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Chicago Bulls 95, Cleveland Cavaliers 85: Answering the Bell-inelli

December 6th, 2012 at 1:16 PM
By Caleb Nordgren

As always, sincere apologies for the headline and the pun therein.

After an eyesore of a performance against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls bounced back nicely with a 10-point win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland. All five members of the starting lineup somehow scored in double-figures, and Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah both notched double-doubles for the ninth time since joining forces in 2010 — all Bulls wins.

The guy you'll hear the most about in the wake of his performance is Marco Belinelli, who recorded a season-high 23 points on 7/15 from the field. Maybe it's just my well-documented animosity towards anything that prevents Jimmy Butler from playing — and towards Belinelli himself, even though it's not his fault that some idiots thought he was better than Kyle Korver — but I wasn't that impressed. I did miss much of the first quarter, when he really had it going, but Belinelli finished just 2/8 on threes, and he was getting pretty good looks too.

Then again, he got to the free throw line eight times and made seven of them, so maybe that makes up for it.

Luol Deng had another solid game, putting up 22 points and 7 rebounds on 8/14 from the field. He did turn the ball over four times — he really needs to stop dribbling so much — but his shooting and cutting work helped make up for it.

Sadly, Thibs Ball made an appearance, as the Bulls were in control basically through the whole game, but no starter played less than Boozer's 32 minutes, with Deng, Noah and Belinelli recording 40 minutes or more. It really hasn't yet, but sooner or later this is going to bite the Bulls in the ass. Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson need to be getting more than 30 minutes combined, and this has nothing to do with my love for either of them. Simply put, the Bulls need to be more careful about their minute distribution before it gets them into trouble.

Player o' the Game: Joakim Noah 13 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks

Noah went toe-to-toe with Anderson Varejao and walked away the winner. He didn't shoot well, but he made plays and crashed the offensive glass just as well as he usually does. His passing continues to give the Bulls' offense a dimension most others don't have and that it desperately needs without Derrick Rose. It's hard to imagine where this team would be without him this year.

Tags: Carlos Boozer, Chicago, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Marco Belinelli, NBA

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