Now THAT’s what you call an NBA ass-kicking. Last night, the Bulls were Georges St-Pierre and the Raptors were Josh Koscheck (only not nearly as douchey). The Bulls connected early and often and while they didn’t technically knock their opponents out (because they let the Raptors make the score look semi-respectable in the meaningless fourth quarter), the Raptors were thoroughly outclassed by a much, much better team.
Have you ever forgotten how good a player is because he’s been injured for a while or because he previously played for a team you don’t go out of your way to watch — like, say, the Utah Jazz? Well, I’d like to go on record as saying that I had forgotten how good Carlos Boozer is. His numbers tell part of the story (34 points, 13-for-17 shooting, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in just 26 minutes) but here’s a handy infographic to show how he had his way with the Raptors’ big men under the basket.
That’s Carlos Boozer’s shot chart showing where he made his 13 field goals last night. I assume the one behind the basket is a glitch of some sort. Anyway, the way he commands space in the post to both get his shots off and grab rebounds is amazing to watch. I don’t know if Andrea Bargnani’s seven-foot frame would have made any difference if he had been able to play last night, but I know that I saw the Raptors’ starting frontcourt of Amir Johnson and Ed Davis get absolutely abused. I can’t even point fingers of blame at the guys because Boozer is just that good.
The Bulls dominated the Raptors in every way imaginable but where they really took control of the game in the first half was on the boards. The final tally shows that Chicago outrebounded Toronto 47-37, but a lot of the Raptors’ rebounds were grabbed by Joey Dorsey (more on him later) late in the game when the outcome was decided. At one point in the first half, the Bulls had a 26-11 rebounding advantage. They were credited with 14 offensive boards on the game but I think at least 10 of those came in the first two quarters. Here are most of them.
I don’t know if the Bulls usually crash the boards like that or if their coach, Tom Thibodeau, instructed them to hit the offensive glass hard last night because of the undersized frontcourt the Raptors were forced to start. Regardless, Chicago had the decided advantage in size, strength and hustle in that department.
Perhaps if the Raptors had started Joey Dorsey instead of Amir Johnson at center, they could have fought back a little better against the Bulls’… uh, bullying. As much as I like Amir’s game, he’s not strong enough to play center effectively against most frontcourts. Dorsey is a beast of a dude and he showed well in his career-high 29 minutes last night, notching his first career double-double (12 points, 13 rebounds) and showing some decent touch around the basket. Well, better than Reggie, anyway.
If Bargnani isn’t back in the lineup for Friday’s game against the Nets, I think Jay Triano should start Dorsey in Amir’s place to see if he can push around that softie, Brook Lopez. While we’re at it, give most of Linas Kleiza’s minutes to Julian Wright. I’m tired of watching Kleiza brick wide-open shots — let him work out his issues in practice instead of live games. And why couldn’t Solomon Alabi get some burn in the fourth quarter last night? The Raptors were down 91-64 after 36 minutes — I’m pretty sure they weren’t getting back into this game under any circumstances.
Let’s close with a shout-out to Joakim Noah (one of my favorite players) who announced after the game that he’s getting surgery on his thumb that will probably cause him to miss 8-10 weeks. He couldn’t have made that decision before last night? Oh, and thanks for murdering my fantasy team, buddy. I’m sure “Roko-Leni Picture Show” won’t miss a beat with Kris Humphries taking your place. Try not to do too many bong hits while you’re healing up, J-No.