This pic is actually from the Sacramento game, but whatever. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
This season there's been impressive wins, and even similar drubbings. Heck, one just last night. But this was a team playing on a back-to-back, on the road, against a playoff caliber team. And the Bulls put on an absolute clinic.
I've never shied from saying the chemistry talk makes me weary, but seeing it's on-court equivalent manifested is a beautiful thing. On both ends the Bulls played together and never let up (no doubt motivated a little extra by one of their few hurtful losses this year), and it was a show.
The Hawks have been known to roll over quite easily in similar situations before, but this is still an extremely impressive performance from the Bulls, looking like it's their best ball of the season. Perhaps not coincidentally, they're all healthy.
Looking at the schedule remaining, the #1 seed is appearing downright certain. And I'll preemptively say 'go screw' to the idea that there's a concern that they're potentially 'peaking early'. How great is it that they're showing such a peak?
A few random good things in a sea of them:
- Rose was 6-8 from three, including one right in Hinrich's face to end the half. He's (Rose, not Kurt) 10-20 his last three games from that range, and by my quick calculations up to 39% since his 0-14 start to March. I'd say something smug like 'you think his stroke is back?', but hell if I know.
- I can't believe how the hockey-line-esque bench unit has turned me around. I look forward to the 2nd quarter now, and I think maybe Thibs does too: when Noah exited early he went to Kurt Thomas to finish the 1st so he could bring in Asik with the rest. CJ Watson in particular had a great opening stint for himself.
- Rose's halftime buzzer-beater and a variety of spectacular moves in the paint had the 'road' crowd chanting 'M-V-P'. TNT was marveling at how the crowd was turned, but it was more likely just a lot of Bulls fans in Atlanta. They're everywhere.