Bulls (3-1) 99, Magic (2-1) 93
Due to a prior engagement, I had to miss quarter 2-4 live yesterday, so today's recap will primarily be a lightning round/box score set of observations as I attempt to slog through the game on my DVR. The Magic took their first loss this season, but still continue to impress despite a young, injured, Dwight Howard-less roster and a new head coach. I'm not sure that we can count them as a "gimme" win going forward.
BULLets, Sponsored by "I See What You Did There, Inc.":
- The century mark. Hey, look, the Bulls held a team under 100 and won. Let's just go ahead and discard the NOLA game and make this an ironclad Rule of Chicago Basketball in 2012-13.
- I don't need no stinkin' surgery. Luol Deng pitched in 23 points on 9/16 shooting and was a crucial part in the Bulls' 15-2 second half run.
- Other shocker: shooting well generally translates to a win. Once again, the Bulls didn't shoot too many threes (2/6 on the night, with Kirk finally hitting one...he actually even hit another, going 2/2 on the night) and they didn't even have an exceptional day on the offensive glass (the Bulls only rebound 20% of their misses). However, the Bulls did keep the Magic off the offensive boards, as Vaughn's young squad was only able to reel in 22% of its misses on the offensive end.
- Minuses. FWIW, as I'm still making my way through the game, but Hinrich, Mohammed and Belinelli were a combined -18 in their combined total of 41 minutes of play (Hinrich accounts for 26 of those minutes).
- Manufacturing. The Bulls managed a combined 56 points off of turnovers, fast breaks and points in the paint. As one would expect, the Bulls will need to continue to make hay here as long as Rose is out, because half court offense will continue to be a dicey proposition.
- D up. Again, need to make my way through the tape but 28 points for Arron Afflalo means that something went terribly, terribly wrong. On the bright side, Afflalo was -4 on the night, somehow, so clearly he probably didn't have a great night on the defensive end, either (at least, that is one explanation one can infer from a box score alone).
- Boozer shooting tracker. As I've said numerous times already in this short season, the Bulls' fate on a given night will often, sadly, rest on the shooting performance of one Carlos Boozer. Boozer went 6/18 on the night, taking his four-game shooting percentage to 44%. This would be pretty bad for a typical big man, but for a jump shooter like Boozer I suppose we can simply call this mediocre or below average.
- SHOOTER: FOUND. The Bulls kept their opponent's primary 3-point gunner in check again (after holding Ryan Anderson to a horrid shooting night on Saturday). Redick went 2/6 from beyond the arc on Tuesday night.
- Glen Davis. After tearing up the opposition to date, the Bulls held Davis to 16 points on 7/22 shooting, i.e. the most misses he's ever had in a single game in his career. Job: done.