Fresh ink: February 5, 2009

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K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “When Tyrus Thomas played here last season, he purchased approximately 100 tickets and sent them to his mother for distribution. But he still had to deal with the inherent stress of who got what. Not this season. ‘I’m not doing that again,’ the Baton Rouge, La., native said, shaking his head. ‘It’s all business this time.’ His teammates acted the same way Wednesday night, dominating for three quarters and then hanging on to beat a Hornets team without Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler and Morris Peterson 107-93 at New Orleans Arena.

Jack Johnson of the Chicago Sun-Times: “Because their three-game winning streak had been snapped Tuesday by the Houston Rockets, the Bulls’ matchup Wednesday against the Chris Paul-less New Orleans Hornets could be considered a barometer of whether their recent renaissance was a mirage or a sign of things to come. For what it’s worth, the Bulls answered with a convincing 107-93 victory for their fourth win in five games. They grabbed a double-digit lead early and never looked back. ‘It was just a good, solid effort,’ Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. ‘We made the plays when we needed to and kept a comfortable lead. It’s a good win for us. The guys are playing together, playing better.’”

Special to the Daily Herald: “After being pushed around by Houston’s 7-foot-6 center Yao Ming a day earlier, Bulls center Joakim Noah produced 16 points and 9 rebounds, while Thomas finished with 15 points, 10 boards and 3 blocks. ‘That’s how you win in this league, by controlling the paint and by rebounding,’ Del Negro said. ‘Tyrus and Jo are difference-makers. When they play the way they’re capable and we get them involved and everyone works together, we’re a different team.’”

John DeShazier of The Times-Picayune: “New Orleans played as if in a fog against the Bulls, like it was still mourning the loss of Paul. For the better part of three quarters, the Hornets looked as if they might not have minded being somewhere else. Former LSU standout Tyrus Thomas, an NBA washout in every imaginable way since being taken by the Trail Blazers with the No. 4 overall pick in 2006 and traded to Chicago, had 10 points, six rebounds and two steals in the first quarter, after which the Hornets trailed 31-20. And Thomas entered the game averaging 8.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.07 steals.”

Bradley Handwerger of WWL-TV.com: “[Byron] Scott had little reason to be pleased following the game. Few things his Hornets (28-17) did against the Bulls (22-28) could have made him happy. And even if Paul were on the floor, his presence likely wouldn’t have changed much. It wasn’t necessarily New Orleans’ offense that was the problem against the Bulls. Chicago shot better than 55 percent for the entire game while the Hornets barely it above 35 percent by the end. The Bulls finished with 40 points in the paint, 30 of which came in the game-sealing first half, highlighting how much New Orleans misses Tyson Chandler’s presence on the interior.”

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2 Responses to Fresh ink: February 5, 2009

  1. APaschen@gmail.com'
    Andy February 5, 2009 at 8:11 pm #

    Is Tyrus Thomas turning a corner? Is he actually steadily improving to the point of a consistent starter? Or doth my eyes deceive me?

  2. bullsbythehorns@gmail.com'
    Matt McHale February 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    Andy — Well, he’s having a good stretch of games, that’s for sure. His effort has been solid and consistent…which hasn’t always been the case with him (particularly the consistency). He’s still jacking up too many jumpers and his defense — outside of shot blocking — isn’t that strong. But four double-doubles in fives games is pretty sweet. Of course, they came against the Clippers, Kings, Suns and a hobbled Hornets squad. I’ll be very interested to see how he does against Dallas and Detroit.

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