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Bulls 111, Raptors 91: Bulls bench blows out the bad

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Toronto 94.0 96.8 48.1% 20.5 20.5 19.1
Chicago 118.1 55.4% 22.9 34.2 14.9

While the Bulls have had some close games lately in their recent domination of the soft schedule, I think it's a bit unfair to quibble with the lack of blowouts. They're wins, and the Bulls deserve credit for having next-to-zero slip-ups (in Noah's absence!) thus far against teams they should be beating.

But it is nice to win more comfortably* than usual, of course. Maybe the Raptors (especially with some injuries of their own) are especially bad, but the Bulls did nice work in putting them away early in the 4th. What was surprising was that the final blow was led by their bench, a stretch highlighted by Omer Asik, who had a career night with 13 points in 20 minutes. Asik is so fun to watch, he seemingly tries to dunk everything, and his somewhat lumbering look means he can consistently surprise when he pulls off one of his post moves.

Before that, it was Taj Gibson with the unexpected contributions of the night. Struggling since his concussion a couple of weeks ago, Taj had a fantastic game (16 and 14) helping the Bulls frontcourt destroy the Raptors on the boards, and bringing back the jumper that was falling much more often when Boozer was out earlier in the season.

It was certainly a night where even a Noah-less Bulls frontcourt could dominate. That is, outside of Kurt Thomas, who's too, how you say...slow to guard Andrea Bargnani. Maybe tonight's games from Gibson and Asik will make Thomas' starting engagement more situational, but as we've seen with Bogans, probably not.

Bulls have a quick turnaround in New Jersey tomorrow, which is tough for an NBA team, no matter the opponent. I'm not disappointed if it's merely another win.

*as Sham pointed out during the game, Deng again was in way too long (great game, though) in what became a blowout, especially considering the Bulls were starting a 4-games-in-5-nights stretch. And it's Luol Deng, who's had a history of being overworked to the point of injury.