Last night the Chicago Bulls won their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-84. Yes, you read that correctly. The Bulls, winner of only one game in their previous eight tries, actually WON a game. After how bad that team has looked against some of the worst teams the NBA has to offer in recent weeks, it’s incredibly difficult to believe. I know. But it happened.
The team’s performance last night was definitely a refreshing sight after the bull… ahem… stuff fans have been forced to watch since Rose’s injury. Despite putting out an incredibly makeshift starting roster of Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Tony Snell, Mike Dunleavy Jr., and DJ Augustin the Bulls managed to dominate the Cavaliers from start to finish with a complete team game. Six players (all five starters and Taj Gibson) scored double-digit points, shot 53.6% from the field including, made 10 three pointers, and had a +13 rebound differential. The team struggled to hang onto the ball but were so dominant in every other facet of the game it didn’t even come close to mattering.
Carlos Boozer led the team in points scored with 19 point on the night from 8-of-14 shooting. Joakim Noah was ferocious on the boards nabbing 18 by himself (almost good enough for half of the team’s total rebounds). And Tony Snell showed off what may be the biggest reason why the Bulls front office drafted him in this year’s draft- his shot. After struggling at times this season, Snell managed to knock down 5-of-8 three pointers (one of which was a desperation haul). His midrange shot wasn’t on target tonight (0-of-3) but I’m sure Bulls fans will take what they can get from the rookie.
All of that overlooks the biggest story of the night though- DJ Augustin. After a year of misery at the point guard position, Augustin provided a very nice performance (one of the best the Bulls have seen this season) going for 18 points and 10 assists on 7-of-12 shooting. More than the individual numbers though (which are better than Kyrie Irving’s) is the fact that Augustin managed to make the Cavaliers look silly throughout the night with his performance. Having been a skeptic when the Bulls signed Augustin I was pleased to see his performance. I highly doubt we can count on Augustin to provide this kind of performance consistently but if he can pull through like that from time to time, this season may still be fun yet.
With the win the Bulls record goes to 9-16 bringing them within a game and a half of the Cavaliers in the East standings. Chicago’s next game isn’t until Christmas morning when we get to see what WAS a heavily anticipated matchup against the Brooklyn Nets (not so much anymore).