Bulls starters blast the Celtics in win

Bulls starters blast the Celtics in win

Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer had struggled to play well together recently, and the starting lineup as a whole simply wasn't performing. I predicted Joakim would bust out against the Celtics given his history against them, and he delivered.

Noah had 10 points, 12 boards, and four blocks. Quite frankly, the numbers weren't much different per minute than what he's been doing all year, but the defense was significantly improved and his impact on the game was entirely different. He was finally able to harass and bother opponents with his energy and looked like the Noah we've come to love.

He still can get much better, but after a bunch of poor play, it was big to see him step up and play well.

Derrick Rose is a tough dude

He's been in a walking boot since the toe injury including the day of the game prior to tip off, but he wasn't going to miss a chance to beat up on a conference rival. There's times where you'd almost wish Rose was a little less tough, because you'd hate to see him cause long term problems fighting through short term injuries, but in the end, Rose is everything any fan would want in their superstar.

Playing through pain, Rose scored 25 with seven assists. He started off missing some shots he'd normally make and struggled from the field, but when the Celtics threatened to take the lead, Derrick went into MVP mode and drilled a couple of threes to built a comfortable lead for the Bulls again.

Luol Deng had a comeback game of sorts

It's hard to say Luol ever played badly, because his defense and rebounding are always there even when his shot isn't falling, but Deng, who's struggled from the three point line, knocked down two of four from beyond the arc, limited his turnovers, and had an efficient knight offensively.

Oh, and he still dominated the glass and played tremendous defense too.

Omer Asik still rocking some tremendous defense

Nothing in the box score would indicate that Omer played a nice game; 0 points, 0 boards, 1 block. However, Omer continues to impress the heck out of me with how disruptive his defense is in the paint. The bench unit as a whole struggled to get much done, but Omer's a starting caliber center in the NBA right now, offensive warts and all.

The Celtics are SO done

They were done last year, I said it all year long last year, I said they were absolutely no threat last year. Well they went from being no threat, but good enough that you could pretend they were to simply being laughably bad right now. They have enough veteran savvy to beat some crappy teams, but they're old, slow, unathletic, and the Bulls can simply defend their shot creators too easily.

11-2? Hard to complain about the best record in the NBA

You typically judge the best teams records by the loss column, in which case the Thunder and Bulls are effectively tied, but regardless, the Bulls are off to a tremendous start. They've now beaten the Lakers, Clippers, Magic, and Celtics on the road. They've made it through the back to back to back. They've done it while fighting through injuries as well.

The Bulls still have the Heat on the schedule four times, but they've definitely played through a tougher part of the schedule more so than an easier part. Home/Road, no matter who the opponent, right now I think the Bulls are the favorite at tip off of every game now.

The Heatles fell apart with Dwyane Wade going down with an injury. So far their start reminds me much of last season where struggled, and people wrote them off. They're now 8-4. I wouldn't sleep on them come playoff time, but it's nice to see the Bulls have a two game edge in the seeding race already while going through a tough schedule.


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  • The only thing that bothers me...well, nags at me...is that Bulls have the best regulare season record so far for the same reason they did last year:
    1. They've got real talent in spots 5-12
    2. They work harder than the other team in every game
    3. Rose is a beast
    Reasons 1 and 2 seem to be nullified in the playoffs when teams (other than the Bulls) really only play 7-8 guys, and the other teams actually work hard all the time.

    That leaves you with reason 3, and we know the Heat's plan to deal with that. We still don't have anyone else creating their own shot and we go into these scary scoring droughts.

    What we really don't know yet is if Rip Hamilton is enough to make the difference come playoff time, and if the bench mob with a more confident Watson and Brewer can really score. I'm willing to bide my time to see Rip play and see if that makes the offense flow a little better, but can the playoffs start already, please?

    Finally, everyone's ripping on Booz for shooting the 15ft jumpers all the time. I'm okay with it because it GOES IN quite a bit - he can score. I think Booz could play like something between a late career Karl Malone and Big Sexy, granted that's a big range, but that's all we need. It's only aggravating because he's earning 15 million to knock down 15ft Js, but you have to look past that - it is what it is. The fact is he's a better scorer than Taj.

  • Good win. Thibs knows when it's really matters, you need Noah and Boozer on the floor the 4th quarter.

  • A couple of interesting tidbits from the Weekend Dime on ESPN.

    One source in Reno said of the Bulls: "They've got so many pieces to work with [headlined by Joakim Noah] and they're very interested. I don't think [the Bulls] are going away, either. They're not going to be convinced they can't get Dwight until he goes somewhere else."

    The groupings for all 30 teams start at the minimum salary level and are separated by increments of $5 million ... with only four players in the league (Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and, yes, Rashard Lewis) in the exclusive club of players making more than $20 million in 2011-12.

    Team Min Min-$5M $5M-$10M $10M-15M $15M-$20M Over $20M Tot.
    ATL 8 2 2 2 1 0 15
    BOS 5 5 2 1 1 1 15
    CHA 2 9 3 1 0 0 15
    CHI 3 7 1 3 0 0 14
    CLE 5 7 2 0 1 0 15
    DAL 6 3 3 2 1 0 15
    DEN 2 9 3 1 0 0 15
    DET 2 7 3 1 0 0 13
    GSW 5 6 2 2 0 0 15
    HOU 2 8 4 1 0 0 15
    IND 1 10 1 1 0 0 13
    LAC 3 6 3 1 1 0 14
    LAL 6 4 2 1 1 1 15
    MEM 1 9 2 1 2 0 15
    MIA 5 6 1 0 3 0 15
    MIL 2 9 3 1 0 0 15
    MIN 0 13 2 0 0 0 15
    NJN 4 8 1 1 1 0 15
    NOR 3 8 2 2 0 0 15
    NYK 9 3 0 1 2 0 15
    OKC 0 12 2 0 1 0 15
    ORL 4 5 4 1 1 0 15
    PHI 3 5 3 1 1 0 13
    PHX 2 6 4 1 0 0 13
    POR 4 6 3 2 0 0 15
    SAC 2 8 4 0 0 0 14
    SAN 4 6 1 2 0 1 14
    TOR 3 8 4 0 0 0 15
    UTH 2 8 2 1 0 0 13
    WAS 3 9 2 0 0 1 15
    Totals 101 212 71 31 17 4 436
    Pct. 23.17 48.62 16.28 7.11 3.90 0.92 100

    The format of the chart didn't transfer particularly well.

  • Of course the Bulls are still after Howard, they would be crazy not too. I think Howard and Rose would be the best 1-2 punch in the NBA for years to come even over Wade and Lebron. This isn't like Shaq and Penny; This is teaming up 2 MVP level players in the 2 hardest positions to fill. If I'm a GM I do what I have to do to make that happen even if it's just for 1 season. Even if that means breaking up the core, sometimes 1 shot is all it takes. I would rather see that than see the Bulls have the best record in the NBA and get defeated at the hands of the heat in the conference finals each year. Maybe what we have is enough right now, but that's a strong maybe.

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