Tuesday, the Bulls hosted the Toronto Raptors and issued a beating that began with a 30-14 second quarter for the Bulls and they never turned back. Bulls blew the Raptors out 111-91.
A blowout at the United Center starring the Bulls (23-10) using the Toronto Raptors (11-23) as pitiful props. Aggressiveness and execution equaled the 111-91 win over the visitors.
I had a thesis meeting with my adviser and other obligations today, so this recap was posted late and not as thorough as others, but there also wasn't much to break down.
- Bulls ran the floor very well and unleashed an extremely aggressive attack that equaled efficiency. They shot 25-for-43 at the rim only attempting 13 threes and 14 long twos to finish the game shooting a .551 eFG%. The Bulls stayed on the attack, largely by forcing 19 turnovers and forcing missed jumpers by Toronto.
- The Raptors suck, but they're fun to watch and hats off to them for the effort. At times, they seemed to run well enough to make the Bulls D look less-than-mediocre, but that their only chance to win is also what'll gas them out of the game. That's exactly what happened in this 96-possession game.
The Raptors chucked 26 long twos in this one. They hit ten, but even if they hit 15, chucking that many was a show of wearing themselves out. Honestly, I don't really understand what Dem CRaptors were attempting to accomplish.
- Six Bulls scored in double figures, three off the bench. Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer finally got some help other than Luol Deng. Rose (19 points, six assists, 30 minutes) put on a show with some circus plays, but was not one of the dour bulls with 25%+ Usage Rates on the game. Deng (24 points on 9-for-17 shooting -- 6-for-11 in the paint -- but 5-for-9 at the FT line) was very aggressive, but I don't know why he had to play 40 minutes.
The Bulls having every weapon clicking offensively gave Boozer the opportunity to rest on offense and expend more energy on defense and cleaning up the glass. He finished with 12 points on only 5-for-11 shooting and 13 rebounds for his seventh double-double in eight games, rebounding at a 32.4% rate. Boozer wasn't all that good on Andrea Bargnani and was confused when Bargnani stretched the floor, but at least Boozer closed in on him much more often that he has is just about every other game where a Big stretches the floor.
- The starters got some rest in the fourth and the bench continued to play well as they did to largely contribute to running away with the second quarter.
Taj Gibson (16 points, 14 rebounds, 25 minutes) was the player fans wanted to see would come off the bench a month ago, rebounding at a huge 34.9% rate. Luckily, the Raptors suck inside.
Omer Asik didn't have a double-digit scoring effort until Tuesday, scoring 13 points to go with seven rebounds and an astounding five blocks in 20 minutes. Did I mention the Raptors suck inside? Omer showed off some moves he hadn't busted out yet in the low post and, better, hit 3-of-4 FTs. There was this nice move into a one-handed slam that was negated by getting whistled for traveling:
Ronnie Brewer was the other bench player in double figures with 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting, 4-for-4 at the FT line to go with four rebounds, two steals, three turnovers, but zero fouls.
- C.J. Watson played a very strong game with five points and five assists, but the defense was key. He had three steals and used them all to get the Bulls running. He was a key to stifling the Raptors ball movement over his 18 minutes of PT. It was easily his best game off the bench this season. Igniting and hacking at loose balls is exactly what the Bulls need from him.
- Bulls were brick-tastic at the FT line because that's how they roll. Shooting 19-for-28 at the FT line (67.9%) is really aggravating to watch no matter what the score. That this is a pattern makes me want to pound by head against the wall.
- James Johnson had a three trillion. THREE!!! Even Brian Scalabrine avoided that, also playing three minutes.
This blowout was great because it was the nose of a back-to-back that concludes Wednesday in New Jersey to face the
Nets Absolutely Nots (9-25). The Bulls won ugly against Jersey at the UC on the afternoon of New Year's Eve. This time needs to be another blowout because after a Thursday of rest, they have to travel to Philadelphia and face the 76ers (13-21); then, close out that back-to-back Saturday against the Celtics (26-7) here in Chicago.
Everything needed will likely be tossed at the next two games. If big starters minutes are needed -- though they shouldn't -- in Philly, so be it. Resting them to have them slightly fresher against the C's doesn't significantly raise the likelihood of winning on Saturday. Actually, it risks losing the Friday game the Bulls absolutely should win for a game they're somewhat likely to not win, regardless of being the tail end of a back-to-back.
Advanced Stats via Hoopdata.