Marquis Teague closes as the Bulls sans Hinrich top 76ers

Kirk Hinrich missed the game with a knee injury he suffered against the Clippers forcing the Bulls to give Marquis Teague some extended burn. Teague came through in a way that transcended his pedestrian box score numbers.

He wasn't the best or most important player of the game. Joakim scored 21 on 7/10 shooting to get some revenge after the Philly crowd cheered when he was hurt in the playoffs (stay classy Philadelphia) while Luol had a strong game scoring 19. However, with Marquis, we haven't really seen him play well for more than a play or two at a time.

Teague came into this game with around 10 minutes left with the Bulls down one and closed it out. Jrue Holiday, who had torched Nate Robinson, struggled the rest of the way shooting 1/4 over the rest of the game with two turnovers. Teague scored all six of his points in the fourth on 2/3 shooting and 2/2 from the free throw line and showed signs of becoming the player the Bulls hoped for when he was drafted.

We often compare Teague's situation to Jimmy Butler in how the players may need to sit for a year, however Teague's in a tougher spot than Jimmy Butler. Butler was near NBA ready when he entered the league, and Thibodeau could simply insert him to get him some run and count on bringing him in this year for a bigger role.

Teague's got a much higher ceiling but also is further away from reaching it, and the Bulls need to make sure they're supplying him all the individual coaching in practice to develop him while he doesn't get run during games whereas Jimmy really just needed to work on his jumper.

This was a nice opportunity for Marquis to get significant burn against a good team, matched up against a good player, in crunch time of a road game. He came through. Hopefully he continues to prove himself in the opportunities he does get even if they are justifiably limited.

Chicago won at the charity stripe

The Bulls shot 24/26 from the free throw line while the 76ers shot just 5/11. Chicago's massive amount of extra attempts combined with their significantly better percentage pushed them ahead in a game where the 76ers did a better job shooting the ball and attacking the glass. If both teams shoot 80% from the foul line the 76ers probably win this game even without balancing out the attempts.

The Bulls didn't have their three point shooting going on like against the Clippers but still knocked down a respectable percentage of their attempts shooting 4/11. They controlled their turnovers and played their familiar solid, grimey style of basketball to wear the 76ers out.

I love you Joakim Noah

Noah's been so impressive to me as a player this season. He's frequently taking the mid range jumper now even if he's off and on when doing it. I love how much more aggressive he's become offensively this season. It's going to pay off significantly when the Bulls are at full strength.

Statistically, Noah's not quite as strong this season as last, but the versatility he's added to his game has been truly impressive this season. He's no longer living on offensive tip ins and open dunks, but generating his own hooks off the dribble, knocking down jumpers, and making himself a threat on offense.

Beyond that though, how awesome is it to not have to worry about whether your defensive oriented rebounding center can knock down his free throws? It didn't come up against the 76ers, but I was sitting there watching the Bulls in the end game, and they're doing the whole offense/defense substitution thing and you never have to sub out Noah because it's perfectly fine if the opponents foul him in the clutch.

Marco continues to make the case to start

Marco Belinelli continues to light it up as a starter with another 16 point game on just 13 shots. He and Hamilton are both in there to provide some volume scoring, but Belinelli's doing it with more efficiency than Hamilton was. He's far more threatening as a long range shooter and similarly threatening as a curl shooter.

Rip provides a bit better ability in the post, but as I've noted before, posting up opposing guards with your guards is typically a losing strategy. As such, Belinelli's strengths are more useful for this Bulls team. Sometimes it's about role and opportunity. With a better role and more opportunity we've seen Belinelli thrive.

This is the player I thought we were going to get in the summer when I said he could be better than Kyle Korver for this team. Since starting for the Bulls he has been.

Strong performance by most of the team

Jimmy Butler did a nice job coming off the bench and even hit a three. He's only shot 10 on the season (making two), but I think we're going to start seeing Jimmy shoot that corner three more frequently. Taj Gibson played better than his box score would indicate and helped shut down the 76ers with his defense.

Pretty much everyone played well except Carlos Boozer who struggled through a 1/6 performance from the field after having his best game of the season against the Clippers. A bit disappointing Carlos couldn't follow up that great game with another great performance, but for all of the hate Boozer gets, he's been decent recently and better than Taj.

Big win

So on the stretch of 10 stronger opponents, I asked the Bulls to win 4/10 (which would leave them at .500 coming out of the stretch) and so far they're 2-1. They caught a break with Melo out for the first game against the Knicks and took advantage. They came into Philly tired and short handed and came out with a win.

This team which looked so poor as it limped around earlier looks pedestrian on talent but high on toughness right now. They're coming ready to play and grinding out wins. Nice job Chicago, it may not be pretty, but I'm proud of you.

Comments

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  • c'mon doug, belinelli is a horrendous, horrendous defender and the team looked like garbage last night until boozer and belinelli took a seat. i dislike hamilton immensely but his weak D is still better than belinelli's. either boozer or marco need to come off the bench, because they defense cant stand the two together.

  • In reply to Gavolt:

    Belinelli should come off the bench?

    I guess you liked his 3pt-15min average off the bench he had for the first 15 games.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    yep, belinelli is one of those players that needs minutes to get his confidence and production rolling. Against the Clippers he didn't score efficiently but still managed to score 18 points. Despite all his flaws, we need his 3pt scoring and spacing of the floor to open up things for our bigs and slashers.

  • We need Beli in the starting lineup to stretch the floor, especially without Rose. I would hope that RIP is mature enough to come off the bench at his advanced age and since he is injury prone and can give a spark off the bench with Nate and Taj and Jimmy. That could be a good Bench Mob 2.0 minus Asik of course which we are missing! Miss you big guy!

  • the 76ers showed all who weren't already convinced that point differential is more descriptive than raw W-L record, as they are a poor team. the bulls play was bordering on ludicrous for 2/3 of the game and its baffling that they were not down by 15. the defense totally lost its shape as the defensive liabilities in the backcourt drew the bulls bigs away from the basket to help guard dribble penetration. hence the offensive rebound frenzy. this ended when taj, jimmy and teague came in, clamped down on D, finished plays by securing the rebound, and noah and to a smaller extent deng went to work offensively. last night was definitely a case where single game +/- told the story.

  • I think Nate isn't a decent defender and obviously isn't afraid to shoot the ball but is tied for the smallest guy in the league at 5'9" with the Kings's Thomas. It was nice to see Teague handle Holiday who was having a holiday shooting over Nate before Teague played good D on him! Nice win on the road against a scrappy 76ers athletic team especially on a back to back and playing the Clippers tough! :-)

  • Happy to see Teague close out this game as well as the game vs the Celtics. He (along with Butler's continued emergence) could be the extra boost of energy, talent, and athleticism we need to excite the team and the fanbase as we wait for Derrick.

  • I was impressed by Teague's defense. He basically had two scoring shooting guards thrown at him in Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner and held his own. He's at best 6'1" but he does have long arms for a small guard and great quickness, he struggles to fight over screens and needs to get stronger but he gives great effort(i'm looking at you carlos boo boo) on defense. His running the offense isn't great but not too bad for a guy who basically gets zero minutes. He's looking to pass the ball first but is not afraid to shoot the jumper, he has trouble finishing when he attacks off the dribble and needs to get stronger but overall I think he can be a nice rotation player next year.....I would of preferred the taller 6'4" combo guard of Doron Lamb but am liking what i'm seeing out of Teague so far.

    Was glad to see the Bulls clean up on the turnovers which has plagued them most of the season. Belinelli looks pretty stable as our starting two guard, I would like to see him attack off the dribble even though it doesn't look pretty at times and use his pumpfaking ability to draw more fouls......he has that capability. I'm actually thinking he can be a nice fit next to Rose if we can extend him on the cheap. Glad to also see Taj Gibson with his aggressive play the last few games. I still would like to see the Bulls get a better backup center, that is the biggest concern to me instead of the pg depth. I don't want to hear about quinten richardson or jannero pargo, I want to hear about Kenyon Martin or any other decent available big.

  • Hinrich is proving more and more to be a wasted signing. The main reason he was brought back was to start for Rose until Derrick comes back. If he can't even be on the court then what's the point of him being here?

  • Good win. I'm very proud of Teague and hopefully that game will help him build his confidence up. We could really use his speed and quickness with Rose being out. Don't take this the wrong way but I'm glad Hinrich got hurt and I'm glad Hamilton is still out. With Hinrich out it opens some space for Teague to get some burn and now the Bulls have no choice but to bring in someone else because I'm tired of watching Kirk brick the ball and run around in circles. I'm glad Hamilton is out because Butler is a much better player in my opinion and now he's getting reasonable minutes. Also Beli is playing better as a starter so we really don't need Rip anymore. Also i think Taj should get the start over Boozer. I know the Bulls wont do this because Boozer supposed to be some sorta star player and there paying him to much to be on the bench, and they made him all these promises when they signed him. But Taj is just more all around talented and could benefit as a starter playing with Deng and Noah whereas boozer just hides behind them.

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