The Chicago Bulls thoroughly dismantled the Charlotte Bobcats on the road Wednesday night, avoiding another embarrassing loss to an NBA bottom feeder.
After Monday night's debacle against the Washington Wizards, Chicago came out with a higher level of energy and focus against the team owned by the legendary Michael Jordan. Of course, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng didn't play once again as both are trying to recover from injuries. With four virtually meaningless games left on the schedule, there's no real rush to get them back into the fray. Their playoff position is secure.
Chicago will go up against the Miami Heat Thursday in South Beach, but win or lose, it's doubtful Miami will catch the Bulls for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. But that's neither here nor there. Let's take a look at how the home team dispatched the lowly Bobcats:
A game against a team that had lost 17 consecutive games may have been just what Rip needed to get his mojo back. Hamilton played 24 minutes, or exactly two full quarters, and scored 22 points on 9-13 shooting and connected on four of his 5 3-point attempts. He looked to be in rhythm and appeared to have his legs under him as well. But again, this is the Charlotte Bobcats we're talking about who don't exactly have a daunting defense or stellar perimeter defenders. The “real” test for Hamilton will come Thursday against the Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade. If he can play well in that game it would be a huge positive for both the team and Bulls fans as well.
The Bench Mob
The best group of reserves in the NBA rebounded from their awful showing against Washington and redeemed themselves. Diminutive guard and fan favorite, John Lucas III, led 'The Mob' in scoring with 12 points. Of course, it took him 11 shots to get those points, but he's never been shy about his attempts and his fearlessness is why fans love him. Chicago's second unit as a collective outscored Charlotte's bench 42-9 which is a recipe for success no matter who the opponent.
It's no secret the Bulls are the best rebounding team in the League and they showed it. The team outrebounded the Bobcats 57-38, most of which came on the defensive glass as Charlotte put up brick after brick shooting 30 percent from the field as a team. Omer Asik led all Bulls in rebounding with 15 and Taj Gibson checked in just behind him with 12 boards.