The Bulls held off the Bobcats 101-84, but a flagrant foul had Carlos Boozer land on his ankle and leaving the game early.
The Bulls (45-18) split the four-game season series against the Bobcats (26-38) with a 101-84 win on Wednesday in Charlotte. The Kittens were without Tyrus Thomas and Stephen Jackson, so the Bulls win was inevitable.
From Bulls PR: Boozer = left ankle sprain, X-rays negative.
Tom Thibodeau highlighted the phenomenal bench play from the entire unit and the improvements they made to apply shutdown defense in the second half:
- The Bulls have held opponents under 90 points in eight consecutive games. The record in the three-point era of the NBA is 11, achieved by the Heat in 1999. They've now held opponents under that mark an NBA-leading 30 times this season, winning 28 of those games.They're now 21-2 in the NBA-leading 23 games they've held opponents to not more than 85 points -- by far in front of the Celtics' 18 (18-0). It was the 49th time their opponents couldn't hit 100; games in which the Bulls are 43-6 this season
- Derrick Rose scored 20 points, but the news with him is that he shot well. He shot 7-for-15, but for a .600 eFG%. The Bobcats collapse the paint extremely well and Rose nailed 4-of-6 threes. It was his first game with three or more threes since Feb. 2, when he hit 4-of-8 against the Clippers. Since that night in L.A., he's shot an infinitely facepalm-inducing 17.6% on threes. One night doesn't shoot a guy out of a slump, but I never denied that his mechanics are sound, so hope for the near future of Rose's jumper is very reasonable.
Defensively, Rose was very aggressive, accumulating two steals and three blocks. D.J. Augustin was Rose's thorn in the Bulls' two losses to the Kittens, but was held to only seven shots to produce only six points. In other news, Rose made a visible impression on Michael Jordan in the stands, who said Rose is the MVP, adding: "And if he doesn't get it, now he'll see how I felt a lot of years."
For fuck's sake, man, grow up. Speaking of the times when MJ was denied MVPs, why didn't he change his clothes after 1993 vomited all over him?
- Kyle Korver shot the Kittens out of the gym. He dropped 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting -- 4-for-7 on threes in only 16:33 off the bench. "Korver is 13-for-28 from behind the arc in his last six games and has scored in double figures in three of those contests," Derek S. Smith reported at NBA.com.
- Taj Gibson was a machine. Boozer left early in the first quarter due to foul trouble and Taj grabbed rebounds, became a go-to guy with aggressive off-ball cutting, and helped well with Joakim Noah on defense. He finished with 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting and six rebounds -- 10 points on a perfect 4-for-4 and four rebounds in the first half.
- Boozer and Rose have a failure to communicate. Booz finished with 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting and seven rebounds in only 26:28 before going down, but he isn't rolling hard to the basket. He goes a spot and waits for the ball because he can't trust his point guard to make a good entry pass. It's infuriating that he's limited to this because Rose can't pick up on the simple timing of the pick n' roll with such an elite two-man-game big.
I've found some video and bookmarked it for a post on this problem. I hope to get to it Friday.
- Bulls shot the lights out. They went 11-for-23 on threes to boost their eFG% to .580 on the night. Scoring 101 points in an 80.6 possession game was good for a huge 125.3 Offensive Rating.
- The second half was all Bulls D. After scoring 49, shooting 52% in the first half, the Kittens finished the game shooting 45.7% after only mustering up 35 points in the second. In the half, the Kittens "committed eight turnovers which were converted into 13 points and were just 1-for-7 from behind the arc," Smith reported.
- Too many rebounds slipped away. As efficient as the Bulls were to convert possessions into points, the Bobcats grabbing 13 offensive rebounds at a staggering 31% rate ought to be unacceptable. Overall, the Bulls out-rebounded the Kittens 41-37, largely due to grabbing 12 offensive rebounds themselves at a 33.3% rate, forcing more missed shots, and holding Charlotte to only 11 FTAs in the process.
- The Bulls took care of the ball. Only 10 turnovers on the night to quash beating themselves, as they did in the the two teams first two meetings.
- Noah and Omer Asik cleaned some serious glass. They finished with 13 and six rebounds, respectively -- both with Total Rebounding Rates between 24-and-25%. It was the 18th double-double for Noah in 33 games this season, who also scored 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting. All of those points were in the first half, but buckets are buckets.