Bulls Orchestrate Second Massive Blowout in as Many Days

Bulls Orchestrate Second Massive Blowout in as Many Days

A day after embarrassing the Kings by 40, the Bulls were up by as much as 47 in their 33-point rout over the Hawks in Atlanta.

The Bulls (51-19) got into at Atlanta at 3:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning after spanking the Kings (17-52) on Monday evening. If it slowed them down, The Association needs to be very scared of a Bulls team that completely dominated a collapsing Hawks (40-31) team 114-81 on Tuesday in Atlanta.

The Bulls closed the first quarter on an 11-2 run to take a 31-21 lead into the second and then, the Hawks pretty much did this:

The Bulls shot an insane percentage and were impenetrable to go on runs of 7-0, 11-4, and 8-0 to spank Atlanta 41-22 in the second quarter and take a 72-43 lead into halftime. "The Bulls shot a sizzling 81.0 percent in the second quarter to turn the game into a laugher," Jon Cooper reported at NBA.com. "[Luol Deng, Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer], Taj Gibson, Watson and Omer Asik were a combined 15-for-16. Rose was 4-for-4, including 3-for-3 from downtown, Watson was 3-for-3, Gibson was 2-for-2, Asik was 1-for-1, and Deng was 3-for-4. Kyle Korver shot 2-for-5 in those 12 minutes."
Josh Smith clearly gave up on this game at some point before the 4:27 mark of the second quarter, judging from this Rose drive n' dunk:

Cooper's "Stat of the Night" was:

73.8 -- Chicago shot the lights out Tuesday night, shooting a blazing 73.8 percent from the floor in the first half. They weren't all layups either, as the Bulls shot 77.8 percent (7-for-9) from three-point territory. Through three quarters, the Bulls were still scoring at 62.5 percent -- 66.7 from three -- as they took a 98-60 lead into the final 12 minutes before cruising home.
Even Coach was smiling in the first half:
thibs smiling atl.jpg

During halftime, the Bulls vowed to keep their foot on the gas and extend the blowout, score buckets, and get stops, regardless of the scoreboard, Deng said after the game. The starters held the Hawks down to slightly extend the lead to 98-60 for the reserves to finish the home team off in the fourth. The lead extended to as much as 47 points in the final quarter before the Hawks scored the last 12 points of the game to pad their loss to a still-terribad 33-point anal bruising.

Rose scored a dominant game-high 30 points on 11-for-20 shooting and shows more signs that he's breaking away from his recent shooting slump, hitting 6-of-8 3-pointers, to go with ten assists in less than 29 minutes. "I told you I wasn't gonna stop shooting," he said after the game.
"What happened the last time we were here was definitely on our mind," Rose said of their ninth straight loss in Atlanta that consisted of blowing a 19-point lead earlier this month. "We knew once we got the lead that we couldn't let that happen again."
The Bulls have won 10 of the 11 games since, including a win over the Hawks in Chicago. He's had problems in-game against Kirk Hinrich throughout the season that've frustrated him into mistakes. Clearly, Rose found a constructive manner to channel that frustration with his former teammate, as this moment pretty much showed he was out for blood -- early:

Deng first exited the game 2:34 into the second quarter, he already had 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting en route to a 20-point first half to finish with 27 points on 10-for-15 shooting in about 34 minutes.
Again, the Bulls threatened to break the advanced box score:
bullshawks32211.png
They made aggressive, efficient defensive rotations, dominated the glass, moved the ball a lot while taking care of the basketball, and shot the Hawks out of the gym. Meanwhile, Atlanta did none of that, in any way.
As former SLAM editor Russ Bengtson tweeted after the game:


After this game, the Bulls should go to the Hawks locker room and literally take their money, too.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

  • The Bulls are now a half-game in front of the Celtics (50-19). The now-Rudy-less Grizzlies (39-32) play in Boston Wednesday before Chicago for the Bulls' next game on Friday when the C's host the Bobcats (28-41). The Heat are three behind the conference-leading Bulls (I love writing that!) and play the Pistons (25-45) in Detroit before hosting the 76ers (36-34) on Friday. 
  • Only Deng hit 30 minutes among starters and only Gibson hit 20 among reserves. The Bulls' 19th back-to-back set of the season has applied an indescribable amount of mileage. To their favor, they're young, but Tom Thibodeau said that the Bulls would run more on rebounds and steals when Joakim Noah returned. Hopefully, this continues to create blowouts where rest can be had.

    "Our defense gets everything going -- fastbreaks, easy points," Rose said after the game. The Hawks recover extremely well to not get outnumbered, but still the Bulls used non-stop off-ball movement and movement of the ball itself for 30 assists on a total 43 buckets.

  • Booz's (six points, three rebounds, four assists in 22:50) impact was in the attention he attracts. Al Horford and Smith had a handful with Booz. They denied him extremely well, but Boozer reacted with about as physical a game as he's played. In turn, it took the Hawks inside guys' energy away. More important, he draws defenses to collapse with the threat of Rose's penetration, largely contributing to the open 3s for the team, Thibs highlighted after the game:

  • C.J. Watson's got some handles:

  • The Bulls are now a half-game in front of the Celtics (50-19). The now-Rudy-less Grizzlies (39-32) play in Boston Wednesday before Chicago for the Bulls' next game on Friday when the C's host the Bobcats (28-41). The Heat are three behind the conference-leading Bulls (I love writing that!) and play the Pistons (25-45) in Detroit before hosting the 76ers (36-34) on Friday.
  • Can the Hawks lose the #5 seed? "It was an incredible beating, one the Hawks -- or those who picks the Hawks to win so much as one playoff game -- shouldn't forget," Tom Ziller wrote in his recap at SBNation.com. Atlanta's currently 3.5 games in front of the 76ers, whom they play on Wednesday.

    Jason Walker at the SBNation.com Hawks blog, Peachtree Hoops, posted his recap as the third quarter was still being played with a much larger picture of a bleak outlook for the team. "Anytime the national broadcast crew is deciding how big a playoff casket you'll need in the first round and that the greatest things about your team's offseason is that it made it attractive for sale, you can go ahead and write this 'precap,' " he wrote.

    Queue:

    hawks sad bench bulls.jpg

    yeah, pretty much...

The Bulls' next back-to-back in a de facto homestand, hosting Memphis at the UC on Friday and traveling up the Milwaukee -- where half the house will likely be Bulls fans -- to play the Bucks (28-41) on Saturday.
Advanced Stats via Basketball-Reference.

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