Bulls re-enact Heat win against the Pistons play Washington tonight at 7pm on CSN - Rose/Deng out

This time it was Luol Deng with two points, Derrick Rose with the miracle three to force overtime, and Joakim dominating the offensive glass to keep the Bulls in the game.

The Pistons and Bulls seesawed back and forth for much of the night. Chicago jumped out to an early lead which I thought would turn into a route, but the bench mob came in surprisingly cold and let Charlie Villanueva lead the charge back. The Bulls again built up a second half lead against the Pistons only to have go into a huge scoring drought missing 12 straight baskets to allow Detroit the advantage.

Down the stretch, the Pistons had the game all but locked up, but up by one, Rodney Stuckey split the free throws. Luol Deng inexplicably gets a five second violation inbounding the ball for Chicago which appeared to seal the game once again. Unfortunately for Pistons fans, STuckey again splits the free throws leaving the Bulls down by three with no time outs and 14 seconds left to play.

Rose dribbles straight down the court and drills a three leaving six on the clock to to tie the game. The Bulls then inexplicably let the Pistons roll the ball up to half court before touching it saving them about four seconds on a six second clock which allows them to get a pretty good look to win the game, but Stuckey's step back contested mid range jumper misses, and the teams go to OT.

In overtime, the Bulls are never seriously threatened and take home the victory. It was another solid shooting day for Kyle Korver who was four for six for 13 points. Joakim Noah completely dominated the offensive glass largely due to complete apathy by the Pistons defenders to go for 20 points and 17 rebounds (13 offensive and most of his eight makes were put backs).

What do we make of Derrick's performance? Well after a two point one against the Heat, it was a step in the right direction. He had 24 points on 9/22 shooting to go along with nine assists, but it was his seven turnovers which contributed greatly to the Pistons remaining in this game. He did look much more explosive than in the Heat game which is a nice sign. Hopefully he'll round into form over the next week.

Carlos Boozer and Rip Hamilton were solid even if not spectacular, and Luol Deng re-enacted Rose's horrible two point performance by shooting 1/8 from the field and suffered a rib injury which may keep him out of the Washington game.

For a rare change, the Bulls received almost nothing off the bench as, outside of Korver, the enter bench mob failed to get anything done. Still the Bulls found a way to win.

Magic number update

Thunder 5 (already lost tiebreaker)
Heat 4 (3 if they win the tie breaker)
Spurs 4 (already won tie breaker)

Already clinched home court against everyone else

Bulls vs Wizards tonight

The Pistons may not have a quality record, but they played much better in the second half of the season and were playing .500 ball for the past 30 games or so. The Wizards are nothing like that. They're just bad.

With Nene, Lewis, and Blatche out (and Young/McGee traded), Washington comes to Chicago without the frontcourt to get the job done. Let's be honest, the only reason this game is worth watching is to see the highlight dunks that Chicago will likely get. Washington's been getting beaten up by lousy teams and unless someone has a miracle game for them will have virtually no shot at beating the Bulls.

All eyes on Derrick

Derrick Rose still hasn't played a great basketball game in three games back from the groin injury. From a physical health standpoint, I thought he looked strongest against the Pistons, so he's progressing on the right track. The Wizards should present little barrier to Rose having a monster game tonight. Given their injuries, they have no internal defenders and only John Wall on the perimeter.

Expect some interior dominance

This is a game built for Noah/Gibson to clean up the glass and score a bazillion second chance points. Carlos Boozer may get into the action in the low post as well. Overall, I expect a ton of points in the paint for Chicago.

On the defensive end, the Wizards don't have the big men to bowl over Chicago, so Noah/Gibson should be free to roam and provide plenty of help defense. I expect Chicago to keep Washington outside and shooting jumpers all night long.

As always control the fundamentals

The Bulls almost gave the game away yesterday due to a massive amount of turnovers. However bad some of these teams are, you still need to show up and play quality basketball to get a win. Chicago can probably afford quite a bit of sloppy play and still get the victory, but let's hope they clean things up and round into playoff form instead.

Update ---- Derrick Rose and Luol Deng are both out

Without Rose and Deng, this game suddenly becomes much more of a challenge. The Bulls should still be the heavy favorite, particularly at home, however, the Wizards odds had to go from near zero to at least registering on the radar.

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    Just an observation: I was watching the feed from Detroit, and boy, are their announcers homers in the worst way. I'm all for announcers trying to make the home team look good, but wanting a technical called on D. Rose while he stands there bleeding after getting whacked by Villawhateva? Give me a break.

  • Rodney Stuckey must have attended the Durant Westbrook School of Flopology. Meanwhile the Hamilton Bogan's minutes role continues. Even Sam Smith complained about the 20 minutes first and third quarter bench regimen from the Detroit game. The guy was supposed to be the solution at starting SG not a role player.

    Is Thibs really just saving RIP for the post season, or does he have a problem with his attitude or something? Performance wise other then a few rushed shots here and there and a couple of sloppy passes, he's looked very good overall IMO. And defensively which would be Thibs biggest hairtrigger, most of the time he's looked impressive with his lateral quickness and ability to stick to his man, or am I missing something?

    I do sense RIp's demeanor at times as maybe being a little spoiled. He did come out of a dysfucntional even somewhat toxic situation in Detroit where it is thought he instigated in essence a mutiny of the head coach Kuester. People including media questioned his premature comeback against his old team which led to reaggravating his injury. Suggesting a me first attitude.

    If Thibs is trying to 'break' him in a sense from his spoiled ways back into a total team player as in winner and former champion, letting him know whose boss, then it may be for the best..? Otherwise it just makes no sense.

    I'm not trying to bag on RIP either. I just think that is the only rational explanation beyond Thibs simply making a huge player minutes and usage mistake. On the court Rip has been mostly a willing and solid passer which does not denote selfishness. He certainly seems to get along with his teammates. The mystery continues..

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Maybe Thibs is just trying to keep the entire rotation active going into the playoffs... make sure everyone has their legs and that everyone gets exposed to the different playing combinations. We have seen Hamilton paired up with both the starters and the bench mob over the past two games, giving him and everyone else a chance to get accustomed to paying with each other.

    I too have been wanting to see Hamiltons minutes bump upwards, but splitting the minutes has proved beneficial lately. While Hamilton is essentially partaking in game time practice, Brewer still gets his minutes to keep his D sharp and Korver is getting minutes to keep his shooting sharp... real sharp.

  • What’s the mystery?
    Korver has been shooting well of late. If his 3-point efficiency is as good or better then Rip’s mid-range game, I’d get Korver his minutes too. If Rip can average 12-15 ppg in his 20 minutes, that is still considerably better than what Bogans’ did in the exact same role. Thibs is keeping the same rotations from last year, only with a Bogans upgrade. The best part about it is that if Korver goes cold in the playoffs again, you simply sub in Rip to keep the offense moving.

  • Korver is definitely looking like an x factor in the Bulls quest to knock off the Heat in the ECF. Still, I like to see Hamilton get 25 minutes a game, with the minute reduction coming from Deng. I know Deng is a superior rebounder and defender but slicing off 5 minutes from his game time to 36 minutes a game will not affect the Bulls chances of winning games, in fact in my opinion will help it in the long run.

  • Anybody know if airballed shots count as turnovers in the boxscore?

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    No, they just count as missed shots.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Yes, Rose had 7 & 7, not 14 & 0 that would be turnovers and airballs.

  • Rose out again tonight. Derrick is starting to appear soft to me.

  • In reply to insertclichehere:

    Yeah, he totally should play on a dodgy ankle 6 games out from the playoffs against a team that probably wouldn't even beat the Bulls if they rested their entire starting 5. SOFT I says, SOFT.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Six games away from the playoffs and he's only played in three games since the beginning of March + only played with Rip Hamilton around fifteen games. All these injuries don't paint a pretty picture for the Bulls' playoff hopes.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    I didn't say he hasn't been injured, I mean that's exactly the point behind my sarcasm. Someone is soft because they get hurt, really now? I wonder do these people go to hospitals and abuse all the patients? "You're so soft, what are you sitting in the hospital for complaining about how you have leukemia instead of being out there working".

  • great stuff here.

  • way to round into playoff form..

  • ok, so the bulls could have basically clinched #1 in the east tonight. Now all they gotta do is lose @miami and @indiana and maybe dallas (quite possible) and theyll drop to #2

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    assuming they can beat charlotte and cleveland... can you asume anything after the last 2?

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    No you can't, which is why doug should just give us his analysis of games and not his predictions.

  • Damn doug, you had me thinking the number 1 seed was locked up after beating miami. lol

  • Ridiculous loss, these guys have been losing by 40 lately.

    Outscored 20-2 on fastbreaks, I counted at least a half dozen times when the finisher on the break was you know who's man, except mud for brains, stone for feet, and pussy for heart couldn't manage the effort to get back in transition defense. I almost commented on it in the first half, but I figured why bother, turns out it was the difference between a win and a loss. But hey, somebody will say that he played great, after all he got his 16 &13 that we paid $75 million for.

    Anybody remember that Washington got Seraphin with the 1st that we had to bribe the Wiz with to take Hinrich off of our hands, Hinrich whom they later traded for another #1 pick(Crawford). So basically, we could be paying Seraphin(who was my pick at 17 if we had kept the pick)rookie money to give us 21 & 13 vs paying the MataHPOF $75 million. Gee, that one worked out well for us.

    Hard to believe that what might be the second worst team in the league has 2 guys playing power forward who I would trade the Matapussy for in a heartbeat, Trevor Booker is out injured other wise he would have physically abused Jane Fonda again.

    Free agency seems to wreck more teams long term than it helps them short term. Unless a free agent is all NBA first or second team, it is just not worth giving anybody max(or near) type free agent money. Keep your picks and your money, it will work out better for you in the long run.

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