Here are some quick thoughts about the Bulls’ win over the Rockets.
Thinks I liked:
It was nice to see the team bounce back with a spirited effort after two straight lopsided defeats. The Bulls shot 50 percent as a team, won the rebounding battle 49-37 (including 15-8 on the offensive glass), ran out for 18 fast break points, and scored 54 points in the paint.
It was very nice to see Carlos Boozer get into a flow on offense. Boozer scored 25 points by shooting 9-for-15 from the field and 7-for-10 from the line. He also grabbed 9 rebounds. In this game, Carlos looked like what management brought him in to be: A second scoring threat to compliment (and take pressure off of) Derrick Rose.
Speaking of Rose, it was great to see him get back to the near-MVP-level form he was playing at before Boozer made his debut. Derrick was definitely sub-par against the Magic and Celtics. I felt like he was too concerned about trying to get Boozer involved. Don’t get me wrong. As the team’s point guard and best player, it’s Rose’s job to set up his teammates…but not at the expense of his own aggressiveness.
Well, Rose was aggressive last night, finishing with game-highs in points (30), assists (11) and steals (5). And let’s not forget the clutch three-pointer that sent the game to overtime.
Regarding Derrick’s assist total: With Boozer in the lineup, Rose has more weapons than he’s ever had. I think we can expect him to keep racking up the assists on a consistent basis.
I was also glad to see Joakim Noah get back to being Joakim Noah. It wasn’t just his numbers — 13 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocked shots, a steal — he was just generally more active in pursuing rebounds and doing the dirty work than he was against Orlando and Boston.
Things I didn’t like:
The Rockets scored 109 points in regulation and 116 points overall. Too many points to give up.
For the second straight night, the Bulls were burned by an opposing power forward. On Friday, Kevin Garnett went off for 20 points and 17 rebounds. On Saturday, Luis Scola had 27 points (9-for-18 from the field and 9-for-12 from the line) and 8 rebounds.
Chicago committed 19 turnovers and gave up 36 free throw attempts.
The Bulls continue to give up big threes. Courtney Lee went 2-for-2 and Brad Miller drilled four treys. These terrible triples seem to come off slow or missed rotations.
Speaking of Big Brad, he blindsided the Bullies with 20 points off the Rockets bench. He scored 10 of those points in the fourth quarter, including an “And 1!” and two three-pointers. Fortunately, he bricked a free throw with 10 seconds left that limited Houston’s lead to three and setting up Rose’s heroics. Thanks, Brad.