Derrick Rose has missed the past four games for the Chicago Bulls, and 14 games overall this season. In those 14 games, the Bulls have gone 10-4, and Monday night in Orlando showed exactly how. The Magic were at full strength, yet the Bulls' defense was so suffocating, so intense, and the Magic were so cold, that the Bulls won 85-59. It was the fewest points the Bulls have ever allowed, and it began with Luol Deng, Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson completely clamping down on the perimeter and making Dwight Howard do it alone against Joakim Noah, which, again, he couldn't.
Carlos Boozer and John Lucas were the engines of the Bulls' offense in Rose's absence. Boozer took Ryan Anderson to school in the post, using an array of jumpers and spin moves and his bigger body to finish with 24 points, 13 rebounds and four steals, shooting 12-18 from the field. Lucas was equally impressive, using his quickness to punish Chris Duhon when both were on the floor. He finished with 20 points and made a career-high four three-pointers.
Noah scored only nine points, but his passing is such a key part of the offense that he gets everyone open looks. He also did this to Glen Davis.
Howard finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, but he was really the only player on his team who made any sort of positive contribution. Anderson was the only other player who scored in double-digits, and he had 10 points on 4-13 shooting. They shot 20 percent from three-point range as a team, and the only way they've been able to compile 29 wins on the season is their outside shooting. When they shoot 20 percent from distance, they're going to have nights that they score 59 points.