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Game 23: Bulls 98, Wizards 88

31 Jan 2012

Three Stars (leaderboard)
1. Derrick Rose: 35 points (.658 TS%), 8 assists, 2 steals, 3 blocks
2. Joakim Noah: 14 points (.902 TS%), 13 rebounds, 7 assists
3. Kyle Korver: 17 points (.654 TS%), 5 rebounds, 3 assists

For a while there, it looked like it would be an early night for the Bulls against one of the more shapeless squads in the NBA.

The Wizards, as usual, were alternately lackadaisical and overaggressive, and they had absolutely no chance at limiting or even redirecting Derrick Rose, especially when Chicago pulled JaVale McGee away from the basket on 1-5 pick-and-rolls. Rose was completely unstoppable for most of the night.

And yet the Bulls never really put the win to bed, even after pushing the lead to 20 points near the end of the third. Nineteen turnovers is too many; they’re 2-3 this season when committing that many (and 16-2, therefore, with less).

This, incidentally, is why Tom Thibodeau gives his starters so much playing time. The NBA regular season isn’t just about getting a win and as much rest as possible; it’s about improving, game after game, so that you’re a better team when you get to the playoffs and the real test begins.

There’s always work to be done.

Box Score

Record: 18-5, first in the Eastern Conference
Next: Wednesday 2/1 at Philadelphia, 6:00 CT

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From → Game Analysis

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