It’s been a while since Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler both got out and were running the floor.
That happened against Memphis and the Bulls used a strong third quarter to take control and Chicago won its fourth straight with a 98-85 win vs. the Memphis Grizzlies.
Every Time the Bulls play Memphis it is a struggle, and parts of this game were like that. Memphis has outstanding big men in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph and Mike Conley, the guard out of Ohio State, can hurt you. But Conley was off his game, missing 7 of 8 3-point shot attempts. Marc Gasol had 8 points and 7 rebounds.
But Rose and Butler were having as a tandem, perhaps their best games of the still young season. Butler scored 24 points and Rose 19 and both displayed moves that gave hope to the fans in attendance.
Joakim Noah said of their play:
“It just adds another dimension to our team when those guys are pushing and vocal. Today was definitely the best I’ve seen.”
Doug McDermott scored 17 points, including four made treys. He showed flashes in his offensive game. And, Pau Gasol, playing against his brother Marc, had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Courtney Lee led Memphis with 18 points.
Memphis had a tough night from long-distance land, hitting 5-19 shots. And had a rough night from the charity strip, making 16-28 attempts.
Speaking of Conley and Gasol, coach Dave Joerger said, “It was a tough night for them.” Joerger said, they don’t really feature these players, but “they try to get the ball to them in their hands.”
Chicago used a 24-13 third quarter to take control of the game, and led 69-60 with both Butler and Rose supplying the offense. The court was open and McDermott got in the flow of the game, and hit some nice treys.
Chicago looked more formidable Wednesday night. Bulls Coach Fred Hoiberg is still experimenting on offense. But if and when this team starts to jell, they can be a force in the Eastern Conference. They are now 15-8 with their fourth straight win.