In a battle between Eastern Conference foes on opposite ends of the spectrum, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Charlotte Bobcats by a score of 105-75. Chicago moves to 32-23, while Charlotte drops to 13-42.
So how did it all go down?
Joakim Noah led the Bulls by nearly securing a triple-double. Taj Gibson offered all the necessary support, as he picked up 17 points in 18 minutes.
That was just a minor aspect of a phenomenal effort by the Chicago bench.
Just one night after the Bulls committed 26 turnovers against the Miami Heat, they coughed it up just six times against the Bobcats. They also made 50.6 percent of their shots and posted a dominant defensive performance, which led them to a big W.
So how shall we grade this 30-point blowout for Chicago?
Overall Grade: B
Minutes Played: 24
12 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 5/11 FG
With Kirk Hinrich injured and Derrick Rose still going through rehabilitation, Nate Robinson was thrust into the role of starting point guard.
You couldn't have asked him to play any more of a responsible and efficient game.
Robinson finished with 12 points and four assists on five-of-11 shooting. More importantly, he finished with no turnovers.
Robinson's shining moment came on a personal foul that he committed, believe it or not. After a rare Bulls turnover, he got back in transition and stopped the fast break.
Although the foul sent Charlotte to the line, that level of tenacity is what got Chicago the win.
This is one of the hardest-working teams in basketball—that play showed why.
Overall Grade: C
Minutes Played: 24
10 points, 4 assists, 1 rebound, 1 block, 5/14 FG
Richard Hamilton put together a quality outing, picking up 10 points and four assists in 24 minutes of action.
His ability to pressure Gerald Henderson almost makes it unimportant that Hamilton shot just five-of-14 from the field.
Hamilton moved well off the ball and spread the floor for Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson to work the interior.
Although he missed his only three-point field goal attempt, Hamilton's mid-range prowess was on full display—even Bobcats announcer Dell Curry was singing his praises.
He may not be the 20-point scorer we used to know, but Rip Hamilton remains a valuable player.
Overall Grade: A-
Minutes Played: 28
14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 6/12 FG, 2/3 3PT
Luol Deng was out-hustling younger players, out-muscling big men and impacting every facet of the game.
In other words, he was just being his typical self.
Deng didn't post glamorous numbers, but he played a key role in picking up this victory. Holding Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to two-of-eight shooting was only half the battle.
His 14 points, including two three-pointers, offers up the other half.
Somewhere in between his defensive dominance and offensive versatility, however, Deng must be applauded for his efforts that are not statistically acknowledged.
From chasing down loose balls to properly boxing out players with a significant height advantage, Deng did it all.
Yet another solid night from the two-time All-Star.
Overall Grade: C+
Minutes Played: 26
10 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 3/9 FG
Carlos Boozer's shot wasn't falling, but Chicago Bulls fans have to be pleased with his ability to provide aid in other areas.
Boozer grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out four assists in 26 minutes of game action. He also made all four of his free-throw attempts to secure yet another double-double.
Boozer now ranks fourth in the NBA with 28 double-doubles.
As for the quality of his play, Boozer missed open looks quite often. He shot just three-of-nine and missed a lay-up in traffic off a beautiful feed from Joakim Noah.
Fortunately, the Bulls got the win and Boozer managed to contribute in other offensive areas.
Not turning it over a single time helps, as well.
Overall Grade: A+
Minutes Played: 39
10 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 blocks, 1 steal, 4/7 FG
Joakim Noah was everywhere tonight.
The All-Star center flirted with a triple-double, dropping 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Noah also blocked three shots, came up with a steal and crashed the glass for three offensive boards.
Perhaps most important of all, it was Noah who stepped up to facilitate when Chicago's offense ran dry. This was never more apparent than in the second quarter.
With Carlos Boozer struggling to find the bottom of the net and the guards failing to penetrate, Noah took the ball at the top of the key.
The big man proceeded to drive, draw the defense and kick it to Taj Gibson for an easy finish.
This set the tone for the evening, as Noah did everything he could to help his team secure this victory.
A true All-Star performance.
Overall Grade: A+
Minutes Played: 18 minutes
17 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 8/11 FG
With Carlos Boozer struggling to score, sixth man Taj Gibson stepped up as an offensive spark for the second unit.
Gibson finished with 17 points on eight-of-11 shooting in 18 minutes of action—not only is that efficient, but it completely altered the outcome of this game.
Scoring just under a point per minute will do that.
Eight of those points came in the fourth quarter, as Gibson helped secure a double-digit victory in spite of Kemba Walker's second-half surge.
That includes a pair of deep jump shots, which displayed just how far Gibson has come during his time in Chicago.
Overall Grade: A+
Average +/-: +5.4
Collective Stat Line
49 points, 20 rebounds, 15 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
The Chicago Bulls' second unit was absolutely sensational.
They combined for 49 points, 20 rebounds and 15 assists. Most impressive of all, it wasn't just the usual suspects who stepped up to contribute.
Jimmy Butler and Marco Belinelli each had 12 points to lead the scoring charge, while sixth man Taj Gibson added 17 of his own.
It was rookie Marquis Teague, however, who surprised us all with four points, four assists, three rebounds and a block in 18 minutes.
As for the key moments, Belinelli came up with buckets in bunches during the second quarter. He dropped in seven quick points to fuel a run that created a double-digit lead.
That includes a beautiful bank shot that caught the entire Bobcats defense off guard.
From there, the Bulls never looked back.
Their second unit can be thanked for that.