With no Noah, no Hinrich, no Boozer, and having played the night before, the Bulls had plenty of built-in excuses to lay an egg on Saturday night in Atlanta against a rested Hawks team. Instead it was the Hawks who put forth a pathetic mock-worthy effort as the Bulls out-worked them all night and pulled away in the 2nd half to win 93-76.
As opposed to last night's game under similar circumstances, the Bulls fully embraced going small tonight and DNP'd Nazr Mohammed in favor of a Gibson-Deng front line. It lined up fairly well against a sorta-small Atlanta roster (moreso since they were missing Zaza Pachulia) and both had monster games. Taj Gibson had a career-high 19 rebounds to go with 19 points in his 45 minute night less than 24 hours after playing the full-48 last game. Luol Deng was in an interesting back-and-forth battle with Josh Smith as they traded perimeter and interior strengths, but Deng wound up having the much better 2nd half (Smith had 3 points in that half after 16 in the first) and finished with a game-high 25.
Bulls vs. Hawks final score: massively shorthanded Bulls still too much for pathetic Hawks
Blog-A-Bull | Feb 3