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Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo (R) and Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng go for a loose ball during the fourth quarter at the United Center in Chicago on January 8, 2011. The Bulls won 90-79. UPI/Brian Kersey
By James Blackburn
Bulls Win 90-79
Note- Noah did not play for the Bulls due to injury.
- Game is a battle between division leaders.
- Boston is the best passing team in the NBA- EVERYONE on the team can pass, including big men.
- Boston is a half- court team, Bulls like to run, but also can play half-court basketball.
- Boston did a great job on the boards early in the game. Bulls started getting a lot of second chance points at end of 1st quarter. Ended the quarter on a 10-0 run.
- Turnovers hurt the Bulls the entire game, especially in the first half. Ended game with 21 TO’s. A lot of the TO’s were unforced. Bulls looked sloppy most of the game.
- There is a night and day difference when Rondo comes out and N. Robinson comes in the game for Boston. Boston needs a better back up PG. Robinson is TO prone, shoots bad shots, and can’t defend very well. He is out of control on offense and reaches in too much on D.
- Boston is a veteran team and they play like a veteran team. They are smart/poised/ and under control as a team. When the Bulls would go on a run, the Celtics would not panic. A lot of this can be attributed to Rondo.
- Coach Rivers should have given more minutes to L. Harangody in the 3rd quarter. Glenn Davis did not have one of his best games.
- The Bulls crowd started shouting “MVP” when D. Rose was at the FT line in the 3rd quarter.
- The Bulls did a poor job of defending Davis on the perimeter. They went for his shot fake multiple times, even though Davis had missed the 15’ jumper all night, allowing Davis to get to the rim and draw the foul.
- Big win for the Bulls ending a 2 game losing streak to 2 non-playoff teams.
- Bulls got the win because they knocked down open perimeter shots off great ball movement in the 4th and they protected the paint.
- Celtics lost because of the inability to guard the P/R with Shaq in the game and they turned the ball over on crucial possessions at end of game.
Derrick Rose (38 min, 10-19 FG, 15-19 FT, 5 reb, 4 TO’s, 36 TP)
Strengths- Strong/athletic/Explosive PG. Slashes to the rim hard and finishes strong. Protects ball well when attacking the basket. Showed an improved jump shot- has ability to shoot pull up off screen and roll situations. Good FT shooter and gets to the line a lot b/c he attacks the rim. Has an unusual 1 handed floater/pull up shot that he along baseline. He shoots it when he is off balance, but he hits it with surprising effenciency. Well conditioned player- played almost the entire game, but never seemed to slow down or lose speed or momentum.
Weaknesses- TO prone- jumps in the air to make passes most of the time. Forces the issue at times- shoots bad shots- plays out of control at times. Needs to continue to work on 3 pointer and show that he can hit it consistently.
Overview- One of Rose’s best games of the season. Rose has improved every year and continues to establish himself as an elite PG in the NBA.
Ray Allen (39 min, 7-13 FG, 3-5 3pt, 4 reb, 19 TP)
Strengths- Knock down shooter- who can hit the set 3, the set midrange, and has the ability to come off screens and shoot- very quick release. Underrated passer despite his 0 assists. Is a good defender especially against another shooter- shut down Kyle Korver this game.
Weaknesses- Needs to do a better job of finishing with contact at the rim. Has a tough time of creating his own shot against a good defender.
Overview- Allen shows game in and game out why he is the leader of 3 pointers made amongst active players. Defenders respect his shot so much, that Allen is able to get to the rim in a couple of dribbles because the defense plays so tight on him. Does not get the credit he deserves of being a solid overall basketball player who really knows the game, because of legendary shooting ability.
Rajon Rondo (37 min, 6-14 FG, 5 reb, 8 assist, 5 st, 13 TP)
Strengths- Changes speeds very well. Showed a nice touch on up and under lay ups and had a nice left hand finish over the defense. Great passer- if someone is even remotely open, they will get the ball. Poised, under control, a great leader. He seems to never be rushed or in a hurry. A true PG- he does a great job of directing traffic and directing the offense- making sure that guys are in the right spots to run the play. A true quarterback on the court. Does not rush his jump shot- good form- he knocked down a few 17’. Very quick hands on defense. Smart player and defender.
Weaknesses- Some times over penetrates and gets his lay up blocked. Needs to do a better job of getting over/ fighting around screens and overall P/R defense. Needs to continue to extend range of jump shot. Did knock down a couple of jumpers, but needs to make it consistent so the defense will respect it.
Overview- May be the best pure PG in the NBA this side of a healthy Steve Nash. Is like another coach on the floor. Directs the offense and is not afraid to tell fellow future Hall of Famer teammates where to go and what to do. People have been saying for years that if Rondo could develop a decent jump shot, he would be an all-star level PG. Well I am saying he is already an elite PG with out a shot, once he improves his midrange- he will undoubtedly be the best PG in the league.
Luke Harangody (13 min, 0-1 FG, 2 reb, 0 TP)
Strengths- He didn’t necessarily fill up the box score but this was a solid showing for the rookie out of Notre Dame. Strong and physical player. Very good rebounder who boxes out well. Is not very athletic but makes up for it with toughness. Is a good defender, who hedges screens well to stop the ball handler from turning the corner and then gets back to his man quickly. Hustle player who gives 110% on every play. Has a low release on his jumper and shoots it from the side of his head, but he showed this summer that he can shoot and has 3 pt range. Moves his feet well for his size.
Weaknesses- Needs to be more of a threat on offense. Had a rookie mistake at the end of the 3rd quarter- passed the ball when the shot clock was at 1, when he should of shot.
Overview- Very smart player. I thought he deserved more minutes this game. Was coming off his first double-double the night before in a win over Toronto. Even the Celtics like him, Coach Rivers minutes for the rookie have been erratic. Minutes are soon going to be hard to come by when Perkins and Garnett come back from injury. I believe Harangody will become a good player in this league. Reminds me of other players who are not the greatest athletes, but have found ways to be effective in the NBA because of heart, hustle, rebounding, defense, and strength. Such players include ex-Celtic Leon Powe, current Celtic Glenn Davis (who eats a lot of his minutes) Dejuan Blair, and Paul Millsap.
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