Chicago Bulls 103, Philadelphia 76ers 78: What did we learn?

It’s been so long since the Chicago Bulls legitimately blew someone out that I’ve kind of forgotten how to react to it. Nonetheless, last night’s 103-78 win over the Philadelphia 76ers was definitely fun. Blowouts are fun, as long as you’re on the winning side.

Anyway, the Sixers are bad and they like it that way, so there’s probably not a whole lot to be learned from the big win here, but let’s take a run at it anyway, shall we?

1. DJ Augustin, POINT GOD

I remember when the Bulls signed Augustin back in December and I was vehemently against it. His track record suggested that he was what might charitably be called bad at basketball, and I was still driving the Marquis Teague bandwagon back then. Since then, the Teague-wagon has careened off a cliff and been sent on its merry way to New York, with Teague being traded to the Brooklyn Nets yesterday, though the deal won’t be finalized until Tuesday. Meanwhile, DJ Augustin looks like a bargain of the highest order after another excellent game, slapping up 19 and 8 with 3 steals on 7/10 from the field. At this point, comparing him to Kirk Hinrich is unfair to Kirk, DJ and the concept of comparisons.

2. Joakim Noah is awesome.

I mean, we already knew this, but it’s nice to have it reaffirmed. And maybe it’s just me, but it seems like Jo holds a grudge against the Sixers after their fans infamously cheered his injury in the 2012 playoffs. Last year, he slapped up a points-rebounds-blocks triple-double against them, this year he goes for 21-16-3 with 4 blocks on 9/14 shooting.

3. You cannot stop #ThibsBall. You cannot even hope to contain it.

OK. Yes, it was fairly unnecessary for Noah to play the first 8 minutes of the fourth quarter up by 30. Anyone with a brain would acknowledge that. But Noah finished with just under 31 minutes played, which is significantly below his usual total. Jimmy Butler played 32 minutes and sat out the entire 4th quarter. By all indications, Tom Thibodeau has made an effort to keep the minutes reasonable. Everyone’s minutes were pretty reasonable against the Washington Wizards the night before, and they were even more reasonable tonight. I don’t see this as a major issue right now.

Also, can we talk briefly about maybe toning down the rhetoric on this a bit? So, on Wednesday, everyone flipped out about the minutes and whatnot, which was reasonable. Thursday was then spent freaking out even more, and asking whether Thibs should be fired. Less reasonable, but somewhat understandable. Friday was spent freaking out about the chance that Thibs would play his guys too many minutes, both before and during the game. And then Saturday, everyone freaked out about Noah’s extra minutes.

I’m not saying you can’t freak out when it’s warranted, but four straight days? Really? Come on, guys. We get it. Thibs plays his players a lot of minutes. There should be a middle ground here, that’s all I’m saying.

That’s all I got. Bulls have today off, then will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday.

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