Top Seeded: Bulls 93, Cavaliers 82

This season has been full of “first time since the Michael Jordan era” moments, and last night was no exception, as the Bulls locked up the number one seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time since 1997-98.

I’m not sure what to say about the game. The Bulls controlled the action without going all out the way they did against at home against Boston on Thursday night. Derrick Rose, in particular, seemed content to play within the flow of the game and defer to his teammates throughout. He never asserted himself — finishing with 11 points, 8 assists and a rebound — but he never had to. The Bulls shot better than the Cavs (48.8 percent to 43.9), won the rebounding battle (41-39), built a 17-point lead and just sort of held on for the victory.

One guy who did assert himself was Carlos Boozer, who dispelled the notion that he can’t have a big game when Joakim Noah plays. Boozington finished with a game-high 24 points (12-for-18) to go along with 11 rebounds. One of those boards was a huge offensive rebound-and-putback with 1:58 left after Cleveland had cut the lead to nine. Booz also scored Chicago’s final points (of an assist from Rose) with 22 seconds left.

By the way, Noah had 11 points (4-for-7), 8 rebounds, 6 blocked shots [!!] and 2 assists in only 24 minutes despite some lingering ankle woes. So, yeah, I think he and Boozer can play together.

The team played unselfish basketball — 30 assists on 39 made field goals — and the Bench Mob was strong as always: 34 points (15-for-31), 12 rebounds, 9 assists and 6 steals. Ronnie Brewer (12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) had a game-best plus-minus score of +12.

Now, no matter what happens over the next three games, the Bulls will have homecourt advantage in every playoff series unless the Spurs hang on to their one-game lead and the two teams meet in the NBA Finals.

Wow.

Said Noah: “Last year we qualified on the last day and now we are the No. 1 seed. That feels pretty good.”

It should.

Everything fell together this season. Rose took his game to an MVP level. Tom Thibodeau proved he should have been a head coach years and years ago. Management — after enduring years of questions about their decision makng and conservative fiscal stance — put together a fantastic ensemble cast around their superstar. Not just in terms of talent. Indeed, there are areas in which the Bulls could definitely improve (specifically, upgrading the starting shooting guard position and bringing in more shooters). But everybody knows their role, works hard, and, most importantly, is dedicated to winning.

Said Boozer: “The good thing about our team is that we have all good guys. We don’t have any jerks on the team, and in the NBA that’s rare.”

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

11 Responses to Top Seeded: Bulls 93, Cavaliers 82

  1. TBF April 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Bulls looked like they were in cruise control throughout. They knew the Cavs were terrible; they just went out, handled their business and made it look relatively effortless. When the Cavs would make a flurry and get beck in it, the Bulls would push them back down.

    Just another day at the office.

  2. enigmatik.inviktus@gmail.com'
    Enigmatik April 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Finish the season strong…

    Now that this little portion of business is complete, it’s time for the real season to begin.

    16 wins in the post season and the Larry O’Brien comes back home to Chicago.

    CAN’T WAIT!!!

  3. wolfgang.reinthaler@gmail.com'
    WR April 9, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    The Bulls won 93-82, not like the headline suggests.
    A win is a win. It wasn’t even this close.

  4. lukas.yant@gmail.com'
    Lukas April 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    93-82**

  5. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob April 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    The Bulls won a potential “let down/look ahead” game, After soundly beating the Celtics and about to play the Magic and Knicks (the only team that the Bulls have not beaten this season), they could have relaxed and let this one slip away. They did not. Thibs deserves a lot of credit for turning this collection of decent talent into a solid championship contender. Let’s remember that only 5 guys remainded from last seasons roster, with seven new faces being added to the mix, two of them became starters. Of the 20 loses only 5 were by double digits (11,29,16,11,12). Thibs led the Bulls to being one of the top defensive teams in the league and the number 1 seed in the East. It is still in the realm of possibility the Bulls could be the number 1 seed in the NBA. As a fan I must say that this team has been fun to watch and has exceeded my expections this season. The only thing left now is to put the cherry on top.

  6. jake_vick@hotmail.com'
    Jake in Minnie April 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    The score was 93-82; the title says 93-92. just a heads up.

  7. Tae April 9, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    Matt, were you drunk when you wrote this? 93-92? “basetball?”

  8. joe.sez@gmail.com'
    joe April 10, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    Didn’t see the game. Jake in Minnie — saved me some fretting.
    An 11 point game, not a 1 point game.

  9. hellajax@gmail.com'
    BULL4EVER April 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    D’Rose should the MVP no matter what, especially since he has been another Jordan since Chicago drafted him in 2008, not to mention Thibs and Noah are just another Pippen and the Zen Master and this Bulls team is just another 90′s dynasty starting in 2010-2011 and way beyond.Let’s bring down Indiana,Orlando,Boston and San Antonio on our way to the NBA title.GO BULLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob April 10, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Welcome back Bull4ever, but I think you should recognize Deng as a bigger contributor than Noah. Much more consistent than either Noah or Boozer. Deng is much more the sidekick than Noah or Boozer.

  11. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath April 11, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    Congrats on 60 wins.

    I am going to try and dig up the pre-season predictions to see how far off the expected scale this really was for the Bulls.

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