L 74-79 In the second and third quarters the Bulls scored a combined 23 points. This was a brutal game to watch, not just because former Bull John Salmons torched Chicago, but because both teams played slow, ugly, sloppy basketball. Noah had 8 and 11 and Deng had 18 and 10, but did I mention 74 is a season-low for the Bulls? To make it worse, the Bucks were missing their best player, Andrew Bogut. Great.
W 109-108 When I saw that LeBron wasn’t going to be playing in this one, my eyes lit up. Its not like the Bulls ran away with it, but they got a much-needed win. Even though they could not contain Mo Williams, the Bulls were able to win with contributions from Noah, 17 and 10, Rose, 24 and 10, and Deng, 22 and 10.
L 116-127 This game had all kinds of problems. Without even discussing the “miscommunication” between Vinny and the front office over Noah, the Bulls were trailing much of the game. Rose did not receive the benefit of some obvious calls which contributed in no small part to the loss. Brad Miller did all he could to stop the bleeding with 27 points and 10 rebounds, but the lack of Noah in the overtime periods was evident.
W 104-88 Essentially, the winner of this game would be going to the playoffs. The Bulls played with that kind of intensity. The Raptors did not. Besides missing their leader and best player Bosh, they were missing the energy and passion and you could tell from the opening bell. Noah had 18 points, 19 rebounds, and 7 assists and showed how much the Bulls missed him during his stint on the injured list.
Joakim Noah had a ridiculous week. Although his minutes were limited somewhat, his energy and impact on the games was not. He had 14.8 points and 13.5 rebounds on a scorching hot 63% shooting. He also added 4 assists and 2.8 blocks.
Not Player of the Week — Taj Gibson
I love the kid, but clearly he needs a minute to adjust to Noah’s return. He shot just 39% from the field and averaged 6.8 points and 6.3 rebounds, both well below his season average. On the bright side, he did manage over 2 blocks a game.
Bulls Weekly Grade — B-
Only the Bulls can manage to lose the 2 games they are supposed to win and win the 2 games they are supposed to lose. Bosh’s injury helped, but so did the meltdowns in Milwaukee and New Jersey. With 2 games to play this week, the Bulls need to play with the sense of urgency we saw in Toronto.