Bulls head into break on a high note behind Noah's triple double

Bulls head into break on a high note behind Noah's triple double

The Bulls big men romped all over the Milwaukee Bucks depleted front court. Carlos Boozer scored 20 on 9 of 12 shooting to lead the Bulls, why was he so efficient? Because Joakim Noah hit him for about five open dunks/layups on his way to a triple double.

If there was a prop bet on which Bull would get the first triple double this season Joakim Noah probably would have gone off at 1000 to 1. Of course, the odds of anyone besides Derrick Rose doing it were so long that I doubt such a bet existed.

Rose to Noah to Boozer, rinse and repeat. So went the offense all night long. It's not often that a player going for a triple double has to get the points last, but that's exactly what happened tonight. After a year and a half together, Boozer and Noah seem to have finally found their stride playing next to each other over the past few weeks.

Noah's triple double shows how much "buy in" the bulls have

Several interesting things stood out to me about Noah recording the triple double. First and foremost, it shows what a tremendous passer and facilitator he can be. It also shows how fundamental the Bulls are willing to play as a team, allowing their center to become the lead distributor because that's what the defense gives them.

Finally, the reaction to the event by the team shows how focused they are on winning.

Tom Thibodeau said stats are irrelevant and noted that if Noah hadn't done it before leaving the game that he wouldn't have gone back in to get the final tally. A response that would surely make fans boo and potentially piss off players.

However, Noah deflected all of the credit to Derrick Rose, saying that he was only making the plays Milwaukee left him open for and Rose deserved all the credit.

When listening to all of the player quotes and tones of their voices, it felt like they thought it was crazy that it was brought up as an important accomplishment to begin with. This team is focused on wins, and it's great to see that after somewhat of a novelty achievement.

Derrick Rose doesn't care about his stats, and that attitude has permeated down through the team. These guys are focused on winning, and it's great to see.

If Derrick Rose is pain free why is his back wrapped?

Derrick says he's pain free, but I have a suspicion that he's simply playing through pain. He's left his back in a support wrap which isn't something you'd generally do all day long term as it can weaken the muscles. I find it unlikely Rose plays out his career wearing the support wrap which implies there's an immediate need for it now, and what other need would there be other than his recovery isn't complete yet?

I'm probably just being paranoid. There's certainly a psychological aspect to these things when recovering from an injury and a "use this just in case" type of thing for a couple of weeks. That's likely what's going on here, but the possibility that he's out there while not fully recovered still scares me.

Rose also didn't really seem to push the envelope in either of his games back, but there was no need for him to either. He quickly got the ball out of his hands tonight, and the rest of the team consistently scored when he did, so why do anything else? He had a few fearless romps towards the rim, but we've still not seen him need to go MVP on the other team yet.

Team play wins the day

This is the type of offensive performance the Bulls need against Miami. They had tremendously balanced scoring with Noah being the low man on the starter totem poll with only 13 points [which would have been a hilarious question if someone sarcastically asked him if he was upset that he was the lowest scoring starter to balance out all the love he was getting for his triple double].

The Bulls moved the ball quickly and decisively all night long to generate quality looks, and everyone was knocking down the opportunities they had.

The unselfishness was a thing of beauty, but at times the Bulls got passing greed trying to make plays that weren't there and turning the ball over too much. There were points that Milwaukee had opportunities to get back in the game due to the turnovers, but they simply failed to convert.

Not much else to take away

Derrick did a nice job playing hockey assist man. Luol Deng knocked down his open threes. Ronnie Brewer made the best of all the opportunities he had. Joakim had the triple double and played with tremendous energy. Korver/Gibson gave the Bulls continuity and success off the bench. In general, everyone played well, and the team as a whole looked cohesive and consistent.

If only we could swap Miami for Milwaukee in the ECF.


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  • Yeah, I feel like this Bulls team with Rose as the leader is like all of the teams of the 90's that the Jordan led Bulls use to beat to get to the ECF and eventually win the Finals. This Bulls team is good but not good enough to beat the Heat in a seven game series. Bulls will have to get lucky to get out of the east.

  • I have yet to watch this game, but Joakim certainly has been bringing it, other then that one dud against New Jersey.

    I've harped about how Jo's hooks and away hand drives need to return, but regardless he's been playing well overall for some time now. It just kills me that his offensive game went away, but I know many feel there really has never been an offensive game.

    I've said it too many times, but if Jo's offensive game returns and Taj's interior game instead of settlign for jumpers then the Bulls have a chance to beat Miami.

    Question: who gets the credit for these crazy assist games. First it's Luol with back to back ten assist games, and now it's Jo. The Bulls lead the league in assists, and Thibs and some of his coaches have to be in part responsible. Nice job coach(es) even though they still don't utilize Jo on lobs and curls the way Vinny's staff did. I refuse to believe that was Vinny, either Bickerstaff or Del Harris or someone else on that staff.

    After a fine performance(albeit against the Milwaukee Sucks) by this Bulls team the last thing people want to think about is a trade. My question is though: if you're going after a star or prolific scorer such as a Howard, Kevin Martin, Ellis etc. don't you have to do it now when the value of players is high, and not when the team is struggling, and appears to need help? The only problem is: how do you trade high character guys who have bought in for a whiny, spoiled egocentric baby like Dwight?

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Maybe because the "whiny, spoiled, egocentric baby" can have a lot of 30/20 nights and win defensive player of the year awards? And the Bulls can then take out the Heat? That is kind of tempting!

    But you are absolutely right, if the Bulls are going after anyone, now when the value of their players to trade is high is the time to do it. Deng, Noah, Asik, the rights to Mirotic, and the Charlotte pick just might get Howard (and several NBA rings!)

    Even the floated Boozer/Watson/pick trade for Pau is tempting. But Booz and Noah are finally clicking, and we'll need CJ for the playoffs. Maybe, if we could replace CJ with another trade, but could we? It will be interesting to see what happens by March 15th.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    You call that a maybe, I call it the kitchen sink, might as well throw in Thibs and Rose while your at it.

    That is every asset of value that the Bulls have minus expiring contracts. It is not unlike the Knicks offer for Melo, it left the cupboard pretty bare, although Howard impacts winning more than Melo.

    At a minimum, I would pull Mirotic out of that deal, and of course I would try to add boozer to the deal. Although Howard might be physically intimidating enough to make boozer try to play defense, occasionally.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Take Deng out of your equation and I would make that trade for Howard post haste!

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Call me a skeptic about Noah. What he did yesterday was great and I did see some offensive moves. But, these are the match-ups he has to deal with this post-season(Hibbert--he gets burned, Bosh--he gets burned, Amare/Tyson--not sure, Philly-not sure, Garnett- probably win this time). I am talking about defensively and off-course he has to take on the best offensive big guy because of Boozer.
    And, it is great that Thibs is using him more to assist because it will be needed when Miami/Indy/NY all trap Rose. The more practice he gets in this and gets confidence is what we need. He made too many iffy bounce passes last year.
    About trading them, they should if we can get Howard. Boozer/Noah are what they are and we shouldn't be fooled by their dominance against a beaten up Celtics or Bucks or Hawks. But, this might lead to a false sense of security for GarPax and they would be scared to pull the trigger unless they fail again in the playoffs(then their value is down from what it is now).

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Well, Well, Well ... if it's not my old friend schaumburgfan, again. Still pounding Noah, even in his finest hour!
    "Hibbert --- he gets burned, Bosh he gets burned, Amare/Tyson--not sure, Garnett-probably win this time).

    Are we talking about the Hibbert whocouldn't hold a starting job in the Pacers team, until recently? But he's clever like all the Georgetown products, they know how to wine and dine the media, make the rounds on ESPN and raise theeir value. They also have people like Shaumburgfan whose job is to devalue Noah's value. Is he really a Bulls fan? I seriously doubt it.
    Bosh, another overrated player who benefits from the cast around him? Amare/Tyson youy're not sure? No defence Amare and Chandler who was run out of Chicago?
    "He made too many iffy bounce passes last year? Are you serious in your search for holes in Noah's game?

    For you and all the others who've been killing Noah and bawling for him to be traded, check out what two people who know about talent had to say about him. Just type in "Noah/ Phil Jackson" and "Noah/Kareem Abdul Jabbar," and that will answer all the questions you have.

  • Seems the consensus is that the Heat are the best team in the league. I guess I'm in that boat as well until the Bulls prove different. Bulls have lost their last 5 games against them.

    But the Bulls will finally be whole after the break and play some real ass teams like @SA, @Phila, Indy, Orlando, Knicks all on National TV. I think thats a great time to start playing well with Rip and show the league what we look like healthy.

    I don't see the Bulls making any move now and I think they'll view their move as Rip getting back was their trade.

    But this is going to be a fun time next month with some really big games on deck.

    As far as trades (Which I doubt they do) I think I've fell out of love with Asik some and think they should sell high on him for another shooter and try to sign the kid from Utah.

    I just don't think Asik has improved at all this season.

  • Doug, you are not being paranoid, I was about 15 rows behind the basket and Derrick went up for one of his text book excessive contact layups that usually result in an "and 1", but in this case when he landed he winced a bit and there was clearly an expression of pain on his face upon landing. Hopefully a little break here (should be a big advantage with Thibbs being able to limit his allstar minutes)knocks this problem out, but I believe he is not 100%.

  • Of course Derrick isnt totally100%, that would be impossible right not. But if he says anything except that he is 100% then a bunch of blow hards on a blog somewhere will start questioning highly trained professionals :-)

  • Moving on from the Bulls as they are now on All-Star aka Spring Break(please don't do too much partying Joakim and Co.) But tonight's game on TNT is one I'll be watching

    Like many posters, I'm not only a Bulls, but a fan of the NBA. Jeremy Lin is not responsible for the ridiculous ESPN profit gouging and promotional bombardment sans "coverage." It's still debatable that a kid with no pedigree out of know where may eventually come down to earth. I'd still be surprised with the game he's shown if he's not a good player though for the Knicks for the next few years. I look at the steals, mid range, and threes he's hitting. It's hard not to be wowed.

    If Lin(sanity, demonium, Super Lintendo - OK, that last one is really lame ass) comes out, and puts on a show against Miami, win or lose, I will be further impressed. Partly because I deplore the Wheatles, but also because I enjoy watching new stars emerge. He just better not take out the Bulls in a playoff series or I will have to go Linocidal(?) on his ass(ha, ha)

    Side note: Sam Smith who is no savant, but he said Jimmy Butler should get some more burn in case he's needed in the playoffs for a brief defensive stint here and there. I wish Thibs wouldn't have taken him out of the later rotation after the Knicks game with the big shot and Carmelo impressive D. Set up some weak side dump offs and he has decent quickness for straight line drives to get the dunk or the foul. And on offensive boards he might give you some handy put backs.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I am with you on the Heat and Knicks. I don't know about tonight, but hope that Knicks meet the Heat in the playoffs and get LeBron out of it again.
    Look at how Lin comes off with all the publicity and how LeBron/Wade behaved with their publicity. That can easily sway a lot of people to hate their personalities.
    I think if Lin keeps playing well like this, he might turn out to be a better player than Chris Paul(as both Lin and Paul can never match the explosiveness of Rose/Westbrook) in a couple of years.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    In an ideal world, Id like to see the Heat have to play the Knicks and Pacers en route to the Conf finals.

  • This is the only time our bigs step up when we are playing nobodies. Why cant they play versus good teams? Because they are not that good themselves. Reality is kicking in the more and more I watch the Bulls that unless Rose has Jordan & Pippen performances combined we won't make it out of east because there is no one on team that will play Pippen. Basically Rose must play selfishly like Kobe Bryant

  • I am suspicious that Rose came back just so he could play in the All Star game.

    I won't be convinced that he is really OK until he plays in both the back to back games right after the break, if he misses either one then my theory about his early return will be confirmed.

    it was a fun win, but meaningless in terms of making a statement about how good the Bulls are vis-a-vis Miami.

    After watching the Heat shut down Lin and the Knicks tonight, after the Knicks dismantled Atlanta last night, there is no denying that the Heat are easily the best team in the east.

    The Bulls at their best can compete with the Heat, but in the end, Wade & Lebron(together their MJ) will always be there to finish off the game and the series.

    Until the Bulls get another Rose(by any other name), we will not beat the Heat out of the east.

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