Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls: Hypothetical Week 3 Review
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Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls should have been in action for fans to watch during Week 3 of the 2011-2012 regular season. But, due to the ongoing NBAlockout, fans have been left watching Coach Mike Krzyzewski make history and hearing about NBA players who are considering playing overseas.
Instead of watching the Bulls play the Los Angeles Clippers for the second time this season, fans were left to watch Blake Griffin vs. Kevin Love in an intense game of Jenga.
Add to this the fact that Luol Deng was reported to be considering heading overseas during the extended lockout and this was a miserable week for Bulls fans.
So, without having any real games to report on, this is a hypothetical review of what could have been in Week 3, if billionaires and millionaires had been able to compromise and the season had started on time.
Washington Wizards (At Washington) November 13, 2011
Bulls Vs. Wizards
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That being said, this would have been a great matchup to watch.
A year older and more mature, Wall would have impressed with his speed and his ability to find teammates for assists. Already a wily veteran, Rose would have showcased his ability to control the flow of a game and his legendary ability to finish at the rim with contact.
This game would have started the Bulls' much-daunted Circus Trip where they will play eight straight games on the road.
Being a young team, the Wizards will have really good games this season and games where they appear completely lost, games such as this one. Despite impressive performances from Wall and Crawford, the Wizards would have been unable to keep up offensively with the Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls, who are coming off a bludgeoning of the Sacramento Kings, are primed offensively and looking to secure a great record early in the season.
Two seasons ago, the Bulls were the kind of team who failed to put away inferior teams, but last year the Bulls took the next step to being a dominant team, winning by large margins against bad teams—a trend they will continue this year.
Led by impressive performances by Rose, Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler, the Bulls would easily put up 110+ points against a less-than-impressive Wizard defense. Additionally, the Bulls would have had a strong defensive performance by their frontcourt players.
Although the Rose vs. Wall competition would have been a good one, this game between the Bulls and Wizards wouldn't have been close. The end score would have had the Bulls winning by 15, but only because Rose and the rest of the starters were sat for the entirety of the fourth quarter.
The Bulls would have ended the night with a 6-1 record and a 1-0 record for the Circus Trip.
Portland Trail Blazers (At Portland) November 16, 2011
Bulls Vs. Trail Blazers
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Despite the great guards for both teams, the greatest battle of the game would have been in the post as both teams feature strong, aggressive, physical big men who like to fight in the trenches.
Last season, various story lines including strong regular-season performances by the Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs, the Miami Heat saga and Kobe Bryant chasing Michael Jordan's legacy led to the Trail Blazers being ignored by the majority of NBA fans. Nonetheless, the Trail Blazers looked solid last year and were favored in the postseason against the Dallas Mavericks on Bleacher Report" target="_blank">Dallas Mavericks.
Portland would have had a solid performance against the Bulls with both Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge playing exceptionally well.
Portland, known as a decent defensive team. would have forced the Bulls to a poor start but would have wilted against the offensive strength the Bulls have shown early this season.
The Bulls would have been looking for their second win on the Circus Trip and, despite a potent Portland fan base, would have performed well after a couple days rest.
Rose and Carlos Boozer would have led the Bulls offensively and Boozer would have had a season high with 30+ points as he sought to keep pace with Aldridge's strong offensive performance.
Rose would have come through big late in the game, hitting a huge three and finishing an "and one" with seconds left on the clock.
In their second close game of the season, the Bulls would have shown that they are able to finish with the game on the line.
Rose's free throw with seconds left would have given the Bulls the lead and Noah would have contested Aldridge's last-second shot attempt, causing him to miss.
The Bulls would have gained a lot of confidence from this game and would have ended the night with a 7-1 record while being 2-0 on the Circus Trip.
Phoenix Suns (At Phoenix) November 18, 2011
Bulls Vs. Suns
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Featuring two of the best point guards in the NBA today, fans would have seen Steve Nash and Derrick Rose on Bleacher Report" target="_blank">Derrick Rose in an epic duel wherein both guards would have been looking to showcase their passing ability.
The Suns have been just a little too old the past couple seasons to compete in the West and things will look similar again this year.
Due to the stifling defense of the Bulls backcourt, the three Suns veterans would have only combined for 29 points—and it would have been Hakim Warrick and Jared Dudley who would have carried the Suns with 30+ combined points.
Despite strong defensive performances by Marcin Gortat and Nash, the Suns would have struggled to contain the Bulls. The highlight of the night for the Suns would have been Nash's assists as he would have finished the night with 17.
The Bulls would have had a great all-around performance, limiting the Suns to just 87 points while themselves scoring 107.
Joakim Noah would have led the Bulls in scoring with 24 points, while six of his teammates also scored in the double digits. Rose would have fallen just short of Nash's assist numbers with 15 assists on the night.
Defensively, the Bulls would have looked dominant and Tom Thibodeau would have canceled the next day's film review due to lack of material to learn from.
The Bulls would have won this game in convincing fashion.
Rose would have been down on himself for being unable to match Nash's assist numbers but would have had his first triple-double of the season with 12 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds.
The Bulls would have ended the night with an 8-1 record and would still be undefeated on the Circus Trip at 3-0.
Los Angeles Clippers (At Los Angeles) November 19, 2011
Taj Gibson Clippers
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After hearing criticism for a week, Griffin would have been looking to dominate the Bulls frontcourt but Taj Gibson would have been equal to him while filling in for Carlos Boozer, who was nursing a minor injury from the Phoenix Suns game the night before.
Defensively, the Clippers would have harassed the Bulls into an uncharacteristically low scoring night while their frontcourt intimidated the Bulls with aggressive shot blocking.
The man of the night for the Clippers would have been Blake Griffin, who would have had his best game of the season with 41 points, making 15 of 18 shot attempts and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.
The Bulls, dragging a little on the second night of a back-to-back, would have had a hard time offensively—more from tiredness which led to poor shot selection than from the defense they were facing.
Defensively, the Bulls would have looked as solid as they normally do and with Gibson and Joakim Noah leading the frontcourt, most of the Clippers would have had trouble scoring in the paint.
Luol Deng, Noah and Rose would have chipped in offensively but Gibson would have been the highlight for the Bulls. Wanting to show that he can throw down with the best of them, Gibson would have gone off for 35 points with at least three vicious dunks on Griffin.
From this game forward, Gibson would average five more minutes per game and would be a legitimate option for the Bulls offense.
Despite a strong defensive showing and a great personal performance from Griffin offensively, the Bulls would have won the game but by a much thinner margin than last week, winning 99-96.
The Bulls would have looked exhausted walking off the court as the Circus Trip had begun to take its toll.
The Bulls would have ended the night 9-1 with a 4-0 record on the Circus Trip.
What Really Happened: Week 3
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In a week which could have seen the Chicago Bulls go 4-0 on their dreaded Circus Trip, there was sadly very little to report.
Here are this week's "highlights":
Warriors at Stars and Strikes event to honor 20 local heroes" target="_blank">Bulls Support Wounded Warriors at Stars and Strikes Event to Honor 20 Local Heroes
Do you have other lockout stories to share? Do you agree or disagree with the hypothetical review? I would love to get your input so please comment on the article!
Thanks for reading and come back next Monday for the Week 4 Hypothetical Review!