Bulls look like the veteran team in 4th quarter shutdown of Kings

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Chicago 90.0 106.7 44.8% 35.1 24.4 13.3
Sacramento 94.4 43.8% 17.3 26.1 16.7

 

I watched this game the day-after, already knowing the Bulls won (a highly recommended way to watch, by the way. Only downside is you can't sync with radio to avoid Neil Funk). Knowing that the Bulls eventually blew out the Kings in the 4th quarter 27-9 to take the victory made it easier to concentrate on the positives shown in the first 3 quarters even though the Bulls were behind the whole time.

For a team with their 4th game in 5 nights, while the Bulls may have been a bit turnover-prone, but they were able to keep within a reasonable distance, made more reasonable knowing that the Kings just aren't in their class right now.

Both Rose and Noah were fantastic, and while it won't be the best games we've seen this season, to me their efforts will make them stand out as one of the more impressive ones: Rose coming back from a neck injury that clearly was still bothering him, and Noah getting beat up all night: falling hard and being hit constantly, even earning himself a technical after getting cracked in the back of the head. And through all that, Rose put up 30-7-7, adding his usual dose of the spectacular, and not only was key in the 4th but had a very fast start that buoyed the Bulls against the initial Kings run to start the game. And I thought Noah looked amazingly skilled tonight: had a nice hook off a post-up, the tornado jumper, a couple amazing give-and-go passes from the high post, and I'm not sure any center can create and run the fast break (not just run during a break, but make plays) like him.

Luol Deng also deserves credit for once again playing heavy minutes (and at PF a bunch while Taj battled foul trouble) and leading the Bulls parade to the line, with 14 attempts followed by Rose (9) and Noah (8) which was a major edge for the Bulls especially in the 2nd half.

And again, while this was not a great opponent, it was a road victory, on a back-to-back, and the end of a long road trip. While the Kings were ahead most of the night it always looked like the Bulls were the veteran team that could turn it up a gear (especially defensively) hoping the Kings would fold, and that's what happened.

(Or, maybe, since I knew the score already so it made such a narrative easy to see?)

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