Bulls demoralize Warriors in Jimmy Butler's return

Bulls demoralize Warriors in Jimmy Butler's return

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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  • Nice. This team is really coming together. A strong end to the regular season and getting to the second round of the playoffs will further solidify the winning culture. Hopefully these guys can work hard in the offseason and come back hungry for next year with Rose and Mirotic - with or without Boozer... we'll see. You look for Snell to get better, too.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Agreed. These guys are playing really well right now, and it's encouraging to see the Bulls get a win against a quality team. If they can get through the rest of the season without any more major injuries, I see no reason why the Bulls can't give Miami/Indiana a hard time in the second round of playoffs.

  • I don't see any argument that David Lee is a better player than Carlos Boozer, or a better signing. The main difference between the two is that Boozer is a bad defender on a team that emphasizes defense and Lee is a bad defender on a team that plays no defense. Boozer's numbers are comparably or better across the board.

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    In reply to bullshooter:

    Really? David Lee shoots nearly 6% higher from the field while scoring 4 more points per game, grabs a rebound more per game, and their steals and rebounds are about equal. And the Warriors are 9th in Opponent points per game and 3rd in opponent field goal percentage, so I wouldn't say the play no defense.

  • In reply to Colin Spence:

    Try comparing rates. Try adjusting for offensive pace when GSW is 5th and the bulls are 28th. Also, Boozer's been one of the best/better players on a couple of conference finalists and played in 78 playoff games in his career whereas Lee has played in a grand total of 6. That's the hallmark of a garbage time all-star.

    That's not to say Boozer is a HOF or anything, but his deficiencies get a lot more attention when the stakes are a lot higher. Lee has basically done nothing of consequence in his career.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    They are both vastly overpaid. Stats, age and salary all favor Lee but its not a huge difference. I wouldn't want either of their contracts on my team. I agree with Doug that Boozer isn't terrible but he is only worth about 50% of his salary and that is being generous.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Actually, Taj makes a little less than half what boozer does. Is Taj worth more than boozer, I think most of us would say absofuckinglutely, therefore you are correct when you say that you are being generous by suggesting that he is only worth 50% of his salary.

    Of course you couldn't be more incorrect when you say that he isn't terrible, he is worse than that at no less than 75% of the game, starting with effort and ending with defense.

  • In reply to Chad:

    How do stats favor Lee? Are you basing that on the last 50 games? For their careers Boozer is averaging more points, rebounds, assists and fewer turnovers per game, all while playing for better teams? Lee is only about a year and a half younger. The only time I'd even consider taking Lee over Boozer would be for a pickup volleyball game.

  • In reply to Colin Spence:


  • In the subject of the 'Bulls possibly signing a buy out candidate' being a pipe dream, I guess that means we won't be getting Jimmer Fredette:


  • In reply to EDouble:

    There is a jimmer of hope perhaps.....

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  • I'm starting to read Bulls believe they may be able to sign a buyout player and still remain under the luxury tax for this season. They would obviously, let the current 10-day contract player expire.

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    As far as logic goes- Rose played it safe last year and he still got injured this year so caution made no difference. You could make the argument to team Rose that he can come back this year, test it out. If he has any agrivation/injuries, he will have the offseason to recoup.. and not risk wasting another season. If he can get healthy by April 1st. he will have ten games and the playoffs to test the new knee. People also have much lower expectations- NOBODY will expect him to be 110%. I hope it happens. I still have ruled him out, but I am of the school if he can play, do it.

  • Continuing in the spirit of the above debate about Boozer vs David Lee. I bet that the vast majority of Bulls fans would make that swap in a heartbeat today or 4 years ago, assuming neither is not an option.

    However, a more interesting debate might be, who would you rather have Iggy or Jimmy. Think about that, it used to be debate around the league about Iggy vs Deng, with Iggy being almost universally more valued.

    Watching last nights game, it isn't that hard to argue that you would rather have Jimmy over Iggy(and Deng), and he is not getting $12 million per anytime soon.

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