This was what I like to call a “TCB” game.
Take care of business. Get in. Get out. Get ‘er done.
The Bulls are obviously much better than the Pistons. On paper. On the court. On the moon.
With a solid (though certainly not spectacular) effort, Chicago built a double digit lead in the first half and never let Detroit to mount a serious threat. Unless they were threatening to let their fans get an early start on the drive home. That’s what good teams are supposed to do to bad teams. And the Bulls did it.
I’m here to tell you, the Bulls play a sweet brand of basketball. It’s so unselfish. These guys are always looking for an open teammate. Players run to their assigned spots, the ball moves without hesitation, and the correct shot is taken. That doesn’t mean the ball always goes in the basket…but the right play is almost always made.
In related news, Chicago registered 31 assists on 40 made field goals.
The only Bulls who didn’t register an assist were Omer Asik and Brian Scalabrine. And Scal played less than a minute, logging a vaunted trillion.
The Bulls continued getting out in transition, scoring 25 fast break points. And they played a reasonable amount of defense, limiting the Pistons to 40.9 percent shooting (including 1-for-6 on threes) and only 12 free throw attempts.
However, they did give up 46 points in the paint. And Detroit only scored 83 points. Coach Thibodeau probably won’t be too thrilled about that. But, hey, Thibs will never be satisfied. It’ll give him focus in the film room tomorrow morning.
Some other random observations:
Not sure what the starters were still doing in the game in the closing minutes with a big lead, especially on the second night of back-to-backs. Not sure I liked seeing Derrick Rose logging 40 minutes and Luol Deng playing 38. Or even Joakim Noah (35) and Rip Hamilton (32) going for 30+ minutes.
Speaking of Rip, he played well: 14 points, 5-for-9 from the field, 1-for-1 from downtown, 5 assists, 3 boards. He got a nice ovation from the crowd and clearly wanted to play well. I hope he keeps playing like this as the season progresses.
Ronnie Brewer didn’t play a lot of minutes (16), but he played well: 9 points, 4-for-6, 1-for-1 from downtown. He continues to shoot the ball extremely well. I’m starting to think his newly developed outside touch isn’t a fluke. Which means this kid is going to be a deadly weapon.
John Lucas played a steady eight minutes. But I don’t get the sense Thibs feels totally comfortable playing him yet. Which could mean several more 40-minute nights for D-Rose until C.J. Watson recovers from that dislocated elbow.
It’s good to see Boozer (19 points, 7 boards, 3 steals, 2 assists) and Noah (13 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists) play well together. They never fully meshed last season, and it hurt the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. If they can mesh this year, look out. And Boozer’s been playing pretty well overall. Haven’t heard much sniping from the fans yet. I stress “yet.”
It’s been said before, but Taj Gibson (12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocked shots) is just a smart, solid player. Could start. Great off the bench. Continues to show why management didn’t want to use him as trade bait.
The next two games — back-to-backs — are at Orlando and Atlanta. The Magic seem to relish playing the Bulls, and the Hawks will probably want some payback for Chicago’s comeback last night. Those are going to be two tough games. It’ll show us a little bit about what the Bulls are made of.