Bulls Week 3 In Review

Posted: January 16, 2012 by Mauricio Rubio Jr. in Basketball, NBA
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

5 games in one week? Bulls survive and win all 5.

To survive is to prosper, and the Bulls certainly did that coming off a bad loss against an enigmatic Atlanta Hawks team. The Chicago Bulls are a difficult team to score against when they play at the United Center. They are giving up 66.8 ppg at home this year.

A modern NBA team is giving up 66.8 points per game at home in 5 games.

They kicked off the week by holding a bad Detroit team to 68 points. Then they gave up 64 to the John Wall led Wizards. The Bulls finished up by choking Toronto out and allowing 64 points. Oh, there was also a Derrick Rose injury mixed in there, allowing John Lucas III to  chuck up a bunch of shots and score 25 points. Good for him, I don’t know if he’ll ever get that shot again. Take it if you have it.

Damn I love this image.

There are of course the concerns of Boozer and Noah playing together. It seems that they’ve recently gotten in sync over the past few games, but that’s a lot of money in the front court that’s been sitting late in games. The take away I have is that the Bulls have quality depth in the frontcourt, so why not utilize it? It’s a luxury that probably won’t survive much beyond this season. They should use it.

Boston has officially been relegated to “everyone else” status in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls put them away in the 4th quarter behind a strong crunch time performance by the reigning MVP. It’s become clear that it’s the Heat vs. the Bulls with everyone else hoping to play spoiler. Boston just had no answer for the Bulls.

This was awesome.

By the way…

What to watch for when watching Bulls games.

I know it won’t always be pretty, but the second star of this Bulls team is the defense. Rose is sublime, he has the best layup package in the NBA right now. He can do things with layups I didn’t know were possible in all honesty. When you watch Rose, understand where he came from, that he was always playing against taller, bigger kids that wanted to punish him on his way to the bucket. That’s why he has that football carry move on drives to the paint. He ducks his head, protects the ball, then explodes out of that position with acrobatic flair. The man is a basketball ninja.

However, what you need to start watching is the Bulls defense. The Bulls do a tremendous job of keeping dribble penetration out of the painted area down low. They have active bigs and their on the ball defense is one of the best in basketball. Defense is a team concept, everyone needs to play it or it just breaks down. The Bulls play premium team defense. There is a shape to it, and it is constantly snapping back into form when the offense tests it. Their defense on pick and roll is the best in the league. The bigs show hard on the dribbler and allow the picked defender to recover before they snap back and cover their man.

What you need to watch is the feet positioning of the on ball defender. The feet are always in a position to deny entry to the lane, cutting the ball handler off from the painted area. The off ball defense is also impressive. The Bulls are active off the ball as they cut the passing lanes and force players down towards the baseline. The Bulls play a suffocating brand of defense. They are constantly contesting shots, hands are up and active, the ball is denied to soft spots in the defense, it’s truly a thing of beauty.

Start watching how the Bulls play defense and appreciate it. It’s the best D in the league.

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