How did the Bulls beat the Warriors? Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol

How did the Bulls beat the Warriors?   Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol

Kirk Hinrich and Derrick Rose will get plenty of deserved credit for their big shots at the end of regulation and overtime for the Bulls, but Chicago won this game through some luck, defense, and their front court.

Joakim Noah reminded us all, for one night, why he was an MVP candidate last year. This was his first excellent game in a long time, and it was the type of effort he was putting up routinely last season. Pau Gasol gave the Bulls a similar effort, and the Bulls front court dominated.

36 points on 14/24 from the field, 31 rebounds, and 14 assists were the combined numbers for Noah and Pau. With Andrew Bogut a scratch with the flu, the Bulls interior was simply too much for Golden State. They didn't have the size to counter the Bulls.

However, with the Bulls missing Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy, the Warriors get no excuses on the injury front.

Besides the great big man play, the Warriors simply missed a lot of shots we're accustomed to them making. They didn't knock down a single three in the second half. Not something the Bulls can likely count on if they meet the Warriors in the finals, but we'll deal with that then.

The game played out as a battle of big vs fast with the Warriors dominating Chicago in fast break points, but the Bulls dominating the Warriors on the glass and second chance points.

This Rose game scares me

So here's Derrick Rose playing a game full of hero ball, trying to do everything while the Bulls have a huge advantage inside all game long regardless of who is in the game. This was a game begging for someone on the Bulls to simply feed the post every single player, but Rose hoists up 33 shots and commits 11 turnovers.

Even the game winning step back was really a terrible offensive play to be honest, take your coldest shooter and have him shoot a contested, step back, long two? It went in, and for that I'm thrilled and fist pumping. However, this is a game that someone needs to go over the tape with Rose and get him to play smarter.

Rose hit the big one, but with some smarter play the Bulls wouldn't have needed Rose to hit the big one.

A similar thing could be said about Kirk

Kirk didn't hoist up a ton of shots despite shooting poorly, he shot poorly on low volume. He was just two of eight from the field for five points. However, much like Rose, he hit the big one, and for that I'm thankful.

Your combined backcourt numbers?

15/41 from the field, 5/20 from the three point line, 38 points, 2 assists, and 12 turnovers. That's really not a pretty set of numbers right there.

That said, they got after it on defense and held the splash brothers in check [sort of]. Curry/Thompson scored plenty but not with their usual efficiency, and the Bulls kept them off the free throw line. Overall it was a solid job of defense by the Kirk/Rose even if their offensive efficiency was awful and the Warriors shot the ball poorly.

Growing war between Thibs and the front office

Saw this on realgm from ESPN Radio:

44:00-49:00

http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=12238852

Bulls have a history of launching smear campaigns against coaches.

Ron Adams earlier this year said he had a verbal confrontation with the Bulls front office.

Ron Adams is loved by Golden State. He's been loved everywhere he's went. He's not the kind of guy who fights with FO.

Thibs noise never stops. They could be 50-0 & there is always noise about conflict. There's a real issue behind the scenes.

Jennifer Swanson is a big part of the conflict. Physical therapy performance person that the Bulls front office hired.

Front office relies on her heavily & that's making Thibs very uncomfortable.

She's telling management & Thibs how many minutes guys need to play & that's leading to an internal conflict.

Front office & Swanson don't trust Thibs to manage minutes & it's starting to become a problem.

Real mistrust between Thibs & front office. Guys are beginning to choose sides within the team, media & front office.

Any surprises here? No, I'd say not. At this point, I'd be surprised if Tom Thibodeau is back after his current contract is up. The Bulls will likely have had to go through some type of rebuilding process around that time [even if they don't totally bottom out], and they won't want to pay Thibodeau 10+ million a year which he could easily draw from the Lakers/Knicks.

I get why Thibodeau doesn't want someone telling him how to work his players, how many minutes to play them, and is pissed off about the interference involved.

I also think the thing with Adams is interesting. It was reported that he was mouthing off about the front office, but that could also simply be the front office launching a smear campaign to defend firing an assistant who was highly beloved.

It's hard to imagine that the Bulls would have fired Adams just to throw a shot across the bow at Thibodeau. You don't get rid of a good coach as a warning signal unless there are other problems or unless you're a bunch of morons, and despite what fans think Gar/Pax don't appear to be a bunch of morons given the conservative nature of most of their moves.

Even this feud with Thibodeau appears to be over the one issue us fans have been whining about forever, which is that Thibodeau can't be trusted with player health, and the organization brought someone in to specifically help deal with it.

That's causing conflict, but it also appears necessary. Does anyone think Thibodeau was cutting minutes on his own? Unlikely. Either way, Bulls fans should be well adapted to dealing with GM/Coach feuds. This one seems to have nothing on Phil Jackson and Jerry Krause.

While those guys probably didn't hate each other the whole time, they won at least three titles after things got bad. Let's hope the Bulls can find a way to make this tension work for them.

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  • Here the K.C. Johnson article about Ron Adams' departure:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-01-01/sports/ct-ron-adams-bulls-celtics-spt-0102--20140102_1_gar-forman-tom-thibodeau-john-paxson

    Key quote: "The Tribune reported in June that Forman took exception to Adams voicing displeasure over certain personnel moves. Adams confirmed this, saying he was told he 'made a disparaging remark about the organization outside the walls of the Berto Center.'"

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    In reply to TimS:

    That's too bad, but Ron Adams should be a head coach somewhere, not Thibs nor Kerr's assistant.

  • If these guys can be healthy at the end out the year all of the acrimony will be worth it.

  • Thibs is a top 5 coach but he isn't infallible. If he doesn't see a need to improve, or can't take constructive criticism, tough.

    I'm starting to wonder if players are taking their minutes management into their own hands. Rose's "stiffness" in the Spurs' game sounded like it had as much to do with the game situation as with his conditioning.

  • Very nice win by the Bulls over a quality team on the road. I didn't give the Bulls any breaks when Kyle Korver shot 7 of 9 from 3-point land, and I'm not discounting last night's win. The bottom line is the bottom line.

    As far as the Thibs-GarPax thing, first, although I think there's a story here, I think the media milks it for every drop, throwing a bit of conjecture in there, to make it as big and salacious as possible. Bulls have a "history of smear campaigns" but firing Ron Adams wasn't a smear campaign. There was no smearing other than it was reported that he publicly made disparaging remarks about his bosses, something Adams himself confirmed, how is that a smear campaign? Next, most organizations have tension. People don't have to love each other to work together. It can be a good thing if you can master it, not that I think it's a good thing in this case. Third, hiring a Jen Swanson to manage players' minutes and overrule Thibs is exactly what I've wanted management to do. If the Lakers want to pay Thibs $10MM per year to grind his players to dust every year by playoff time, they can go ahead. Thibs can go to a team that gives him free reign to over-play players as much as he wants and then wonder why they don't win more championships.

  • gonna be entertaining as usual to hear some "fans" who gave the Bulls 0 chance to win talk about how GS gave this to us and blah blah blah....And if you include luck and how D-Rose scared you in this recap, that is a joke! I'm not gonna pretend like I knew the Bulls would win, but I knew they had a chance to step up like this. And to criticize Rose, are you kidding me Doug? Without Rose, the Bulls are nowhere in this game. I know there will be a statboy or two that points to the box score or whatever stat that will make them feel privileged and good about themselves, but if you just watched the game, it was obvious Rose was the fn man of the game.

    Rose did not even get the foul calls he should have. It's like the refs are reverting back to his first couple of years and won't give him respect until he gets back to MVP level. You can tell Rose's Defense was bothering Curry at times as well, but nobody will give him credit for that...hell, the game was won on a defensive play by Rose and Hinrich at the end of regulation....

    I know the Bulls still have many problems, and should not be a favorite to win the east, but I also know they are capable to go up against any team in a 7 game series, IF HEALTHY, and win....no Butler, no Dunleavy, Taj gets hurt, and the Bulls win without the whistle going their way....screw the anti-fans who just want to hate everything, we don't want you to watch the Bulls anyways!

  • In reply to Keep:

    GS doesn't give anybody anything on their home floor this year. Any Bulls "fan" who can't appreciate this win needs to turn in their horns and GTFO of town.

  • In reply to Keep:

    You have 0 credibility Keep. You think the Bulls are going to win every game. Were you bragging when they didn't show up against the Heat or the Cavs? Or the Nets even?

    People don't come here just to bitch. A lot of us are concerned about real issues with this team, a team that should be playing way better and being coached more intelligently. If all you want to do is throw bouquets maybe you should join your ilk at the ESPN Chicago blog.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    You ever hear about not throwing stones when living in a glass house? I wouldn't attack others' "credibility" if I were you.

    I'm not picking on you with this remark, but it's a shame that people rarely see one another as rational, thinking humans. It's much easier on the old brain to dismiss dissenting opinions as "homer" or "hater," that way you don't actually have to engage in the hard work of thinking about those dissenting opinions.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    True.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Right. One of the reasons I like this blog is that for the most part everyone is civil to each other. Unlike other boards, which I will not name (RealGM), this appears to be a more welcoming site. Perhaps its because all of us respect the work that Doug puts into this that we behave.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Excellent point, I agree with you wholeheartedly. There is nothing wrong with differing opinions, its half the fun of being a sports fan and participating in these forums. Much respect to Doug for setting a good tone, as well as putting up with some stuff that he shouldn't have to.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    hahahaha.....so we have credibility now? Sure your's is sky high! I don't come on here at times when I get sick of the whining from morons like yourself. I was pissed when the Bulls lost to Cavs and Heat, don't worry about that. There are many things wrong with the Bulls that I agree with yall....I repeat myself that this team is not a favorite. You just can't read (no surprise). I just know that many of you give the Bulls no shot to win it all when things are looking grim, and then you will pretend like you knew how to fix everything if they do succeed in the playoffs...I dont even know why I waste my time responding to your garbage, that's my biggest problem.

  • In reply to Keep:

    No it was not won on a defensive play by Rose and Hinrich.

    Someone else(maybe Niko?) not Rose(who had just missed a baseline floater on the other side of the court) came up to stop Curry after he received a pass from Lee who got the defensive rebound with Rose standing underneath the backboard passively watching him rather than contesting the rebound. Hinrich then came over to double team Curry who was looking to pass the ball upcourt after being stopped(by Niko?), Hinrich deflected the pass, and because Rose got a late start on transition defense he was still hanging around the free throw line area and thus was fortunate to be in the wrong place at the right time to pick up the deflected pass. So Hinrich gets credit for making a play(along with Niko?), Rose just happened to benefit from giving up on the play and not hustling back in transition D.

    If you are going to go on a rant in a lame attempt to prove how you are a better and smarter fan than everyone else you should at least get the facts right on your major points. If you are so right you shouldn't have to embellish the facts to make your point. Doug, and anyone else has every right to critique Rose's game as anyone with eyes and a brain would find it nearly impossible to ignore 11 turnovers by our "elite" pg or 20 missed shots, including 8 missed 3's many of which we so bad they might as well have been turnovers.

    Yes, this win had every bit as much to do with good luck as it did any great skill or play by the Bulls, with the most fortunate part being Bogut being out. GS is 9-5 with him out, and 27-2 with him in the lineup.

    What are you Fidel Castro or Hugo Chavez now telling us who can and cannot watch the Bulls or who is or isn't a proper Bulls fan. Who is this we you speak of, you, yourself and mini-you.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    lol

  • In reply to Keep:

    Thats what deranged people do while they blindly ignore reality.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Hey give Rose some credit for that play, without it he'd have had zero assists on the night, creating the 11 turnovers zero assists club. As it stands he has to share the 11 turnovers one assist club with two noted ball handlers, Ilgauskas and Dwight Howard.

    I really don't get how Rose hits the game winner and suddenly he's player of the game to some people. That shot would be for the Bulls to go up 20 if Rose didn't give the Warriors so many fast break points.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    You know what, it actually did occur to me that that was his only assist for the game, and it was more by accident than by design, especially when you factor in the miracle of the corpsedog actually hitting such a crunchtime shot. Just imagine how differently this blog reads today if the corpsedog misses that shot as would have been expected.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    It's not just that Rose drained the game winner though. If Rose isn't gunning last night the Bulls are out of this game by the end of the 1st period. No question.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    exactly, Klay and Steph started fast and Rose basically reason the Bulls stayed in it...as well as in the 3rd when Rose made some big shots and plays to keep it close

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    THANK YOU! Rose hoisted up 33 shots yeah sure thats a lot, but without Butler who else u want taking the shots? and they were not bad shots...he was fatigued u could tell his legs werent under him in the last quarter...but if I remember correctly it was Rose that got them back in the game! Gasol as well dont get me wrong....and his Defense was far better than Gasols lets be honest! and Rose didnt go to the FT line was obviously getting hit everytime he went to the hoop! and the Hinrich shot....Rose found him on the play...now if Hinrich missed you wouldve said why did Rose give it to Hinrich for the big shot....if Rose took the shot and made it, its why Rose shoot when he was off? Rose set the pace in the game as well...he scored 10 points quickly and the shots he took were not bad shots.... yeah he was turning the ball over but last time i checked u have to come to the ball as well! Gasol flat out doesnt he had like 6 turnovers on Bigman not holding on to the ball...a couple were being out of bounds and some were some bad passes! Either way u look at it he did what he had to do to win the game! he hit the big shot so let it be! plus we know he wouldnt have took over 30 shots if Butler was playing! Best game by Noah by far....Doug is really being wishy washy!

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    In reply to Ron Webb:

    They were horrible shots. Too many times Rose got caught up in a one on one shooting competition with the league's best shooter Stephen Curry. And those turnovers... UGH! Most of the game I was questioning which team Derrick Rose was playing on. He redeemed himself by nailing the clutch 3 towards the end of OT, but that doesn't discount Rose's sloppy play. Rose has to learn how to run the team as a PG, and not a SG.

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    In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    ehhh....yes his play was sloppy but the funny part is even with his sloppy play he found a way to win......and again I will say it until Im blue in the face if Rose just sets others up in the game ..people will say he iis being passive he needs to attack...if he attacks and miss shots...he is doing too much and he needs to be a point guard lol Rose is a scorer always has been! and lets be clear he is the best thing to happen to the Bulls in 16 years...being a scorer!

  • Man that game was epic. Good points from other posters above about Rose having to do it all with Jimmy out. This could be a breakthrough game for Derrick. It shows the Bulls can win with him playing a high risk/high reward game. That's important because the Bulls aren't doing so well with conservative ball-control Rose. Am I just excusing Derrick for turning it over 11 times? Yup. Absolutely. Not because he made the final shot but because the pressure he puts on defenses is worth it even if he's constantly coughing up. And it really didn't hurt the Bulls so much because so many of them were dead ball turnovers and the Bulls made up the disparity in FGA on the offensive glass. It's crazy I know but as much as people would like to complain about Rose's mistakes this team's better off with him making mistakes full speed than playing a perfect contained game.

    For the frontcourt this could be a breakthrough too. I've felt all year that even though Pau + Taj has been the best performing frontcourt, we have to give Pau + Noah time to gel because that duo has more upside long term. And Bogut being out doesn't concern me too much when measuring the play from our bigs last night because David Lee was unconscious and that tip-in from Draymond is an over the back foul for 47 minutes 55 seconds of an NBA game.

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    In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    That was a great game! I don't get to watch GSW too much but they have a really tough, deep team. I wouldn't be surprised if they won it all. Although, I wonder if they have enough rebounding and interior players to last through a 7 game series.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    They have enough!

    And here to start the season I thought this team might struggle without Mark Jackson. Not so much.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Yea, I wondered about that(non)call on Green over Noah.

    It sure would be nice though if Noah would offer up a bit more resistance when guys try to move him under the rim(where it is really hard to rebound from). Sometimes the way that he gets pushed around so easily, it looks like he's made of paper mache, say it aint so JO.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The Bulls grabbed 13 more rebounds than GSW. Noah amd Pau both in double digits. They couldn't have benn pushed around *too* bad.

    I'm fine with the no call in Green. I probably wouldn't want to watch a league where they made that call under 30 seconds in the 4th. But it was still a foul so I'm not going to diss Jo for it when Green pretty much rode him piggyback.

  • Wow, the Bulls in short order have dispatched Western Conference powers like the championship Spurs, Mavs, and now the NBA's hottest team in G.S. That settles it. Chicago is LEGIT! Or maybe a word that rhymes and starts with shi..

    Yes the Bulls are dominating teams on the boards, and for that I give them credit. Other then that though I mean who cares if S.A. only played Duncan and Parker about 22-23 minutes? Or that G.S. just had an off night shooting right? You'd think you'd want to watch the Bulls win an O.T. thriller against the team with the best record in the NBA. I don't. Why?

    Derrick Rose your supposed point guard with 11 turnovers!? That is bush league. Derrick Rose who shoots .333 from three and jacks up 12 heaves? Ugly basketball. Yeah he hit a lucky game winner. Congrats. And Kirk Hinrich Mr Clutch II. Hell yeah, you show em' Klank.

    Kirk Hinrich who plays nearly 40 minutes of NBA court time and gives you 2 stinking rebounds, 1 assist, and shoots 1-6 or .167 from three and .250 overall? Now that is must see basketball. If you're stuck in a prison cell. Oh but for once he didn't foul a three point shooter to blow the ball game. Yeah! And Derrick aka LUCKY we'll see how many games he wins for you with 11 turnovers and shooting 33 percent from distance on 12 heaves.

    Aaron Brooks(yeah he was 3 for 8 but .500 from three) in 14 minutes has the same number of rebounds and assists as Klank does in 40? Thibs you magnificent bastard you've done it again.

    Face it. G.S. had an off shooting night especially on threes. And yes the Bulls bigs in Jo and Gasol played great. Still, when you have so much garbage thrown in(Bulls shooting .429) and 40 minutes of Klank? I'd really rather not watch all that horrid basketball.

    I'll tell you one thing Derrick Rose as a PG is a train wreck. And Mirotic if you gave him reliable minutes(Thibs you a-hole) night after night I don't care where you play him, but he's a better player right now then 34 year old Mike Dunleavy without question.

    Thibs the $10 Million man as Doug supposes, oversees an offense that shot .429 from the field which sucks. And for the season his offense is shooting .444 which also sucks. Yet he keeps playing Klank nearly 40 minutes?? Most games Kirk has been roasted defensively. To say Brooks couldn't play more minutes at PG and Derrick slide to the two with Butler with his strength should be at least able to hold his own with SF's. Though yes he's more effective against two's.

    These wins against the Mavs, Spurs, and G.S. sure they are gratifying, but we'll see if the Bulls got lucky with some of these teams having off nights or if high turnover and brick three Derrick along with heavy minutes of horrid NBA production Kirk Hinrich we'll see how far that gets us in the coming weeks. Myself, I'm guessing not too far at all. Not to mention Jo had one great game but likely due to knee issues overall has been glued to the floor around the basket shooting .439 prior to this game.

    The Bulls just have too much ugly in their game right now to be entertaining IMO. Thus why they looked so terrible up until this recent spate of good fortune. Hopefully Derrick, Klank, and grounded Jo will prove me wrong. Thibs, Klank for close to 40 minutes? You still suck goat nads. And quit monkeying with Niko's minutes he is way the hell better then Klank or Dunleavy and as one of your better players who actually rebounds you need to keep him on the court you jack ass.

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    In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Yeah Rose is a trainwreck point guard that recently had back to back 10+ assist games with very limited turnovers.....last night turnovers were high but if u watched the game many of them were big men not holding on to the ball or even trying to come to it ...some were terrible but hell what satisfies u fans.....u want him on the court? there is going to be some rust? so just shut ut it

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    In reply to Ron Webb:

    I agree with Ron...Rose is a nightmare @ PG. This wasn't the 1st game where he's had a lot of careless turnovers, and low assists. Those turnovers are giving the other team easy baskets and puts a strain on the Bulls defense. The NBA is not And1 basketball. Personally I like the team better when Rose is playing off guard and Brooks is the PG.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Did you even watch the game? Without Rose the Bulls would have lost by over 20 points. The only thing I agree with you is 11 turnovers is unacceptable. Let's just rename this site Rose Haters "R" Us? Some of the commentary is just embarrassing.

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    In reply to ChuckB34:

    Yeah I find it funny Butler (who people were calling the MVP and saying it is his team now) has been in a somewhat slump misses the game and its not even mentioned....Rose or Noah misses due to injury or illness its "TRADE THEM, TRADE THEM NOW" lol

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Please lay your horns down in front of the Jordan statue and start driving west to report to Iowa Energy will-call. You're a d-league fan now.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    You are right about Brooks playing more and Hinrich less (but anyone can see that ).....but......Wait, you watched the game? Oh man, wouldn't believe that the way you talk....Nobody is arguing that Hinrich did well. Everyone knows he has been terrible this season, so I don't know why people have to keep coming back to that?

    I recently read Sam Smith talking about fans bashing Rose still. He explained how when Rose doesn't go full throttle all the time, fans are just mad because they aren't getting their daily thrill from watching his amazingness. Then, when he does go full throttle, and has Turnovers and poor shooting percentage, fans are mad at that, even when it is obvious he isn't getting any calls and didn't have much help on the offensive side!!!!

    think that is the case with many fans. They want the old D-Rose now! Last night, we did see a lot of that MVP Rose, yet morons want to point to stat lines and turnovers. We all know the TO's will not be that bad all the time, and really it didn't matter, he did what the Bulls needed him to do. Nobody thinks this team is perfect and everything is fine, but we also know what they are capable of when healthy and playing together for a while. Just appreciate the man for once!

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    You wrote, "The Bulls just have too much ugly in their game right now to be entertaining IMO."

    Then you must be into self-torture! 'Cuz you keep watching. Pick up some good books at the library instead.

    I thought the game was highly entertaining. We certainly did not know who was going to win until the final buzzer.

    Every team has multiple problems, because every player and every coach has flaws. Just like refs. But suppose you had a team with 7 guys with the skill and intensity of MJ. And that team went 80-2 and then swept the playoffs. Would that be entertaining? It would be impressive, but why bother to watch when you knew the outcome?

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I have to agree with you this game was actually very entertaining(and would have still been had we lost), despite the fact that it was filled from start to finish with a lot of the same craptasticness that we see from them nearly every night. Tonight, it was just fun craptasticness, thanks to the Warriors for helping out.

  • I disagree with the statement that Rose didn't feed the ball to Gasol enough. Rose threw it in there plenty of times. The issue was Gasol did not get deep enough post position, which should have been easy to do against the Warrior's small front line. A 7 footer going against guys that are 6' 7" all night should've had a lot more than 18 points. Once Gasol got the ball more times than not he took a few dribbles, arched his back to check the defender behind him, took a few more dribbles and then kicked it back out to Rose with only seconds left on the shot clock. What's Rose supposed to do at that point but force up a bad shot?

  • Oh, last thing. This stuff with the front office & coaching is both 100% fascinating and 100% distraction. Maybe Doug should do a spin-off podcast about it, like Serial!

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    In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Noah plays better with Gasol out...I still dont think they have determined who is the Center and who is the powerforward! Once they do the frontcourt can be dangerous...with Noah healthy

  • the bulls and rose have had trouble with turnovers against golden state for the last few years. they have long, mobile and aggressive wings and forwards who trap aggressively and play the passing lanes aggressively, and Rose has always struggled with it. It was great to see this team dig deep, fight for 48 (+5) and for Rose to play with consistent energy and pace the entire game. Hopefully he can sustain this energy level, because he will get back to elite level play and this team will be a contender.

  • I have to give credit to perenially injured Andrew Bogut credit. Never seen a guy get hurt between the player introductions and opening jump ball.

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    In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    HAHA yeah that was a first

  • We still need to work on blocking out the opposition for rebounds and going after loose balls that seems no one wants to pick up.

  • In reply to CubsTalk:

    Sometimes it seems like it not just about effort, for years the Bulls have seemed like a bad hands team. This year seems even worse, it seems like even when guys get their hands on loose balls or even rebounds they can't hang on to them. The anti AllState(goodhands people) team.

  • Even if it was out of necessity it was great to see Mirotic on the floor during crunch time. Under Thibs that is about the only way a young player will get those minutes, but hopefully Thibs liked what he saw.

  • In reply to bjb57:

    Yes, I was very surprised that Thibs went with Mirotic for essentially the entire 4rth and overtime, especially since he started Snell and the corpsedog. Also, Mirotic played a lot if not most of those minutes at SF.

  • Wow, did not see the game, but the Rose stat line is brutal. 1 Assist? 11 turnovers? 0 free throws? 12 3's taken? 30 points on 33 shots?

    Just everything inefficient about Rose all wrapped up in one game. That is God-awful and I don't get how Rose was +10?!

    Bulls caught a break with Bogut out and GS shooting 27% from 3. (Earlier this season in Chicago, Green couldn't miss, but this game there was a reversion to the mean...)

    A win is a win and I'll take it. Bulls short on the wing with Dunleavy and Butler out, obviously.

    Gibson seemed to heavily back Thibs last week about guys needing the practice and just play. I can see how players can pick sides here. Thibs is awesome, but GarPax is right to monitor minutes. Rose is playing heavier minutes now, so it should be less of an issue if guys are healthy.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Yes, it was a very interesting game for Rose, brutal yet somehow indispensable. Something for everyone to cheer and complain about. They probably would not have won without him, yet had they lost he would have been the primary reason that they did.

  • Newsflash guys:

    Ric Bucher is reporting at Bleacher Report that the Bulls' organization is discussong whether Noah should continue to play the four position as it is "taking him out of his comfort zone." Apparently, it is Noah himself who has initiated this discussion and reportedly is willing to come off the bench to play center.

    Perhaps somebody in the organization is reading this blog. Some of us have been advocating this for months now.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Well that's good news, but yea I'm thinking there has been plenty of other media outlets and fans asking for this from the beginning. Would be nice to see that happen, especially if Noah is still not 100% and could use some comfort somewhere. Hope this is true!

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    That is interesting news.

    As I've said many times, I believe that Noah would sacrifice starting for the good of the team and come off the bench to play center. However, should this happen, it will also mean less(perhaps a lot less) minutes for Gasol and perhaps not closing for Gasol. I wonder how he will react to that. My sense is not that well. Maybe they even try my 6 minute shift/platoon system, that certainly would help keep them all fresh both during the games and all season long.

  • A very interesting and informative game by Gasol. I could see where your headline might make some sense, especially if you didn't watch the game and only saw the box score. Both he and Noah put up nice stat lines, nearly identical, with Gasol's actually a couple of assists and one rebound better, along with 4 blocked shots and his usual assortment of turnovers from the post.

    However, if you were watching the game Gasol actually appeared to get physically abused at both ends by two different players. At the offensive end he was primarily defended by 6'5.75" Draymond Green. At the defensive end, Gasol primarily defended Maurice Speights initially then David Lee when Speights went out. I believe that Gasol only scored 2 or 3 buckets while Green was defending him, with the first coming at the 6:30 mark of the 3rd quarter and the second around the 4:00 minute mark of the 4rth, and only one bucket in the post. Green effectively kept Gasol out of the post mostly forcing him into horrible looking fade away jumpers. On a night when he should have dominated Shaq style he only managed 12 shots.

    While we did dominate the boards statistically 61-48, with 19 offensive boards, led by Gasol with 6 we also gave up 15 offensive boards to GS a team that played the game without a single center on the floor. Including the game tying putback in regulation by Green in the middle of a Krispy Kreme Pansey sandwich between Noah and Gasol. Really an indefensible play by both guys, even if Noah was the primary.

    On the other end once he came into the game David Lee went over, around and through Gasol nearly at will, particularly in the 3rd quarter. Check out Lee's bucket around the 4 minute mark of the first quarter when he went over and thru Gasol, with Gasol arms flailing spastically after initial contact outside the circle and Gasol then falling out of bounds behind the backboard as Lee banked in the shot. This play is the quintessential image of Gasol as the Krispy Kreme Pansey. Really looking at the tape of that play what else could come to mind.

    So despite what look like great numbers he was literally manhandled at both ends by much smaller men, one of whom(Green) would only be a decent sized shooting guard, while the other(Lee) is mostly known as a finesse power forward. Thank God for us(and Gasol himself) that he is 7 ft tall.

    Finally, I also thought that it was foolish of Thibs to have Gasol in for the final defensive play of regulation, as well as the final 2 plays in overtime. I believe that he had Gasol, Noah and Mirotic as his frontline at the end of regulation and overtime. Clearly Gibson should have come in for Gasol on all 3 possessions for defensive purposes. Gibson did actually come in for Mirotic on the final play, but he defended the inbounder, which is about the only place for Gasol if he was going to be on the floor at all. As a result, GS was able to immediately force a switch between the corpsedog (guarding Thompson) and Gasol allowing Thompson to blow by Gasol for a wide open look to tie the game again. Fortunately he missed and we walked off a winner. Bad matchup strategy as usual by Thibs.

    Really another fool's gold win, it was great fun, but anyone who reads anything positive into it is being fooled into a false sense of complacency.

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