Shepkowski’s Bulls Notebook: Boozer, Fellow-Bigs Huge Against Golden State
By Nick Shepkowski –
UNITED CENTER (CBS) Before Friday nights game Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson went the route of discussing how Stephen Curry wasn’t the kind of guy who needed to be left off of the all-star in order to be given extra motivation. In the Bulls locker room it was Carlos Boozer who didn’t get the All-Star nod, but who’s coach made it clear how valuable the often criticized forward is.
“In my eyes he’s an All-Star, he’s an All-Star this year and he’s having an All-Star type season” Tom Thibodeau said of Carlos Boozer prior to Friday’s contest. Boozer wasted no time getting go for the Bulls on Friday, scoring 6 of their first 12 points. He’d go on to lock up his Eastern Conference leading 24th double-double with 5:15 remaining in the first half. Before the night was over Boozer would be joined by Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler who both put up double-double’s themselves.
It was the first time this season three different Bulls put up double-double’s.As for Boozer being more motivated by the All-Star snubbing, that seemed to be far from the “I’m super proud of Joakim (Noah) and Luol (Deng) and obviously I would have liked to go but I’m going to go to Miami and see my family and get a nice tan” Boozer said of the All-Star break.
Dominating the Front Court
As previously mentioned – Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler all finished with double-doubles, the first time that has occurred all season long. Andrew Bogut being out for the Warriors didn’t help Golden State’s cause, but it’s unlikely that would have made a difference, anyway.
“They just out-worked us across the board” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said after the game.
“Rebounding, aggressive cuts, are what they did all night…it was a very disappointing performance” Jackson added.
The Bulls starting bigs in Boozer, Noah and Butler finished with 45 points and 41 rebounds, compared to the 26 and 14 put up by Golden State’s similar starters. The huge difference in rebounds led to the Bulls running away with a 30-6 difference in second chance points and a 36-22 advantage in the paint, a difference that was much bigger when the game was more competitive.
Hinrich/Robinson Come Up Huge
The much-improved Warriors had major problems finding and slowing down Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson all evening for the Bulls. Hinrich, who was coming off of one of his worst outings of the year Wednesday (0 points in nearly 35 minutes) finished with a season-high 25 points after his 4th quarter three put the Bulls at 100 points and sent the United Center fans home with free Big Mac’s.
“I was just feeling good stepping into them (three point attempts) in rhythm and guys were doing a good job of finding me” Hinrich said of his Friday efforts.
Why then did Hinrich play so well against the extremely talented Los Angeles Lakers and 26-16 Warriors while having the tough outing Wednesday against Detroit?
“It’s the NBA – every game is different and every team is good” Hinrich added.
Nate Robinson added 22 points off the bench, ending his streak of four straight games with exactly 11 points – a feat that hadn’t occurred since Lucious Harris did so with the Mavericks in November of 1995.
“Kirk’s (Hinrich) been playing great, Nate’s (Robinson) been great offensively,” Boozer said of the two guards, “they make it easy for everyone else”.
Noah’s All-Star Reaction
One day after being named to his first All-Star team, Joakim Noah didn’t disappoint his hometown fans in the least bit as he put up 14 points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds.
“I just want to say thank and so many people I appreciate” Noah said of his All-Star selection.
“There were many guys who were very deserving and I think part of the reason we got two guys in is because coaches appreciate we’re a team that dealt with a lot of adversity and we came out with a good mindset this year.”
In addition to covering the Bulls for CBSChicago.com, Nick Shepkowski is the associate producer for The McNeil and Spiegel Show. For Bulls information all season long, follow him on Twitter @Shep670.