I’m going to attempt to do two quick recaps of the back to back that the Bulls just completed. My predictions have held up through games 4 and 5 of this 7 game trip. A win at Utah and a loss at Denver. Boston is next.
Bulls looked great to start this game, leading by as many as 19. They would allow Utah to hang around, which as I said in my predictions would be dangerous to do, especially on the Jazz’s home floor: “…Trey Burke is a good floor leader for Utah but shoots a low FG %. Like the Bulls, the Jazz play til’ the clock reads 0:00 and are certainly capable of beating a team if its allowed to hang around. Two buzzer beaters already this season vs. CLE and NYK.” W Bulls 104 Jazz 93
All you need to know about this contest:
- Rose and Pau suited up. Surprised me, but then I thought maybe Rose wanted to give it a go since Taj went down in the Portland game right after Kirk suffered the chest contusion in the Kings contest. Bulls jumped out to a 30-14 first quarter, with Rose scoring 10pts in 7 minutes. They would then get outscored 36-22 in the third and the lead changed a few times after that before the Bulls would again take control.
- Pau played 37 minutes in his return after missing 3 games for a sore calf (23pts/9rebs) and Rose would log 24 (18pts/5asts).
- Jimmy continues his star turn leading all scorers with 25 pts (pay this man).
Always a treat to go inside Pepsi arena… I predicted this score almost EXACTLY… Without knowing who would suit up:
“…Denver has struggled early this season, but they’ve already played (and lost) two home-and-home’s with both POR and SAC. They recently ended a SIX game slide by beating IND on the road, only to fall to the struggling Knicks on their home floor. They still have Afflalo, Ty Lawson and Kenneth Faried. They are 8th in rebounding and can put points on the board quickly. This is not a team that should be under estimated even though they have sort of stumbled out of the gate to a 2-7 record. I feel like the Bulls should be able to beat them, but with the way Chicago plays down to the level of competition, on Denver’s home floor, I dunno. Denver seems like the more desperate team to me.” L Bulls 108 Nuggets 114
It would be imperative, if we had any shot of winning this game that we’d make some shots in the first quarter… Kirk went 0-3 and had 3 turnovers, Rose danced on the perimeter, bricking 2 three attempts, it was just not the Bulls night. Noah was a late scratch so Thibs amazingly started the rookie Bairstow in his place, which at best looks to not be NBA ready.
The headline to this game is not that the Bulls lost, but that they lost Rose for the 2nd half. Thibs benched Rose to rest his hammy, which was reported to have tightened up. Perhaps it happened on this play?
The passive way that Rose was playing though (clinging to the perimeter, playing loose with the basketball, dumping the ball into the post to Pau and Jimmy), led many to believe that it was not the only reason that he decided to sit him. He even told him to stay in the locker room. Humbling for sure. I’ll be doing my own piece on Rose and injury soon. I know I keep promising it but there are so many layers to this story as the games go by that I want to make sure I hit the right note.
Everything else you need to know about this contest:
- This loss wasted a 32 pt. effort by Jimmy Butler. Amazing leap he’s taking… He’s the new Paul George for sure this season. He got to the FT line for 20 attempts, wow.
- Although the Nuggets dominated the Bulls, they managed to pull to within 3 late.
- Pau logged 36 min in his 2nd game back from his calf strain. If Pau ends up getting injured mid-season, these heavy minutes for a player of Pau’s age will be looked at.
This game is at Noon on Friday. We will be full of turkey and looking for Rose to play. I’d actually like him to sit until the trip is over because I feel like we can beat both Boston and Brooklyn without him. There is a bloodlust from fans (and to a lesser extent, Coach Thibs) though for Derrick to play. Among fans, its often seemingly wrapped in contempt, but I think its also because these guys just miss him. He’s one of the most exciting players to watch in the league when he’s healthy and I just don’t think he’s very healthy right now.
As far as the game goes, the Bulls DON’T normally play well early in the day so we’ll see which team shows up. Boston is 4-8 and still leading the league in assists. As long as we make shots, we should be able to take care of this team. Not a lot of lock down defenders and if we can avoid the offensive lulls, we should be ok. They rebound at a better clip, but we can compete with them. Will be tougher without Taj and Noah, but Mirotic, Pau and Jimmy can crash the boards harder to make up for his absence. #CHIvsBOS
I’ll be in game tweeting from @ChiTwnBullsBlog <– Follow or list us for the latest! #SeeRed