Game 7 Recap: Bulls 120, Warriors 90

asik

I really have to open this recap by quoting By The Horns reader J Hornik from the comments section of yesterday’s game preview post:

“Wow. Just turned into the game, saw the score, and heard this: ‘Omer Asik with AUTHORITY!’ Fork. Done.”

Pretty much, yeah.

Bottom line: The Bulls took advantage of a slightly overrated Western Conference team that was playing the second of back-to-back games against Eastern Conference teams. As I said yesterday, the Warriors may have been 6-2, but their opponents (prior to last night’s game) had a combined record of 15-34.

And they were without center David Lee (arm infection).

On the second night of back-to-backs, teams — especially shorthanded ones — are often sluggish. A step slow on rotations. Many times, they will struggle to get back in transition, mishandle the basketball, and don’t have the legs for jump shooting.

Sure enough, Golden State allowed the Bulls to shoot nearly 55 percent from the field and score 37 fast break points. Moreover, the Warriors gave up 31 points off 19 turnovers and shot only 41 percent as a team including 7-for-23 from downtown). They went to the line only seven times.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to take anything away from the Bulls. They smelled blood in the watetr and immediately went into a feeding frenzy, outscoring the Warriors 34-20 after one quarter and 66-38 by halftime. Both teams went ahead with the second half only because David Stern hasn’t instituted a slaughter rule yet.

Said Derrick Rose: “When you see a team come in on a back-to-back you’ve got to get up on offense and get down the court and push the ball. It starts with the defense getting a lot of deflections, guys rebound the ball good and push it. That’s when we’re dangerous.”

No kidding.

Some more numbers: The Bulls scored 58 points in the paint. They were 17-for-24 (70.9 percent) at the rim and 11-for-17 (64.8 percent) inside 10 feet. Not too surprising. In the preview post, I mentioned that the Warriors were giving up the third-most field goal attempts per game inside 10 feet and the tenth-most attempts per game at the rim. Golden State has a soft, gooey center that must be attacked with extreme prejudice.

Well, the Bulls did just that.

Said Warriors coach Keith Smart: “You know, you can see the juice is just not there. You want to play your starters as long as you can because sometimes, they may fool you. No question the Bulls had the upper hand in terms of the energy department.”

That, more than anything, is what impressed me about this game. It wasn’t that the Bulls beat up on a tired, weakened opponent. It was that they pounced on a lesser opponent…didn’t even give that opponent a chance. One of the most frustrating aspects of Chicago teams from the past few seasons was the way they sometimes got waylaid by bad teams. Remember, last year’s squad lost twice to the 12-win New Jersey Nets and choked away a 35-point lead at home to the 25-win Sacramento Kings.

Frankly, the Bulls teams of the recent past simply were not always prepared to take care of business. To win the games they were supposed to win.

Well, again, despite that glowing 6-2 record, the Warriors were a team to be beaten, particularly under the circumstances. The Bulls did that. And they did it early and with nary a backward glance.

Another great thing about playing the Warriors: Players get to pad their stats. Luol Deng finished with game-highs in points (26) and rebounds (11) to go along wiht 6 assists, 2 blocked shots and a steal. Rose added 22 points on 10-for-17 shooting (although he went 0-for-3 from downtown) and 13 assists.

Joakim Noah missed out on his seventh straight double-double but still contributed 17 points, 7 boards, 5 assists, 2 blocked shots and a steal. Keith Bogans scored 14 points (6-for-10) to go with 6 steals and solid defense on Monta Ellis. And Taj Gibson contributed his usual 14 and 7.

From my standpoint, the only disappointments were 1) the general ineffectiveness of Ronnie Brewer (2 points, 1-for-4) during his 21 minutes of PT and 2) that James Johnson logged only four minutes. JJ’s on-again, off-again play has really hurt him the past two years. But blowouts can be a great time to get guys going. Even though I have my doubts about whether it’s even possible, I’d like to see Johnson become a regular contributor. I figured he would have gotten significantly more PT in this beatdown than Brian Scalabrine.

Ah well. I’m picking nits at this point.

Next up: The Bulls need to take care of business at home Saturday night against John Wall and the Washington Wizards. That’s the team’s last game in the United Center before the dreaded seven-game circus road trip. Wall vs. Rose…I can’t wait.

Bonus stat:
From the AP recap: “Perhaps most indicative of the Warriors’ lack of energy was the fact that Chicago committed a franchise-low seven fouls. The Bulls committed an average of 25 fouls during their first six games, more than all but three NBA teams. Golden State took only seven free throws in the game.”

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

16 Responses to Game 7 Recap: Bulls 120, Warriors 90

  1. TBF November 12, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    They were undermanned, tired, blah blah. As you pointed out, this is how good teams operate. They get an opponent on the ropes and go in for the kill. They destroyed Golden State, and it wasn’t even close.

  2. mikemayer3@hotmail.com'
    thirdsaint November 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    Love that picture, haha. And I fully agree that while beating up a beaten down Warriors team is nothing to gush over this was a fantastic sign. Bulls teams of past would definitely either drop the ball entirely on a ‘must-win against a bad team’ game or they’d let the team hang around before barely pulling it out. This type of game hasn’t happened in a long, long time, dare I say since the Jordan-era. We should be blowing out bad teams and competiting with the great ones if we see ourselves as a contender.

    That’s just like that game against the Blazers last week we haven’t seen in a long time either: taking it to a good team and not letting up in the second half. Good signs all around and we need them before this circus trip. I’m suddenly more confident we can come out at .500 on that now, maybe foolishly so.

  3. choyle@bpu.com'
    Chuck November 12, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    I am not going to get too excited until I see them give the Wiz a beatdown they surely deserve. Good teams don’t win close games to bad teams, good teams crush bad teams with contempt. I expect hiccups here and there, but the Bulls should regularly destroy bottom-feeding teams and the Warriors, without Lee, are a bottom-feeding team.

  4. BullsFan22 November 12, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Actually Chuck, the Warriors are one of the youngest teams out there (or so it seems, they have been for the past couple of years), and they actually have been playing pretty well and without Lee. Of course I would love for us to rip the Wizards apart, but even if we do, it still won’t be as impressive if we don’t beat a really elite team. Having said that, we are playing better and better as the early part of the season is moving forward, and once Boozer gets back and fills in the hole for us, watch out!

  5. jaster7474@gmail.com'
    CaliforniaChicagoan November 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Bulls now have a higher winning percentage than the Miami Heat…

    … just saying.

  6. Inception November 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Bulls should have no excuse for losing tonight against the Wiz at home….they are clearly the better team, and a win tonight by 10+ pts will show some good consistency…a CHI loss will remind me of last year’s team…

  7. Inception November 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    by the way, Asik sorta looks like Will Perdue in that shot.

  8. rod33@yahoo.com'
    rod blagojevich November 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    man if David Lee would have played he would have had a monster 40 point 20 rebound game!

  9. choyle@bpu.com'
    Chuck November 12, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    The warriors are a pretty good team when Lee is around and healthy, but take him out of te lineup and there is a gaping hole on that team. He was by far the best offensive frontcourt player they have. They become a jump-shooting team without Lee. They would not even sniff the playoffs without Lee.

  10. zilla2033@yahoo.com'
    zillaa November 12, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Hmmm I don’t get the Wall-Rose thing yet. People are actually calling it a ‘rivalry’ in the news and….they haven’t even played each other yet! Ever!

    Plus, as a Bulls fan, I heard about Wall’s triple double this early in his career and my thoughts immediately turned to…….Jay Williams. I hope Wall keeps his head on his shoulders and stays safe so we can see that potential turn into reality (which is crushed by Rose) for years to come.

  11. bleigh82@gmail.com'
    section323 row10 November 12, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    Even though Brewer didn’t fill the stat sheet yesterday, I noticed yesterday and in recent games that he is looking more and more athletic and like himself. I think as his health becomes less and less of a concern, we will see an improved Brewer on defense and in the transition game.

  12. mikemayer3@hotmail.com'
    thirdsaint November 12, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    It’s a rivalry because both are seen to be the fastest PG’s in the game and Wall has a ton of potential. It’s being hyped because people are talking about how exciting it will be to watch the 2 players go at it and apparently it was insanely entertaining when they did in the preseason. I’m looking forward to it for sure.

  13. jeremyhornik@gmail.com'
    J Hornik November 13, 2010 at 3:18 am #

    Hey, thanks for pulling my comment up. It looks awesome as a picture. I am now claiming to be a published sportswriter. I am also changing my name to By The Hornik.

  14. joe.sez@gmail.com'
    joe November 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    Bulls reality Check:

    Golden state is out 3 PFs, not just Lee. C/PF Amundson and #6th pick Ekpe Udoh 6’10” are out with injury.

    B Wright’s played a handful of games over 3 injury prone years. BTW he’s the same age but 30 lbs lighter than Udoh.

    Sit out Boozer, Taj and Asik. Da Bulls would have trouble.

  15. TBF November 14, 2010 at 12:47 am #

    Your team got pantsed Joe. Just live with it. Not like you’re coming out of the west over the Lakers anyways.

  16. chicondo@hotmail.com'
    luvabullnj November 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    I am kind of secretly rooting for JJ too. But I was disappointed at his play in this game. He didn’t hustle. Yes it’s a blowout but you gotta show the coach you want more PT by playing hard whenever given the chance.

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