The Hawks made it interesting, especially given the only big man they had playing was Elton Brand, but their lack of players up front allowed the Bulls to score easy baskets at the rim for most of the night.
Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer connected multiple times on give and gos, and the Bulls front court scored 47 points with Boozer and Noah both having efficient, high scoring nights from the field. Mike Dunleavy was big early and hit a big lay up late on his way to 22 points, and the Bulls ultimately had seven who scored in double figures.
This felt like a game the Bulls should have dominated, but the Bulls struggled to defend the Hawks small ball lineup at times, and Atlanta drilled a ton of three pointers to score in big chunks when they were on.
It was a big win for Chicago to get the bounce back victory on the road after losing to Miami on Sunday and prior to playing Golden State tonight. The Warriors are tough, and the Bulls will have a difficult time grinding out a win against them, especially coming off a back to back. Getting the win last night was big to keep their momentum going.
D.J. Augustin in a bit of a funk
Augustin is a combined 2 for 24 in the last two games, and ironically, one of those makes was a half court heave last night. His three point shooting has dropped off the Earth, but there are two things I like seeing from Augustin despite this poor shooting spell.
First, he doesn't look scared out there despite shooting the ball fairly horrifically. Second, his passing and play making still looks very solid. Hopefully D.J. can keep his confidence up and his shot will come back to him tonight against the Warriors.
Joakim Noah might just lead the Bulls in assists this season
Noah presently has a 43 assist lead on both Augustin and Hinrich for the season. If he were to finish the season with the most assists on the team, he'd be the first center to do so since David Robinson (or so they said on a recent telecast).
When you think about it, that's really an incredible feat. I'd be curious to see how many centers ever led their team in assists in a season, but I'd imagine that number is very small, and since we'd be going back to Robinson, it's obviously very small in the modern era of basketball (possibly just Robinson and Noah).
That said, while there's somewhat of a uniqueness to the stat. A big part of it is a lack of a PG. There are 29 seasons with a center had higher assist per game numbers than Joakim is having this season, but a combined nine players make up those 29 seasons as well.
When you consider that Noah doesn't have the dominant low post game most of these guys had to draw double teams and create open looks, it makes his assist numbers look far more impressive. He's not not just passing out to a guy shooting a jumper more times than not.
The guy who's most interesting on the list ahead of him is Brad Miller. Noah recently thanked Brad Miller for helping him improve his passing skills from the elbow, something we've Noah do quite well recently. Miller's a guy like Noah who racked up a lot of his assists due to great passing rather than great offense.
It's quite possible that Joakim is a top five passing center of all time when you consider actual court vision and play making ability. Guys like Chamberlain and Jabbar have lots of appearances on the list, but they had far more touches per game and simply drew double and triple teams due to their own scoring ability. I wouldn't say either had Noah's court vision though with Chamberlain it's simply my speculation as I didn't watch him play.
Buy out candidates aren't coming, but if they were, it wouldn't be Ben Gordon
The Bulls don't seem likely to add a buyout candidate as they want to ensure their place below the luxury tax. A solid move given the state of the season even if the risk of Taj making first team defense is miniscule.
That said, it hasn't stopped reports of the Bulls being interested in virtually everyone out there. I suppose that's the way reports work. What I do find amusing is that no such report exists for Ben Gordon whom may fans would be interested in.
It reminds me of an anti-most interesting man in the world commercial.
We don't always bring in buy out candidates, but when we do, they're not Ben Gordon.
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