Full disclosure: I missed the terrible 3rd quarter due to silly things like "Christmas dinner with the family", so I'm just going to assume everyone was awful and leave it at that. If someone was particularly awful, let me know in the comments.
This tweet from J.A. Adande sums it all up:
For about 3 seconds after Derrick got the ball on the Bulls' last possession, I was silently yelling at him to take a timeout and let the Bulls set up a play. Then I remembered Derrick is Derrick, had the man he wanted on him, and all the momentum. Sure, there was no one there to rebound if he missed, but he didn't. M, V, P.
Also, nice to see Derrick hitting his 3s in the first game back. 4-6 from beyond the arc.
Luol Deng- 29%
Luol Deng guards Kobe as well or better than anyone in the NBA. This is, of course, the major reason why Deng was a game best +13 (that and the fact that while he wasn't in the game, Fredo was off getting housed by World Peace, but we'll get to that in a minute.) Deng also did nice Deng things on the offensive end, too, and following his shot after the missed three and getting an and-1 was obviously huge, as was the 5-5 from the line at the end.
-1% for the mistake that even my 8th graders know what not to do, though. Don't jump unless you know what you're going to do with the ball, please.
Carlos Boozer- 15%
While the whole help defense thing still has a way to go, at least tonight's Carlos Boozer was doing the things we should be paying him for, and not being a total liability on defense (although that might change when we play a better power forward than Josh McRoberts.) There was a stretch in the 2nd quarter when Boozer basically was our offense. Nice to see him playing with confidence again.
I'm giving TT 3% for the following reasons:
1. The Lakers last second play was "give the ball to Kobe and let him go 1-0n-5 to the basket". I'm grateful TT has more sense than that, and if I was a fan of any other team in the Western Conference, I'd be so glad the Lakers no longer have Phil Jackson and now have Mike Brown.
2. I love that TT had the confidence in Rose to let him make the decision about whether to take a timeout, instead of doing it for him. I don't think many other coaches in the NBA don't call timeout there.
3. But when they need a good play (like the possession before), he's completely capable of drawing one up that gets us an open three.
The reason he doesn't get more credit is because it took him so friggin long to switch Deng onto Kobe. Deng usually always guards Kobe. I don't know if he was deferring to Rip out of respect or what (I have a feeling Rip wanted to start out on Kobe), but it shouldn't have taken that long for the Bulls' best defender to be causing problems with his length. If I had more time right now, I'd look up Kobe's shooting by defender.
Baseline Ninja- 2%
Nothing special, nothing flashy, just solid defense and a mid-range jumper or two. I love how Ronnie works with the 2nd unit, and keeps the pace up-tempo.
Turkish D- 1%
I know he was 1-5 from the field, but 8 rebounds (4 offensive) in 20 minutes is a rate I can live with.
Careful, Kyle. You're starting to get a little bit useless over here. 10 minutes, 0-3 from the floor (with Steve Blake guarding him for most of those 9 minutes), and a -12, which is not like a "team was bad so my +/- is bad" -12, it was -12 because Metta World Peace was directly scoring on him for most of the time he was on the floor. Look, I know Korver isn't a great defender, but when the Lakers' 6th best player is calling for iso in the post on you, and you're not making up for it on the offensive end at all, then TT might as well be playing Jimmy Butler. (Note to TT: please try this experiment soon.)
I very much recall Joakim having 6 of the first 10 points for the Bulls. However, he ended the game 3-12 with 6 points, so that means he was quiet for there on out. I would give him a little credit for the big steal late in the game (and good help D in general), but it's a little negated by letting Pau knock a huge rebound off your knee to get possession. I expect Joakim to clear that rebound every time.
Should be no credit, but isn't-
Let's not panic yet, very ticky-tack foul trouble kept Rip from getting into a rhythm, which is why he was such a no-show on the offensive end. It happens to every player now and then. I predict Rip has 20 tomorrow night against the Warriors.