The Bulls got trucked last night, and Boylen-ball continues to be an unmitigated disaster, though at least you could be happy with a couple things. Like Tom Thibodeau being able to stick it to his former bosses, going to 5-1 against the team that fired him (with pettiness, remember!).
It can’t be assumed that Thibs was running up the score by keeping a lot of his starters in late when the Bulls were already comfortably behind (though I hope not too comfortable, Pax will be upset!), as he has typically always done that. What it did mean there was the rare Taj Gibson 3-pointer.
Taj had a very Tajy-woo night, going 6-9 from the field for 16 points, with his customary bully (and tunnel vision) moves giving Lauri Markkanen real problems.
But the bigger story was Derrick Rose, someone you’d think (or I did, anyway) would’ve been rushing back from injury and trying to do too much in his hometown game with negative results. Instead, he had an extremely good lead performance of 24 points (11-19 shooting) and 8 assists (to 2 turnovers). He even had 2 steals from the defensive end.
In also somewhat of a throwback performance, Rose got very few points from the 3-point or free-throw line, and so it wasn’t until the end of the game where we saw this after a foul:
If you want to spend today reminiscing on the Rose-era (despite what they’d tell you, it’s not a GarPax-era) Bulls, it’s good timing, as Darnell Mayberry put up an oral history of the franchise’s best post-Dynasty squad at The Athletic. There’s quotes from nearly everyone involved, from Rose, Gibson, Thibs, Paxson, down to, like, Ronnie Brewer!
Then you can listen to Mayberry speak with our own Mark Karantzoulis on his BullsHQ podcast.
Gimme dat nostalgia, Jo!