It was a solid night of production from the likes of Taj Gibson, Pau Gasol, E'Twaun Moore, and Doug McDermott. Behind those four players, the Bulls were able to overcome injuries and beat the Wizards 109-104.
It especially a solid night from Gibson and Gasol, who took advantage of a small Washington lineup.
The Wizards started Jared Dudley, who normally plays small forward, at power forward and Taj Gibson took full advantage of this matchup. Gibson had 17 points from 6-10 shooting with many of his field goals coming inside the paint. He was also to get to the free throw line six times.
All 17 of Gibson's first half points have come either inside the restricted area or at the foul line.— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) February 25, 2016
The only problem with his performance was that Gibson failed to score any points in the second half and that was partly due to the Wizards putting a bigger Markieff Morris on him. But Gibson still produced as he grabbed seven rebounds and a career high of seven assists, with six coming in the second half. Even when he wasn't scoring, Gibson was doing other things for Chicago.
Gasol came just an assist shy of a triple double tonight and put in a good shift considering he was questionable coming into this game (and apparently sick after it). He had his mid-range game working and even seeing him run the floor was nice for the veteran. He especially dominant on the glass as he led all players with 14 rebounds tonight.
It also helped that the Bulls got a ton of production from all five of their starters, who all shot over 50%. Yes, even Tony Snell shot over 50% from the field.
Two other takeaways
1. Doug McDermott is as confident as ever
Something about that Cavaliers game must have sparked Doug McDermott. Dougie McBuckets has been on fire ever since that disastrous game in Cleveland. He exploded against Toronto and took advantage of Terrance Ross in the 4th quarter of that game. He had a solid shooting night as did every Bull against the Lakers and now he exploded in the second half of this game. McDermott is finding his groove and looks great shooting the ball when confident. It was evident watching him curl around a screen, take the handoff, and sink a fadeaway. He still needs to work on playing solid defense but he's scoring and that's why he is on this team. Plus the two dunks were pretty sick.
McDermott to fans courtside telling him after 2 dunks, "I didn’t know you had that in you." "Yeah," I said, "neither did I."— Sam Smith (@SamSmithHoops) February 25, 2016
2. E'Twaun Moore played pretty well at the 1
Fred Hoiberg went with Moore starting at point guard instead of Aaron Brooks and initially, it looked like a risky choice. Moore isn't always the best at handling the ball and playing against a bigger point guard like John Wall could pose a challenge offensively and defensively. But Moore responded with a solid 17 point performance on 50% shooting from the field, including some 4th quarter baskets with Wall on him.
He's proving to be a valuable player for Chicago moving forward and versatility at the 1 and 2 is something Fred Hoiberg could use Moore again for.