Derrick Rose and Luol Deng scored 21 pts and Boozer chipped in 20 to help get past a mostly uninspired Orlando Magic team. After a strong start by Dwight Howard (who scored 14pts in the first quarter), the Bulls were able to slow him the rest of the way. Mixing single coverage with double teams late, Bulls successfully curbed the paint advantage by the Magic and they only outscored us in there 40 to 38. The Bulls also HEAVILY contested Magic’s jumpshooters. Defense is what won them the game last night because the Bulls’ scoring lulls unfortunately continue.
- Ryan Anderson, who torched us last time we played the Magic, was super quiet… A mix of contested shots and missed wide open looks, he only managed 5 pts on 2-10 shooting. This was the difference in the game to me.
- Kyle Korver finally got untracked… Going 6-8 (5-7 from 3), he scored 18 points. It cannot be overstated how badly we need this kind of production from him. Thibs played him a reserve high, 31 minutes as a result.
- Derrick, again close to a triple-double has really developed his game… Double Doubles, in points and assists are going to be a regular thing for this kid this season. Gonna be tough to keep him out of the MVP conversation.
- Noah was active… Two steals and stellar passing. Didn’t even get into heavy foul trouble trying to contain Dwight. That award goes to Taj who ended up with five.
- Boozer lit the Magic up with that 18 footer of his. He also got some nice layups and dunks. I’m not sniffing at a 20 and 13 game from Booz… Great job Carlos.
- Brewer struggled, going 1-6 for 2 pts. Ronnie is just better off the bench. I think the starting role on the Bulls adds a little pressure and he’s not able to play as loose as he does as a reserve.
- Bulls Benchmob outscored the Magic’s bench 29 to 12
- With the Magic down 6 with 9 minutes left, Dwight Howard jokingly revived Big Baby who had crashed out of bounds, taking a referee with him.
- Rip did not play again due to the groin strain (I think he goes against Atlanta tonight, we need to give them a new look offensively this time)
- Derrick wore an ace bandage on his sore elbow, covered with a black arm sleeve
- “…Quite simply, we’re not at that level, not close, and that’s OK. I’m not saying that crying or complaining; that’s just the way it is. You’ve got to face reality. We’ve got to put in the work to reach that level because right now we’re not close to that level of play.” – Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy
- “…I just wanted to be aggressive and make sure I was an option on the floor.” – Small Forward Luol Deng
- “…Somebody’s got to take it from him, but he’s making really hard so far” – NBA TV’s Steve Smith on Derrick Rose and the MVP race so far
More basketball people… Bulls visiting the Highlight Factory in Atlanta to play the Hawks, again. Hopefully Rip can go because I think it would be nice to throw in another look at ATL this time and honestly, we desperately need his playmaking. Even if his shot is not falling, I want Rip on the floor cuz he makes things easier for the Bulls.
Game Preview up soon!!! Until tonight, let’s bask in the glow of being tied for the BEST RECORD in the NBA and also owning the longest streak at SIX! Things change so quickly in this league, we should celebrate now! 🙂 Take care til’ next time!