Ooh, always nice to beat Miami. Last night was a good one in the Association. Bulls are rolling again after a disappointing loss to the lowly Bobcats (91-81), who ended their 18 game losing streak with a win over the Bulls. I said in my mini-preview that I didn’t want their breakthrough coming vs. my Bulls, but whatever, it happened. Miami lost to the Wizards and Atlanta just got beaten by Detroit so it happens. These sub .500 squads are still NBA teams and are worthy of preparation and an intense effort. Also, Jo had flu like symptoms for that contest so I’m glad he’s back to himself.
Since that loss though, Bulls traveled to Florida and have just shown out… Narrowly beating Orlando on Wednesday (without Noah who finally sat out because of his flu symptoms), they rode strong performances by both Boozer and Taj. Almost as if Thibs has discovered a winning combo here vs. sitting Booz for Taj and vice versa. Great to see as this season progresses.
That win set the Bulls up for a showdown in South Beach with the Miami Heat. Our first meeting of the season. What would happen? The bench mob has been dismantled and they were a BIG reason why we were so competitive with LeBron and company last season. How would we perform?
Well, it appears that no matter what complementary pieces are placed around the Bulls core, defense and rebounding are still the main identity of this team. They know who they are and they played like it. Miami on the other hand again appears bored and waiting for the post season to begin. Hope that switch they are planning to flip on works when the time comes.
After uncharacteristically getting outrebounded in the last 5 games (they were pretty even with Orlando, they only outrebounded Bulls by 1), they feasted on the Heat… 48-28. They got 19 offensive rebounds to only 4 for the Heat. Yowza. That’s not just skill, there is a lot of effort and desire inside those numbers. More importantly, this game has pushed us back to 11th in the league. We had dropped to 13th for a minute there.
- Bulls started the game with a turnover and you wondered if they would have to start the game digging themselves out of a deficit.
- Lots of missed opportunities and turnovers in the 1st quarter. I counted about 8 pts. that the Bulls just were not able to convert. Miami goes on a 7-0 run.
- Bulls are patient, go on a 10-0 run of their own in the last 3 minutes and end up leading after the first quarter (26-22). Great way to respond and you could just tell that they were ready to exert great effort to get this win.
- Bulls out-rebound Miami 13-5 in the first quarter and net 6 assists on 11 FG attempts.
- This game will be remembered as a signature for Carlos Boozer. He was active on the glass, aware defensively and also poured in 27 pts. The knock against him in Chicago has been that he doesn’t show up in big games and can’t produce against elite teams. This game has officially quieted this critic (for now).
- 2nd quarter just like the first… Bulls down but come back to take the lead at halftime. Defense and rebounding continue to be the story of the game.
- LeBron and Wade both produced well for Miami… Bosh had a subpar game though with only 14 points and a pedestrian 5 rebounds. LeBron led all players with 6 rebounds.
- Bulls bench outscored Miami’s 33-14. Jimmy Butler made some back breaking plays for the Bulls down the stretch. (Heart. Hustle. Muscle.)
- Miami only managed 5-20 from the three point line (25%).
- Key moment of the game came with 6:47 left in the 4th quarter with the Bulls leading 80-73: Robinson takes a charge on Ray Allen (who would have been credited with a layup had Nate been called for a blocking foul). Bulls come down and Nate hits a quick catch and shoot three, giving Chicago their largest lead of the game at 10.
In Game Tweets
Jo: “I don’t know if that small ball is gonna work…not with Carlos Boozer on the floor”
— Aggrey Sam (@CSNBullsInsider) January 5, 2013
— (@vanialuv) January 5, 2013
— Chris Robinson (@2Robinson8) January 5, 2013
To clarify the Bulls’ inside presence tonight: Boozer was 12-17 w/ 27 pts and 12 boards. Noah had 13 pts and 12 boards. 48 team rebounds.
— Dime Update (@DimeUpdate) January 5, 2013
Wallace: Small-ball style exposing shortcomings that have led to Heat’s recent rebounding woes espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/m…
— Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) January 5, 2013
#Bulls pick up HUGE win over Heat 97-89! Boozer dominated with 27 pts + 12 boards. Noah – 13 + 12. Just too strong in side for MIA tn
— adam jun (@ajbulls) January 5, 2013
Bulls get the Cavs on Monday (UC), the Bucks on Wednesday (UC) the Knicks (again in MSG) on Friday and then they have to turn around and play the Suns on Saturday (UC). Things don’t get any easier. Cavs could be a trap game, Bucks will play the Bulls hard, the Knicks will be looking for revenge and Phoenix can certainly outshoot Chicago.
I’ll be back before the Cavs game to do some more posting. Also want to write about the Bulls signing Houston Rockets player Daequan Cook. Follow him on Twitter guys @DC4Three, he’s our newest Bull!
Take care til’ next time and go Bulls!