Game 27 Recap: Bulls 87, Wizards 80

The second of back-t0-back games is always an adventure.

One night after treating the Philadelphia 76ers to a near-historic butt-kicking, the Bulls faced the Wizards in Washington. The Wizards — minus rookie phenom John Wall — are not a very good team. For example: They rank only 25th in Offensive Rating.

Of course, that didn’t stop them from scoring 33 points in the first quarter.

You know how it is. Tired legs lead to flat-footed defense. The Wizards converted five layups during those first 12 minutes. They also knocked down several open jumpers. Washington hardly looked like one of the league’s worst teams. Chicago’s defense was making the Wiz look like one of the best.

The defense had to pick up. And it did.

Said Carlos Boozer: “We gave up 33 [points] in the first quarter and 10 in the fourth, so as the game progressed, our defense got more like Chicago Bulls defense. They had only 80 points total after scoring 33 in the first. It was a grind-out win, but we’ll take it and keep moving.”

Ah, Boozer. Or Boozington as Joakim Noah likes to call him.

On a night when offense was hard to find, Carlos hit six layups, went 5-for-10 on jumpers, converted eight of his 11 foul shots and finished with a game-best 30 points. Boozer also had a co-game-high 10 rebounds and a team-high 7 assists. He continues to be everything the Bulls hoped he would.

On that subject, Chicago is 9-3 in the 12 games he’s played this season.

Said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau: “It’s amazing that he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s still working himself into shape. His legs aren’t under him yet in his timing.”

You could hardly tell by looking.

Then again, Boozer was called for two offensive fouls within a minute of each other in the fourth quarter. Those were followed by an offensive foul on Kurt Thomas that left both players with five fouls each. That’s when you take a player out of the game…right?

Not if you’re Tom Thibodeau.

Said Thibs: “Around the 6-minute mark, where they both had five, the question is, ‘Do you take one out?’ The way it was going, I felt we could take a chance.”

That gamble paid off. Boozer never picked up his sixth foul. What’s more, he converted a layup with 35 seconds left that put the Bulls ahead 85-80. And although 35 seconds is a long time in the NBA, that layup pretty much sealed the deal on this win.

But it sure was an ugly win wasn’t it?

The Bulls shot poorly (42 percent from the field and only 2-for-16 from downtown) and gave up 21 points off 21 turnovers. Again, those are the kinds of things that happen on the second night of back-to-backs. In these situations, bad teams falter and good teams make a gut check.

Gut checks are made a lot easier when a team can defend. Offensive comes and goes. Sometimes shots just don’t fall. But defense is more about focus and determination than talent. The Bulls are fairly average on offense (15th in Offensive Rating), but they’re strong on defense (3rd in Defensive Rating). As of this win, they have now held eight of their last nine opponents below 100 points.

Defense is this team’s bread and butter.

Well, defense and Derrick Rose, of course. Rose scored 25 points to go with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocked shots. He went 0-for-6 from downtown but he hit seven of his 10 free throws. And, hey, 10 free throw attempts for Derrick? Seriously?

It’s about time.

And now the Bulls have won nine of their last 10 games. Despite injuries to Noah and Taj Gibson.

Up next: A Christmas day showdown with Amar’e Stoudemire and the New York Knicks.

Extras:
Recap, Box Score, Play-By-Play, Shot Chart, Photos.

12 Responses to Game 27 Recap: Bulls 87, Wizards 80

  1. jj reddick December 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    All I want for christmas is a ticket to chicago!!! trade taj for me, guys!!!

  2. raffle.gomez@gmail.com'
    Rafael December 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    great recap. thanks man. I look forward to these after every game.

  3. admin@thebasketbulls.com'
    Bulls Blog December 23, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    talk about abracadabra, Boozer was the real wizard last night.
    http://www.thebasketbulls.com/warlock-boozington-out-wizards-the-wizards-87-80/

  4. Inception December 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    i was at the game, and i was watching D Rose warming up and shooting his 3’s….they were all off, and i wasn’t surprised to see it carry over to the game….hopefully it was just an off-night for Rose behind the arc.

  5. letsgobulls_24 December 23, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    I agree- as always, great recap.

    Just bring back the pictures!!

  6. yomomma@hotmail.com'
    Scottie Pimpin December 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    griffin, brand, and now blatche have fallen victim to kurt’s defense. nice win.

  7. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath December 24, 2010 at 5:13 am #

    Ah, and the new reverse-Rose officiating effect – where it is so obvious they are not calling fouls on Rose, that they cannot calls fouls on the other team.

  8. gorditadog@aol.com'
    Gorditadog December 24, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    Bulls cannot trade for Reddick for one year, after signing him to an offer sheet(which Orlando matched).

    I think we are waiting on Denver now to see if they will trade JR Smith.

  9. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com December 24, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    Why Why Why do the ref’s not call fouls on players that are guarding Drose I’m not feeling he is too strong excuse they just aint calling them the ref’s as well as the league have it in for the bulls is this stern motivsted hmmm either way if they are not gonna call em on other players guarding rose then our players best beat them up they are hard fouls the ref’s miss too ala bloody face in dallas the ref’s had to call that one anyways something has to be done about this else rose is gonna be hurt badly one game out on the court…….

  10. chitown4life December 24, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    this is only part of what i want ed to say the other is forget mello he aint worth that much to us anymore we would take him but let him go to NY we need to focus on mayo and mabe jr smith also a bi someone who might come for the low but also be d minded we have scoing somewhat but want more of a d man than anything now for our team …

  11. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life December 24, 2010 at 6:54 am #

    Rose does not get calls why is that something stinks badly in the NBA right now greed anger and other things they might mess up there game n lose more than they can handle if they strike I’m not done with basketball but yet won’t miss it either they are all over payed anyways to just play a game wish life was so simple for me hmmm and too think now they argue over money wow greed mfkr’s anyways just telling my peace ….. Peace

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Point Forward » Posts Court Vision: The latest around the league « - December 23, 2010

    […] • Not all coaches react the same way to foul trouble. Witness what Tom Thibodeau did in Chicago’s victory at Washington. […]

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