Let it not be forgotten that the Bulls, while overall pretty cruddy, do indeed have weapons.
So when they're facing a Celtics team that's without Kevin Garnett, and then missing frontcourt reserves Davis, Scalabrine, and Leon Powe (who was injured after 4 minutes of play tonight), the Bulls can score in bunches...when at home and shooting well.
They were even able to trot out a 4-guard (Rose, Gordon, Hinrich, Salmons) lineup for most of the fourth, with either Brad Miller or Tyrus Thomas as the lone big man, and they actually held on to the lead, mostly because Brad Miller is awesome.
But it was just another night where the Bulls shot well. They did get out and run (even off of opposing makes) more, and you can tell Miller and Salmons have played together before, but I didn't seem them suddenly develop an offensive scheme, just use the weapons they have to score. Like the aforementioned Brad Miller, Ben Gordon, and John Salmons, who had 38 tonight. Derrick Rose wasn't spectacular but did have some fantastic drives in that 4th quarter.
Tyrus Thomas started the game hot, both with jumpshooting and by getting to the line, finishing with 13 FTAs on his way to 18 points in 26 minutes. Not sure why he only received 26, I was told he only gets fewer minutes when he's not playing well. And Noah played even less.
But there will be minutes casualties when Kirk Hinrich plays 36 (had some nice defensive moments, but come on....) and you get healthy doses of three and four-guard lineups. I still hate it to death, and it's a neverending feeling of frustration that there's still no idea who to use in 4th quarters, with the season nearly over. Nice that it worked against a decimated (especially up front) team. That's better than the alternative result, which we've seen plenty of times with similar lineups in the past.
But I didn't see any grand change in play, just some talented players, in fact at many points more talented than what the Celtics had left. You can tell how different the Celtics defense is without Garnett (and others), because that's a team effort. Players are out and it falls apart. But the Bulls, you can't really tell when they are 'clicking' or not, it's more of a function of the results. They looked good on offense because they were hitting shots, and have guys who can score one-on-one. The Bulls defense still stunk, though that's a bit more expected when being, ahem, unconventional.
Now if they can beat the Thunder tomorrow, that'd be something. Not like 'carrying momentum' something, since I don't think there's any to carry. But it'd be a solid road win for the first time in a while. The Thunder are playing well, and are playing some defense recently. But when watching the Bulls, I can't expect consistency until they actually are a coached team, not just a bunch of weapons.
(I wasn't kidding when I said that loss at Charlotte really killed my playoff dreams)