Chicago Bulls 94 Final

Recap | Box Score

92 Toronto Raptors
Patrick Patterson, PF Shot Chart 22 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | -12A painful reminder of how desperate we are to get Amir back healthy in the starting five. Did an OK job, all things considered, but he really isn’t that guy to battle with the Bulls front court. Boozer owned him the entire time he was on the floor, and he didn’t fair much better with Gibson. Played sparingly in the 2nd half in favour of Hansbrough and Amir.

Terrence Ross, SF Shot Chart 26 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 9 PTS | -3Did a poor job of drawing contact on his jumpers, and in fact, seemed oblivious to the fact that Butler was running him down and blocking him from behind every time. Played some really solid defense, especially his perimeter rotations, but yea, forgettable night on the whole.

Jonas Valanciunas, C Shot Chart 22 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -13Quite possibly the worst game of the season for JV. Was out-classed by Noah, which is understandable, but to get out-muscled? How many times did we see Noah will his way to a rebound on either end of the floor? These sorts of showings aren’t acceptable, and frankly, are quite disappointing.

Kyle Lowry, PG Shot Chart 34 MIN | 4-13 FG | 7-7 FT | 5 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +8Was a non-factor stretches through the game thanks to foul trouble and fatigue. Legs weren’t there on his jumpers. No explosiveness off the bounce. Made a couple ballsy plays in the 4th quarter after picking up his 5th foul, but considering he had to deal with Hinrich and Augustin for the night, I expected much better; in fact, you could argue that both Bulls PG’s got the better of him. That three with a minute and a half left in the game came out of nowhere and energized the team, but it was a little too late.

DeMar DeRozan, SG Shot Chart 42 MIN | 11-25 FG | 10-11 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 32 PTS | 0Didn’t settle for jumpers, and in fact, attacked the paint relentlessly off the dribble. This is the sort of thing that All-Stars do on the second night of a back-to-back against a stifling defense. Single-handedly kept the Raptors in the game in the 4th, but just didn’t have the support from the rest of the guys to take it home. That last pay against Butler could have used a bit more creativity, but I’m just nit-picking at this point.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF Shot Chart 25 MIN | 4-7 FG | 0-1 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +9Went toe-to-toe with the Bulls front court and didn’t give up an inch. That 2nd quarter is exactly the type effort that was needed in this game, and without it, the game wouldn’t have come down to the wire. The stat-line wasn’t impressive, but the effort spoke for itself.

Amir Johnson, PF Shot Chart 27 MIN | 4-6 FG | 1-3 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 9 PTS | +12I’m good with easing him back into things (if you can call 27 minutes off the bench easing things in) to ensure his health for the stretch run and playoffs, but we really need him back in the starting lineup. There is no good look for the front court with Amir hobbled. Gave a big spark to the team off the bench, but we needed more out of him.

John Salmons, SF Shot Chart 24 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -1Did what was expected, but was pretty invisible throughout the game. Had to go back to my notes for something to say, and noticed I didn’t write a word about him. A C sound safe.

Greivis Vasquez, PG Shot Chart 17 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | -10So the good news is that he can get that running floater off at will; the bad news is that he has trouble making is stick. Provided a bit of scoring cover in relief of Ross, but when Hinrich is beating you off the dribble, things aren’t going well for you.

Dwane Casey
Played a tight 9-man rotation, and for the most part had the right guys on the court at the right considering injuries and what not. On three occasions made a proper timeout call to squash a Bulls run. Had no problem with his game management until that last play of the game, where an ISO was called for DeRozan without an attempt to get him free off a screen or something.

Five Things We Saw

  1. The Bulls ball-movement was world-class. They hit every cutter and open shooter they possibly could. I stopped counting after three of them, but they embarrassed the Raptors defense by sticking those back-door cuts with surgical precision. 25 assists on 36 made field goals for 50% from the field from a team that has a hard time scoring is impressive.
  2. JV and 2Pat is one of the worst front-courts the Raptors could have trotted out against the Bulls. If there was any knock on Casey, and I should have docked him for this, it’s that Hansbrough only played 25 minutes in a game that was tailor made for him. I’m wondering what a healthy Amir + Hansbrough with 2Pat off the bench could have done to help tonight.
  3. Might sound crazy, but that third quarter was what did the raptors in. The Bulls opened the quarter on a 20-12 run, and while the the Raptors outscored the Bulls 39-24 the rest of the game, they were coming from behind and just didn’t have any gas at the tank when they needed to be creative with the game on the line.
  4. The refs needed to call this game more on feel and less by the book. A combined 48 personal fouls and 7 technicals did nothing but destabilize things. Even worse were the makeup calls.
  5. It was a hard fought game, that saw the Raptors scratch, claw, and grind there way to a one possession loss to one of the best defensive teams in the league. On the second night of a back-to-back, you really couldn’t ask for that level of intensity and effort. The Raptors can hold their heads up after that one.