The Bulls were sharp early, they took a 20+ point lead by the middle of the second quarter, but failed to score or play defense for the final four minutes allowing Minnesota to close the lead to six.
The Bulls shot significantly better from the field. They hit more threes, and they should have completely run away with this game. However, they committed far too many turnovers, were victims of a strongly biased home whistle, and did a lousy job of knocking down the free throws they did get.
This just in, Derrick Rose is awfully good
When Rose asserted himself, the Timberwolves had no chance whatsoever. They were utterly dominated. Rose sliced through the lane with the greatest of ease, drained three point shots, and racked up assist after assist. If the refs hadn't swallowed their whistles every time he got knocked around in the lane, he could have had 40.
There was a brief scare when Rose had to go back to the lockerroom due to an ankle injury when Anthony Tolliver fell on him, but Rose returned and didn't seem bothered by the ankle afterwards.
Luol Deng carried the Bulls in the third
The Timberwolves cut the lead to one in the early third, and then the Bulls scored on four straight possessions with Noah knocking in a couple free throws and Luol Deng shooting three for three including a three pointer for seven points. With the T-Wolves only knocking down one basket over that stretch, the Bulls brought the lead back up to 10.
The Wolves would never come closer than four points the rest of the way. Deng looked good in spurts in the game, but also struggled to create a shot at other points.
Ronnie Brewer looking good again
It must have been an even numbered day because Brewer shot really well from the field again. He scored 17 on just 10 shots, and hit a dagger three at the end of the game to put it out of reach. Ronnie needs to work on his consistency a bit but he's generally scoring the ball at a much higher level this year and his mid range and three point shot are both considerably improved.
If I'd complain about Brewer it would be that he had at least three passes fly through his hands and out of bounds tonight.
Boozer struggled pretty badly out there
Some days you don't have it, and this was one of those days for Boozer. He found some early success knocking down a couple of shots, but he'd only hit one more the rest of the night and road the pine the entire fourth quarter.
If it weren't for the turnovers...
Joakim Noah couldn't hold onto the ball at points, but outside of a high turnover night, he played well. His activity level was very high, and well an 8 point 11 board night doesn't feel all that special Noah did an excellent job of playing free safety on defense.
Taj Gibson and Omer Asik bringing the D
It's amazing the defense the Bulls bring off the bench. These guys both threw down a block party in Minnesota dissuading them from getting anything going inside. Asik even through in a nice post hook shot into the game, showing us signs that his offensive game has gonefrom Doug on a bad day
The team offense was a bit off
The Bulls won fairly easily, and if they had gotten a fair shake from the refs, the game would have been a complete blowout. They shot a high percentage from the field and over 50% from beyond the arc. All that said, I wasn't all that impressed with the offense.
For much of the fourth Rose was running around like a nut looking for a seam in the defense. He typically found one, and he scored efficiently, but the Bulls struggled to get something good out of a lot of their sets if Rose couldn't slice right through and score.
They struggled controlling the ball, and they masked their deficiencies with incredible three point shooting.
Rubio is fun to watch
A typical Rubio performance. A ton of assists, decent scoring, and a crapload of turnovers. You can tell Rubio will be a good one, he plays with elite court vision already and will only get better with more time in the league. That said, he may never have the ability to defend his own position.
Second of three in the books
The Bulls will complete their back to back to back tomorrow night at home against the Wizards. Rose will get to go up against another young up and coming PG and put him in their place.