The Chicago Bulls took care of business last night, beating a not-great Utah Jazz team senseless, 97-73. And that score is actually a little deceiving, since the Bulls turned the ball over 10,000 times — all figures approximate — in the second quarter and could’ve led by even more than 11 points at halftime.
Now then, what did we learn?
1) Derrick Rose continues to progress, slowly but surely.
His numbers weren’t great by any stretch — 3/8 from the field, 12 points, 5 assists, 4 turnovers — but you can see a bit more of the old D-Rose with each new game. Those numbers would look even better if he hadn’t missed a couple of tough layups that we’re used to seeing him make. It’s all about patience right now.
The only thing that’s even slightly concerning is that Rose isn’t as explosive at the rim as we’re used to seeing. He’s gotten his shot blocked a fair amount and it’s fair to wonder if that’s a rust thing or something more worrisome, but for now I think it’s safest just to wait and see.
2) This defense still is perfectly capable of eating an opponent alive.
Here’s the shot chart for the Jazz last night:
So that’s fun. Although I’m sure Tom Thibodeau is just pissed the Bulls managed to give up five corner threes.
3) Luol Deng is pretty fun when he’s not jacking a bunch of long jumpers.
After going 6/18 from the field against the Indiana Pacers, Deng slapped up a 19/11/9/5 line and would’ve had a triple-double if Nazr Mohammed hadn’t bricked a layup early in the fourth quarter off a Deng feed. He also shot 7/9 from the field. Yes, he turned the ball over four times, but we’re not really going to quibble with a performance like that, are we?
Also, if I may: *clears throat* #GETTHATMONEYLUOL
4) The turnovers. Dear god, the turnovers.
The Bulls turned the ball over 20 times last night. 10 of those came in the second quarter. That’s just embarrassing. This could’ve been a 50-point win without that. I don’t know what precisely needs to be done to fix it, but it needs to be fixed. Here’s how I described the experience last night:
The Bulls offense has been one extended facepalm for the entirety of the second quarter.
— Caleb Nordgren (@chisportsguy41) November 9, 2013
That’s all I got. Fun game. Now the Bulls have the weekend off before they get the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center on Monday.
Statistical support for this piece provided by NBA.com/stats.