In the Post: Asik, Johnson shutting down the paint

In the Post: Asik, Johnson shutting down the paint
November 2, 2010, 5:25 am
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Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010
12:27 AM

By Aggrey Sam

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau played 11 players in the win, including Omer Asik and James Johnson, the two heroes from Saturdays comeback win. Asik, in particular, stood out, putting up six points, snatching seven boards, blocking three shots and forming a formidable interior duo with Noah before fouling out.

I liked what Omer did when he was in there. I thought he and Joakim, their size is a factor and the paint gets shut down or its more difficult to score and then we had some guys who probably played shorter minutes because of their foulsthe length up front with Omer and Joakim has been good, said Thibodeau. We need everybody. A lot of its going to be determined by matchups. I have a lot of confidence in our bench. I think we have a quality bench, so if someone goes down with injury or theres foul trouble.

--Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge continued his trend of playing well in Chicago, scoring 33 points and grabbing nine rebounds against the team that originally drafted him in 2006 before immediately shipping him to Portland in order to acquire the departed Tyrus Thomas.

Its always in the back of your mind, but I think Im past that. They made that decision, but Im always thinking about it a little bit, said Aldridge. Ive just been trying to find my rhythm and finally found it tonight, but overall, I just made some tough shots.

Aldridge had a big night and I thought his catches were a little bit too easy, said Thibodeau. Hes a tough cover because hes got the high release, great touch, post game, he reads defenseshes a tough matchup.

Aldridge also shared his thoughts on the Bulls afterwards: Theyre going to get Carlos Boozer back, Derrick Rose is playing great this year, I think their young guys are getting better Gibson is playing bigger, Noah is playing bigger out there so I think theyre going to be good.

--A quick note on Blazers reserve swingman Rudy Fernandez, the subject of much interest in Chicago. In just under 22 minutes of play off the bench, the Spaniard shot 3-for-10 from the field including 0-for-6 from deep; Portland shot 0-for-14 as a team from three-point distance for six points on the evening. He also committed five fouls and four turnovers.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.coms Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.