One important game down, one more to go before the All-Star break, then one more after the All-Star Break. The Chicago Bulls put a serious beat-down on the Atlanta Hawks 100-85 in a game that wasn’t even that close. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson aka the “Blues Brothers” because they are giving their opponents the blues these days, continued the trend last night. Joakim Noah messed around and got a triple-double while Taj Gibson backed him up with a double-double. They both had the Hawks on lock as the Bulls outrebounded the Hawks 57-28. Joakim even made Ronald McDonald proud. He sank two free throws to get the Bulls to 100 points so everyone in the arena got FREE BIG MACS! Where’s mine? They sent the Hawks to their fourth straight loss. The Bulls have beaten the Hawks six straight times in Chicago and four straight times overall. The Bulls were up by 25 points in the second quarter. The Hawks cut the lead to eight in the fourth because we all know the Bulls offense falls to sleep at times during games. Then the Bulls scored eight straight to put the game away.
Before the game, Joakim Noah was presented his All-Star jersey from General Manager Gar Forman. Then he went out and showed everyone why he got the jersey in the first place. It was his night as he scored 19 points grabbed 16 rebounds and dished out 11 assists for his fourth career triple-double. Taj Gibson, who was back in the starting lineup filling in for Carlos Boozer who sat out with a calf injury, scored 24 points and hauled in 12 rebounds. These two held Paul Millsap to two rebounds. Two! I’m going to give some unsolicited advice to Coach Thibodeau…Start Taj Gibson for the rest of the year and bring Carlos Boozer off the bench. Please!! Jimmy Butler had a very strong game scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Here’s the great thing that happened…or didn’t happen. Jimmy did not attempt a three-point shot. I would love to take credit and say that someone took my pre-game preview to him, okay I will. DJ Augustin came off the bench to knock down four three-pointers to finish with 13 points. The Bulls had six players in double figures. If the Bulls did anything wrong it was at the free throw line. They shot a putrid 6-13 from the line. Hey fellas, hit your free-throws. They’re FREE!
The Hawks were led by Paul Millsap with 15 points, but he had no answer for the frontline of the Bulls. His two rebounds snapped a four game double figure rebound streak. Understand that the Bulls two guard Jimmy Butler outrebounded Millsap. This means the Bulls was blocking Paul out to 1060 West Addison Street. (That’s Wrigley Field!) Lou Williams came off the bench to score 13 points. Jeff Teague came out a shooting slump scored 12 points on 6-9 shooting. Kyle Korver did extend his consecutive game streak with a made three-point shot to 119 games. The last time Korver didn’t have one was November 2, 2012 against the Houston Rockets. The Atlanta Hawks continue their downward slide without Al Horford who is out for the season with a right pectoral muscle tear. Since his injury, the Hawks are 9-12 without him.
The Bulls leapfrog the Hawks into the 4th seed in the Leastern Conference one game back behind the Toronto Raptors for the 3rd seed. They have won two straight and three of their last four. Next game is against the Brooklyn Nets, the last one before the All-Star break.