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Bulls vs. Jazz: Balanced frontcourt effort keeps Jazz winless

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feels good to get fat off of bad

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Bulls needed an opponent like the now 0-6 Jazz to come into the United Center, and the Jazz obliged by being thoroughly dominated for pretty much the entire night. The end result was a 97-73 victory for the Bulls, where nearly all of the second half saw the Bulls leading extremely comfortably.

In fact, the only drama (outside of Big Macs, ugh) was Luol Deng going for the triple double. He ended one assist short to go along with his 19 points and 11 rebounds (but also 5 turnovers on what was a TO-happy night overall), and the last few minutes of Deng's night saw the rest of the Bulls forcing up shots when Luol passed to them.

He didn't quite get there, but it was a good night for Deng, and sort of indicative of the team's game overall that he didn't attempt a single 3-pointer as the Bulls didn't need to anything but dominate inside. The Bulls outscored Utah in the paint 56-22 with a more spry-looking Joakim Noah* (14 points on 6-9 shooting) and Boozer (18, 7-11 against his old team) leading the way in taking control of the Jazz's young tandem of Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors. Taj Gibson only shot 5-13 but his aggression inside also kept the pressure on Utah's bigs (of which their first bench option is similarly-young Rudy Gobert).

The only blip in the game for the Bulls was an extremely sloppy 2nd quarter where the Jazz shot 26 times to the Bulls 15 behind the Bulls throwing the ball away to their highest degree (10 turnovers in the quarter) and losing out on 7 offensive rebounds to Utah. But the Bulls turnovers were mostly just screwing up their own chances to put away the game early than anything the Jazz could do to counter. Utah only shot 23% in all of those opportunities that overall really poorly-played quarter, the type where you had one possession where Utah receiving 3 FTs and the ball after a whistle and the TV crew didn't know what the hell happened (yes, I un-muted to try and find out).

Utah shot only 35% for the entire game. They're not good. I was trying to find something nice to say about them in that Gordon Hayward looked solid at times and even made Jimmy Butler look bad on non-zero occasions...but Hayward only shot 5-15 for the game.

To make another point on the Jazz, they're starting Jamaal Tinsley at point guard and used him and old friend John Lucas III as primary defenders against Derrick Rose. However for those on 'breakout-watch' didn't get to see it really happen. Rose started the game very hot and hit his first 3-pointer, but he wound up with a mild night (and though he was able to blow-by the Jazz guards, he still some out-of-control driving that's plagued him all season) that ended after only 27 minutes because he and the Bulls were kicking too much ass. (Hey,  no minutes-watch wagging of fingers for Thibs! nice!) That type of game was needed, of course,  and though discounted because of how bad the Jazz are it's better than seeing them struggle in that scenario.

The Bulls now get a couple days off before playing a slightly-better test in hosting the Cavs on Monday night.

*Noah looked at his best all season on Friday, though that hustle had me extremely worried in the 2nd quarter when he seemed to have slipped on a wet spot in the floor and left the game right afterwards. However it looked to be a normal substitution and he obviously played in the 2nd half.