Bulls 121, Kings 115 — FINAL
The Bulls offense supposedly runs through Derrick Rose, living and dying with his ups and downs. But for the third straight game without the face of the franchise the Bulls put up 90-plus on an opponent, amplifying that mark to an insane amount on Tuesday against the Kings.
Take note detractors, the Bulls managed to function more then perfectly with out Rose’s offense throwing down 121 on the lowly Kings. Sacramento is 28th in the NBA in points allowed and even without Rose the Bulls were able to more then take advantage of that stat.
Shocked? I mean how can a team function without one player?
For those of you that aren’t bandwagon passerby observers of the Bulls, Chicago is a fully functional playoff caliber team without Rose and I’m not merely citing this game against a bad team as evidence. Sans Rose the Bulls nearly beat the Celtics and have now won 6 of 8 without the MVP.
Luol Deng made the haters eat crow over comments that he’s not a suitable number two to Rose and that Deng was somehow back to his old ways of not playing up to par. He managed this by putting up 23 points and dishing out 11 rebounds. However he made sure to give Rose credit despite him not being on the hardwood.
“Missing Derrick, even though we’re winning games, it’s huge,” Deng said. “He makes the game so much easier. When he’s not there, you’ve got to work extra.”
The troubling part is that although the Bulls saw an offensive explosion –one not seen in quite sometime — is that the defense was nowhere to be found. The Kings rank 21st in points scored averaging roughly 92 points per game. Chicago’s supposedly stout defense allowed the Kings to eclipse 110 points eventually settling on 115 as the number of points they’d let the 21st ranked team score.
Sacramento’s three most notable names in the starting lineup had their way with the Bulls scoring 28 27 and 23 between DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton respectively.
Joakim Noah added to the double-double affair with 22 points and 11 rebounds as he was one of six Bulls to reach double digit figures. But the defense of said players was lacking and that’s what they are needed for. It’s nice when guys like Noah and Taj Gibson reach double digits in points but only Noah was effective in the rebounding game when both need to be.
Chicago was minus 6 in the rebounding game which aided heavily the offense the Kings put up. Sacramento’s top scorers each threw up at least 18 shots each which could lead to the theory that well at least some of them have to go in. But it’s troubling when you allow a team to score 115 and then you yourself have to score 121 to avoid a massive embarrassment.
That’s not taking away from the other Bulls starters who threw down to shut up the knee jerk critics looking for a talker on a slow news day. The Bulls showed they can be an offensively explosive team without Rose and even if a team puts up 115 points on them, they’ll just put up 121.
That may end up saying a whole lot more then the knee jerks who will now criticize the Bulls lack of defense sans Rose.