Game 33 Recap: Bulls 111, Raptors 91

As I’ve mentioned before, blowing out bad teams is a key quality of truly good teams. Well, that’s what the Bulls did last night, addressing their recent so-so play in the process.

The Bulls dominated pretty much every meaningful statistical category. They shot 53 percent from the field. They won the rebounding battle 44-33 (including a 13-8 advantage on the offensive glass). They had 20 fast break points. They outscored the Raptors 58-38 in the paint. Chicago’s bench outscored Toronto’s reserves 52-22.

If you check the Basketball-Reference box score, you’ll see that the Bulls swept the Four Factors and finished with an Offensive Rating of 118 and a Defensive Rating of 96.8.

Coach Tom Thibodeau got strong play out of the usual suspects, by which I mean Derrick Rose (19 points, 7-for-11, 6 assists), Carlos Boozer (12 points and 13 rebounds) and Luol Deng (a game-high 24 points). But the bench made the biggest difference.

Chicago’s reserves actually had a triple-double of 52 points, 26 rebounds and 11 assists. Ronnie Brewer had a strong game (12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals) and Taj Gibson finally broke out of his post-concussion slump (16 points, 8-for-11, a game-high 14 rebounds). Gibson attacked the boards and the rim in addition to playing great defense. And then there was Omer Asik (career-high 13 points, 5-for-6, 7 rebounds, 5 blocked shots).

Asik’s numbers only tell part of the story. He came up huge during the pivotal second quarter, during which the Bulls outscored the Raptors 30-14. Omer took advantage of a mismatch against Leandro Barbosa and hit a layup. He fed Luol Deng for a layup that just beat the shot clock. He grabbed rebounds at both ends. He blocked and intimidated shots. And even when Asik wasn’t making plays around the ball, he was moving, setting picks, getting into excellent position.

Asik is a smart basketball player and he works hard. He played great last night. Almost everybody on the bench did.

Said Boozer: “Most times, games are close and they don’t get a chance to play like this. But in games like this, you see just how talented they are. You see how talented Taj is, you see how talented O is. The more time you get, the better you become. These guys are stud players.”

The best part is that the Bulls — who play tonight in New Jersey as part of four games in five nights — were able to rest Rose and Boozer during the fourth quarter.

Or maybe the best part is Chicago’s record (23-10). The Bulls have now won five straight and 14 of their last 16 games. They are now 18-1 against sub-.500 teams.

And here’s more good news if you can believe it: According to ESPNChicago’s Nick Friedell, Joakim Noah has started working out with the team. Noah’s cast will come off next week.

Said Noah: “I’ve been running. I’ve been doing some conditioning and doing some lifting. A lot of core work. A lot of leg strengthening. It’s hard to make everything game-like. There’s nothing like playing in a basketball game. There’s nothing you can do to simulate a basketball game. But I’m doing the best I can, even with a cast on.”

Things just keep getting better.

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

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11 Responses to Game 33 Recap: Bulls 111, Raptors 91

    Chicago Bulls rumors January 5, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Derrick Rose had a decent game and led the team to a double digit lead. The Chicago Bulls schedule is pretty weak coming up so there’s gonna be a lot of games like this.

    andre January 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    You know if scal going kobe bryant on dorsey its a blowout! go bulls!!!

    chitwon4life January 5, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    I am not sure about who the bullls play weather or not its a weak team or a team that just has not played well , like the lakers but what I am sure of is this team was already on the winning track last year and it has gotten alot better not only with the addissions of the players and coach but just with the maturity , and game set of Noah rose deng and Gibson .I for one though would like for the bulls to play JJ more and really see what he can do give him some solid meaningful time out there after all they did pick him like what 15, 16 over all you need to see how good he is and what he can do or you might end up trading him and seeing he is a really good player he has shown some flashes of being good at the very least give him a real shot at it great game last night bulls thought you should of blown them out wtg …..Peace

    J Hornik January 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    Man, I love to see Asik dunk. Even that dunk they called off was awesome!

  5. Jimmy January 5, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Gotta love that the bulls bench goes just as crazy for the big mac basket, and when scalabrine comes in! Great game to attend!

  6. Inception January 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    with all these wins vs. sub-par teams, the bulls have clearly established themselves as a legit top 3/4 team in the East now….the next step – getting some quality wins vs. the top tier teams…we’ll see how that goes.

  7. TBF January 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Don’t look know it it looks like Asik is adding a little offense to his game. The last couple of games, he’s had a few drives to the hoop and last night, would have had a thunderous dunk in someone’s eye if he hadn’t gotten whistled for a foul. He’s definitely getting stronger and he’s playing with a lot of confidence. I like what I’m seeing.

    BoppinBob January 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Chitown4life, I agree with you about JJ. I can not figure it out. He has shown flashes of talent but is not getting anything even close to consistent playing time. I find that frustrating. I would like to see him get 15-20 minutes a game for an extended period of time just to see if he can do anything with his talent.

    Paul January 5, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    I was lucky enough to get “upgraded” from my usual season ticket seats to a courtside seat for this game. From just a few feet away, I got a better sense of how hard Omer actually plays. He gets beat up on every play. He’s always in rebounding position when shots go up. He makes decent decisions with the ball. And he definitely changes shots.

    No, he’s probably never going to be an all-star or even close to as good as Noah. But I think we’ll all be glad we have him come playoff time, and he could prove to really be an asset in 2012 and 2013 as he continues to develop.

    inkybreath January 6, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    —better that Asik not be an All-Star, so we can afford to keep him!

    chitwon4life January 6, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    What was that for all those that said that our new coach is an upgrade I hope you watched tonights game , why why why was Derrick on the bench in the fourth quarter all the way to like the almost three mins left mark.Also you tell me why boozer and gibson were on the bench also why did you take korver out he helps spread the floor only real pure outside shooter, geez our new coach blew this game tonight big time i hope he mans up and admits it on camera tonight geez wow he was so not doing the right things tongiht all night for the most part our team did not even look ready to play to play at all boy Noah was really missed tonight all those alley hoops right infront of the basket shame man all I can say is shame geez hope next time they at least knock somebody down and let them know its not that easy …..Coah you best get yr game tight cause tonight it was very weak…….Coah T tibbs

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