Chicago Bulls: Report Cards for Each Player Against the Miami Heat
The game is over. The Miami Heat clawed their way to a victory against a Chicago Bulls team that wouldn't quit.
Though it looked like a runaway win for the Heat in the first quarter, the Bulls settled down and executed. That was the story throughout the game.
The Heat would pull ahead and then the Bulls would string together some stops. It just wasn't enough; the Heat ended up taking the game, 97-93.
Now that the dust has settled, let's examine the performances of each individual Bulls' player.
Brian Scalabrine only played .1 seconds in the game.
Not much is expected from Scalabrine, and he delivered in his extremely limited amount of time on the court.
The White Mamba didn't exactly earn his paycheck today, but let's all give him a hand.
Final Grade: A
A lot of people say that Derrick Rose can go upstairs.
So can LeBron James. John Lucas was his staircase—James literally climbed Lucas for the alley-oop dunk.
There weren't any bright spots for Lucas today, who only played because the Bulls' primary backup point guard, C.J. Watson, was out.
Lucas went 0-for-1 shooting and committed one turnover in three minutes of play. The Bulls didn't score a single point with Lucas running the point.
C.J. Watson? Gilbert Arenas? Mike James?
Final Grade: D
Omer Asik is accustomed to more playing time. He only saw six minutes of play today.
That isn't surprising, considering how well Joakim Noah has been playing as of late. Asik grabbed one rebound and committed a turnover in his time on the court.
His impact on the game was negligible.
Final Grade: C +
I wasn't expecting Kyle Korver to play well today and that prediction seemed to hold true until Korver really turned it on.
After missing three three-point shots, Korver got hot and connected on his next three three-point shots.
Those were big buckets for a Bulls team that desperately needed them. He wasn't embarrassed defensively by James or Dwyane Wade, either.
Korver ending up bringing some defensive intensity to the team. He ended the game with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting to go along with five rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Final Grade: A -
Taj Gibson played 29 big minutes today with either Boozer or Noah on the bench.
James settled for a lot of jumpers with Gibson on him and just knocked them down. That's still the shot you want James taking.
Gibson had a couple big dunks early. A couple calls didn't go his way, but he played under control regardless.
Gibson had eight points on 66.7 percent shooting with four rebounds and a block in the game.
Final Grade: B
Joakim Noah played good basketball today.
He made some strong moves to the basket early, which got him free throws. Noah was very active on the boards and got a few blocks in, too.
He was involved in both the offense and the defense. Noah was extremely engaged.
He scored 11 points on 66.7 percent shooting to go along with 11 rebounds, a steal, four assists and three blocks.
No turnovers for the big man.
Final Grade: B +
Carlos Boozer ended up fouling out of the game.
It was a largely disappointing game for Boozer. He couldn't get anything going for most of the game when the Bulls needed baskets.
Boozer's effort did pick up in the fourth quarter.
We expected Boozer to struggle today and we were largely right. The problem is the Bulls needed a big game out of him.
Boozer ended the game with 10 points and nine rebounds. He also chipped in two assists and two steals.
Final Grade: C
Ronnie Brewer had the toughest assignment of the game: He had to guard James.
He tried very hard, but Brewer doesn't have the length to frustrate James. James had a double-double with 35 points and 11 rebounds.
Luol Deng's defense on James and his scoring ability were sorely missed in this matchup today.
Brewer had 10 points and six rebounds to go along with three steals.
Final Grade: C +
It was a tough day for Rip Hamilton, who was brought in specifically for games like today. Hamilton played good defense on Wade, but couldn't create any offense himself.
He committed five turnovers and went 4-for-16 shooting in the game, making himself a non-factor in the second half.
Hamilton hasn't played well in the last couple games and the Bulls have to hope this isn't a trend.
They need much more from him.
Final Grade: C
Derrick Rose was having a monster game. He got to the free-throw line in the final minute with a chance for the Bulls to take their first lead of the night.
Neither free throw went in.
Rose looked inconsolable after that.
He carried his team through most of the game. One superstar against three. Floater after floater dropped for Rose even through contact, which wasn't called.
I'm sure it wasn't comforting to Rose that James bricked two free throws on the next possession because the Bulls ultimately lost the game.
Rose had 34 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists as well as a block and a steal.
Rose truly rose to the occasion of pulling his injury-ridden team over the hump. He fell just short.
The 23-year-old MVP will have to nurse his wounds and bide his time until his team's next meeting with the Heat.
We're all looking forward to it.
Final Grade: B +