Coming off an impressive win over the East-leading New York Knicks in New York City, it wasn't inherently unreasonable to expect the Chicago Bulls to at least be competitive as they took on the Atlanta Hawks. And they were, for a quarter.
Then the second and third quarters happened.
The Bulls got blown out by the Hawks, but there is good news. First off, the Hawks are a solid team. They came in a half-game better than the Bulls in the East, they have outside shooting and quality bigs and they play solid defense. Second, the Bulls' starters actually got some rest for once, especially Luol Deng, who was playing through a shoulder injury he sustained Friday night. Taj Gibson looked better than he has since his ankle injury, which is something.
Most importantly, though, nobody else got hurt. So that was nice.
Additionally, we got to see rookie Marquis Teague play against his brother, Jeff Teague, for a stretch of the third and fourth quarter. Marquis actually looked pretty solid, as he has in his last few stints of playing time, but obviously his brother's team won the overall matchup. He's clearly still learning, but he continues to show flashes of potential.
For now, though, it's time to gear up for the Houston Rockets on Christmas Day and the return of Omer Asik. One loss is hardly the end of the world.
Player o' the Game: Joakim Noah (10 points, 9 rebounds)
This is pretty much by default. Noah didn't play well, but he played better than most of the rest of the team.Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Chicago, Chicago Bulls, Jeff Teague, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Marquis Teague, NBA