The circus trip is chugging to a close and the Bulls have again, under the leadership of Thibs, shown toughness, resolve and grit. I don’t think that there are too many other teams in the league that can consistently find ways to win when things haven’t gone their way early on.
I predicted that Chicago would gut out a win in Boston and would have both the rebounding edge and play better defense.
Rebounding Edge: 52-42 Bulls
Defensive stats: 13 blocks, 5 steals, 16pts off turnovers, Boston 40.2%
I’m 6-6 in predictions so far and if we take down Brooklyn in a couple of hours, this will be my first time getting the entire circus trip right. With so many changes to the lineup, Rose’s health as a traveling sideshow and media scrutiny seemingly at an all time high, a 4-3 road trip would be a HUGE success.
Game Synopsis: This game began so similar to the one that the Bulls lost at the UC. Boston shot 59% through almost 2 quarters of this game… They couldn’t miss and were +3 on threes. They’d manage a mind blowing 60pts by halftime. Bulls clawed their way back through some explosive offense by Rose in the 3rd and vintage defensive stops by Jo and Mirotic in the 4th.
Game Changer: Rose opened the 3rd quarter netting 12 pts. in 7 minutes. Really got the Bulls offense back on track and woke up the defense. A questionable charge on Jared Sullinger in the 4th quarter (Kirk Hinrich) and a late bucket by Jo (Rose with the assist) put the game out of reach for the Celtics, who controlled the game for a little more than 3 quarters.
Peak Performer(s): J. Butler CHI (22pts 3rebs 1asts 1stls 0blk) 41min <– Jimmy got to the line for 12 FT attempts. Another strong outing from Butler. Rose followed with 21 pts. and Noah (5 blks), Pau and Aaron Brooks were tied with 15 pts. each. Great looking box score for the Bulls. Nikola continues to benefit from Taj’s absence by tossing in 13 pts, 8 rebs, 5 blks, 2 asts, 2 stls in 27 min. #44 is getting comfortable and I love that Pau (Spain) is on this team with him.
Weak Performer: M. Dunleavy CHI (4pts 4rebs 0asts 0stls 0blk) 27min <– Boston proved to be too athletic for Dun Dun… Mirotic coming into the game for him was huge for Chicago… I can’t say enough about his defensive activity.
Main Hashtag: #CHIvsBOS
- Derrick played his third consecutive game after missing four consecutive with a hamstring pull.
- Taj missed his third consecutive game after rolling the same ankle for a third time in seven months. It was also reported that Taj has rejoined the trip after going home to be evaluated.
- The Bulls are 4-0 when the starting lineup has played: Jo, Pau, Dunleavy, Butler and Rose…
Unbelievably, this will be the FIRST time Rose plays against Brooklyn. He’s been out with injury since they moved from NJ to Brooklyn and missed that epic 7-game series that we ended up winning on their home floor. Should be hyped up for this game. Hoping Brooklyn will be rusty vs. rested. Their last game was Wednesday, 11/26. Still a lot of one on one play from them and not a ton of defense, but they are still coached by Lionel Hollins and I’m predicting he’ll get the most out of this group. At 6-8 they MAY also prove to be the more desperate team. We’ll see…
I’ll be in-game tweeting from: @ChiTwnBullsBlog <– Follow us for the latest! #SeeRed.