Bulls 94, Nuggets 92: Bulls frontcourt dictates game, Melo more than 'Meh'lo but Bulls come back in 4th

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Denver 100.0 92.0 48.1% 21.8 13.3 18.0
Chicago 94.0 44.5% 25.6 17.4 15.0

 

Great win for the Bulls Monday night. Banking any before the circus trip is big, but especially against a quality opponent like the Nuggets.

Several swings throughout the game, but this time the 2nd quarter was not only not abysmal (and Scal didn't play at all!), but the Bulls actually won it. And the second half saw the Bulls lose and gain back the lead based on whether Carmelo Anthony was on the floor or not.

And in a close contest in the 4th, when the Nuggets tried to go small, they learned the tough yet should-be-obvious lesson: you cannot go small against Joakim Noah. He's too quick himself for you to use speed to an advantage, and then his power can overwhelm a poor (really poor) man's pseudo-center in Al Harrington. In one sequence Noah blocked Harrington's shot, and then on the other end he was able to get an offensive rebound (one of his 19 total rebounds on the night) and draw a foul. I'm guessing that George Karl had a minutes cap on Nene which was why he felt forced to go this route, but it bode well for the Bulls chances down the stretch, between Noah's dominance and Rose always being a threat late, even if he had a poor shooting night overall. Rose hit some huge baskets and the Bulls were able to keep the lead for good.

Liked how the Bulls were very willing to run, especially off turnovers, and while it forced some TOs of their own it was an exciting watch, and seemingly good for Rose to get used to.

A special nod to Taj Gibson, who's excellent first half reinforced how great a season he's having. It's not going to last (it literally can't when Boozer returns) but it's huge for this team for him to be playing so well in Boozer's absence. The Nuggets frontcourt has been decimated this year, but it's another level to to see Taj being able to take advantage, both in the post and stepping out for jumpers. Taj also had 5 blocks, and the Bulls had 12 overall.

Also see Ronnie Brewer getting steadily better by the game, hopefully taking Bogans' spot soon. Though Bogans had his best game as a Bull with 10 points and going 2-4 from 3.

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