The Chicago Bulls are well known as the most disciplined, hard-working team in the NBA Eastern Conference. Still, with a bunch of new pieces, returning pieces and new found depth, it will take time to fully acclimate. The pieces are in place, now they will need to gel. The process will take time, but a big win on the road against the Toronto Raptors, who started 7-1 this season, was a big stage showing that they are already coming together nicely.
1. Play develops. Following a charge, Bulls set up offense, only three seconds off of the shot clock. Efficient.
2. Motion begins. Fake screen from Taj for Brooks, leads to Gibson motion for Hinrich.
3. Ball movement/Reveal. Noah seen as a trailer on the play as a center can ofter be. Help pops on Hinrich, Gibson rolls, Noah stands along near the three. Ball now in motion.
4. Noah passing. Probably well regarded as one of the best big man passers in the game, Noah receives ball, already sees the opening. The help defender is inexplicably behind Hinrich and his actual defender is watching motion as Noah's man moves out of lane toward ball handler.
5. Execution. Brooks has pulled his defender so far into another world that he doesn't even know what is happening in the space the he has just vacated while trailing his mark. Perfect delivery from Noah, Gibson with the good hands.
6. Patented Gibson Slam. He's good at this and though the play is essentially done at this point, I felt we should all appreciate what has happened here.
After seeing the action, I was reminded of a tweet from @Laarks, who prophesied over this Bulls team and has been proven (mostly) correct. Assuming Tom Thibeodeau learns the mastery of minutes management given that he now has significant depth in his squad, the tight defensive rotations and offensive player development should propel them to the top of the East sooner than later.
The action in this game was fantastic, even if the score wasn't always close. Rose and Lowry were dive-bombing on both ends and it was another teaser of teams who figure to have home court advantage come the playoffs. I'm not sure how these types of movements are so easily ignored by media covering the game. The Bulls offense has mostly died without Rose in the lineup, but here they are executing perfectly. If they continue this progression, Rose will get the time he needs in the game and out of the game to acclimate himself to regular game situations and the Bulls will be the Spurs of the Eastern Conference by June.