Butler’s 28 points leads Bulls past Wolves, 96-89.

It’s one thing to play without Derrick Rose. It’s harder to play without the All-Star forward Pau Gasol out due to illness, and Taj Gibson who left the game with an ankle injury in the 1st quarter.

The Bulls had their hands full against the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, who’ve only won 5 games on the road this season. Minnesota (13-44) had newly acquired Kevin Garnett on the bench in the second game of a back to back. Garnett played in Wednesday’s win in Minnesota.

Jimmy Butler scored 28 points and had 12 rebounds in 42+ minutes. He shot 11 of 19 and was the best Bulls player on offense.  Center Joakim Noah had another solid game with Gasol out, scoring 11 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists.  Mike Dunleavy fired 5 trey’s on a 21 point night. Tony Snell added 12 points for Chicago.

Honestly, if the Bulls (37-22) had played a better team, they might have lost the game. But Chicago pulled ahead in the closing minutes to secure the victory. Even though Rose was out of the game, Gasol’s absence proved almost too much.  Gasol averages 18.4 ppg and 12.1 rebounds a game. Chicago only shot 38.5% from the floor, a low figure for a team for a winning squad.

Kevin Martin scored 18 points to lead the Timberwolves. Ricky Rubio added 15 for the visitors.

This trend of losing to inferior teams may do the Bulls in.  Around this time, losses mount up and wins are hard to come by.

Rose’s latest injury underscores the fragility of losing your team leader and point guard.
He does make the Bulls a better team. It is said that this injury will sideline him for 4-6 weeks. That is better than expected news for Bulls fans. It was feared he’d miss the regular season and playoffs. Rose was seen after the outpatient surgery, able to stand and  put full weight on his knee, a positive sign.  Now he begins another period of rehabbing a surgically repaired knee.

Richard Kagan

Contributing writer at Hardwood Nation. Contributing writer at Boomer-Living Plus.

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