Bulls-Clippers Was Bad, But the Bulls Weren’t the Worst


If you had better things to do on Thursday night instead of watching the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers, no one would blame you. But, if you didn’t watch, you missed the 12th win of the season for the Bulls.

The common theme of the first 20 games for the Chicago Bulls has been, “Even when they win (or winning), it doesn’t look like they are.

Thursday night was no different in the first half of TNT’s doubleheader.

Derrick Rose scored nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, Blake Griffin was ejected for accidentally hitting Taj Gibson on the bridge of the nose during a block attempt and the Bulls snapped their three-game losing streak with a bowling shoe-ugly, 83-80 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

Here’s a few takeaways from the Bulls picking up their 12th win of the season, starting with the Bulls’ lead guard (who played without the mask in the second half).

Derrick Rose plays without the mask, provides offense late

This season has been bad for Derrick Rose.

It all started with getting drilled in the face and having to have facial surgery during training camp. Outside of a few flashes, his game has yet to take off this season.

For three quarters on Thursday, it was the same thing.

But, in a sloppy game on Thursday night, Rose hit a couple big shots late in the tilt and helped the Bulls somewhat rid themselves of their recent woes in the fourth quarter.

As for playing without the mask, Rose said he’s unsure if he’ll continue to play without it moving forward.

Pau Gasol’s offense was better than good

The Derrick Rose-Jimmy Butler duo scored 25 points combined on Thursday night.

Pau Gasol scored 24 points on 10-on-19 by himself.

And, he even played some defense.

No, really. He did.

Gasol pulled down six rebounds and drilled all three of his attempts from beyond the arc in about 33 minutes of action. (He even was in for the final possession on defense with the Bulls clinging to a three-point lead during the last possession of the game.)

The bench provided, well … nothing

Joakim Noah and Nikola Mirotic pulled down 24 rebounds combined off the bench.

Aaron Brooks scored 10 points (on nine shots).

The trio of Noah, Kirk Hinrich and Doug McDermott combined to shoot 2-for-14 from the floor.

That’s about it for the reserves.

Blake Griffin’s shot on Taj Gibson wasn’t intentional

Yeah, the Clippers don’t exactly have one of the league’s best reputations, but Blake Griffin’s clothesline from hell on Taj Gibson wasn’t on purpose.

Griffin was on his way to have a big night before the flagrant-two call and the ejection, scoring 18 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

What you won’t see in some replays of the play is that Griffin was really remorseful for the hit and helped Gibson to his feet when he was on the ground. Nothing happened afterwards in terms of pushing and shoving between the teams and no one seems upset on the play. It happens sometimes.

Was it a flagrant? Yes.

A flagrant-two? No.




Honestly, there’s really not much you can’t take from this one. It’s a win, so there’s less to be concerned about in terms of the Bulls. They found the win column again, but it’s still not trending upwards. The Bulls came down to a last possession with Blake Griffin in the locker room for a good portion of the game.

That’s not good.

Next: Yeah, It's Jimmy Butler's Team

It was the SEGABABA for both teams, so sloppiness was expected. But, that game was worse than sloppy.

Still, the Bulls are 12-8.

It looks better than 11-9.