BULLet Points: Bulls Deliver Nice Christmas Gift

One of the lesser anticipated Christmas Day matchups got even more lackluster when Kobe Bryant was scratched from the lineup this afternoon. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Lakers put up a solid fight without their Hall of Famer. In the end, Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol were too much and the Bulls won 113-93.

  • This was a great example of how dangerous the Bulls can be with all the weapons they now have. Without relying on one specific player to take the lead, the Bulls got contributions from everyone down the line (except Tony Snell!).
  • Pau Gasol seemed to relish the matchup with the team he won two NBA Finals with, putting in 23 points with 13 rebounds. It was just another day at the office for Pau, with hook shots, bankers and wet jumpers all falling for the big man. Pau is 3rd in All-Star voting for the Eastern Conference frontcourt, meaning he would start the game if the order holds. Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler are 5th and 6th for guards, respectively.
  • Rose scored the first seven points of the game with a jumper, a floater, and a three. He didn’t explode in the 4th quarter quite like we saw the last couple times out, but he played an efficient game and moved the ball beautifully once again. And he still looked plenty explosive. It’s delightful watching Rose get back into a legitimate rhythm; there could be no better Christmas present than the fact that we got to watch Rose play on the holiday for the first time since 2011. He finished with 20 points on 7/14 shooting and six assists.

rose floater

  • Carlos Boozer returned to Chicago for the first time since our collective nightmare ended. He was lustily booed throughout the night, but actually played really solid for his standards. Booz finished with 14 points and five boards in just 17 minutes.
  • Nikola Mirotic kept on cementing his place in our hearts with another stellar performance off the bench. He somehow compiled 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists in just 15 minutes. Bonkers.
  • Jimmy Butler shows no signs of slowing down. While I’m not sure I agree with Chris Webber that he’s the best “two-way” player in the NBA, he helped pace the team in scoring once again with 21 points in 42 minutes. Jimmy also chipped in six rebounds, five assists, and two blocks. Just a stud.
  • Wesley Johnson excelled in Kobe’s absence once again with 19 points and nine rebounds. He did miss 12 of 18 shots though, in true Mamba¬†fashion.
  • E’Twaun Moore continued to make the most out of his spot in the rotation, scoring four points and adding a nifty block late in the game. He was +12 in just 14 minutes.
  • Big Men Minute Watch: Noah: 27, Gasol: 33, Taj Gibson: 20, Mirotic: 15.
  • The Bulls host Anthony Davis and the Pelicans on Saturday.

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