Joakim Noah apologized for his rant in Sacramento last night. I, on the other hand won’t apologize for telling it like it is. The NBA did not suspend Noah, but they hit him with a 15,000 fine. I didn’t get any emails from my bosses, so I got off the hook. But I digress, The Bulls pull a complete about-face from last night beating the Phoenix Suns 101-92 in a nice bounce back game. The Bulls snap the Suns’ five game winning streak. The Bulls also won their fifth straight game in Phoenix. After shooting an anemic 28% from the field against the Kings, the Bulls read the rulebook and found it is okay to score more than 20 points in a quarter. They also found out that scoring in basketball is allowed every once in a while. They shot 45% from the field while five players scored in double figures. The Bulls exploded (for them anyway) for 32 points in the 4th quarter. That’s saying something for a team that is DEAD LAST in 4th quarter scoring in the NBA.
Joakim Noah came back from one of his worst games of the season and played one of his most dominant. He scored 14 points on 7-10 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds. He shut down the middle and forced the Suns into a real cold shooting night. The Bulls held the Suns to 13 first quarter points, by far the lowest point total for a quarter for Phoenix this season. Jimmy Butler had 18 points grabbed four rebounds and dished out four assists in a solid performance. Welcome back DJ Augustin! He scored 18 points, but his impact was felt big time in the 4th quarter. He knocked down four three pointers that help keep the Suns at bay while they were making a run.
The Phoenix Suns were led by the reigning Western Conference player of the week, Goran Dragic, who finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. He had only one assist however, that could be linked to Gerald Green who caught what ailed the Bulls last night scoring only five points on a putrid 2-13 from the floor. Channing Frye had 18 points but he shot 2-11 from three-point land. The “Brazilian Blur” Leandro Barbosa finished with 13 points but had nine in the 4th when the Suns tried to make a move. The Suns are 1-11 in games when they score 96 points or less. They were held 13 points below their season average.
Ah, the Carlos Boozer report. Boozer led the Bulls with 19 points and 12 rebounds. He was not shy about jacking up the shots either, putting up 21 shots hitting nine. He didn’t play a lot in the 4th…again with Tom Thibodeau going with Taj Gibson’s defensive presence. Boozer did play in the last two minutes however hitting a driving lay-up to put the game out of reach. I must say that Boozer came out aggressive with something to prove last night. He scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds to set the tone early. If I angered my General Manager spouting some gibberish about team business to the media, I’d probably make an effort to do something positive with the quickness.
Like I said before, forget the “Reality Shows”. The Chicago Bulls drama is the best thing going today. Now it has an added twist. Now we don’t know which team will show up these days. We get to guess which one when the Bulls travel to Oakland to play the Golden State Warriors. Will the team that beat the San Antonio Spurs earlier in the road trip show up or the team that played the Kings? The Warriors are coming off a beat-down courtesy of the Charlotte Bobcats. (I know my colleagues covering those guys are trippin’ over that.) I know Mark Jackson will have the Warriors ready. I hope the Bulls are too.