Asik’s ‘Magnificent’ Night Helps Bulls Take Series Lead

CHICAGO (WSCR) In a pivotal game in this Eastern Conference semifinal series, the Chicago Bulls outscored the Atlanta Hawks by 11 points in the fourth quarter and took a 3-2 lead in the series.

While Derrick Rose ended the night with 33 points and nine assists, and Carlos Boozer had a double-double, it was the performances of two bench players, Omer Asik and Taj Gibson, that made the real difference.

Gibson’s contributions can easily be seen on the stat sheet: 11 points, two rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in 20 minutes.

Asik, on the other hand, contributed with things that won’t show up in the box score.

“He was great at both ends,” K.C. Johnson, of the Chicago Tribune, told Boers and Bernstein, who were filling in on the Mully and Hanley Show. “And I know sometimes fans may not what to hear about this, Derrick is going to get to the rim a lot of times on his own, becuase he’s so good, but if you looked at some of those screens that Omer set in the fourth quarter, he was just magnificent at both ends.

LISTEN: K.C. Johnson On The Mully And Hanley Show

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“He’s very very fundamentally sound, which is fairly remarkable for how young he is. You can talk to people within the organization and they will tell you he has the best defensive instincts of anybody on the team, and the basket protection in the fourth quarter was just phenomenal.”

Asik and the Bulls can eliminate the Hawks with a win in Atlanta on Thursday night.

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  • Jose Lamas

    I think this highlights the fact that other players have to play pivotal roles if the Bulls stand a chance at “going all the way” . Rose can only do so much to bail the Bulls out in close contests. The Bulls have tremendous potential, and I think Thibodeau needs to give his bench players a bit more playing time during the playoffs. This will help build their confidence and dramatically increase the Bulls chance of success. We already know how fantastic Rose is, but for the Bulls to win it all, the bench has to be more involved- just like they were in Game 5.

  • paul nicholson

    The Asik-Gibson performances was as much as testament to a beautiful coaching adjustment as it was to the obvious talent of two gifted athlets. Afterall, it’s NBA ‘playoff’ basketball! pcn, streator, il.

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