Saturday, December 29, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Bulls 87, Wizards 77
By Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the Chicago Bulls earned an 87-77 win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night at the United Center.
How it happened: Marco Belinelli had 17 points off the bench to lead the Bulls to a much needed win. Carlos Boozer added 15 points and 12 rebounds while Joakim Noah added nine points, 11 rebounds and five assists. The Wizards did not score a basket in the last 5:18 of the game.
What it means: The Bulls still aren't playing very good basketball. The Wizards are a terrible team and the Bulls still struggled to close them out. Tom Thibodeau's team isn't playing well on either side of the ball, and the veteran coach knows it. The big key in the short term for Thibodeau is who will get the bulk of the minutes at the two-guard position now that Rip Hamilton is back on the floor. If Saturday night is any indication, it appears as that Jimmy Butler will be the odd man out for a while. He played some big minutes late, but Hamilton or Belinelli figure to take those minutes once the Hamilton starts playing more. Either way, the Bulls must do a better job of playing to the level of their competition -- or in Washington's case, above the level -- because they didn't play a very complete game against the Wizards and haven't played solid in over a week now.
Hits: Kirk Hinrich had a solid performance Saturday night, scoring 10 points, dishing out seven assists and pulling down six rebounds.
Misses: Luol Deng was just 4-for-13 from the field.
Stat of the night: Turnovers: Wizards 17, Bulls 9
What's next: The Bulls take on the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday afternoon.