- @WAS W 101-99 – The Bulls won a close one against the Wizards, avenging their earlier loss in Washington in front of Barack O’Balla. It shouldn’t have been this close, but whatever– they won. Something Vinny did in this game really pissed me off. Ben Gordon was red-hot in the third quarter, basically leading the Bulls comeback and opening up a 7-point lead. Vinny then decided to go with Hinrich for a long stretch to start the 4th (8:02 to be exact). Not to say that Kirk isn’t fine, although the Bulls were -4 during that stretch. Gordon was hot! Vinny is an idiot. The only rationalization I can think of was to get Kirk minutes, but why not go with the hot hand?
- vs. DET W 99-91 – Well it’s hard to stay mad at Vinny for going with Kirk after this performance. With Rose on the bench nursing a minor injury, Kirk came to the rescue. He led the Bulls to a win with 24 points and 8 assists. The Pistons seem like a shell of the team that dominated in the East for the past few years. Even with all their injuries (Rip, AI, and Sheed) they seem like a painfully bad team. The Bulls shouldn’t be scared of them anymore based on what we saw here. Tyrus Thomas also contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds and Noah added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
- vs. MIA W 106-87 – Things just kept getting better and better this week. It’s almost like when a team comes to the United Center the Bulls look like the Showtime Lakers of the 80s and the other team looks like, well, the Miami Heat of this year. Rose came off the bench in his return to the court and looked ok with 9 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. Salmons filled it up again with 27 points and Tyrus continued his good week with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. Wade got his this night, scoring 31 points, but this game was a blowout and it was fun to watch.
- vs. IND W 112-106 – The Bulls fell behind early in this one but played excellent basketball for the next three quarters except for a 5 minutes stretch to start the 4th quarter. Gordon scored 25 and Salmons added 22. Derrick Rose had a so-so shooting night but came close to a triple-double with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. Tyrus also had another great night with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 7 blocks. Thomas dominated the paint on the defensive end, swatting shots left and right. Even though Granger hit a few threes and Rush made Gordon look like Swiss cheese on defense, the Bulls offense flowed and their defense held up (barely) when it needed to thanks to Tyrus. 4 straight wins for the Bulls is the most consecutive wins I remember in the last couple years.
- @ TOR L 134-129 – The Bulls did not deserve to win this overtime thriller in Toronto. They played terrible for 3 quarters and then a team effort brought them back into the game. Gordon’s shot to send it into overtime was exciting, but Chris Bosh was just too much. Gordon had 37 and Rose added 23 and 9 assists. Tyrus’s 4-11 hurt bad, especially with some ill-advised jumpers in overtime. Also Salmons didn’t play for most of the 4th and OT. Why, Vinny, why?
Player of the Week – Ben Gordon
A lot of honorable mentions here. Hinrich for stepping in with Rose hurt, Tyrus Thomas for a few very good games, and of course Salmons filling it up in the first 4 games. Ben Gordon, however, was the man. He averaged 24 points a game and hit some big shots to help his team. He even almost got the Bulls a 5th straight win with his big game-tying shot at the end of regulation against Toronto.
What It Means
The big win in Detroit coupled with the 4 game streak put the Bulls in 7th place in the East, but a Detroit win and the Bulls loss to Toronto dropped the Bulls behind the Pistons again. Tyrus Thomas looked a lot better this week and Rose seems to be fine after hurting his hand.
This past week was an easy week schedule-wise, and the Bulls did what they needed to do, winning 4 of the 5 games. They only have two games this week, and both are must-wins with the Pistons looming large a half game ahead. They play @IND and home against the Nets. Even though Indy sucks, the Bulls may suck even more on the road. They need to grab a road win or two down the stretch here to wrestle the 7th seed away from the Pistons.
Bulls Weekly Grade: A-
Beyond Vinny being an idiot and the lackluster effort in Toronto, this week was another great one for the Bulls. Winning at home is expected, so that is why they fall short of the solid A.