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Who Should Be The NBA's 2012 Coach of The Year?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chicago Bulls Bounce Back, Beat 76ers

The Bulls came into the game fresh off a loss that should have never happened, with or without the MVP. They would be without Rose for the 3rd straight game but everyone expected Chicago to come out of the gate like they had just lost to a team under .500. This wasn't the case scoring only 11 points in the first quarter and falling behind by as many as 14. Many fans began to worry that the teams franchise record for games without consecutive losses was going to come to an end on St. Patty's Day. The team was not about to let that happen, they kept fighting, outscored Philly every quarter after the first, took the lead during the third period and never gave it back.

CJ Played Through the Pain
Watson struggled early, I began to think we were going to see a Lucas heavy game with the way he played
in the first quarter. It was clear that the ankle was still bothering him. The thing with Lucas is that if his shooting is cold he is no good to the team. He does give it his all on the defensive end but his size hurts him especially with the bigger point guards. On the offensive end he doesn't provide much ball movement and tends to jack up shots after dribbling down the shot clock at the top of the key. Luckily CJ followed a familiar theme with this team "grinding it out". He turned his game around scored 20 points 10 of  which came during the third quarter when Chicago took the lead. There were many doubters when management signed CJ but he has proved to be one of the best backup point guards in the league.

Board Warriors Showed Up Again
Chicago impressed league wide with their rebounding numbers last year. Believe it or not they are rebounding even better this year, averaging 2 more boards per game this season. While this might not seem like a lot the condensed schedule needs to be taken into account when players energy level isn't as high every night and effort plays like rebounding tend to suffer. This trend kept the Bulls in the game, Philadelphia got beat on the glass 39-53 including 9-17 on the offensive end. There are not many teams in the league that have the Bulls emphasis, effort, size or skill on the boards this will continue to prove valuable especially during the playoffs.

Luol Is Worrisome
The wrist is clearly bothering him, his scoring and shooting percentage are down. He hasn't been able to drive down the lane or slash as effectively as we have seen in the past and has even missed some jumpers on good looks. Deng still deserves some credit, his defense is on point as always and when he does hit shots they seem to be when the Bulls need them most. No one needs to be told how important Luol is to this teams Championship chances. Hopefully by the time playoffs roll around the wrist starts to feel a little better and he learns to deal with the pain more effectively. Kobe Bryant has been playing with a similar injury for most of the season and has still been one of the leagues top scorers. It has been reported that Bryant receives injections before each game to deal with the pain. There have been no such procedures reported out of the Bulls camp. I am beginning to wonder if Deng and Chicago's trainers are saving these for the playoffs especially during the later rounds.   

Final Thoughts
The Bulls started out a little rough but still kept fighting. Did what they do best, rebounding and defending and pulled out a win. There are some things to improve on and some points of concern. But this team has dealt with some of the worst injuries to their starting five, while still finding ways to win. Tonight they proved once again that they are one of the leagues few elite, and they continue to leave teams like Philadelphia green with envy. 

3 comments:

  1. Great write up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved the green jerseys

    ReplyDelete
  3. Same here, I just wish they wore them more than just once a year!

    ReplyDelete

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