Bulls run up season high against Suns while Rose sits and Hamilton returns

Carlos Boozer dominated in the first half, shooting 12 of 15 from the field. Joakim Noah brought his A game to the table, and Richard Hamilton gave the Bulls a big lift with his ball movement. It all added up to a season high in points while Derrick Rose sat on the bench.

How embarrassing if you're Phoenix.

The Bulls put on a passing clinic with 31 assists vs only six turnovers. The Suns actually scored at a rate that would typically make the game close hitting 51.4% of their shots from the field and 45.5% from three. However, they got killed on the glass, and the Bulls forced turnovers over and over again to turn a game that could have been close into a laugher.

Blowouts aren't always fun, in fact, they're frequently quite boring. However, with Derrick Rose out, I'm happy to watch a 21 point thrashing rather than wondering who will step up in the clutch. All of the news was good news in this game with the possible exception of John Lucas.

Richard Hamilton showed tremendous ball movement in his return, and the offense simply looked much better with him in it. Carlos and Joakim, for one night, played really well together. Kyle Korver went 0-fer, but had six assists. C.J. Watson looked like a stud. Defensively, the Bulls gave up high percentages, but dominated the defensive glass and forced turnovers to render the Suns overall offensive attack an inefficient effort.

Now for some bad news.

Derrick Rose's toe injury is now being labeled as turf toe again.

My google doctorate degree says turf toe takes three weeks to heal from, a virtual eternity in this shortened season. Granted, they'll probably inject Derrick with elephant steroids if it makes the joint heal a couple hours earlier, but there's no guarantee that Rose will play in three days.

Playing on turf toe can make it worse and cause chronic injuries as well, so this isn't a pain threshold thing. The Bulls need to protect their long term investment rather than force the issue with Derrick. The Bulls would obviously struggle without Rose for an extended time, and they do play Indy, Miami, New York, and Philly over what a three week rest would be, but you take the losses if necessary to keep Derrick healthy.

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  • If Rip is back for good that makes sitting Rose much easier. Watson and Rip looked great on the floor together. While Rose is with out a doubt important, we have the depth to compete with all of those teams with him out of the lineup. Im still not sold on Philly, I have watched them a couple of times and they look like the Bulls teams from the Hinrich/Deng/BG era to me. I think we are a matchup nightmare for Indy even with Rose out of the game. Our ability to throw Deng/Brewer at Carmelo then Noah/Taj/Omer at Amare has to give us a shot to beat them. Miami is a tossup either way, that game comes down to our bigs and Deng with or without Rose. If Noah can shut down Bosh, Boozer drop 20/10 and Deng have an efficient shooting night we should win. Our defense is good enough to keep us in a game with or without Rose.

    That said I think a team like Orlando or Golden State would be a worse matchup with Rose out of the game. I know they are on opposite ends of the spectrum but I think they both would be matchup nightmares without Rose.

  • Tonights game was the contrapositive of last nights for all theories Bulls.

    Despite the easy win, we nearly destroyed our home defensive stats, letting up almost as many points in the first and fourth quarters(60) as we had previously allowed in entire games(67). Also allowed over 50% from the field.

    No biggie, but in a garbage game Thibs is going to need something to talk about. It was good to see both Rip and CJ play. Hopefully, they'll both be able to go on Friday and Saturday.

    Doug, you're right about boring, but it sure beat yesterdays version of boring.

  • Speaking of Boozer being a Western Conference all-star.

    Denver appears to be completely devoid of a starting PF, going with Al Harrington there. What about Boozer for Harrington and Corey Brewer. I wanted the Bulls to pick him up at mid season last year, when Minny gave up on him and Dallas gave him 3 years and $9 million.

    Harrington gives us essentially what Boozer(outside shooting) does at half the price. Brewer is a nice long athletic wing who could back up Deng, and fits the Bulls MO quite well.

    We are stuck with Harringtons $7 million contract for 4 years, but at least he is coming off the bench as instant O, and not starting as putrid D. We could then move Taj into the starting lineup, and relieve Joah of that 250lb load that he clearly cannot carry all by himself.

    Who doesn't do that deal first, Denver or the Bulls. I say Denver, since they would not be able to Amnesty Boozer's last 2 years @nearly $32 million. But maybe we can convince them, based on his first half performance from last night that he is indeed a western conference all-star.

    Hey, we have 2 days off with nothing much to discuss.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Worst...Trade...Ever. LOL

  • Great to see Noah and Booz clicking, Noah especially.

    Rose will be out for two weeks in my opinion. He'll be back for the Miami game.

  • Besides, the pacers, miami, and the bucks; the rest of bull's opponents look like garbage. If the bulls would rest rose till feb, I have no complaints.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    I forgot that cleveland started playing decently, but still that's a game I expect cj to win.

  • Good win by the Bulls. Didn't see the game but the highlights,the Bulls should definitely show case Boozer if Rose will be out for a while and maybe a team just may jump at trading for him. He's obviously the weak link as far as the Bulls rotation goes on offense and definitely defense. The guy is in the wrong system cause he can definitely score but he needs to be with more of a traditional point guard and a center that doesn't have to touch the ball as much in the case of Noah. This could be a blessing in disguise for the Bulls to make some sort of move come the trade deadline cause they need to try and resign Taj and Asik cause both are young and out playing Boozer who has become expendable IMO but the question is can they find a trade partner for him.

  • The Bulls offense looks great when Rip is in. He could possibly be a better facilitator than Rose. This has to make Booz and Noah jobs easier. Its still early, but i think what will get us thru Miami is improved team offense as opposed to us needing a second superstar. More balanced scoring will make Rose that much more deadly. If this team stays healthy we will have to be considered favorites for the title. We're just that good.

  • Having Rose out could turn out to be a blessing in disguise. This is an opportunity to bring the team even closer together an really get a good look at our teams overall talent. As a team I think the Bulls have become to relaxed knowing whenever we get in a jam they can just look for Rose to pick up the slack. Now it's gonna take a full team effort to win games and when Rose does return we will be that much more stronger. This could be the kicker that actual forces Noah and Boozer to play well together. With Rose out all eyes point to those two.

  • As Doug and others are saying, Derrick getting fully healed, even if it takes two or three weeks, is paramount. Lose games now, or enter the playoffs with an injured, physcially limited Derrick Rose.

    Opportunity knocks, anybody home? Every time one of our bench guards plays well be it Ronnie Brewer etc. it only takes one bad game to say, "What were we thinking?"

    Once more into the breach then, but C.J. Watson looks viable right now as a starter. Both of his productive years at Golden State he shot high 40's with 25 and up minutes per game. He gets to the line and racks up assists at a good rate also.

    We know that when C.J. has seen increased minutes or starting he can score efficiently. And it doesn't hurt that right now he's hitting a meager .500 on three's at a legit 2.6 att's per game.

    Of course you could say that's what makes him the perfect off the bench guy; ultra productivity in limited minutes. If he had starter's talent he'd be starting by now after four plus seasons in the league.

    All I know is C.J. Watson is getting it done. RIP's so far extended absence due to injury, factoring in his age and diminished games played the last three seasons has to be a concern. Are we better off with a starter in name only RIP playing 22-24 minutes a game with a shot at a fresh, healthy playoff tested Richard Hamilton?

    RIP has looked better as a starting SG with the Bulls then I ever could have imagined. The guy can still play at a fairly high level, and is a tremendous fit with this Bulls team. If he's fully healthy come Miami Biatch II - The Re-Match..? It could be huge.

    It will be interesting to see if Rip starts racking up some 27-30 minute games, especially if Derrick is out for any length of time. Can he stay healthy with regular season starter's minutes? And if C.J. gets the minutes, 26 per game or more, will his excellent production continue? If RIP does get more rest it will make it easier for Ronnie to still get his, and stay in that nice shooting groove he's in.

    Finally, if Boston is indeed post "window closing" as they say, do you cash in sunsetter Ray Allen's current high value for young talent and picks to restock the cupboard before it's too late i.e post run Armageddon. Ray Ray with the numbers he's putting up now would be playoff gold to several contenders. But what would you have to give to get a one year rental at 36 years old?

  • I'd rather just give Derrick 3 weeks off, maybe even 4, to make sure he is 100 % for the 2nd half & playoffs.

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