Drink: Vesper Martini
Derrick Rose went 9-28 from the filed in this one. Some quick math tells me that that is in the low 30% range. It is an awful stat. But that is why we do not just look at stats to tell a story. And that is why NB is the pinnacle of Chicago Bulls journalism (because we watch games?).
This game was cold from the get go, on both sides. Crowd yells, “How cold was it?!” Well, it was so f’n cold that Jesus Christ was my bunkmate and the first quarter ended with Dallas up 20-19 – and that was after the two teams heating up a bit towards the end. I will give some credit to the Bulls defense, which was solid, except for on the rotation. There were times in which the ball was passed and two defenders followed the ball, leaving the passer wide open. Luckily, the Mavs were cold and this did not kill the Bulls early on.
Unit: DJ TrainWreck featured: Watson, Brewer, Korver, Deng, and Asik to start the second quarter. This period picked up where the last one left off, i.e. Burr its cold in here, there must be some Toros in the atmosphere. The only thing that really stood out was Ronnie Brewer’s D. Other than that, there seemed to be a bit of an evolution in Asik’s game tonight. Just a scosh. Two big complaints I have in the rookie both deal with when he gets the ball under the basket. Obviously his game is far from polished. Yet, there are two simple choices that he could make that would greatly improve the times when he has the ball down low:
A: Go up quick, instead of throwing up fakes and letting defenders crowd him.
B: Kick it back out.
The first one looks to be hopeless, as he continually throws head fakes, while being a traveling call waiting to happen. However, there was a few times this game when he got the ball below the rim and kicked it out to a wide open player. Omer Asik is a player with very limited offensive ability. Crowd yells, “How offensively limited is he?!” Shut up crowd, what I am saying is that it does not matter how limited your game is, when you have the ball that low, the defense collapses on the player. Ergo, other players on your team are wide open, salivating for an opportunity to hit an open shot. Back to the game!
The end of the second saw a bit of a Bulls surge and was capped off with a Rose three over Dirk Nowitzki that was ever so sweet. Bulls up by nine at the half.
The Bulls scored 12 points in the third, spearheaded by Rose missing many ‘o shots. It was ugly, I would rather not elaborate any further, other than the Bulls were only down by four after the ugliness was over.
The game plan on the offensive side for the Bulls was simple in the fourth: Rose-a-go-go. Rose got he ball and either shot or drove. When he drove, he either shot or dished it. Here is where I will get back to where I started this post. Yes, Derrick Rose shot 9-28 from the filed. More important than mere stats is that Rose was the Bulls only offensive option on the court this evening. With Boozer out and Deng having an even more awful night than Rose from the field (3-13), Rose was the only player for the Bulls who could create his own shot. And get this, Dallas knew it! How crazy is that? Dallas covered Rose with many bodies. Nothing came easy for Rose, but he was forced (due to the offensive ineptitude of the rest of the team) to continually drive and try to make something happen. In the end, it worked (enough) for the Bulls to pull one out late and beat the Mavs in an exciting, if not pretty, game.
Many take Reggie Miller as a color analyst much like they took him as a player: you either love him or hate him. As an analyst, I often lie closer to the hate. Early on in this one he mentioned how Luol Deng is averaging the third most minutes in the NBA and has been the Bulls workhorse. No arguments here. Then he went on to say that as a shooter, those kinds of minutes can really wear on your legs, affecting your jumper by consistently leaving it short. Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if Deng did not go ahead and do just that this game. Like I said, I do not care for Miller as an analyst, but when a former lights-out shooter, who logged huge minutes in his career, says something about shooting, I am willing to listen. So I paid close attention to Deng’s J and whatdoyouknow, he left damn-near all of his misses at the front of the rim. This will be a neat little story to follow over the course of the next few weeks. Stay tuned!