After Monday night’s debacle against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tom Thibodeau was asked why he didn’t utilize his bench more with the team carrying a 27-point lead. The coach never answered the question, but it was on the minds of everyone who watched him institute an eight-man rotation, defiantly leaving other able-bodied Bulls players as spectators in the loss.
But Wednesday night’s contest against the Dallas Mavericks was totally different as Thibs played 10 guys at least 12 minutes in the 101-78 victory, every man on the roster logged minutes in the game, and all but one player scored.
It was a total team effort and a solid showing from every member of the Bulls – head coach included – which was no doubt fueled by Monday’s epic collapse against the Bucks. Thibs, whether of his own volition or a much higher mandate, seemed to abandon the “my way or the highway” approach and effectively utilized his players. The end result was a much needed victory that brings the Bulls to 7-7 on the season.
The Bulls had five players score in double figures against the Mavs, three of them being reserves. Chicago dominated on the glass 44-30 and shot 60 percent from behind the three-point line, their best performance from long-range this season. The Bulls bench outscored the Mavericks bench 50-34 and played more minutes in the first half than they did in the entire game on Monday. The team shot 49 percent from the field and was able to force Dallas into shooting 35 percent.
Turnovers are still a problem for Chicago as they logged 19 in the game with Rip Hamilton accounting for 5 by himself while five other Bulls had at least 2.
Carlos Boozer (6 points, six rebounds) had a very poor performance while being guarded by Shawn Marion (18 points) on defense. Booz shot just 3-7 from the field and didn’t seem very engaged in the game at all. The aforementioned Hamilton (4 points, four assists) and Kirk Hinrich (6 points, three assists) were also non-existent in the game, but fortunately, the team as a whole played well enough that there was no need for any outstanding individual performances.