Another great win without Derrick Rose. The stats going into the 4th quarter were not promising. This was an ugly game, without a lot of ball movement. If the Bulls were going to win this game, they would have to regain the lead, extend it and get some defensive stops. Who was going to make the big play? Would Korver, who was 0-4 at the start of the 4th get open for some shots? Could we rely on Lucas AGAIN, or were we asking too much of him at this point? The 4th quarter answered all these questions and more…
- The Bulls were trailing 62-69.
- Lineup on the floor: Deng, Korver, Asik, Taj and Lucas.
- Lucas hits a couple of shots, while the Raptors get a 3-pt play on the other end of the floor.
- Lucas hits a three-pointer.
- Lucas then assists Kover for another three-pointer, tying the game at 72.
- After that, the Bulls got stop, after stop, after stop. Holding the Raptors scoreless until 3:28 left. By that time, they were in control and leading by 12.
I am so excited that the Bulls are able to get this “in game” experience without Rose on the floor. When the Bulls play defense like this, they can play with anyone. If they can ever get some practice time together, eluding the trap on Derrick should be job one, but I trust the ball in the hands of his teammates now, more than ever before. Noah can make plays, Lucas can make plays, Ronnie can make plays… Deng and Boozer have become wonderful passers. If we ever get Rip back (remember Rip?), his passing ability is unquestionable. Can’t wait to see how these final 17 games unfold! We are 39-10!!! Go Bulls!
Next up for the Bulls: Saturday, March 24th vs. the Toronto Raptors at the UC… Toronto is coming off of a huge win over the red-hot Knicks, snapping their 5-game win streak. They’ll also be looking to avenge the loss we just handed them on their home floor. DeRozan may be out due to a late ankle roll that occurred in the waning moments of the Knicks rout. We’ll see.