Aaron Brooks drags Bulls to victory

Aaron Brooks drags Bulls to victory

The 76ers aren't much of an NBA team. However, when the Bulls are missing Rose, Butler, Noah, and Gibson, well they're not so much better. The 76ers will look back at their awful three point shooting and free throw shooting and wonder how they let this one get away.

The Bulls will not look back at this game at all. They'll be content to get back in the win column and simply move on.

Aaron Brooks really saved this game for Chicago. He scored 18 of the Bulls last 25 points in overtime and the fourth quarter. He hit the ridiculous fading sideways three which pushed the game to OT.

At the end and in OT, Brooks just drove over and over again getting into the lane for easy scores. He hit big shots to get the Bulls leads and to bring the Bulls back from deficits. Aaron Brooks had perhaps the best game of his career.

Pau was decent himself

He scored 27 points and had 16 boards, but he took 25 shots and seemed to give up offensive rebounds repeatedly. I'll give him some credit though, he played 43 minutes tonight, and the Bulls have played a lot of games recently.

He was simply worn out at times and it showed. However, he still gave the Bulls plenty of points and boards, so it's hard to complain too much. Pau bothers me at times simply because he's kind of a softie with inflated stats, but he's still a great signing for the money and has helped improved the offense immensely.

With everyone out, Pau had to carry more of a load and generally did the job admirably even if it wasn't with a ton of efficiency.

How big was that Dunleavy three?

In an OT game you look at everything that went your way, and one of those things was Dunleavy hitting a half court buzzer beater at the end of the 3rd. That play becomes a huge play for this team in the context of the full game.

Dunleavy was okay overall, he didn't score much (or shoot much) but moved the ball around to collect some assists, contributed on the boards, and generally played reasonably in his minutes.

Doug McDermott has a pulse

Doug scored seven in 10 minutes on 3/4 shooting which isn't amazing, but it was a solid stretch relative to what he's done recently.

I'll take my positives where I can find them.

Tony Snell found a way to contribute in an awful game

Snell had seven TOs and a 2/9 shooting night, but he was 5/7 from the free throw line and scored 10 points overall and added 10 boards for a Bulls team that needed some extra help on the glass.

It wasn't a good game for Snell, particularly with his mind numbing turnover with around eight seconds left in a tie game. However, it's nice to see Snell fill up a box score a bit even on an awful game and find a way to still make some positive impact.

Mirotic solid in big minutes

It wasn't his best game, but Nikola Mirotic finished with 16/12 in 43 minutes and the Bulls played quite well with his energy on the floor. He was a shade sloppy with the ball and quite frustratingly missed several layups where he pump faked and appeared to focus on trying to draw a foul rather than focusing on hitting the shot.

He then looked all confused after not getting the foul calls.

Still, Mirotic continues to show all the signs of a player who will become a break out star in a couple of years.

What to make of Joakim Noah's injury?

Noah missed the game with knee soreness which isn't a good thing. He looked worn down from playing four games in five nights. No one seemed to think that this was a big deal and would lead to an extended amount of time off.

That said, the Bulls have had a history of what initially appears to be minor injuries leading to significant time away from the court. In that sense, I'm always a bit nervous when I see a guy go out.

Hopefully in this case it was merely a rest day.

My eyes are still bleeding

This was simply an awful game to watch. Terrible. The Bulls were missing four of their top seven players including three of their top four (and possibly their top three depending on how you feel about Noah vs Gasol, but I'm going Gasol this year warts and all).

The 76ers are effectively a D-League team.

That combination left a bunch of ugliness. What is perhaps most concerning is that the Bulls were destroyed in the turnover battle by a young inexperienced squad.

All in all, the Bulls stole this one, and I'll take it, ugliness and all.

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  • The 76ers beat the Hawks and took the Thunder to overtime with Westbrook. The Bulls missing 4 key players got the job done. I don't think we can take the win for granted, so I don't agree with your statements, Doug.
    The hope is still to have all players healthy by playoffs. This is what is going to determine whether the Bulls have a chance to go deep into the playoffs. On the bright side, if the seeding remains as-is, the Cavs will have their hands full with Indiana stifled defense and the Bulls should be able to cruise on the first round. This may held wearing out the Cavs for the second round showdown.

  • Going into the game, I thought they might lose this one because of all the missing pieces. That said, it would have been an embarrassing lose if they hadn't pulled it out. No one wants a lose to the Sixers on their resume.

    I couldn't believe how many offensive rebounds and second chance points the Bulls gave up. And I hope Snell got a good night of rest and will forget about that game. Brooks was amazing. More so than any of these super subs that the Bulls have had, Brooks will infuriate me one minute and then wow me the next. Was nice to see Mickey D get some good play in. I'm still hoping he can be a solid contributor next year the same way that Snell has done.

  • If you want to age faster, these kind of games will do it!

    Unbelieveable how many main guys are out. I don't recall seeing that on any team, tho I suppose it must have happened once or twice before.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    This game was so uninteresting to watch that I thought I was back in the Pink Floyd era, the coach not the band.

  • I didn't bother to watch this game because I figured with so many guys out it wouldn't be too entertaining to watch. Still it's good to hear we got the win. People are just gonna have to come to grips that injuries are apart of the game and unlike other teams in the NBA it's apart of who the Bulls are. Their a talented team but injury prone and that's the reality. In fact they may just be the most injury prone team in the history of the NBA but don't quote me on it. I've just never seen anything quite like it. Even when Portland was devastated with Brandon Roy and Greg Oden they quickly bounced back from that on the shoulders of Aldridge and now Lillard. I think the difference is they moved on from the guys who plagued the team with injuries while the bulls still hold on to theirs. And it is a plague, when your franchise player is constantly injured it starts a domino affect of injuries with the whole team. My theory is unless Rose has an injury free season or the Bulls simply part ways with him the injury bug will never leave Chicago.

  • hmm - second in a row doom and gloom article Doug. You know, a good team has both a good starting 5 and some level of bench. The bulls are missing most of the starting lineup and one key bench guy. So its basically our bench against a team and players that have nothing to lose - yet we pulled out a win. Philly has several wins against quality opponents and it is great to see that we won.....
    outside of that - then you lost me at "softie with inflated stats...." - so Pau is hitting open shots when no one can, gets you over 10+ rebounds with about 2 blocks a game, leading the league in double doubles but has inflated stats? Really? you were expecting 34 year old fineness Pau to chase players around the rim to half court. I guess i wonder why doesn't just every other center/PF doesn't just get inflated stats. Guess Pau has special Spalding magnet that helps the ball gravitate to him....my god all these inflated stats for 7 mil!

  • In reply to JoMamaz:

    Doug was actually "soft" peddling the Gasoline situation.

    Last night was a perfect example of his krispy kreme panseyness. He put up big numbers against a team of Lilliputians but looked horrible doing so. Given his massive size advantage he should have put up Wilt numbers(50 & 25) without even breaking a sweat.

    Despite half his production coming in the first quarter, the Bulls only managed to score 22 pathetic points against a Nerlens Noel and a team of D leagers, and were ony tied with Philly at that point, he had 19 at half yet we were still only tied. Then in the second half he doubled down on his krispy kreme panseyness and looked like a tired old horse that needed to be put down. His whiney little bitch act(all game long, every night) is really getting embarrassing, I can't believe that the refs haven't noticed it also. and I think that it is rubbing off on Mirotic, as Gasoline is his mentor.

    For a while now I've been debating, if we had to pick one guy to trade and one guy to keep between Gibson and Gasoline who would it be.
    Last night I found myself leaning toward keeping Gibson. Noah and Mirotic start(by far our best big man combo) and Taj performs his usual role as 6th man. All we need then is a decent 4rth big, hopefully someone with more life left in him than Nazr. It seems to me that the idea of Gasol is better than the reality of watching Gasoline.

    Having Gasoline is still night and day better than having boozer, but I'm not sure the he affects winning anymore than boozer did.

    I also find it interesting was that one of, if not the only argument for boozer was that you cannot judge a guy by how much he makes, now how "little" Gasoline makes seems to be a big part of defending him.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I would keep Gibson, he's currently the team's best player at the PF position.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Granted, I'm stating that independent of what the return would be for either player in a trade. I'd guess Gibson has substantially more value in a trade, therefore he's the guy I'd more likely trade.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Interesting, you don't think that just based on reputation and the perception that he is having a career year would make Gasol more valuable.

    I would love to trade either guy for a second half of the lottery pick to get CauleyStein. Probably not enough, would it be if we added the Sacto pick.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I think we are mixing the two: "softie" and "inflated stats". BTW- Pau comparison with Big Dipper was funny though. Here's the thing - Pau is not a power player - but one that is more of a fineness one (some can call this "softie"). There are other 7 footers, Gortat, Asik, Mozgov - why don't they just get "inflated stats"? So it is necessary to be that tall (endowed), and have the conviction to get those inflated stats.....While Pau is 34 and can look like 43 beyond 30 mins on a given night, he often, to me, seems as he mails it in at times. In fact, I think the entire team, including Jimmy on most nights has mailed it in, at least on defense. I think the entire team wants to just get into the playoffs together, and be healthy. Pau has another gear and it will show when it matters (unlike Boozer in the playoffs)

    Yes - the whinny little bitches include Taj ( and yes i would trade him next year to make way for Nikola), Noah, Rose, and ever arms flailing Butler. Harden has set a pretty high standard to follow....

    Overall, in the playoffs, the game will slow down, Thibs will grind out games with absolute predictability, and through 1 broken play or another - Paul will hit that shot at the elbow and add to his "inflated" stats. In the end, we already know that the team will grind you to death with the manic defense, and when Rose gets gang banged by Bron and company, Pau may add once again to his "inflated stats".

    Finally on Boozer comparison and how much money player makes as a basis for judgement. - did you not know what Pau does and does not bring to the table? I say your expectations are misaligned if you were expecting Pau to summon his inner Wilt. Pau is what he was in Memphis and in LA. I expected 15 - 20 points, 5- 10 rebounds, and some better defense with playing about 28 mins a night....at 7 mil that is exactly what we got.

  • In reply to JoMamaz:

    Next to "softie with inflated stats" in the dictionary, there's a picture of Pau. He's the very definition of it. He is absolutely a softie. He absolutely has inflated rebounding stats, though his point totals are legit IMO. I agree with you in that Pau is still a great value for $7MM, and Doug agrees to, he's written as much repeatedly. He's both a softie with inflated stats AND a great value, if you can accept that.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I posted a link a couple of days ago by Kevin Pelton that examined the Bulls defensive issues. In it he noted that despite averaging 12 rebounds a game the Bulls are a better rebounding team(even defensively) when he is not on the floor, kind of the very definition of empty or inflated stats.

    You've hit the conundrum that is Gasoline right on the head, he is all three of those things at once.

  • fb_avatar

    Great win for the Bulls!
    AB was clutch, and Pau showed us who the real Captain is that's steering the Bulls ship.
    I've enjoyed watching the Bulls lately. They have competed against the Champions, the 2nd best team in the West, a strong MVP candidate, a rising divisional foe, and a D-league team. There's nothing for the team to hang their heads down on while finishing 2-3. There's no way most of these players could gain such valuable experience practicing at the Berto Cntr, and watching teammates from the sidelines.
    These injuries couldn't come at a better time. Hopefully, Pau could endure a mild sprain, and sit it out for a week or two so he can returned fresh, and energized, for a long playoff run.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Wonder how we would all have felt if Brooks doesn't hit that near miracle 3 to send the game to overtime, nevermind as Doug pointed out Dunleavy's actual miracle 3 at the end of the third.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Also, there is no way that Gasoline is the captain of any ship other than the sinking defensive Titanic.

    Noah is still the indisputable leader of this team, which is why some of the best play we've seen lately has come from Noah/Mirotic led lineups.

    But Brooks was awesome last night, at least in the 4rth and overtime, basically in the role that he was signed to fullfil, streak/volume scorer off the bench. Now if we only had DJ ahead of him, or Dragic, or Payton, or Mo Williams, or Rodney Stuckey, or Patti Mills, or Patrick Beverly, or Jarett Jack, or maybe even JLin(if he wasn't making $15 mil, or anyone of the 100's of guys who have been regularly available during the past dozen or so years that we keep re-overpaying Kraptain Klankaroo.....

  • In reply to BigWay:

    In fact, for what they are worth, last nights plus/minus numbers;

    Dunleavy, Brooks, Snell, Niko, plus 16, plus 17, plus 18 and plus 19. The KKP plus 9 while playing 43 minutes, most of them with those guys.

    and on a planet all by himself, Kraptain Pukearoo minus 18 in only 19 minutes on the floor.

    Wow, a 37 point net differential between Niko and the POSdog, and they were on the floor together for at least 9 of the dogs 19 minutes.

  • Another sign of the sneaky self-centered nature of the KKP.

    "Aaron (Brooks) started making big plays to send it to overtime, and then in overtime Aaron continued to do his thing,” said Pau Gasol. “He made a lot of tough shots, big plays. He got himself going at a critical time when the pressure was on. Then I finally made a couple shots and we got a great win.”

    Of course you did, Pau, we couldn't have done it without you, of course we couldn't have given up 17 offensive rebounds without you either.

    So, while Gasoline had 16 total rebounds, the Bulls gave up 17 offensive rebounds to the midgetized 6ers, including 30 total rebounds to Noel(who weighs about 12 lbs) and Thomas Robinson who just got traded and waived after basically never playing for 3-4 teams in his 2 years in the league.

    Fortunately, Tony Snell somehow got 10 rebounds from the comfort of his mattress. Of course he more than negated that with 7 turnovers, maybe he should be nicknamed Sleepy McPillsbury(the turnover part, obviously not the powder white doughboy part).

    Did anyone notice that Neal and Stacey didn't seem to notice that while the 76er's didn't score a single point for nearly 8 minutes to start the 3rd quarter, the Bulls only managed to "build" a 6 point lead until Dunleavy's lucky half court heave to end the quarter. Those guys can seem totally oblivious to what is actually happening in the game sometimes, usually when the Bulls are blowing big leads.

    McDNP should have played way more than 10 minutes last night. A 50/50 split of the SF minutes with Dunleavy would have been great, especially with Dunleavy still hobbled by his foot injury and the 6er's effectively fielding a summer league/D league roster. This was a perfect opportunity to get him some badly needed run against less than stellar competition.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BigWay:

    I am assuming go you watched the whole game last night. The sixers were throwing up so many bricks and wild shots that it was near impossible To get into good rebounding position so you can't blame softie for most of them.

    D league team or not, the sixers are very athletic and those are the teams that typically given the bulls trouble em in them past.

    The Bulls should have put the game away in the third, but of course couldn't and had to get lucky to win.

    Anyone have any idea why Kirk was slipping and sliding all over the court yesterday? Can he not afford proper shoes? What a disgrace he has become.

  • http://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/2ytkpm/i_literally_sat_on_the_chicago_bulls_bench_last/

    ^thought this interesting/funny. Doesn't sound like Jo seemed too concerned lol

  • In reply to waitwhat:

    This was really, really fun. Thanks so much for posting!

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