After a low energy loss to Cleveland the night before, I had little faith the Bulls would be able to compete against an impressive Raptors team on the back end of a back-to-back. Somehow, the shorthanded Bulls found a way to win their eighth straight against the Raptors thanks to some huge contributions from unexpected sources.
- Doug McDermott was hot as lava all night en route to a career high 30 points. He was able to hurt the Raptors inside and outside with smart, versatile moves. McDermott finished 13/17 from the field and 4/5 from three point range in 30 minutes.
- McDermott found a rhythm early in this game. Sloppy defense from Terrence Ross freed Doug for a couple of wide open threes from the corner.
- Doug is shooting 47% from the corners this season. Leaving him out there alone is basically conceding a super layup. Terrance Ross is not well known for his attentive defense, but he was hardly the only Raptor guilty of this mistake.
- We’re accustomed to the marksmanship from McDermott. What was most impressive in this game was the 9/12 two point shooting. McDermott moved beautifully off the ball all night and finished through traffic in the paint.
- Joakim Noah was great at finding McDermott on cuts to the basket, just one of a thousand reasons the Bulls are missing Jo. Hopefully this game will spark more crafty cutting from McDermott, who is shooting 64% off cuts this season.
- In addition to canning open triples and backdooring guys for layups, Doug did this
AND ALSO HE DID THIS
- Derrick Rose played an excellent game as well. Rose finished with 26 points on 12/20 shooting. Rose’s most impressive basket came after he rebounded his own miss in the third quarter and went right back up for a layup. That quick second jump was great to see from the former MVP.
Introducing a new BULLet Point feature: The Bank Statement
- Rose missed his first two bank attempts, but finished the game 3/5 on shots off the glass.
- The Bulls got a huge lift from their backup big men in this game. Bobby Portis scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. What doesn’t show up in the stat sheet is the confidence that Portis has switching onto guards in the pick and roll. Three times in this game Bobby found himself isolated against a ball handler, settled into his stance, and forced the guard to pass out of the mismatch.
- When Bobby runs in transition, good things happen.
- Critiano Felicio was +12 in his 14 minutes off the bench. Felicio, who had not played more than four minutes before Friday, was 3/3 from the field and drew fouls on two of his made baskets. Felicio was active all night crashing the offensive glass and brought energy and intensity to the game that was greatly needed by a shorthanded, tired team.
- Coming up: the Bulls host Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Sunday for the Mamba’s last trip to the United Center (if he suits up).