Bulls 98, Spurs 93: Believing that they believe

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Chicago 90.0 108.9 57.1% 11.5 26.5 18.9
San Antonio 103.3 43.5% 12.9 34.0 10.0

 

The Bulls had a eFG% over 57% Monday night. This follows their weekend wins in which their shooting mark was 54% and 58%.

Before the Spurs game they were at 46% for the season, 3rd worst in the league. It's a bit of a fluke. But it's also the case of Rose getting healthier, and Hinrich/Salmons/Miller returning to their norms. As in, making of for deplorably underperforming starts with some overperforming stretches.

It's been a good time to have it, with 3 great road wins...on the road (emphasis!). Doesn't mean they're great, doesn't mean VDN's a good coach, doesn't mean they can overcome any injury (though Devin Brown helps a bit),  doesn't mean they shouldn't keep max-contract FA room as a top priority. But wins count, and making the playoffs still counts. If Rose and Noah are playing this well, they give some 1st round matchup trouble again, the team maintains its perceptive status as a 'team on the rise', that's a successful season on the floor given their Org. actions from the summer.

That game also showed me that the Bulls themselves care way more than I do in their performance. Noah looked hobbled, Rose looked under the weather, and they opened up the game down 20-8 to a more talented Spurs team. But they fought back and held it close the entire game, one I would've figured they had no chance belonging in. Almost made me wish I believed in this placeholder season as much as they do. As VDN often says, it's a good group of guys. To those who say 'what more can a fan ask?', I'd reply 'a better team that didn't have to try as hard', but the talent level probably isn't changing much this season, so effort is a nice conciliation prize.

And after holding it close, whatever lack of confidence one has in the Org. is wiped away by the confidence in Rose. Gave him the ball and got out of the way. Even when he missed, he collapsed the defense so far that Noah was able to tip it in. As long as its about those two, that's a fun and important game.

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