The Chicago Bulls played back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday night this past weekend. They started up in Toronto against the Raptors.
Derrick Rose did not participate in the action on Friday due to his hamstring injury. Obviously, it was just a precautionary measure as the Bulls could easily handle the Raptors without their MVP. The Bulls had no trouble getting by the Raptors, they won the game 96-80. All 5 of Coach Thibs’ starters were in double figures.
Most notably, Luol Deng, who continues to be sensational, had 19 points and 9 rebounds. Center Joakim Noah may have had his best game of the still young season, Noah posted 18 points and 9 rebounds. It was nice to see guys step up with Derrick being absent from the lineup.
The Bulls however did struggle with Demar Derozan who had 37 points for the Raptors. Rudy Gay chipped in 20 for Toronto. Unfortunately for them, those two were the only one’s in double figures.
The Bulls then had to fly back home and get ready for the undefeated Indiana Pacers. I was worried about this game because it’s a tough team on the second day of a back-to-back, but that was before I found out the Pacers were also going to be playing a back-to-back. The only difference is, the Pacers were on the road.
The Bulls looked like a completely different team from their first match up with the Pacers, but so did the Pacers. The Bulls made quick work of them and defeated them by a score of 110-94.
Derrick Rose returned to the lineup and helped out immensely. Rose had 20 points and 4 assists all while having his best shooting night of the year. He was 6-11 from behind the arc and the Bulls as a team shot 58% from distance. Luol Deng continued his strong year, he had 23 points and 7 rebounds.
What really helped the Bulls was the fact that they were +12 for points in the paint against a team that is much bigger than they are and they were also +5 on rebounds.
The loss was the first of the year for the Pacers and it also put the Bulls two games above .500.
There is no way that this past weekend could have gone any better for the Bulls and their fans. Derrick Rose is starting to find his form again and Luol Deng is having an all-star caliber start to his year.
The Bulls will be back in action tonight against the Charlotte Bobcats. The game will be played at the United Center where the Bulls are a perfect 4-0 this year. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT.