With Derrick Rose and Luol Deng out of the lineup, the Bulls rolled into Charlotte and ran the Bobcats out of their own building, cruising to a 100-68 victory.
A win is a win, but Charlotte hasn’t exactly been the most competitive team in the NBA this season. The Bobcats, with a 7-53 record heading into tonight, are far and away the worst team in basketball. Even without Rose and Deng, the Bulls would’ve had no excuse to not blowout a team that hasn’t won a game since March 17th.
The Bulls’ balanced attack was led by Rip Hamilton and his 22 points. With so many question marks surrounding the health of the team’s key players, it’s important to see a guy like Hamilton string a few solid games together. We all know this team will only go as far as D-Rose takes them but, based on experience, we know that he can’t do it alone. Hamilton must continue to play at a high level during the final week of the season and carry his success into the postseason.
Ten players played at least 19 minutes for the Bulls tonight. John Lucas III (12 points), Joakim Noah (10 points) and Carlos Boozer (10 points) each scored in double figures, while Taj Gibson and Omer Asik combined for 18 points and 27 rebounds off the bench.
“We had a lot of guys playing well tonight,” Coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game. “Carlos (Boozer) got us started on the inside and Rip (Hamilton) did it from the outside. We took care of the ball and hit the board hard too which always makes things happen for us.”
With the win, the Bulls moved a step closer to clinching the number one seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. With 4 games to play, Chicago is 2 ahead in the loss column over the Miami Heat, who have 5 games left on their regular season schedule.