UNSTOP-A-BULL (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The Chicago Bulls continue their great start at home to the season and improve their home record to 6-0 as they thoroughly rout the Phoenix Suns without the help of Derrick Rose, who sat out today with a toe injury.

After an early 9-0 run and later a 12-0 run in the first half, the Bulls never looked back as they entered halftime up by 20 and pushed the lead to over 30 at some points during the game. Everyone believed the game would be defensively heavy... but it was a laugher as the Bulls provided their most dominating offensive performance of the season.

In a surprise to everyone, Rip Hamilton got the starting nod at SG for the Bulls, having not played in some time due to a groin injury, and he contributed with 11 points. But the bulk of the scoring for the Bulls came from the hand of Carlos Boozer, who shattered his season high in the first half alone with 26 points. He finished the game with 31 points on 14-21 shooting. CJ Watson also filled the shoes of Derrick Rose nicely, scoring 20+ points his own.

Bright spots for the Suns were the performances of Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat: Gortat with another double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds, and Steve Nash with 25 points and 9 assists. They showed improved chemistry on the pick and roll, burning Carlos Boozer a number of times. Robin Lopez also showed some life, scoring 16 points off the bench. More after the jump.

Turning Point

Carlos Boozer going off in the 2nd quarter and the Bulls' 9-0 then 12-0 runs they pulled in the first half. They didn't look back after they grabbed that lead.

Stand-Out Performance

Steve Nash: 25 points (10-13 shooting, perfect from 3 with 3-3) 9 assists. Despite 5 turnovers (at least two should have been called fouls), Steve Nash was trying everything he could to keep his team in the game but the swarming Chicago defense stifled his teammates.

Notes/Game Story

1st Quarter

  • Solid start for the Suns, a few jump shots sunk - a Nash 3 and we're off.
  • Boozer can't defend the Nash to Gortat pick and roll - 3 trips in a roll executed to perfection
  • Decent shooting for both teams in the first 6 minutes... but 3 turnovers for the Suns (2 on Frye)
  • All of a sudden quick 9-0 run by the Bulls as the Suns try to push the pace, Suns timeout - having zero offense as you run backfires it seems. Note taken.
  • Great Nash play out of timeout for 2 points (13-19)
  • Great defense leads to a fastbreak no-look from Nash to Dudley for two - (17-21)
  • Keef in for Frye with 4:40 to go - bring it rook.
  • Ball so hard - Scalabrine couldn't phase me
  • Nash and Gortat not only running the pick and roll well, exploiting mismatches with good regularity. Very positive here in the first
  • Daring Boozer to shoot? OK he misses then Nash nails a 3 - good plan?
  • It's like the Bulls can't miss. (21-29)
  • Geez. Welcome back Rip. 3 FG's already.
  • They said they have low scoring games here in Chicago right? WOWZERS. It's 31-39 in the first. Giving up 39 is never good I don't care what you say... but the Bulls were hitting very contested and decently defended shots. Got to have better D in the 2nd. But the bright side? The SUNS scored 31 points!!! WHOOOOOO!

2nd Quarter

  • 2nd unit time! ... fouls... turnovers and wide open dunks for Asik time! (31-43)
  • Warrick on Deng... interesting.
  • Lopez in for Gortat - I want to see him bang with Asik, this should be fun
  • Deng getting a foul called every time he moves towards the basket. Have to have better discipline and force him to the baseline - not straight to the rim.
  • Price to Lopez pick and roll! Wut.
  • Now Lopez backing down Boozer and drawing fouls!? Somebody pinch me.
  • Lopez again posting up Boozer and cashing in. Very berry berry good.
  • Suns hanging tight on the boards with the best rebounding team - 11-12 Bulls. 2 O-boards for each team to this point.
  • 10 point deficit when Nash left... 10 point deficit when he returns. Not sure if we can ask for more from our bench at this point! Great showing from Lopez thus far.
  • The only thing Batman has nightmares about? Brian Scalabrine.
  • Michael Redd in and draws a foul going to the basket immediately.
  • Boozer making all of his jump shots and Noah getting all the right bounces around the rim.
  • Too many Suns turnovers (10) in the half already.
  • Nash returns and the Bulls go on an 12-0 run. That's not supposed to happen. All thanks to Boozer who already has 22 points in the game with 3 minutes to go in the half. RIDICULOUS.
  • Scoreless run finally broken by a Nash to Gortat alley-oop.
  • Great interior passing by the Bulls. Very sharp looking team.
  • It's all Gortat and Nash performing consistently at this point. 17 points and 7 Assists for Nash already and 10 points and 6 rebs for Gortat.
  • Boozer comes out with 26 points in the half. Already a season high for him. Yikes.
  • End of the second half. Suns down by 20. Ho hum. That's what a 9-0 run and a 12-0 run will do to you.
  • Bulls 67 Suns 47. The Suns have to come back and play better defense in the second half. Cannot dare Boozer to shoot because obviously he was offended. Also we're going to need more offensive contributors. Story of the year.

3rd Quarter

  • Two turnovers to start the half. Nash gets hammered... no call.
  • We're all jump shots - all missed... and then Noah grabs an offensive rebound and slams it home amidst 4 Orange jerseys. This is not a good start to the half. Bulls 71 Suns 47.
  • 3 minutes in to the 3rd and still no points for PHX.
  • 7-0 run finally broken by a Channing Frye 2. (49-74)
  • We get a defensive stop aaaaaaand then we commit a turnover. happens a lot today.
  • Suns move to a zone on defense. Getting desperate.
  • Rip rips the zone with a 3.
  • Everything the Suns do, the Bulls do better. Nash hits a three, CJ Watson responds with one.
  • Markieff not having a great day. 2 points 0 rebounds and 3 turnovers in 15 minutes so far.
  • Make that 4 turnovers for Keef.
  • This game is getting hard to watch even for me. (68-94)
  • Brian Scalabrine is like a cross between a Ninja and Neo from the Matrix.
  • Bulls 98 Suns 68. 30 point bludgeoning. Without Derrick Rose.

4th Quarter

  • Hakim Warrick goes to work right away with an O-board and a putback.
  • Ronnie Price puts CJ Watson in spin cycle and scores 2. 4 quick Suns points in the quarter.
  • Lopez in - No more Gortat or Nash? Probably not.
  • Shannon Brown scores. CJ Watson doing mighty fine as Rose's replacement. 23 points early in the 4th.
  • Steal by Morris = fastbreak layup by Brown 78-102. This is garbage time indeed.
  • Robin Lopez with a great showing tonight, maybe the lone bright spot aside from Nash and Gortat.
  • Brian Scalabrine a.k.a. White Mamba sighting. Attention. He is in the game.
  • Scalabrine electrifying the crowd with jaw dropping assists and ball handling. All-star.
  • Then Robin Lopez tosses Asik to the ground! Yeaaah buddy. Fear the fro.
  • Game over. 97-118 Bulls.

Take-Away

With Derrick Rose sitting this game out I know we all got a little wide-eyed and wondered if we could pull off an upset, but Carlos Boozer had other plans. The same problems reared their ugly head in this game - inconsistent defense and inconsistent offense. Those are not two easy fix problems so we should continue to stay patient and temper our expectations accordingly. Nash and Gortat remain the lone consistent spots on this team so far - unfortunately everything else is so bad it really doesn't matter.

I'm having a hard time taking a positive away from this game other than the fact that the Nash to Gortat pick and roll chemistry is improving constantly. Where does that get us? Nowhere. We need the team to collectively elevate their energy and break the mental barrier of suckage at this point.

I guess the "Kiss from a Rose" Seal song was probably about a chick and had nothing to do about this game. My bad.

The Suns must move on as they face ol' Mike D and Amare in NY tomorrow.

Check out the Blog a Bull recap.

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Help me!  Get me somebody else who can score!  (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

It's time for the 2nd half my friends -

That 39 in the first half and that 16 in the first? Yeah those bad boys don't go well together.



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It's almost game time, 6PM AZ Time on FSAZ or tune in to Sports 620 on the AM Radio dial for the lyrical blessing of Al McCoy with the play-call.

  • Will the Suns speed up their tempo?
  • Will Channing Frye find his shot tonight?
  • Will we find an answer for Brian Scalabrine?
  • Will our defense be able to contain Luol Deng?
  • Will Michael Redd find his game legs?
  • Will Grant Hill show signs of improved health?
  • Who will be the Suns' leading scorer?
  • What are you looking for tonight?




FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Derrick Rose 13 36.9 7.2 16.3 43.9 1.6 5.2 31.3 4.9 5.6 87.7 0.7 2.8 3.5 8.7 3.2 0.9 0.5 1.5 20.8
Luol Deng 15 39.2 6.1 14.7 41.4 0.7 2.6 28.2 2.4 3.4 70.6 1.7 5.8 7.5 2.5 1.8 1.1 0.8 1.7 15.3
Carlos Boozer 15 28.8 6.1 11.9 50.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 2.0 66.7 1.8 6.4 8.2 1.4 1.7 0.9 0.5 2.5 13.5
Richard Hamilton 5 29.0 5.6 12.4 45.2 0.4 1.4 28.6 0.8 0.8 100.0 1.0 2.4 3.4 3.0 2.0 0.8 0.0 2.2 12.4
C.J. Watson 6 16.0 2.5 7.0 35.7 1.0 2.5 40.0 2.0 2.5 80.0 0.7 0.8 1.5 3.3 1.8 1.2 0.0 1.8 8.0
John Lucas III 11 15.2 3.2 8.0 39.8 1.0 2.7 36.7 0.5 0.8 66.7 0.5 1.3 1.8 2.1 1.1 0.5 0.0 0.8 7.9
Taj Gibson 15 20.1 3.1 6.1 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.6 2.5 64.9 1.8 2.7 4.5 0.7 0.9 0.4 1.4 1.7 7.7
Ronnie Brewer 15 24.5 3.1 6.3 48.4 0.5 0.9 53.8 1.1 1.7 61.5 0.7 2.1 2.8 2.1 1.1 1.1 0.1 0.9 7.7
Kyle Korver 15 20.3 2.1 4.9 43.2 1.6 3.5 45.3 0.9 1.3 73.7 0.5 2.0 2.5 1.1 0.7 0.6 0.2 2.1 6.8
Joakim Noah 15 26.4 2.4 6.1 39.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.9 2.5 76.3 2.9 5.0 7.9 1.5 1.9 0.5 1.2 2.3 6.7
Omer Asik 15 17.7 1.3 2.9 46.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 0.9 42.9 2.1 3.5 5.6 0.5 1.2 0.5 1.2 2.1 3.1
Jimmy Butler 7 3.7 0.9 1.0 85.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 1.1 100.0 0.4 0.4 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.0 2.9
Brian Scalabrine 7 3.1 0.3 1.0 28.6 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.1 0.1 0.4 0.3 0.6


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Marcin Gortat 12 28.5 6.7 10.8 62.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 1.8 54.5 2.3 6.2 8.4 0.8 1.3 0.7 1.6 2.0 14.3
Steve Nash 11 30.4 5.5 10.7 50.8 1.1 3.1 35.3 1.2 1.4 86.7 0.4 1.1 1.5 10.1 3.3 0.7 0.0 0.9 13.2
Jared Dudley 12 32.4 4.3 9.4 45.1 1.1 3.2 34.2 1.8 2.3 78.6 0.9 3.6 4.5 1.5 0.9 1.0 0.3 1.7 11.4
Shannon Brown 12 21.6 3.3 9.2 36.4 0.7 2.7 25.0 1.9 2.3 82.1 0.7 1.9 2.6 1.0 1.1 1.0 0.1 1.7 9.3
Markieff Morris 12 21.6 3.5 7.0 50.0 1.3 2.6 51.6 0.8 1.0 75.0 1.1 4.4 5.5 1.2 1.0 0.7 0.6 3.0 9.1
Hakim Warrick 11 17.8 3.2 6.9 46.1 0.1 0.6 14.3 2.2 2.9 75.0 1.4 1.5 2.8 0.8 0.6 0.3 0.2 1.5 8.6
Channing Frye 12 23.0 3.1 7.7 40.2 1.3 3.8 32.6 0.8 0.9 81.8 1.2 5.4 6.6 1.2 1.1 0.5 0.3 2.2 8.2
Grant Hill 11 24.9 3.0 9.0 33.3 0.1 1.3 7.1 1.8 1.9 95.2 0.6 2.6 3.3 1.4 0.9 0.5 0.8 1.6 7.9
Michael Redd 3 15.0 1.7 6.0 27.8 1.0 3.3 30.0 1.0 1.3 75.0 0.0 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.0 1.0 5.3
Ronnie Price 12 16.1 1.9 4.6 41.8 0.5 1.6 31.6 0.8 1.0 83.3 0.8 1.0 1.8 3.1 1.6 0.8 0.1 2.1 5.2
Robin Lopez 12 15.8 1.5 3.6 41.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.7 2.3 74.1 1.1 2.8 3.8 0.5 1.0 0.1 0.4 2.7 4.7
Sebastian Telfair 7 8.7 1.1 4.0 28.6 0.6 1.0 57.1 1.3 1.4 90.0 0.3 0.3 0.6 1.1 0.3 0.4 0.0 1.3 4.1
Josh Childress 5 11.2 0.8 2.4 33.3 0.2 1.4 14.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 0.8 1.4 0.4 0.2 0.6 0.2 0.6 1.8



Chicago Bulls' Carlos Boozer drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns' Marcin Gortat (4) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 5, 2011, in Chicago. The Bulls defeated the Suns 97-94. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)

So I have this problem. Every time I sit down to think about reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose, I can't help myself from singing the old 1994 Seal classic (who am I kidding... his only classic) "Kiss from a Rose". Man what a great song. Why do I love that song so much? Maybe it's because I was a huge Val Kilmer as Batman fan... but more it's probably because I had a huge crush on Nicole Kidman, who was 'mmmmm mucho caliente arriba arriba' in that movie.

But the better question is - why does that song pop into my head when I think of Derrick Rose? I have to believe it's because there is a message from the past intended for our present Phoenix Suns team and their game tonight hidden within the lyrics. For Serious. You don't want to miss this so jump it fools.

As we've all seen and said and yelled and cried - the Suns are in a dark dark place right now, dare I say, a gray and mystical land of darkness shrouded in more gray and gloomy mystery.

Watch the video - it will cheer you up... but pay attention to the lyrics


Did you hear it?

Let me break it down for you. Clearly, when Seal sings,

"Now that your Rose is in bloom, a light hits the gloom on the gray"

What he's referring to my good friends, is your Phoenix Suns and their gloomy and gray current state. And the Rose is of course Derrick Rose. So herein lies the message. Now that the Suns (4-8) are facing Derrick Rose and the Bulls (12-3: the 'blooming') this is the time for a light to shine on this dark state the team is in. Now is the time for a win! Great news my fellow Bright Siders!

Back to Reality

The Bulls are ranked number 1 in the NBA in just about every Power Poll out there. (SBNation | ProBasketballTalk | ESPN.com | NBA.com.)

For the Suns to get a win tonight would be nothing short of a miracle. But guess what? We have some hope. The word on the streets is that Derrick Rose might not play. Rose has been playing through a 'turf-toe' type injury and was held out of the Bulls game last night.

From Bulls.com writer Sam Smith,

"The Bulls have two days off after playing Phoenix at home Tuesday, and there would seem no reason to play Rose against the Suns at this point."

Rose was held out of the Bulls 102-86 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies last night and that was the 2nd time in 4 games that he missed. Like Smith says, with two days rest after today and a big 5 game road trip on the schedule ahead for the Bulls, it might be wise for Tom T. to rest Rose against the 'lowly' Suns. That's great news for us! Especially since Rose averages 25 points a game against Phoenix, his highest average against any team. (we seem to say that a lot about players amiright?)

Also - the Suns are coming in off a no-practice day off yesterday in Chicago, while the Bulls played a physically draining rout loss last night and will tonight suit up for their 4th game in 5 nights. We should have the energy and rest advantage on that front... but this season that hasn't been a proven advantage for nearly anybody.

Notes

  • No Rip Hamilton for the Bulls. Apparently he signed with them in the offseason... but has yet to play with some groin injury. Maybe he caught Steve's Pelvic Instability.
  • Containing Noah and Boozer - I think our bigs will match up quite well with the Bulls bigs. Our biggest test will be if Channing Frye can body up Noah and contain that freak on the glass. He might pull a Varejao on us tonight if he can't.
  • Read Coro's write-up on our Shooting - good stuff, 8 players on our team this year are shooting at %'s that are lower from last year. Can't have that.
  • Steve looked like he was in A LOT of pain for whatever reason (was it the back? The quad? His groin? His ribs?) a couple nights ago on the bench in the 4th - not sure who else caught that... let's hope he's okay and was just having a cramp or something.
  • Gotta stop that Deng Luol. He will light us up - looking to Dudley and Brown - or even Redd to step up defensively tonight against Deng. With Rose out, I would imagine Deng will try to load the offense on his back.
What it comes down to is this - the Suns need to play faster and make shots. That's what we need to do to win tonight. Play fast. Make shots. Play fast. Gotta go faster.

Again like I said - A win tonight would be a miracle, especially since the Bulls at 12-3 are off to their best start in 15 seasons at home (5-0) and holding opponents to something crazy like 34% shooting on their home court. But guess what? Crazy ish happens. Teams bond on the road. Our guys could come out of this lull and a light could indeed shine on our gray. Beating a team like Chicago would do wonders for our teams chemistry and overall psyche.

I love me some Suns - they are in fact ♪"My Power, My Pleasure, My Pain!!"♫

*Stay tuned for more updates throughout the day.

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Look for future posts and GOOD LUCK!


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