Chicago’s heart, help hustle and muscle was out full force Tuesday night as Joakim Noah led the Bulls to a gritty triple overtime win in Orlando. It was a definite nail biter, nurse but the Bulls were able to hang on long enough to defeat the Magic 128-125 in dramatic fashion.
If you haven’t noticed, drugstore “tanking” and “Thibodeau” are like water and oil, they just don’t go together. Between Derrick Rose’s second season ending knee injury and the Bulls organization trading away All-Star Luol Deng last week, you’d think these guys would toss in the towel, but that’s NOT HAPPENING. “Resilience” is Chicago’s middle name.
What You Need to Know:
- Joakim Noah took his frustration out on the mini-Magic. You can trade his best friend away (Deng looks silly in a Cavs uniform), but this dude is never giving up. Jo-No was the Bulls’ leading scorer with 26 points and 19 rebounds. He was literally everywhere; under the basket snatching rebounds, dunking all over the Magic’s defense and blocking Big Baby Davis. We love the messy-bun-swag.
- Jimmy Buckets is unstoppable, literally the guy doesn’t stop going. Butler broke the Bulls’ record for minutes played in a regular season game; he spent 60 minutes scoring and defending against the Magic. He finished with 21 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks. Ow ow!
- Don’t think the Magic didn’t play their hearts out, they had the Bulls down early in the game. It was all about the guards on Orlando’s side of the court. SG Victor Oladipo (Oh-La-Deep-oh, it’s a fun one) led the Magic in minutes (57) and points (35) while PG Jameer Nelson was a close second with 54 minutes and 31 points.
- Rookie Radar: Tony Snell is in his first year in the league, which generally means taking up permanent residence on the bench in Thibs world. Snell had his best game yet as a pro playing 35 minutes, finishing with 15 points and had one nasty dunk on the Magic during the second OT. I think we’ll see him continue to develop and improve under Thibs direction.
- Derrick Rose made his first appearance on the bench since his knee injury in November. It was great to see him back with the team, but I wasn’t feeling the full on khaki suit, call me a khaki hater.
Take Away Piece:
“The Bulls are stubborn, dedicated, and probably a little angry at their luck this season. A triple OT win on the road is a huge hurdle for the Bulls after they got a beat down by the Wizards at home on Monday. Tuesday’s game had so much more versatility and highlights from every player on the bench. The only way our Bulls can win is if every player shows up and contributes – that’s exactly what happened against the Magic.”
It’s time for a re-match! The Bulls stay on the East Coast to face the Washington Wizards in DC on Friday. Hopefully our Bulls can get some payback from Monday nights disaster game. Tip-off starts at 6PM, just in time for happy hour. Keep on BULLieving, Divas!