- Scalabrine – 8:26 min
- John Lucas, III – 9:02 min
- Jimmy Butler – 4:44 min
- Mike James – 8:08 min
Yes, this is the best summary I can give you Bulls fans. Every player in a Bulls uni got in this laugher and trust me, it was a team attack. I said in my game preview that the Bulls needed to exercise their winning muscle, and boy, did they.
If the Bulls continue to play games without Rose in the lineup, we will be a stronger team. After last year’s ECF, it was apparent that everything started and ended with Rose. Now, the Bulls will just have to figure it out. No more will I worry about what happens when Indiana and Miami put two on the ball, or Derrick gets taken out of the play. If he gets in foul trouble and has to sit for long stretches, the Bulls have this experience to draw from. They’ll need a ton more practice on what to do when D.Rose gets trapped, but this is a great (albeit unexpected) start. I also want to point out that this monster performance by the Bulls is likely the result of the guys being able to practice.
Hats off to Rip. I was so excited about his play last night I tweeted this:
- It is scary to think how potent the Bulls would have been WITH a normal training camp and full pre-season. All the Bulls need to do is adjust Rip’s game. He comes off screens shedding the basketball at lightning-quick speeds. One bounced off of Deng out of bounds and I remember a few that Derrick couldn’t handle either. Love his activity though… I always liked Rip’s game but with the Bulls, he’s just fit in so nicely, it unbelievable.
- Carlos, as I predicted based on the FG% that Cleveland’s been allowing, had another monster game. He went 9-15 for 19 pts. and a sizzling 60% shooting clip. Also grabbed 4 offensive rebounds, got 4 assists and limited his personal fouls.
- Noah had the energy that all fans like to see… Grabbed 4 offensive rebounds and put 8 pts on the board… Nicely setup by Rip close to the rim for a dunk and also a breakaway dunk later in the game.
- JL3 is a beast. You cringe when he’s missing, but when he’s hitting, its just a thing of beauty. He is NOT shy and has got the floater, can hit the three and can penetrate to pass or shoot. He unfortunately had a groin strain (so many this season, is the schedule to blame?) so I hope he doesn’t miss too many games
- CJ was a beast and like I said in the preview, can seemingly hit shots at a better clip when he starts. It will be interesting to see what happens to his pace, his shot, etc. when he goes back to his role as a reserve PG
- Taj managed to sprain his left ankle in 6 minutes of action. This is probably the worst news. Hoping its not bad, cuz we need his big body.
- Asik was great as usual… Can’t tell from the box score but he altered a ton of shots and Cleveland definitely had to think twice about what they wanted to do once they did get in the lane
- Kyrie Irving began the game like a madman, hitting threes from WAY out. Ya know, the ones where you just have to say “…nice shot rook.” He faded after that, but my God you think they would ride him. He only played 22 min and finished with 13 pts. The coach preferred Sessions, playing him for 27 minutes… He went 3-12 and was HORRIBLE.
- Varejao was the only other Cavs player to score in double figures and finished with 14 pts. He had a strong game, going 5-9 hitting his first few shots
- Lost in how well the Bulls did was Korver, who was pouring hot sauce all over the Cavs going 2-3 from three… He finished with 14pts in just 15 min (go Kyle)
- Bulls had a franchise best 16 blocks in this game… really? I’m so frantic that Jimmy got two of them!
- Bulls have been destroying teams this season and are second only to Philadelphia in point differential at +11.06 per contest.
- Bulls creating distance from Philadelphia in opponent pts allowed at 85.12. Philly is at 86.67.
In Game Tweets:
- Derrick travelled with the team and dressed in his uniform, which was odd since everyone knew he was a scratch. He then disappeared into the locker room when the game began.
- There was a worry that the Bulls might have to spend the night in Cleveland because of the heavy snowfall, but they touched down last night and got to sleep in their own beds.
Charlotte Bobcats at Bulls tonight 7:00PM CST and ESPN 1000. Game preview up soon. Let’s go Bulls fans, we are ROLLING… Just like last season, Bulls lose, regroup and start a new streak. Let’s make it three in a row!