So that’s what it feels like to win on the road.
In my game preview post, I said the Bulls were going to need Derrick Rose to play like an All-Star to beat the Pacers. Maybe I was right. Maybe I was wrong. That said…
…Rose did play like an All-Star. And the Bulls won.
Derrick grabbed 10 rebounds and scored 20 of his game-high 29 points in the second half. He shot 11-for-21 from the field, 3-for-6 from downtown and 4-for-5 from the foul line. He even added a couple blocked shots for good measure. On that subject…poor T.J. Ford.
Said Pacers coach Jim O’Brien: “In the second half, when he’s going like he’s going, it doesn’t matter what you do on a pick-and-roll. That’s why people think that he’s an MVP candidate.”
And yes. Rose heard MVP chants on the road.
(Although, in all fairness, Chicago and Indianapolis are pretty close by car…so…)
It wasn’t all Rose though. As ESPNChicago’s Nick Friedell noted, Chicago actually opened the game with some intensity for a change. It’s not coincidence, then, that the Bulls led by 12 at halftime instead of trailing by double digits.
And their defense really did a number on the Pacers.
The Bulls held Indy to 32.6 percent shooting from the field. The Pacers ended up with an Effective Field Goal Percentage of 36.4 and an Offensive Rating of 93.9 (as in points per 100 possessions).
Don’t look now, but according to Basketball-Reference, Chicago now leads the league in Defensive Rating.
Said Luol Deng: “That’s who we want to be. We want to be a defensive team. And if that’s what we we’re going to be we got to stop people. We can’t be trying to outscore people which we’re capable of doing. But we got to stop teams and win games that way.”
Speaking of which, Lu gets a little extra recognition, not for his stat line (17 points, 5 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals), but for doing a man’s job on Indiana’s Danny Granger (4-for-17 through three quarters and 8-for-23 overall).
Said Deng: “He’s such a great shooter. My mindset tonight was, I just didn’t want to lose him. Every time he took a shot, I was doing the best I could to challenge. I didn’t want to let him get any space.”
Additional kudos go to Kurt Thomas (18 rebounds), Carlos Boozer (14 points on 7-for-12 shooting) and the bench (34 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 blocked shots and a steal).
Oh, and a special thanks goes out to Keith Bogans for committing two quick fouls. Bogans left the game with 10:15 left in the first quarter and the game tied at 2-2. Bogans sat out the rest of the half and the Bulls were up by a dozen at the break.
I’m just sayin’.
It was a total team effort and the Bulls showed up in every category. Hence the season-low seven turnovers and the 46-24 advantage in points in the paint.
Now that the appetizers have been finished…bring on the Heat.
Recap, Box Score, Play-By-Play, Shot Chart, Photos.
hate to say it, but i’m predicting Deng will sit out down the road due to all these minutes played…i mean, he’s only played a full season ONCE in his entire career…i’d be shocked if he can play at least 80 games this season.
Matt – You hit it! Bogans plays reckless abandon defense and commits two early fouls every game and boom, everyone’s happy?
I am sick of the Bogans bashing. Yes, he is not very good… at all. But at least he plays the beginning of the 1st and 3rd quarters, giving brewer a break. I enjoy that much better than CJ Watson, who is not as effective as Bogans, starting the first 4-6 minutes of the 2nd and 4th quarters for rose.
How many people honestly enjoy watching CJ leading the team to start the 4th while we are behind? For all this Bogans bashing, it should be reduced in half and the other half should be spent not on CJs minutes, but when he gets his minutes. Can I please see Rose have the entire 4th quarter to take over and dominate like a real MVP should?
Bogans played roughly the same number of minutes that he has been playing recently. He also had a better plus/minus than Brewer and Korver, a statistic that the bashers love to hold up when it conveniently serves their purposes.
The problem has been overstated by many fans in large part because he is such an obvious one to pick on. But if and when he is taken out of the starting lineup, there is not likely to be a major difference in how the Bulls fare (unless a trade is involved).
What will make a big difference is when Noah returns, and the team returns to full strength.
Oh, and why is Ronnie Brewer being allowed to take 3pt shots? He has a poor stroke from 15ft., and should only be allowed to shoot from further out if the clock is expiring.
Bogans sucks. End of story. I can’t understand why people keep supporting him. He’s gotta be setting some record for least amount of stats accumulated per minute in league history.
He’s out there for 15 minutes a night and DOESN’T DO ANYTHING. He doesn’t steal, block, shoot, foul…it’s like he’s a ghost.
He’s worthless trash, the worst player on the team, maybe in the league. He wouldn’t start for anyone but this team because Thibs is too stubborn to admit he was wrong early on. In fact, he wouldn’t play meaningful minutes for any team in the league. He’s total garbage, a complete 12th man.
Tony C—> Oh, so he wasn’t the bottom of the barrel, worst player on the team again? Oh, well excuse me. I guess you were right all along and he’s gotta get his 15 minutes a night because one night out of 10 he’s not worthless.
Bulls played well. Now let’s go get Miami.
Well guess who’s hurt again….BOOzer
With all the talk about acquiring a good starting shooting guard i’ve heard recently, I am astonished that the names Arron Afflalo and Landry Fields have not been surfacing (as far as I have noticed). Both of them have been shooting tremendously consistent all over the floor for the entire year and play at least decent defense (this can be improved to slightly above average decense with Thibs’ coaching). They are young, cheap and play on teams worse than the Bulls, so they may see playing for the Bulls as an improvement. Unfortinately, I think that the chances of Chicago acquiring Landry Fields is relatively low, cinsidering that he is such a staple in the Knicks’ game plan. On the other hand, Afflalo appears to be far more realistic of an option. Afflalo has a better true shooting percentage and value added rating, anyway.
With all the talk about acquiring a good starting shooting guard i’ve heard recently, I am astonished that the names Arron Afflalo and Landry Fields have not been surfacing (as far as I have noticed). Both of them have been shooting tremendously consistent all over the floor for the entire year and play at least decent defense (this can be improved to slightly above average decense with Thibs’ coaching). They are young, cheap and play on teams worse than the Bulls, so they may see playing for the Bulls as an improvement. Unfortinately, I think that the chances of Chicago acquiring Landry Fields is relatively low, cinsidering that he is such a staple in the Knicks’ game plan. On the other hand, Afflalo appears to be far more realistic of an option. Afflalo has a better true shooting percentage and value added rating, anyway…