Whoo wee! Bulls are really beginning to come together. I really wanted these two games, moreso than the Knicks/Memphis sandwich. Toronto and the Wizards are two of the top three Eastern Conference teams right now, and Chicago just handed both of them giant “L’s” to wear around their necks, going into the holiday. Brilliant. How did they do it? Same formula from the Raptors game… A little Gasol, a lot of Aaron Brooks, great defense by both Noah and Butler, strong bench play and Rose coming on strong in the 4th.
Game Synopsis: This game began pretty sloppy. Bulls were turning the ball over and playing kind of loose. Not the same, lethargic starts that we see at the UC though. they gained control mid-quarter and ended up topping Washington 21-20, off of Gasol’s first made three as a Bull. Good sign. The bench was amazing in the second as NO ONE could stay in front of Aaron Brooks. E’twaun Moore showed us all something as he’s able to make big plays. Taj was also 5-5 for 12 pts in 18 min, and Chicago would end up with a 37-24 bench advantage. They also did a great job in the paint… 50-42 advantage. After remaining in control pretty much through 3 quarters, the Wiz would gain a 1pt. lead off of a 8pt. John Wall run in the 4th. Then Rose took over and scored 8 out of the next 10 for Chicago, including that dagger step back to put the Bulls up 94-87.
Game Changer: Rose. He imposed his will in the 4th, which seems to be his new role with this team. Great situation for him as he can get more rest during games… No need to be a volume scorer. Bulls have more than enough competent scoring options. His quote from earlier in the season is ringing true. “…The 4th quarter is ‘my time’.”
Rose: 25pts (10-17 & 1-3 from three), 2rebs 4asts 2stls 5tos (28min)
Pau: 18pts (7-13 & 1-1 from three), 9rebs 4asts 1stl 2blks (34min)
Brooks: 13pts (5-13), 4rebs 6asts 1stl (25min)
Weak Performer: Dunleavy continues to get lost on the offense… Going 0-2, but playing 22 minutes. Only 3 rebs and 1 assist. I think Mirotic produces more with fewer minutes. I am also a fan of Nikola’s rebounding rate.
Main Hashtag: #CHIvsWAS
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 24, 2014
- Aaron Brooks has come off the bench to score in double figures in each of the last 4 games.
- Over his last 2 games, in the 4Q, Rose has scored 25 total points on 10/12 shooting.
- Kirk Hinrich missed this game due to a strained hamstring. He didn’t travel with the team to D.C.
- This win extends the Bulls road record to 13-4… Best in the Eastern Conference and only one more loss than GSW, who’s 13-3 mark is best in the league.
Christmas matchup with the Lakers… Remember last time we faced the Lakers on Christmas? Pretty special game for Rose and I’m happy Bulls don’t have to travel this year. They are fully capable of laying eggs on their home floor though and the Lakers just took down GSW at Staples.