Bulls beat Thunder despite off night from Rose, Noah

The Bulls have looked better at times because Derrick Rose has been great; he wasn’t great on Monday night. Actually, he was pretty bad. But bad shooting nights are going to happen for a point guard no matter how explosive he is.

Bad shooting nights don’t happen as often for low-posts threats. It’s just one of the benefits of being bigger and strong than everyone else. And Carlos Boozer was both of these things against the Thunder, who, for all their positives, aren’t stacked with big guys like the Magic, Celtics, or Lakers.

Individual thoughts

  • No one’s happier than Luol Deng that Scott Brooks sat Kevin Durant for nearly the entire third quarter. (Honestly, I didn’t know it was possible to be this upset at Durant.) But, even when Durant was on the floor, he didn’t get anything easy. Durant had to work to catch the ball and Deng ran hard through screens to close out on him. Deng’s effort paid off: Durant was 7-for-18 from the field.
  • Bulls fans disappointed that Carlos Boozer would be taking Gibson’s minutes can go away now.
  • It’s OK to say that Derrick Rose played poorly. There’s no point hiding his 3-for-13 shooting performance behind the game-manager title; he didn’t really do that well, either. He had 9 assists and created some looks for his teammates early, but he also had 5 turnovers. He struggled. It’s OK, that’s why they signed Boozer.
  • Taj Gibson’s presence let’s Tom Thibodeau go four or five minutes without a starter on the floor. The Watson-Brewer-Korver-Gibson-Asik group started the second quarter and held their own.
  • I love watching Kyle Korver run through screens, but he did more than run through screens and catch-and-shoot to score 12 points in the first half. Korver used a brush screen to nail a three off the dribble; he also had a nice pump fake in the corner.
  • Just consider last night an opportunity to cut down on Joakim Noah’s heavy minutes — he played only 21 minutes because of foul trouble.
  • Even when Ronnie Brewer’s not contributing, it’s clear that he should be starting over Bogans.
  • At the very least, Brewer should be getting more minutes than Keith Bogans. The starting two-guard did hit a wide open three in the second half. (His second three-pointer in the last six games!)
  • I wish C.J. Watson had the same foul troubles as Noah — two turnovers and one assist in 13 minutes.
  • Omer Asik looked comfortable playing against a team without a big, strong center to push him around.

At first (statistical) glance — 58 points in the paint

Carlos Boozer, 16 offensive rebounds, attacking wing players gave the Bulls an advantage in the paint.

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