Awesome stats of note:
Salmons - 8/15 for 22 points
TT - 7/10 for 18 points, 8 rebounds and 7 blocks
BG - 11/18 for 25 points
Rose - 16 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists
I would LOVE if the Bulls could re-sign BG and have him off the bench. We could trot out a lineup of Rose, Salmons, Deng, TT and Noah; strong second unit with BG and Brad Miller leading the way ...
Big game against the Raptors today -
It's been a little over two years since the Chicago Bulls won five straight games. That happened to come during their last playoff season.Unfortunately it seems like the type of game we could lose ... second day of a back-to-back, coming off an emotional win, and playing on the road. Let's hope we can gut this one out.
The surging Bulls hope to equal that winning streak and further solidify their playoff position Sunday when they visit the Toronto Raptors, who are looking for a season-high fourth straight win.
Chicago (36-38) beat Indiana 112-106 at home Saturday for its seventh victory in eight games. The Bulls are tied with Detroit for seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls are trying for their first five-game winning streak since Dec. 11-19, 2006. Chicago made its most recent playoff appearance that season, losing to the Pistons in the second round.
Bulls mailbag -
Q: I've always thought Luol Deng is a decent player, but overrated. I certainly believe he is overpaid. He is also injury prone. Do you think the Bulls are stuck with his contract or do you think he can be packaged as part of a deal for a premier soon-to-be free agent (Chris Bosh?) via sign and trade?
A: I’ve said before I think it’d be difficult to find a taker in this NBA economy for Luol’s contract. It’s not so much the money, much of which is deferred, but the amount of years remaining on the deal. I’ve also said people are writing Luol off too quickly. Granted, this has been a disappointing season but I think it’s mostly because of his injuries and because the coaching staff struggled to find ways to mesh Deng’s game with Derrick Rose’s game earlier this season. Fans will recall that for about a month after Deng returned from his first injury this season, he played very well. Deng is certainly more of a system player, someone who needs ball and player movement to thrive. But I see him fitting well with Rose eventually, and the coaching staff had started to find ways to utilize their talents together before Deng suffered his second injury.
Rose for ROY -
"If I win the award, I want it to be because we made the playoffs," Rose said. "My statistics mean nothing."
Actually, they do.
With averages of 16.4 points, 6.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds, Rose is vying to become only the eighth rookie in NBA history to average at least 16 points, 6.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds.
Five of the seven players who have accomplished this — Oscar Robertson, Damon Stoudamire, Allen Iverson, Steve Francis and Chris Paul — were rookies of the year.
I absolutely hate stats like that. Pretty much meaningless until after the fact when you happen to notice it's never been done before. Henry Abbott (at TrueHoop) summed up my point nicely the other day -
On the one hand, Wade could not be better. Agreed. I mean, the man seems to able to do whatever he wants out there. On the other hand: We need to have some kind of moratorium on new statistical categories. 2,000/500/100/100? 6-4 with 100 blocks? Last summer, did anyone think those were important milestones? These are retrofit stats -- they only matter because somebody did them and they are now unique.
Think this is more because of the new guys (give some credit to Pax!) or because Luol is out (Pax is terrible for giving him that contract) -
The victory gives the Bulls (36-38) their first four-game winning streak of the season and first since March 2007. They've won seven of eight overall and 10 of 11 at home.
Their 13-8 record since the All-Star break is the third-best in the Eastern Conference in that span.
''It's a lot of fun,'' guard Ben Gordon said of the Bulls' winning ways. ''Anytime you're winning and you're starting to play your best basketball, it's really fun."