Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bulls Beat Timberwolves, Move Into 1st Place in the East

By Sean Mackey

The Chicago Bulls defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday night, 111-100. Derrick Rose exploded for 31 points, 11 assists and 2 blocks. Luol Deng had a great game as well, posting 21 points and 11 rebounds. Ronnie Brewer did a fantastic job filling in for Rip Hamilton scoring 17 points. Luke Ridnour lead the Timberwolves in scoring with 22 points including 3-3 from three point range. Ricky Rubio looked awesome coming off the bench for Minnesota, ending the game with 13 points and 12 assists.

This game looked like a blowout early in the first half. At one point in the 2nd quarter, the Bulls were up 24 points. This wasn't even because they were playing great defense or anything either, they were shooting 74%! Had the Timberwolves shown any defensive resistance, they probably wouldn't have dug themselves in such a hole. Derrick Rose had to leave the game at one point re-aggravating his turf toe injury. John Lucas filled in decently for about 5 minutes. However, at the end of the 2nd quarter, the Bulls shooting went cold and Timberwolves went on a nice run, cutting the lead to 6 to end the half.

The Timberwolves tied the game in the 3rd and D-Rose went to work like always, shouldering the load the rest of the game. While the Bulls were able to hold off the Timberwolves at the end, this looked like a team that could be very good in the near future...that is if Love and Rubio decide to stay.

Kevin Love is one of the best power forwards in the game. He's arguably already the best rebounder. However, he proved last night that his post game and defensive game need a little work. It's great to have a PF who can shoot the three but when he can't post up against guys like Boozer, he could probably stand to add that to his game over next summer. Ricky Rubio looks like the real deal. He dazzles in a way that's not flashy but effective. He has a great shot at winning rookie of the year and could definitely develop into the next Steve Nash.

With the Miami Heat blowing a big lead last night and losing to the Golden State Warriors, the Bulls move into 1st place with this win. Chicago plays the 1-8 Washington Wizards tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST on Comcast Sportsnet.