Bulls run wild, annihilate Warriors from tip

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Bulls run wild, annihilate Warriors from tip

Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010
Updated 11:50 PM
By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

If they hadnt seen Derrick Roses ever-present Fast Dont Lie adidas commercials before, the Golden State Warriors likely have a paraphrase of the slogan ricocheting inside their heads after being trounced, 120-90, at the hands of the Bulls at the United Center Thursday evening.

Roses 22-point, 13-assist effort and Luol Dengs 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists paced a balanced Chicago effort all five starters were in double figures to help run away from their fast-paced guests by giving them a dose of their own medicine, coupled with a helping of tough defense in making the game a laugher.
Matador

Luol Dengs 26-point, 11-rebound, five-assist, two-block effort was sensational, but Derrick Rose was the engine that made the Bulls go on this evening, just like he is on most nights. Rose pushed the tempo offensively, was aggressive scoring the ball and was also a factor on the defensive end.

Im just trying to be aggressive. I see when Im aggressive it opens things up early and we won the game, and thats what its all about winning, said Rose, who poured in 22 points and dished out 13 assists. Every night, Im trying to be aggressive.

Were a hard team to guard when we get out in transition and we get fast breaks. Get the ball to Derrick and run, thats all youve got to do, added Keith Bogans, Roses partner in the starting backcourt. Hes either going to finish or hes going to find you. Its easy offense when were playing in transition.

Moment of Truth

The tired Warriors they played four games in five nights were out of the game by the end of the first quarter, especially after a sequence in which Bogans recorded back-to-back thefts. After the first, he made an outlet pass to Rose already with a full head of steam who winded through traffic for slicing left-handed layup in transition.

After the second steal, Bogans and Rose executed a picture-perfect fast-break sequence the pair passed back and forth like a high school basketball teams practice drill; the ball didnt hit the floor resulting in a powerful two-handed tomahawk slam by Rose and a subsequent Golden State timeout with two minutes remaining in the opening period.

A little over a minute later, the Bulls put the icing on the cake with a beautiful Noah bounce pass to a cutting Rose backdoor, ending in a remarkably similar dunk to his previous transition finish. Chicago took a 34-20 lead into the second quarter.

Head-to-Head

In a battle between USA Basketball teammates, Rose clearly outclassed his summer pal Stephen Curry, last seasons Rookie of the Year runner-up. Roses aggressiveness, physicality and his teammates help defense seemed to bother Curry, who shot 4-for-11 in the first half.

Its just trying to be aggressive on defense. Coach always tells me out of anyone on our team, Im the one that always needs to help and it showed tonight, Rose explained. Me helping led to Steph being open, but we contested his shots. Me stopping the penetration and kicking out, forcing Steph into a bad shot or contesting his shot, Im the guy thats usually going to help everybody on the floor.

Offensively, Rose benefited from a porous Golden State defense (to his credit, Ellis did finish with five steals) that played him differently than other Bulls opponents had in recent games.

Tonight, they werent trying to blitz the pick-and-roll and I was hitting my shots, and hitting people when they were wide open.
X-Factor

Often criticized for his usually-modest offensive output, Bogans not only scored 14 points (including a pair of three-pointers), he swiped a season-high six steals, while doing a more-than-adequate job on the always-dangerous Monta Ellis.

I just wanted to make everything tough for him. Hes a great player, great scorer and I was just trying not to let him get it going early, said Bogans. Kurt Thomas, Joakim Noah, they were all on me in the training room this morning. Kurt probably said, Dont let it be a 50 point night. I definitely didnt want that to happen, but my teammates did a good job of being in the right spots and helping me contain him.

I just take what they give me on defense. I played the passing lanes tonight, got a few deflections. My defense turned into offense just by getting deflections and steals, and getting out on the break.

I thought Keith Bogans did a good job on Monta, just making it tough for him every shot, chimed in Luol Deng. Hes a great player and the rest of us followed.

Subtly Strategic

To begin the second quarter, Thibodeau left his starting backcourt of Rose and Bogans in the game as well as Deng, who has been playing with the second unit to start the quarter to go with early subs Ronnie Brewer and Omer Asik. The coach would quickly sub in Taj Gibson (14 points, seven rebounds) for Asik, as the Warriors took out backup center Dan Gadzuric in favor of a smaller lineup, but he denied leaving in Rose (Bogans would be replaced by backup point guard C.J. Watson) was a move designed to create more offense from a bench that has sometimes struggled to do so this season.

Well, I was viewing it more defensively. With the matchups with Ellis and Curry, I wanted to stay with Derrick and C.J. They played together just so we could match up better defensively, said Thibodeau. Weve talked about doing it more and a lot depends upon your matchups. We want to settle on our rotation, so guys know when theyre going in. Their rotation changed some tonight with injured Golden State power forward David Lee being out, too. We werent quite sure if they would play smaller, longer and then what that would mean for us in terms of how we matched up defensively.
Thorn in the Side

Although Bogans did a solid job on Ellis, the Golden State scorer still ended up with 24 points (three below his average of 27.1 points per game, good for second in the league entering the contest) on 10-for-20 shooting. An underrated passer, Ellis also dished out five assists on the night, but he and his teammates were obviously exhausted after a tough game in New York the previous evening.

Chicago temporarily solved their season-long foul issues on both ends committing only seven fouls and shooting 21-for-23 from the charity stripe. Not much to complain about overall, although both Thibodeau and Rose griped about turnovers (the Bulls turned the ball over 12 times) late in the game.

What the Future Holds

With the annual circus trip coming up next week, it would be easy for the Bulls to look past their next opponent lowly Washington especially after the high of the blowout victory over Golden State. However, the Bulls are already focused on Saturdays contest against the visiting Wizards, in the last home game Chicago plays until December.

Were going to try to come out and play the same. We cant look past them, said Rose. Theyre a young team with a lot of good young players. Weve just got to take care of that problem first on the way to the road.

Even though Washington has been struggling, No. 1 draft pick John Wall seems to be hitting his stride, with a triple-double in Wednesdays Wizards win, as well as threatening a rookie assist record previously held by the legendary Oscar Robertson.

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.

Doug McDermott to return for Bulls against Spurs after missing 11 games with concussion

Doug McDermott to return for Bulls against Spurs after missing 11 games with concussion

After a couple weeks of woozy moments, confusing car rides and 11 games of inactivity due to suffering a concussion Bulls forward Doug McDermott will return to action tonight against the San Antonio Spurs.

McDermott took a hard fall Nov. 12 against the Washington Wizards while going up for a dunk, hitting his head on the unforgiving floor of the United Center and had to go through the concussion protocol before finally being cleared. It was his second concussion this season, with the first coming on Halloween.

“Good, great, it’s been a long couple weeks, but finally feel good to be able to go out there and compete, so I’m excited,” McDermott said after morning shootaround at the Advocate Center.

The last couple of days after being cleared for contact, he practiced with the Bulls’ D-League team in the attempt to get some rhythm and most importantly, some conditioning after being out for so long.

He was in great spirits Thursday, a sharp contrast to the initial days after the concussion where the simplest tasks became herculean.

“The first week-and-a-half was tough sleeping-wise, just weird symptoms you don’t even realize,” McDermott said. “Just being in cars, going to my appointments was tough at times, some headaches throughout the week. But with a concussion you just have to be true to yourself and true to the doctors. You don’t want to lie about things because it can only make things worse. I’m finally to the point where I’m feeling better.”

McDermott said going to physical therapy or riding on the freeway would trigger vertigo in the first week, but luckily for him, it didn’t last much longer after that. The first concussion of his career took him to different place mentally, and he leaned on Celtics big man Al Horford during that time of confusion and frustration.

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Horford missed a number of games with a concussion he suffered early in the season.

“Talked to him for about 30 minutes,” McDermott said. “He was in the middle of his and I had my second one. We talked about our symptoms and he really took his time and you see his game has been really good since he came back.”

“We're really the only two guys who've had it this year. People don't really understand, it's a tough deal. Basketball can be physical. You see it a lot in football. You gotta be true to yourself, true to your doctors because you don't wanna mess around.”

With the second concussion taking place 13 days after the first, McDermott and the Bulls had to be a lot more careful the next time around. Having one is scary enough but the fall he took in the United Center probably ignited a fear in him that he didn’t know existed.

“Yeah, you have to just listen to your symptoms, but I think with the second one in such a short period of time they wanted to be cautious too, and I did too,” McDermott said. “It’s not like an ankle sprain or a knee deal where you can play through things like that. It’s your brain, so you want to be as sharp as possible.”

The Bulls need any type of reinforcement they can get, especially for the struggling bench. McDermott feels like he can add some confidence or at least put other guys in a more natural order, although that remains to be seen as Nikola Mirotic and Isaiah Canaan have really struggled in his absence — all season, it seems.

“I think we'll get our swagger back too. We've had some injuries,” McDermott said. “Once we get myself and Michael (Carter-Williams) back, we've been rotating guys that aren't used to playing with each other. Once we get some continuity there with that group, things will get better. Adding a shooter like me, it'll take pressure off Niko, take pressure off Isaiah to hit shots. Just having 3 floor spacers out there will really help all of us.”

Five Things to Watch: Bulls try to snap skid against Spurs on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls try to snap skid against Spurs on CSN

Watch as the Bulls take on the Spurs tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com, the only place where you can get the hometown call from Neil and Stacey.

Coverage begins at 8 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

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FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

1. Attempting to end perfection. The Spurs have been absolutely electric outside of San Antonio this season, winning each of their first 13 road games to begin the year. That's the second longest streak in NBA history, and the Bulls have actually lost two of three at home. The Bulls will be home underdogs as the Spurs look to make it 14 in a row. The good news is the Bulls have defeated the Spurs at home each of the last two seasons.

2. Battle of the two-way studs. There's a real argument to be made that Thursday's matchup will tout the two best two-way players in the NBA. Kawhi Leonard, the two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year, is having his best offensive season to date, averaging 24.5 points on 46 percent shooting, 1.9 triples, and averaging nearly 91 percent from the free-throw line. Expect Jimmy Butler and Leonard to be on each other's rear most of the night in what should be one of the most fun 1-on-1 matchups in the NBA.

3. Questions at the point. For the Spurs, Tony Parker is questionable to play with a knee injury. If he can't go, it would be Nico Laprovittola and Patty Mills running the point. For the Bulls, Rajon Rondo is coming off a pair of ugly performances in Bulls' losses to the Mavericks and Pistons (and his suspension against the Blazers). Someone needs to step up at the point, and it could decide Thursday night's winner.

4. Pau returns to the UC. Though it didn't result in much success, Pau Gasol enjoyed two highly successful seasons in Chicago. The stat-stuffer was named an All-Star in both seasons, averaging 17.6 points, 11.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 150 games. He's now in San Antonio, filling Tim Duncan's role in the starting lineup. And though his numvers are down from a year ago, he's still capable of putting up numbers, especially against a Bulls' interior that has struggled of late.

5. Getting Doug McDermott back. Dougie McBuckets has been activated to the Bulls roster, and not a moment too soon. Since McDermott suffered a concussion on Nov. 12, the Bulls bench ranks 26th in 3-pointers per game (2.5) and 30th in 3-point field-goal percentage (23.5 percent). Getting McDermott back, even in a small role as he gets his legs under him, will be a major factor against a Spurs team whose offense continues to heat up in December.

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