After the Miami Heat game Sunday, Joakim called out his team for lacking intensity and playing hard for 48 minutes. Well Mike Dunleavy got the memo and did so literally and figuratively…for 47 minutes and 51 seconds. The Chicago Bulls dug themselves into a 26-12 hole in the first quarter and spent the rest of the game fighting their way to a huge 107-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks. With the win the Bulls stay one game behind the third seeded Toronto Raptors in the loss column in the Leastern Conference. The Bulls have now won six of their last seven games. Since January 1, the Bulls have a record of 12-1 against teams who score less than 90 points. That was not a problem last night because up until the final minute of the game Jeff Teague was killing the Bulls backcourt to the tune of 26 points. Here’s the telling statistic that sums the Bulls up going forward. The Bulls are 17-2 when they score 96 points or more. In layman’s terms, when the Bulls realize that it’s okay to score a few times in between commercial breaks, they are a threat to anyone. The Bulls lead 3-0 in the season series against the Hawks. The Hawks have lost nine of ten, UGH!
Jimmy Butler was held out for the second game since bruising his ribs Friday night against the Denver Nuggets. Well, if there’s one thing you can say about Tom Thibodeau it’s this…if one man is down, another steps in to take his place. Against the Hawks, Dunleavy was the guy. Dunleavy played basically the whole game scoring 22 points to lead the Bulls while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out four assists. After the game, he was laid up in the locker room with his whole body was packed in ice. Hey Mike, if you need advice, talk to Jimmy Butler, he understands. Remember the Orlando game? He played 62 minutes. You might need to listen considering that Golden State is next up tomorrow in Chicago. Joakim Noah was well…Joakim Noah scoring 20 points and collecting twelve boards. He shot 7-11 from the field against the Heat, against the Hawks last night he shot 9-13. Throw in three assists and three steals, two which were in the final minute of the game and I’ll put in my vote for Noah winning the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Does anyone remember the last time he had a bad game? I’ll wait. Man when I say this was team effort, I mean it was a team effort. Out of the eight players that saw the floor last night seven hit double figures. The only one that didn’t, Nazr Mohammed. He now has back-to back bagel games of scoring zip, zilch, nada, squat, no mas, null and void. His offensive game is on par with the Chicago weather these days…cold and depressing to look at.
Another guy who’s offense is getting downright offensive these days is DJ Augustin. After going a putrid 0-10 against the Heat, he kept up his malodorous shooting going 2-14 from the floor in the game for 10 points. One of the shots was a half court shot to beat the clock at the end of the third period. Look, the Bulls need his shooting off the bench coming down the stretch. I don’t know if he’s getting tired or getting dead legs from the wear and tear but, he needs to figure it out. Kirk Hinrich finished the game for the Bulls knocking down six free throws to put it away. He definitely pulled an “okey-doke” drawing a foul at the three-point line on DeMarre Carroll down 103-101. It’s a good thing too, because he was getting the business from Jeff Teague. For 47 minutes Teague was going to be the reason the Hawks would go on to win the game. However, for the final minute he turned out to be the reason the Hawks lost the game with critical turnovers ending with him stepping out-of-bounds with less than 20 seconds left in the game. Kyle Korver, who hasn’t played a game without hitting at least one three pointer since Christopher Columbus discovered America, continued his streak to 125 games. Man this dude can shoot. He finished with 16 points.
Ah the Boozer report. Carlos Boozer went for 17 points and 11 rebounds. I could give him credit, but that would be like all of you giving me credit for writing this recap. WE BOTH DID WHAT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO! Atlanta had no frontline, and the only guy they have left is Elton Brand who is 57 years old. Hey Carlos get at me when you can do this consistently. You know what they say…a broke clock is right twice a day. Know what I’m saying?
No rest for the weary (Sorry Mike!) Golden State is up next in Chicago.