Round 2 Game 6: Bulls 93, Hawks 73

In the NBA playoffs, thanks to the best-of-seven series, the better basketball team usually wins.

That’s what happened last night.

While it’s certainly true the Bulls haven’t always played up to their potential this postseason, they did it on the road in Game 6, blowing out the Hawks in their own arena. There were some crazy numbers in this one. Like Chicago’s 53.2 percent shooting. If you subtract their 3-for-13 effort from beyond the arc, the Bulls converted 59 percent of their two-pointers. And they registered 34 assists on their 41 made baskets.

That’s pretty incredible.

The Chicago D came through yet again, holding Atlanta to 36.5 percent from the field and only 1-for-11 from three-point range. Al Horford (2-for-10) and Jamal Crawford (also 2-for-10) were non-factors, and Joe “The 120 Million Dollar Man” Johnson managed only 19 points on 18 shots and committed a game-high 4 turnovers.

Said Derrick Rose: “If anything, our defense won this game.”

Added Crawford: “After Game 1, they made me and Joe’s life a living hell.”

That’s what this team does. And credit Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau for remembering the Bench Mob in this series. For whatever reason, Thibs was reluctant to play the reserves much in the first round. The bench played a much bigger role in this series and it made a difference. Particularly because the Hawks — who were without Kirk Hinrich — don’t get much production outside of the starting unit.

Said Horford: “What goes underrated about them is the depth of their team. They just wear on you. They just kept coming, kept coming every game. It seemed like their starters were fresh.”

Carlos Boozer sure looked fresh. He went 10-for-16 from the field (and 7-for-10 on jumpers) to finish with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal. The sigh of relief from Bulls fans after Boozer’s big night probably altered weather patterns across the globe.

Said Booz: “D-Rose gets so much attention. The 15-footer was open for me. I shot it.”

Speaking of Rose, he attempted his fewest field goal attempts of the postseason (14) and finished with his second-lowest playoff point total (19), but he dished out 12 assists (to only 3 turnovers) and finished with a game-high plus-minus score of +24.

It was just a precision game for the Bulls. They did whatever they wanted whenever they wanted to do it. But what about Atlanta? I mean, the Hawks didn’t just play poorly. They looked beaten from the opening tip.

Jeff Fogel of Hoopdata writes: “Atlanta committed only 12 personal fouls on the night. TWELVE! That means Chicago was getting their looks without drawing contact. As passive as it gets.”


“Atlanta let the Bulls put on a Globetrotter’s passing clinic, as 35 of Chicago’s 41 baskets were assisted. So, it wasn’t a case of Chicago taking turns driving straight to the basket for layups. It was pass-pass-pass open look. Half-hearted rotations AND not hitting anybody from the Hawks.”


“While trailing most of the second half by double digits, Atlanta still played incredibly slow on offense. No sense of urgency. No ‘we’ve got to get back into this thing’ mentality. Patiently work for a shot to see if you can cut a 16-point deficit to 14…then go back and move around slowly on defense.”

It’s hard to say what happened. The Hawks were playing pretty spirited basketball through the first five games. Their collective will seemed to break during the fourth quarter of Game 5. Remember: Their starters were logging nearly 40 minutes per night against a grueling defensive team. Like Horford said, the Bulls’ depth wore them down.

Like I said, the better team usually wins.

There’s not much more to say than that, is there? The Bulls, simply put, thoroughly outplayed the Hawks in every conceivable way. They did what they were supposed to do — what everybody thought they should do — and now they will face the Miami Heat for a chance to go to the NBA Finals.

Said Rose: “It’s going to be fun. It’s going to definitely be fun.”

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

18 Responses to Round 2 Game 6: Bulls 93, Hawks 73

  1. Inception May 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    34 assists on 41 FGM is stellar….with a defense like CHI’s and a stat like that, IT’S OVER.

    i have to admit…i like seeing Rose as a 20/10 guy with the others contributing just as much on offense….hopefully, a sign of things to come….

    inkybreath May 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I really let it sink in last night how much it means that we are in the Conference Finals again.

    We are pretty lucky in Chicago to have the White Sox and Blackhawks win the big one since the glory days of Bulls basketball.

    All fairness to the first two rounds of the playoffs … but, this is where it is at!

    This is where the dynasties are made and rivalries are truly galvanized.

    Bring it on!

    *** Now, I got a weird little sense and I don’t know how far off this might be … is it at all possible that Thibs has been sandbagging in some way? As I was watching some of the offensive sets, I thought: Where the hell has this been?

    lito May 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    inkybreath… ur last Asterisk statement, I was thinking the EXACT same thing.

  4. SuperJoe May 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    HAHA! I was wondering the same thing aloud last night. What a good game to watch for Bulls fans. BRING ON THE HEAT BABY WOOOOOOOOOOO!

    LPB May 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    inky and lito – it makes sense that Thibs would be saving some bullets in his arsenal for primetime. And if this catches Heat and Western team to be named later by surprise, the CoY trophy is well deserved.

    There was a back-to-back about a month prior to the season’s end when Bulls won 2 games by 30+ points, one against ATL on the road. I remember watching those games thinking that they are making teams look like Washington Generals. It seemed that they kinda been going through the motions rest of the way, really turning it on only for last game against Boston, game 5 of Indy and game 6 of ATL series.

    If they can sustain that kind of effort for the entirety of the Heat series, they should win in 5.

    chitown4life May 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Carlos , Carlos Booooozer i said he was gonna show up and he has been doing just that . i don’t expect him to not show up when this series starts he had a great game last night actually last two have been great . Go bulls

    Lemony lemon May 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Great job recapping the thing, again, guy or guys.

    Savage May 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    It seems like most of the broadcasters think this will be a fairly easy series for the Heat to win. With a team full of players that fight for everything like the Bulls I don’t see how they can think that. I am fine with being the underdogs though. Bring em, on lets go BULLS!!!!!

    inkybreath May 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    Bless Boozer:

    Did a single jumper even graze the rim? They were the most beautiful jumpers of the season from him.

    And, thank goodness for Asik. They deserve sooo much credit for getting him, keeping him and bringing him along the way they have (master of the obvious, at your service…).

  10. Inception May 13, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    pretty much all “experts” are going with MIA….i don’t know…so many factors will come to play in this series, but the most important one is the Boozer/Deng combo….if Booz can play like a true 2nd option and Deng plays Lebron like he did in the reg season, then i’d go with CHI….but Wade/Lebron have kicked it up a notch since then…it’s going to be tough.

    i’m just glad Rose was presented with the MVP award in the 2nd round.

    cmb2345 May 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    i agree with inky and lito too lol….that looked like a completely different offense from wat we have seen this postseason and tho i know we will never really know the truth i dont believe that offensive perfomance came out of nowhere u dont just think that up in between games lol ….great game last night boozer looked great everyone looked great and drose was drose ….bring on the heat…GO BULLS!!!!

    ScottA May 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Great to have Boozer back. Him and Rose were finally working the pick/roll perfectly. Only 1 or 2 post-isos for Boozer as well(and he didn’t score on those).

    Don’t think Thibodeau was holding anything back – it’s not smart to do that against a team like the Hawks; they’re always a fluky Crawford game away from a win – but something was clearly not right until yesterday.

    Maybe it was mostly Boozer’s toe? He never plays well when he’s injured. Execution was also far better, and Atl. looked worn down, which always helps. Whatever the case, we finally get the series we’ve been waiting for, which is awesome.

    BoppinBob May 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Miami has 8 players logging more than 9 minutes per game, Atlanta had 9 players logging 9 or more minutes. The Bulls have 11 players logging 9 or more minutes per game in the playoffs. Against the Hawks the Bulls had 11 guys logging 13 or more minutes per game. Miami had 8 guys playing 19 minutes or more against the Celtics. If the Miami series is close in the forth quarter, I think that the Bulls stand a very good chance of winning the series. If the Bulls can control at least 1 of the Big three and limit the rest of the Heats roster to minimal contributions the Bulls stand a very good chance of winning this series. If the Bulls can continue with the balanced offense they showed in the 6th game of the Hawks series will have their hands full and could exit quickly.

    Bam! May 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    With the Celtic’s legacy being essentially over, and suspicions rising that Ray Allen wants to exercise his ability to leave Boston next season, the prospects of getting him to come to Chicago have gone from “wouldn’t that be nice” to “THAT COULD HAPPEN!”

    I do not think we will win a championship this year. Statistically, it is a legitimate possibility, but I say nay. BUT, with Ray Allen playing the 2, a championship would be at an arms length. Just check out this potential starting five:


    That would be AWESOME! On a side note, if you take the first letter of the first four members of that list, you can get the last name of my favorite author…

    BoppinBob May 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    @Bam, so Atlas Shrugged.

    LPB May 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    @Bam, Elton Brand is your favorite author?

    Nicky C May 15, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Luke Skywalker’s Green Lightsaber Always Wins Out:

    Believe it or not, the tell-tale signs were there all along: LeBron James has always been the Anakin Skywalker of the story. He was supposed to bring balance to the Force with his combination of strength and grace, his charm and marketability. A child prodigy, his midichlorian reading was, literally, off the scale. He was the Chosen One – the one we’ve searched for since Jedi Master Jordan disappeared after 1998 – and he even placed a tattoo across his shoulders proclaiming the prophecy to be true. LeBron Skywalker had so much potential, so much capacity for goodness…yet his heart was never pure. It was disappointingly susceptible to the evils of global branding, greed, and domination, and we couldn’t see it until it was too late.

    This past summer, DWade Emperor Palpatined the shit out of Chicago. He was supposed to be on our side, the good side. He is from Chicago. This is his home, even if it isn’t as nice as South Beach. But he played the whole NBA Galaxy, and he transitioned from Senator Wade of the Republic to Emperor Wade of the Galactic Empire when he openly courted Count Chris Boshoo – a good general – to come and play with him in Miami, the only livable, beautiful city on the burning planet of Mustafar. It turned out that Emperor Wade really only pretended to be interested in playing for the Bulls in order to report the schemes back to Miami and Pat Riley, the embodiment of the dark side of the Force and the spirit of the Galactic Empire brewing in Miami.

    Not long after, Emperor Wade and Count Boshoo tag-teamed LeBron Skywalker, tempting LBJ by preying on his inner insecurity demons with the dark side of the Force: “You’ll never win a ring without us…Cleveland doesn’t love you like you think they do…Your fans will turn on you if you don’t join us…it’s your destiny…” they whispered in LeBron’s naïve ears. And on July 8, 2010, Emperor Wade’s influence on LeBron became complete, as LeBron Skywalker subsequently sealed his fate with a terrible Decision to destroy his very own hardworking hometown city of Cleveland, located on the peaceful planet of Alderaan, on national television. LeBron Vader left his home in ruins, and it is now a barren wasteland with absolutely no hope for the future.

    LeBron has since fully embraced his inner dark side by willingly wearing the black, menacing uniform of the Miami Heat, calling out his opposition on Twitter, and breathing extra heavily when the cameras zoom in on his face after he makes big plays to crush the spirit of the Rebellion against him. In fact, every time he takes his first step on the basketball court, particularly the United Center, ‘The Imperial March’ can be heard echoing throughout the stadium.

    The Clone Wars have raged on since late October 2010, but even though the Rebellion took some decent shots at the evil Miami Empire throughout the season, making dents here and there in their Death Star campaign for 73+ wins (the public bickering, the LBJ / Spoelstra Grievous bump, the losing, the crying…after losing to the Bulls for the third straight time), the Empire’s Death Star, piloted by Riley, just kept on moving forward. Even when it looked as though they would self-combust, the Miami Empire fought on, demolishing virtually everything in their path by the end of the season.

    The Clone Wars, predictably, culminated in an epic showdown between the Celtics, the current Jedi Order, and the universally hated Heat. The veteran Jedis were expected to win with Obi-Wan-Pierce, Qui-Gon-Ray, Mace Garnett, and Jedi Master Shaq – the champions of yesteryear – leading the way. Although these battle tested Jedi Knights fought valiantly, they were ultimately overpowered by the dark side of the Force, as their collective age finally caught up to them. Jedi Master Shaq, who was supposed to tip the scale in favor of the light, ended up falling short in an anti-climactic and depressing final showing as a Jedi. These good men must now go into hiding until a new balance comes along to overthrow the looming Death Star that is currently casting a long, dark shadow on the entire NBA.

    But fear not – a new balance in the Force is coming. There is a light, a goodness on the way. It was supposed to be LeBron Skywalker, but that Mon Calamari Star Cruiser has sailed. This new balance is the anti-LeBron Vader, and he would never fall to the temptations of Emperor Wade and the dark side of the Force. This new balance stands for everything LeBron Vader and his Galactic Empire could have stood for, but doesn’t and never will. This balance just wants to weeen – nothing else. This balance’s name is Derrick Fucking Rose.

    Derrick Rose came from the rough inner city of Chicago, located on the corrupt planet of Tattooine. He always knew he was meant for something bigger than what Tattooine had to offer, so he worked his ass off day and night to be the best player and person he could be…and he’s been biding his time, waiting for the NBA Galaxy to dial his number in a time of need.

    That time is now.

    LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh might be the most powerful villains in the universe, but Derrick Rose is the Luke Skywalker of the story. Only he can prevent the Galactic Empire from ruining professional basketball for all of eternity and make his predecessor see the error in his ways. And with the help of Derrick’s courageous rebel friends – Carlos Solo, Joakim Chewbacca, and R2Deng2 – the rebel Bulls will win and restore the NBA Galaxy to a good, righteous place.



  1. The Point Forward » Posts Court Vision: The latest around the league « - May 13, 2011

    […] the always-honest Al Horford on one big reason why Chicago pulled out its series against the Hawks (via this Game 6 recap at Bulls by the Horns): “What goes underrated about them is the depth of their team. They just wear on you. They […]

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