Derrick Rose didn’t need to stay on the floor for the finish, and Luol Deng, on his worst night of the season with only 4 points and 2-12 from the field hardly played in the final quarter. Hosting the Detroit Pistons, getting a 92-68 win over a terrible team is a great way for the Chicago Bulls to start their nine games in 12 days roller coaster.
Numbers say the 76ers are the best defensive team in the league, limiting teams to 85.6 points a night and 39.1% from the field. The Bulls are trailing just by a bit with 86.6 points per game and 43% from the field. So far, the Sixers are surprising with their 6-2 start, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be this good for so long.
Back to the Bulls, and the sad, sad Pistons. A team that has yet to score 100 points this season, and head coach Lawrence Frank preferred to talk about their improved defense – I definitely saw improved defense. We got back in transition much better. On offense we were making the right plays. But when you’re playing a high-end team like this, you have to play four quarters.
There was no fourth quarter for Detroit, scoring only 9 points after pretty much keeping up with the Bulls through the first three quarters. Problem is that there’s no creativity, and no one to create his own shots. Greg Monroe is a good Center, but he needs something better than Brandon Knight and Ben Gordon in the back court. Bench? Nothing, really, with Jason Maxiell allowing himself to take 12 shots, making only 1. And he wasn’t the worst player out there.
Survery says the Bulls have won all of their opener ahead of back to back nights this season. They’re also perfect at home so far, with no team scoring more than 74 points against them there. Complete lockdown, which helps things when the offense isn’t at its best.
Carlos Boozer, usually regarded as the weak link when defending, led the scorers with 23 points. If he manages to dominate offensively each night, I think the Bulls would be willing to look the other way regarding his weaknesses. Derrick Rose couldn’t get the three point shots to drop, but he had an impressive and relatively easy night of 22 points and 8 assists.
Defense, according to Rose, it the key – It’s just defense. If every night can be like this where we played defense and get out and run, it would be easy. But it’s been hard. We tried to come back from the last game, where it was embarrassing to play in a game like that, and just try to keep playing. That’s what we did tonight.
Problem is not every night you get the Detroit Pistons, and the Bulls need to find more offensive consistency. Like the best team in the league so far, the Miami Heat, their defense is the key. But they need more from Boozer and Noah, who have had too many ups and downs scoring-wise this season if they want to keep winning. Relying solely on Rose’s offense isn’t a good plan in the long run, as last season proved.