Well that was much closer than it should have been, but a W is a W as they say. You will notice there was no summary for the Celtics game, and that is because it was essentially a slightly better played version of the Magic game, so remove some of the hate and read the Magic summary if you want to know what happened there. The important thing is the Bulls showed signs of progress with Boozer in the lineup last night and tonight a lot of things came together.
-Pissing away the lead. The Bulls had a 14 point lead and lost it all, forcing Derrick to make a buzzer-beating 3 pointer to send the game into OT. While that isn't good, it's a step up from looking awful for one quarter every game. NBA basketball is a game of runs, and the Bulls did a great job for most of the game of building a lead and keeping it (and without that ridiculous 3 at the end of the 3rd quarter I suspect this game would have never gotten so close).
-The offense is meshing. The Bulls meshed with Boozer for the first time in 3 games. Boozer ended the game with 25 points and 9 boards, but most importantly he looked like he was catching on to the flow of the offense and how he fits into it. He made several jumpers and demonstrated some nice moves in the paint. There was also some nice coordination between Boozer and Noah on a couple occasions, though Rose is clearly still getting used to Boozer and what he is capable of.
-The rebounding came back after a 2 game hiatus. Noah, Boozer, and Taj all dominated the boards and even Rose had 7 rebounds. This isn't unexpected, once Boozer meshes completely with the rest of the team the Bulls should be the first or second best rebounding team in the NBA.
-Oh Derrick. This is the way the Bulls can win games. Keep a lead into the 4th and just let Derrick do the rest. There were a few hiccups tonight, they're still working out the kinks, but the blueprint is there. Even when the Bulls were giving up the lead it's hard to fault the offense. The Bulls never rushed shots or took unnecessary jumpers, they looked to get penetration and ended up with 54 points in the paint. Rose showed the form he has shown in all but 2 games this year, and on any night that Derrick is feeling it like that the Bulls will have a great chance to win.
There are still kinks, but the improvement over the last 3 games has been impressive. The defensive switching is still off and Rose is still unsure of exactly what Boozy can do for the team, but that will come with time. The Bulls will have a stiff test on Monday against the Thunder, but if this game was any indication it should be a much closer game than the games they played against other top contenders this week.