Despite feeling like they were robbed from a win over the Denver Nuggets, the Chicago Bulls have nothing to complain about. Well, almost nothing. Joakim Noah touched the ball as it was going down, in the cylinder off of Marco Belinelli’s shot. The officials were right to disallow that basket, and give the Nuggets the 119-118 win.
Still, an NBA official can’t completely do his job right, and showed the usual inconsistency in their play calling by allowing a similar play for the Nuggets just a moment before Noah’s disallowed shot went in.
We felt like we got it stolen from us. It’s a tough play. From my angle, it looked like it was a good play, it looked like the ball was short. Koufos, I know was on the rim, and to me I guess we have to call the league and get an interpretation. Maybe I don’t understand the rule correctly.
The bottom line? The ball didn’t go in, and the Denver Nuggets won 119-118, to keep the second longest winning streak in the NBA, 12 wins, alive. Andre Iguodala hit a three point shot with 7.1 seconds left in the game to eventually become the game winning shot of the night, and leave the Bulls once again wondering how they couldn’t enforce their famous defense in a home game, falling to 18-15 at the United Center and a total of 36-30 this season.
While the Nuggets’ starters combined for a terrible 32% from the field, Wilson Chandler had his biggest night of the season with 35 points (13-21 from the field), adding nine rebounds and 4 assists as he got much more playing time than usual. JaVale McGee, usually doing good things in the few minutes he has on the floor, added one of his more impressive dunks this season while Joakim Noah was trying to get out of the way, finishing with 12 points in 22 minutes; Andre Miller was another one of the bench “guys” to lead Denver to the win, adding 13 assists as the Nuggets scored 30 points on the fast break, keeping the Bulls moving, something their defense isn’t an expert in.
For Chicago, Nate Robinson was the one to do the scoring, reaching 30 points with 6 three pointers. Despite being an excellent rebounding team most of the time, no one crashes the boards like the Nuggets, enjoying a 53-42 advantage on the boards and grabbing 20 offensive rebounds, with Noah and Boozer hardly getting any help from the bench, with Taj Gibson not sitting on it. Jimmy Butler played 32 minutes, but that gave the Bulls a quite small lineup whenever Noah (35 minutes) took a seat, while Luol Deng, scoring 21 points, finished the game after 50 minutes on the floor.
The Nuggets continue to prove they’re much more than a team that runs & guns this season. Conceding 118 points isn’t proof their defense is improved, especially not from the Chicago Bulls, but there’s something different, better to this team in 2013. Ty Lawson improved and Andre Miller not fading away, they seem to have the right kind of bigs and fast players on the team, finally, which might mean it’s going to be a longer than usual postseason for only the second time in the George Karl era.