The Bulls ran up the score on the Kings for a very important 40-point blowout.
Whether they dated back to Friday's loss in Indy or their opponent's monster comeback loss at the United Center in Dec. 2009, the Bulls (50-19) had urges and decided to mercilessly take them out on the Kings (17-52) Monday in a 132-92 ass-kicking.
- Eight Bulls scored in double figures, led by 18 points from Rose and Kyle Korver. Luol Deng (17), Carlos Boozer (16), Keith Bogans (15), Joakim Noah (14), Omer Asik (14), and C.J. Watson (11) followed in stride -- all with highly efficient shooting nights. Bear in mind that this was Boozer's first game back from missing five with a sprained ankle and Deng missed shootaround with a deep thigh bruise that's nagged him for a week.
"I loved the balance," Tom Thibodeau said after the game with a smile. (Fred Mitchell, Chicago Tribune) "We were inside-out ... the ball's moving, sharing the ball, making the extra pass. The start of the game was not what we wanted. Everything else, as the game went on, we got better and better. But you've got to be concerned with measuring a game. You have to come out and you have to put a lot into it right from the start."
Only Taj Gibson (0-for-1) with turf toe and Rasual Butler (0-for-1) in a Korver-Watson-Asik-dominated garbage time finished with FG rates under 50%. Besides those two, the lowest TS% on the night was Ronnie Brewer's .643
- The Bulls broke the advanced box score. They shot 25-for-50 on jumpers and 13-for-19 on layups, according to CBSSports.com. With a .613 FG% (49-for-80) and .706 3P% (12-for-17), the Bulls posted a .688 eFG%, posted an insane 143.3 Offensive Rating, and dished 34 assists -- all season-highs.
- The Queens layed hot potato all night. Kent McDill reported at NBA.com: "The Kings, one of the worst teams in the league in terms of turnovers, had 10 miscues after just 16 minutes of playing time, and seven of those were on steals by the Bulls. The Kings finished with 22 turnovers and the Bulls had a season-high 16 steals"
The steals contributed to the ass-kicking, floor-running, high-flying 36 fastbreak points for the Bulls. "The more we can get into the open floor, the better," Thibs said "Getting the easy baskets makes the game easier."
- The Princes did score 22 off the bench... on 4-for-22 shooting.
- The Bulls had nine dunks on the night. Instead of more analysis, here's some Dunk Porn:
Rose's double-pump reverse jam on the fastbreak in the 1st quarter:
Watson, being the only Bulls guard who can toss a good lob, hoisted a perfect one to Ronnie Brewer for the fastbreak alley-oop:
Oh, I was wrong; Bogans can lob it up, too. He got the assist on Rose's gorgeously violent alley-oop:
- Omer went 6-for-6 from the floor -- all dunks. You have to be in awe of how this big man runs the floor on every possession. Good to see him finally get fed with good position for a slam. There were dunks where he better embarrassed the Queens, but I can't find them posted, so I'll give you this:
And he, well, shoved his nuts in Jason Thompson's face:
- Thibs became the first Bulls coach since Phil Jackson in 1997-98 to win at least 50 games in a season. Yes, he's only coached 69 games, but no head coach has a higher W-L% in NBA history than Thibs' .725.
The first thing out of Thibs' mouth in the post-game conference was: "I didn't like our defense in the first half."
- It's basketball-stupid to devalue blowing out terrible teams. Teams' records against awful teams and the frequency of blowing teams out are far and beyond historically more indicative of a team's chances to win an NBA championship than their records in close games and against elite teams. That's a fact.
Also, blowouts are a chance to get some late-game rest. Rose recently expressed he's "beat up" as the grind of the season is taking a toll, while only three players across the league logged more minutes that Deng's 2,712 this season. The two played 28:06 and 33:03, respectively, with Boozer logging 25:34 in his return and Noah -- eeriely -- the exact same amount of PT as Rose.
At the same time, Thibs managed to not play anyone off the bench longer than 19:54 (Korver and Asik), as Butler and Kurt Thomas came out for garbage time shortly after the five-minute-remaining mark of the game.
Monday's win wasn't a dramatic game to leadoff Sportscenter, but was one of the more important for the Bulls this season, considering what's ahead and what's at stake.