Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich took it personally. Butler played well in his return, and Carlos Boozer went on a scoring binge to put the game away in the third period.
The Bulls held all five Golden State starters to under 10 points which is perhaps somewhat misleading because David Lee, returning from the flu, came off the bench rather than started, but a nice stat nonetheless.
Kirk Hinrich made the night
He picked up his scoring as the game went on, but there was a point in this game where his box score looked awfully pedestrian, and those not watching the game would have thought he was having a typical night.
However, Kirk Hinrich was the guy primarily responsible for holding Stephen Curry to a season low five points, but more than holding him to few points, what he (and the Bulls in general) did was hold him to few attempts. By the end of the night, Steph was so frustrated he blew easy layups.
It was a great game by Hinrich on both ends of the floor, and Kirk has really picked up his play, especially offensively lately. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if it came out that Curry caught the flu from David Lee and was trying to play through it (or something similar).
He looked weak in the game with all of his shots falling short.
Joakim Noah beasted the Warriors on the glass
The Bulls thoroughly outplayed the Warriors, but early on, when it was still a game, Joakim Noah repeatedly gave the Bulls second looks on the offensive glass and came down with all the tough boards on the defensive side as well.
The Bulls had 16 offensive boards on 46 misses relative to Golden State's nine on 54 misses. That's a lot of extra possessions, and early on, that and the turnover battle really controlled the game. Chicago and Golden State went into half time shooting an identical percentage from the floor, but the Bulls had an 11 point lead.
Noah didn't have a great shooting night and while he threw some nifty passes, he was a bit reckless with the ball at times as well. However, his rebounding effort and hustle really made the game for Chicago. There are nights that 17 rebounds can kind of fall in a player's lap. This wasn't one of those nights. He earned them the hard way.
David Lee vs Carlos Boozer
There was plenty of commentary about Lee vs Boozer during/after the game as if perhaps Boozer was a better signing than Lee given that Lee had an awful game and was particularly horrible defensively.
Look, I'm not a complete Boozer hater like many Bulls fans. I think the Bulls have one of the better front courts in the NBA, and Carlos Boozer's a part of that even if he's now the third best big man on the team.
That said, let's not delude ourselves into thinking that Boozer's better than Lee or a better signing. I doubt the Warriors would have had any trouble moving David Lee at all in a trade at the deadline if they wanted to. They don't want to.
Let's just ask the same question about Carlos Boozer and the Chicago Bulls and collectively stop trying to delude ourselves.
Yes, Carlos had a good night last night, and no, I don't think he's as bad as he's frequently made out to be by the worst of his detractors, but he's not a great player and he's making great player money.
Bulls may sign a buy out candidate? Don't hold your breath
Tom Thibodeau said the Bulls may sign a veteran, but this seems like a PC answer to a question asked.
The quotes in there don't lead to nearly as much confidence as the headline. Thibodeau more or less just talks about the idea conceptually rather than having any inside information (or at least sharing it) on what the Bulls actual plans are.
In the end, the Bulls will ensure they stay under the tax. That means they can't sign a season-end contract yet, which means they won't sign a buy out candidate right away, which means everyone they would possibly consider will be gone before they have a chance.
Derrick Rose running, but no where close to practicing
Rose isn't coming back. The Bulls said that the day after the surgery when they saw what kind of repair was done. So these Rose updates don't have a lot of meaning. There's maybe 7-8 weeks left in the season, and Rose is now doing light running on a treadmill.
I suppose going from light running to NBA basketball in 7-8 weeks isn't out of the question, but Thibodeau was clear that there are no plans for him to practice or play with the team this year [again].
Somehow every time this is brought up it's a bit depressing, but in the end, it's still no news except for those holding out hope that Rose would return despite already being ruled out for year. A hope that doesn't seem based on anything other than wishful thinking given Rose's history suggests he will take more time rather than less to return from a major injury.
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