This was slated to be a fairly gimme win, and it turned out that way. The Bulls were actually able to rest and practice twice since their home loss to the Warriors, and the Brooklyn Nets are a mess.
Of course, it did take a few minutes to get the kinks out, as the Bulls quickly found themselves in a 10-1 hole and gave up literally every rebound in that time. But by the end of the first quarter the Bulls were within 5, and after some ragged yet somewhat productive play from the bench unit they took the lead on some ol' fashioned Derrick Rose points. They were on drives!
Just to leave room for improvement, Rose then chucked up a really bad pull-up 3 and it wouldn't be his last. But overall, it was a very solid game from Rose: 23 points on 15 shots, and though he had 5 turnovers it at least came on him trying to get to the basket more.
The Bulls took a very distributed sledgehammer to the Nets in the second half, taking over for good on a 10-0 run in the 3rd quarter and getting the margin up into the 20s after the Nets started the 4th quarter 1/14. Throughout the game Brooklyn just was getting nothing going outside of an over-reliance on pick/pop mid-range jumpers that the Bulls were pretty OK with.
Any Nets advancement to the rim was actually a disguised invitation to the block party (sneaky!) held by Pau Gasol (4) and Taj Gibson (6). This starting bigs combination (Noah was out) looked very compatible and dominated on both ends, combining for 27 points and 26 rebounds. Gasol had 6 offensive rebounds himself leading the team to dominate that category.
Even when fully healthy, the Nets have been a disappointment, and their injuries in this one had them playing guys I only remember from the trade machine. Like this 'Cory Jefferson' fellow:
Meanwhile the Bulls showed off their depth, with all 5 starters (plus Mirotic) getting into double-figures and even getting some more rest in the form of garbage time for the final few.
The Nets are awful but it was still very nice to see the Bulls treat them that way. It certainly helped the Chicago defense look better, as they held them to 33% shooting overall and 29 points in the second half.