He spent the whole game inside the paint, finishing at the rim. It was every bit the MVP performance, and it's exactly what you want to see out of him when the Bulls need him to score.
It's probably stupid to suggest he tone it down, but after watching him take three or four hard fouls and tough falls where he was hit hard mid flight while the Wizards were down 15+ points made me think he needs to realize when to stop pressing the issue.
This is probably on Thibodeau more than anyone else to get him out of the game in these scenarios, but I don't think the Bulls want to just yank Rose because they're up by 15 either. It's a situation where Derrick might want to keep an eye on the score and start thinking of getting his teammates more involved rather than taking it to the rack himself over and over again when the Bulls have these monster leads.
Tough to criticize a guy for being a complete bad ass, but how many years is he going to hold up if he takes five hard falls to the floor a night?
Overall, the starters were rode hard again tonight.
Noah: 38: 53
With Hamilton/Deng out, you could argue the Bulls didn't have much choice. C.J. Watson may not have been ready for big minutes, and the Bulls got killed during the nine minute stretch that Jimmy Butler was on the floor [though I think that had little to do with Butler].
Still, there's no reason the Bulls couldn't have gone to Taj/Omer more who've frequently played more than Boozer/Noah anyway, but I think Thibodeau definitely views playing time for these guys as a reward and after their early struggles wants to give Boozer/Noah some extra room to play.
Given our injuries, I tend to view it in the opposite fashion. Half the roster has missed games already, there's no reason to press our luck by playing guys more than we really need to.
Derrick comes about as close to recruiting Howard as he ever will
Per the Trib:
"Me and Dwight definitely have a relationship, especially because of Adidas," Rose said. "I know that our market and the city speaks for itself if someone was interested to come to the Bulls. Dwight is a great player. Who wouldn't want to play with him? You never know what's going to happen."
Until Howard adds the Bulls to his list of teams with which he'd sign a long-term extension, scenarios involving a trade for the All-Star center remains a long shot.
KC Johnson appears to agree with my take that Howard's comments don't amount to a hill of beans and that the Bulls still aren't on his list yet.
Joakim Noah's got it going on
Another big performance by Noah. Over the past seven games he's averaging 12.4 points, 3.6 assists, and 12.1 rebounds per game. The assist totals in particular show you how much more integrated he's become into the offense recently. He's also shooting 62.5% from the field over this stretch.
This is the Joakim Noah we expected to have this year, and it's great to finally see him back and playing at a high level again. The field goal percentage was never a huge concern for me, since it was artificially low due to the amount of tip shots he missed early in the season.
I've always felt most tips should not count as a shot attempt/offensive rebound combination unless they go in because they inflate both stats artificially.
Not many guys shoot 5/12 from the three point line and hurt their percentage
Kyle Korver is one of those guys. Kyle's minutes have been up and down, and he's a guy who's threatened to get squeezed out of the rotation with everyone healthy, but he's generally delivered on the one thing he's supposed to do. Knock down threes.
He's sitting at 42.7% on the season right now while launching nearly four per game despite limited playing time. Korver's also done a nice job on the glass this season so far as I feel he's really attacked the defensive boards when playing at SF and has avoided getting beasted by more physical players on the glass.
Carlos quietly chips in 18 points
Everyone's favorite punching bag quietly scored 18 and has picked up his play from early on in the season. Boozer will never live up to what Bulls fans want from him, he'll never live up to what I want from him.
However, the hate on Boozer is also overstated. If he made eight million a year instead of 15 million a year would anyone really complain all that much about Boozer? We'd simply accept that he's a player with some strengths and weaknesses and take the strengths.
That's the reason why calls to amnesty Boozer make little sense to me. Maybe he's not the guy you want closing out the Heat. Maybe he's not the second star the Bulls hoped he'd be. However, he's still a very valuable player that provides skills the Bulls desperately need.
The Bulls aren't better off if they amnesty Boozer. Not unless they can take that 15 million and use it on some other player who's a stud, but that seems like a long shot. There's no easy way for them to reuse the money in a productive fashion.
If the Bulls are forced to go into the tax and Mirotic is ready to come over and looks good I could see Boozer getting amnestied, but he's not an addition by subtraction. Losing him would be subtraction by subtraction. Don't take the fact that he hasn't lived up to a 15 million dollar a year player and believe that he's a guy the team is better off without. He's not.
Side notes: Bulls interested in JR Smith/Dwight Howard?
According to Woody Paige on around the horn they are. At least, so says this realgm thread.
I didn't see the segment, but I've seen enough Around the Horn to know I'm not taking anything Woody Paige says sources tell him all that seriously. This sounds more like a "the Bulls could use JR Smith, I bet they'll get him, so I'll make it up" type of deal to me.
He also said they're interested in Howard. Howard's not interested in them, despite his comment yesterday, or at least that's my opinion.
At any rate, I figured I'd pass it along for those who want to get excited. Personally, I've been on the JR Smith bandwagon. A good team can absorb one knucklehead. JR Smith can be that knucklehead.