The only thing that would have made this much needed win sweeter would have been to see Luol Deng achieve the first triple double of his long career.
He would be denied, finishing one assist shy of the accomplishment.
To use Thibs words, the Bulls starters ensured that they “functioned well as a unit”. We saw both quick ball movement, and more cutting to the basket by Noah and Deng. There seemed to be concerted, unselfish play from Rose (8 FGA’s and 5 assists) and overall, quicker decisions made with the basketball. Turnovers remained at an unacceptable high of 20 (16 in the first half), but also a better and more efficient outing behind the three point line (3-8 – 37.5%).
Although Bulls turnovers would lead to the Jazz making a run and closing the gap to a manageable 11 point deficit, the starters came out of the locker room more focused and outscored the Jazz 11-2 leading to a full timeout. Utah would never seriously challenge for the lead again after that.
L. Deng (CHI) 19 PTS 11 REB 9 ASTS 5 STLS in 38 MINS
A. Burks (UTA) 10 PTS (3-13 shooting) 1 REB 1 ASTS 4 STLS in 29 MINS
- This win kept the Utah Jazz winless so far this season at 0-6
- No starter except Luol played more than 27 minutes… Players were trying desperately to get Lu the last assist he’d need for the triple double, but they couldn’t do it before Thibs yanked him from the game
“I thought there was a lot of unselfish play, guys making the extra pass. I thought the screen was a lot better, hitting the open man, running the floor, a great effort defensively, and that’s what it’s going to take.” — Coach Tom Thibodeau
We will finally, and I mean finally see Kyrie vs. Rose on Monday evening when the Cavs (3-4) come to town. Its amazing that they’ve never played against each other (either player seemed to always be injured in past meetings) and this is Irving’s third year in the league. He’s obviously the new league “darling” after the splash he made at last season’s All Star Game and always makes the “next greatest PG” lists.
Uncle Drew is beasty, but I’m not sure its clear at this stage how he makes his teammates better. Lots of one on one play, but his handling of the rock is unquestionable. One of the best if not the best in the league. Rose should be hyped up for this contest, just hope he doesn’t try to do too much and/or get into early foul trouble.