Apr 06

BULLS GAME 77 RECAP – by Kent McDill

Sometimes, coaches and players display affectations of emotion, pretending to be upset about one thing or another because it’s considered the thing to do.  But the emotion that came out of the Bulls’ locker room Tuesday was intense and real.The Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns 97-94 but they let a 22-point third quarter lead disappear. The Suns had five chances to tie the game in the last three minutes, but could never get the last shot to drop.

All teams in the NBA have games like that, but as Derrick Rose said, “we have big plans. We can’t play like that.”

Coach Tom Thibodeau, who walked to his post-game press conference looking like he wanted to hurt someone, was truly upset that his defensive-minded team allowed a Phoenix team that is out of the playoffs to even sniff at a victory.

“We were fortunate in the end to get the win,” Thibodeau said. “We did not play tough with the lead.”
I don’t think this game has any real meaning from a playoff standpoint. I don’t think it is necessary to make a bigger deal out of this than to note that the Bulls let a big lead slide.

The Bulls are good, one of the best teams in the league, maybe the best from top to bottom. But they have difficulty putting the hammer down. It’s a skill they lack, and you just have to hope it will not come back to bite them sometime in the next two months.

On the positive side, the Bulls spread the scoring around. Rose had 19 points, Luol Deng had 18, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah each had 12, and Ronnie Brewer and Taj Gibson had 10 each off the bench.

Two of those totals were most significant. Noah was coming back after missing three games with a sprained ankle, and he was very fluid. He made six of seven shots, most on dunks, and added four rebounds, four assists and four steals. He is a great starting center to play with someone like Rose.

Off the bench, Taj Gibson had 10 points, nine rebounds and only one turnover in 21 minutes, playing a lot as Carlos Boozer had a tough of foul trouble and was coming back from a flu bug.

At halftime, the Bulls had a 53-40 lead and the bench contributed 26 points to the starters’ 27. I really have to wonder if this bench is better than the benches either of the three-peat teams had.

On Thursday, the Bulls host the Boston Celtics, and I encourage all again not to try to make more out of that game than it requires. But I know you won’t listen.

HERO: Luol Deng was playing defense on Vince Carter late in the game and forced him to take three bad shots when the Suns could have tied the game. In a game where the Bulls stopped playing defense, it was his stops that saved the day.

Apr 02

Derrick Rose stops JJ!

Mar 23

BULLS GAME 70 RECAP – by Kent McDill

I just wonder.  I wonder how many teams in NBA history have won back-to-back games by 33 or more points and traveled in between games.  That’s what the Bulls accomplished Tuesday when they smacked the Atlanta Hawks 114-81 after whipping the Sacramento Kings 132-92 the night before.

This one felt so much different than the Kings’ game. The Hawks are a playoff team, and one the Bulls could meet in the second round of the playoffs, depending on a few things.  The Bulls also had lost six straight in Atlanta, including the last visit when they had a 17-point lead at halftime and let it slip away.  This time, the Bulls never let up until the fourth quarter, when the second unit sort of fooled around and let a 40-point lead slip away. Still, it was a marvelous performance and a demonstration of just how strong the Bulls are when they want to be.

The last time the Bulls won consecutive games by 25 or more points was 1997, and we know what happened that year. The Bulls have never won back-to-back games by a combined total of 73 points.  Never.

Derrick Rose had 30 points, including a career-high six 3-pointers, and added 10 assists. Moreover, he played just 28 minutes, a key stat in the minds of people worrying about superstar burnout.

The Bulls scored 41 points in the second quarter and had 72 points at halftime. That’s just nuts for a team that is not built on scoring.

Here is another great stat: Luol Deng had 27 points and was the only other Bull in double figures. That’s right, the Bulls scored 114 points and had only two players in double figures.

Ronnie Brewer was the only regular among the first 10 who did not score. Everyone else contributed, and Taj Gibson had the best combined line of eight rebounds and nine points among the others on the team.

For the second game in a row, the Bulls shot better from 3-point range than they did overall. They had 30 assists on 43 baskets. They played like a team on a mission.

HERO: Derrick Rose is not normal. When he gets his mind set on a task, he is undeniable. He is a superstar, and is a near-lock for the MVP.

Kent McDill via DSS 

Mar 09

"We got to win one first"

-Derrick in response to Reinsdorf’s claims that this team could win at least 4 championships.

"I think the sky’s the limit for us right now. I think everybody in this locker room, they want to win a championship. They’re winners. Who’s to say that we can’t win it this year?"

- D.Rose following up

May 02

Wait till next year….

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Great series.  Tough loss. Some notes on Game 6

  • Gordon started hot, finished cold.  If he knocks down the baseline layup or the three after the Hinrich steal, it becomes a one possession game.  Then again we can say that about tons of plays this series so is it even worth thinking about?
  • What was up with that one point the scorers left off the scoreboard? We spent two hours lobbying at the tv for that point, and we finally got it in the fourth quarter (yes, thanks to us yelling at the tv).  wow.
  • Celtics played well, and distributed offensive fire power pretty evenly.  In fact, if they dont miss 100 free throws, the game is not even close. 
  • No hard feelings (outside of "sports hate" (see Bill Simmons)) after this series is over.  It was a great battle between two teams with each having their arguably best player injured.
  • Looking back, Rondo was ridiculous…to average a triple double is pretty amazing. 
  • Derrick Rose was real good, but turnovers cost us this series.
  • Brad Miller looked good this series, but tentative in Game 7. 
  • Points in the paint – not many to speak of….
  • SIGN BEN GORDON!!!

May 01

What the Bulls can learn from last year's Celtics – Hawks Game 7

First of all, I personally don’t think it matters what happens in Game 7 from the Bulls standpoint.  Neither of these two teams are gonna win it all, and for the Bulls the experience is what counts.  They’ve had numerous pressure situations, overtime games, clutch free throws, inbound plays, three point plays, defensive stops, a crucial game 5 on the road, an elimination game at home, and a crucial game 7 on the road. The coaching staff gets their fair share of experience as well.  And a few months ago who would have guessed the Bulls had a chance to knock out the Celtics in game 7?

That being said, of course it would be nice to win on Saturday and advance to face the Magic.  Last year the Hawks took the Celtics to game 7 in the first round, only to get blown out in game 7 right from the start.  Here’s what the Bulls can take away from that game.

  • The Bulls have to keep their composure during Celtics run.  Every time the Celtics knock down about 5 unanswered points, the crowd is going to get into the game in a big way, and the Bulls need to relax and just play their game.  Last year the Celts made a run at the hawks in the 2nd quarter: The Hawks faltered and only scored 10 points in the second quarter.
  • No unnecessary hard fouls will help the Bulls.  Last year Marvin Williams took Rondo to the floor with a hard foul, which only energized the already leading big Celtics.
  • Offense.  The celtics are gonna roll with some tough defense to open up the gates while their legs are still fresh.  The Bulls need to take it to the rack early and not rely on jumpers.  Last year the Hawks scored a record low of 26 points in the entire first half due to reliance on jumpers and poor offensive execution.

May 01

Game 6 highlights

 

Apr 30

Cardiac Bulls win in 3OT

 

 

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Play of the game…..

what a game! what a series! more analysis tomorrow morning.  Unreal.

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