Bulls “Benchmob” Dispose of the Heat in OT 96-86

Wow… Thibs masterfully utilized the Chicago Bulls team in this win over Miami. In a game where the MVP struggled (your heart ached for him too because you know how much he wanted to play well), Thibs found himself faced with the challenge of riding the hot hand of his bench over the player who has spearheaded the Bulls climb back into the elite. He would choose the former and it would prove to be a successful formula for a win.

Game Notes:

  • The Bulls started out slow again… Miami led 14-7, Thibs called a 20 second timeout and you just kind of rolled your eyes, like uh oh… One of those games.
  • It was basically a layup line for the Miami Heat until the 3:15 mark of the 1st quarter… That’s when Thibs just started HOOKING players for the benchmob. Boozer and Rose sit in lieu of Watson and Gibson.
  • Then at the 2:06 mark, it was Noah and Hamilton sitting in favor of Asik and Brewer.
  • Guess what? Bleeding stops and Bulls are only down three heading into the 2Q. 22-19.
  • Second quarter belonged to Miami… Even though the bench opened up the period and wrestled the lead away from the Heat, going on a 17-7 run… The starters would return and Miami took advantage… Ending the period on a 15-4 run to lead 41-36 at Halftime.
  • Bulls traded punches during the 3rd quarter… Mostly the Bulls starters vs. Miami’s big three… Tough night for Miami’s bench who would only produce 7 points on the night.
  • Derrick hit his only FG in the third at the 7:01 mark… A 20 foot jumper.
  • Boozer had his strongest game vs. Miami in a Bulls uniform, great production from him.
  • Bulls were able to close the gap on Miami and pull to within a basket at the close of the third… Setting the fourth up as a showdown.
  • Bulls fought hard in the 4th quarter, and CJ got the nod at point… Korver started dropping some BOMBS and you kind of thought we would pull away… But the game stays close.
  • Miami charges back and take a two point lead on a Lebron corner three with 49 seconds left… Just a dagger. Derrick Rose actually GOES OUT of the game at this point (hard to imagine, but he was that bad on the night and we would find out later that he was only in for a few minutes to relieve CJ).
  • Deng misses a three, Bulls foul James on the other end, and he SPLITS his FT’s… Still a chance for the Bulls!
  • …And then this happened (sometimes, life just gives you a moment):
  • Wade misses an incredibly tough fadeaway jumper going out of bounds and we go to OT. Again, as a Bulls fan, its just surreal to think that the MVP will perhaps not play in the overtime period. We soon find out that he won’t. The television announcers are incredulous that Thibs sits Rose for both the last shot and the OT.
  • Bulls absolutely dominate the Heat in OT. I was really surprised at how they folded… Bulls outscore them 12-2 in a variety of ways… Sick Taj Gibson dunk, C.J. dancing at the top of the key before he drops off a 2 and Korver hits a demoralizing 3 about 4.5 feet behind the arc to increase the lead to 10 as the period closed.

In Game Tweets:


“…This is one of the worst feelings in the regular season I’ve had this year”
LeBron James

“…I’m not worried about my stats or anything. Can I make up excuses? Yeah. But you know me, I’m not going to use no excuse. My shots weren’t falling. Shots I normally hit, I wasn’t hitting. My teammates had my back. I’m happy I have them on my team.”
Derrick Rose on his subpar performance

“… That play hurt. We never recovered back from that shot.”
Dwayne Wade on CJ’s back-breaking three pointer to tie the game

“…I was calling on my inner John Lucas on that shot.”
– Korver on his last insane three-pointer to put the Bulls up 96-86 in OT

Sideline Skinny:

  • Scottie Pippen sat by the Miami Heat’s bench next to D.Rose’s oldest brother Reggie Rose
  • LeBron tried to get physical with the Bulls in the 4th quarter… Shoving C.J. with an elbow in full view of the refs (shameful). Crowd let them know it too.
  • Udonis Haslem got the start over Turiaf for the Heat… This was a last minute switch.
  • Scalabrine was inactive.
  • This 2 pt. performance by Rose (he also had 8 assists) was the worst showing of his professional career.
  • The Bulls are currently 2-1 in the season series with Miami with one last showdown before the playoffs in South Beach next Thursday, April 19th.

What’s Next?

Brutal part of the schedule coming… FIVE games in SEVEN nights:

April Opponent Time Local TV Nat TV Radio
Sun 15 Detroit

Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI
5:00 PM WGN ESPN 1000
Mon 16 vs Washington  

United Center, Chicago, IL
7:00 PM CSN-C ESPN 1000
Wed 18 Charlotte

Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
6:00 PM WCIU ESPN 1000
Thu 19 Miami

American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
7:00 PM TNT ESPN 1000
Sat 21 vs Dallas  

United Center, Chicago, IL
7:00 PM WGN ESPN ESPN 1000

The next three games will be PERFECT for the starting five to begin to gel as a unit. Derrick can get his legs under him, Rip can continue to perfect his passing out of screens and his timing and rhythm in general.  Go Bulls and I’ll see you guys for Detroit on 4.15.

I’ll be in-game tweeting from @ChiTwnBullsBlog Follow or list me!

Til’ next time Go Bulls! –ct

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