Bench Playing Well + Tired-Ass Dallas = Success! (and Big Macs)
It is simple math, really. Early on it was looking rough in this one. The defense was letting Dallas get to the basket quite easily and the offense was struggling. Then, Taj Gibson and James Butler came into the game and, not only did the D tighten up, but the O oddly began clicking. Tres bizarre, no? The rest of the game was a releiving roll down the old hill, something all Bulls fans needed after Monday night.
The bench starred in this contest, while Dallas looked awfully tired and disinterested (except in the beginning and some solid D in the third), playing the second of a back-to-back. Taj and Jimmy each put in 27 minutes, while Nathaniel Cornelius Robinson logged 21. Nazr Mohammed even appeared on the court for over 12 minutes and surely had his longest stretch on the hardwood in a Bulls uni during the second. (I am far too lazy to confimr that momumental fact.) After only going eight-deep Monday, Thibs playing the bench was certainly the story of the night. Whether this game was an outlier or not is the much more important and long-term narrative. My guess is, short answer: no; long answer: maybe?
Tempest in a Teapot The part I found most fun was that, despite the bench playing many more minutes, Luol Deng was still in there until three minutes left and the Bulls up 24 points. I expected Jay Cutler to sub in for him at that point and take a few snaps. … I had the Dallas feed for this one and there were some choice quotes. My favorite was the color analyst saying, “You can’t give Hinrich that kind of look,” when the ole Capt’ threw up a three. Um, that may have actually been a defensive strategy by the Mavs. He also commented on how Deng plays hard “most of the time.” … It was the Bulls first look at the oft-flirted guard and Bulls blogger fav, OJ Mayo. He had a rather terrible game, which means that the front office totally made the correct moves in the offseason. Congrats, boys!