I don’t know that it’s smart to go with a seven-man rotation every game in the regular season, but I don’t see the problem using the strategy occasionally, even if it’s against one of the conferences worst teams.

Tom Thibodeau explained his desire to keep his rotation tight, pointing out a number of issues: the energy in the second half was much better than it had been in the second quarter; the Bulls were building momentum at the end of the third quarter; and he was concerned with how the reserves matched up with the bigger lineup the Pistons used in the second quarter, and would also use in the fourth. Considering how that lineup in the fourth quarter failed to make the same difference it made in the second quarter, it’s hard to fault Thibodeau’s decision.

But, no one will be as satisfied as Thibodeau when the Bulls play this hard defensively for 48 minutes, and he can afford to rest Derrick Rose and the rest. The first half on Monday just didn’t allow it.

Individual thoughts:

  • Luol Deng (as well as Ronnie Brewer) deserves credit for shutting Trady McGrady down in the second half. His help defense on a couple of occasions also stood out to me.
  • Derrick Rose took five shots (out of 20 total shots) outside the painted area. But based on what I saw from the Pistons defense, I wish that he had been more aggressive. Regardless of who the Pistons used to guard Rose, it didn’t work; the number of shots outside the paint could easily have been zero. He also did this.
  • Carlos Boozer continued his streak of very efficient games. In the last three games, Boozer has scored 80 points and taken only 51 shots. Against the Pistons, he abused whoever was guarding him.
  • Brewer deserves some credit for this, but so do the Pistons: McGrady disappeared from the game in the second half. In the first half, McGrady did more than just score nine points on six shots, he was a factor on almost every possession because the Pistons set him up in the post and ran the offense threw him. The Pistons did no such thing in the second half, partly because of Brewer’s stellar defense and partly because … well, I’m not sure.
  • Except for a hard charge he took in the first, it was a quiet 30 minutes for Kurt Thomas. He did lead the team in plus/minus with +24, if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Because of who takes up the Pistons’ minutes in the front court (Greg Monroe and Chris Wilcox), I expect more from Taj Gibson than 8 points on 3-of-10 shooting. But, I guess everyone has their off nights.
  • Look out! Keith Bogans has gone two straight games with a three-pointer.
  • C.J. Watson and Omer Asik were non-factors in five minutes of playing time.
  • When Austin Daye recovered the ball at half court with time winding down on the shot clock, then proceeded to break Kyle Korver down for an easy lay-up, I think a part of Thibodeau died. Korver’s playing time surely died; he didn’t make it back on to the floor after that play.

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