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Bulls 108, Wolves 91: Boozer, Rose and Co. work out some kinks

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Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Chicago 92.0 117.4 55.6% 22.2 22.9 13.0
Minnesota 98.9 44.1% 18.8 14.3 8.7

 

The Timberwolves are awful, lacking both effort and proficiency on both ends of the floor. They rarely went beyond a first option on offense before hoisting up shots, and similarly don't defend beyond their opponents first option.

So while Joakim Noah didn't play (so we couldn't see the best potential of the Noah-Boozer pairing), it was still great to see Booz himself with his first really good game in a while. Boozer had 16 first-half points with the help of some easy opportunities, but he really clicked during the Bulls surge in the 3rd quarter to finally put the Wolves out of reach. The Bulls made a concerted effort to get Boozer the ball on the block, and we saw not only his ability to make post moves to evade any defender they'd use, but he also showed off his sometimes-underutilized passing ability, finishing with 4 assists to go along with 24 pts and 14 rebs. And as I mention how the Wolves would usually go one-pass in every possession, the Bulls pride themselves on having the kind of extra passes and movement that they (Boozer and Deng especially) excel in.

Also notable in an otherwise glorified scrimmage was the return of Derrick Rose's 3-point shot, or at least the return of it going in. 9 attempts still seems high for him (especially when he seems to lazily launch a couple early in the clock), but in making 4, and still attacking enough to go 9-9 from the line, it wound up being a very efficient night for Rose.

Some random blow-out shout-outs to Omer Asik for battling through foul trouble enough to score a spectacular block of Kevin Love, Taj Gibson for his usual effort creating extra possessions, CJ Watson for leading the bench mob to a 4th quarter that went well enough to not require the starters to return, and Coach Thibodeau for not letting it seem like the 4th went too well as he'd angrily call a timeout at the first sign of slippage.

The quality of opponent (and Noah's absence) will keep this from being an outright success, but great to see a dominating road win after a trio of less-than-stellar performances, especially having it run through Boozer. And if you believe in a guy performing well when he's in his comfort zone, when you see him consistently screaming and generally acting like an assclown (drawing a technical foul after whipping the ball at the ref, and kicking after a dunk so the ball went into the 20th row...plus the screaming) it's a good sign.