After receiving the MVP trophy from commissioner David Stern during a pre-game ceremony, Derrick Rose reminded us how he earned the award this season. Rose scored 16 points along with five points and five assists and Joakim Noah added 12 points and eight rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.
Carlos Boozer had a solid stretch late in the second quarter scoring six quick points to go with six boards, but Taj Gibson was key as the Hawks didn’t score a single point in the paint during his 6:22 of floor time.
The Bulls struggled early on offense, but made up the difference on defense and a much better effort on the glass. Chicago held the Hawks to 32% shooting and have a 29-19 rebounding advantage. The Hawks have helped by revisiting their terrible habit of long two-pointers. Luckily for the Bulls, those shots aren’t falling so far tonight, allowing Chicago to build a double digit lead.
If the Bulls can sustain this defense and protect the glass, it’s going to be tough for Atlanta to claw their way back. That said, Chicago has played one complete game so far this postseason, and you can be sure Thibodeau is reminding his team of that right now in the locker room.