The Atlanta Hawks: Well, for starters, Carlos Boozer dunked on them.
No, seriously. Boozer flushed it. Left handed.
At this point, between his slump and the torn toe ligaments, getting dunked on by Boozington is like letting an 80-year-old grandmother go over the top on you in an arm wrestling match.
Chicago's defense through three quarters: For the first 36 minutes, the Hawks shot 53 percent from the field. And, actually, Chicago's D let the Atlantean's knock down 56 percent of their two-pointers (33-for-59) and convert an astonishing 15 of their 18 attempts at the rim. Good thing the Hawks were broke from three-point range (1-for-12).
Chicago's defense on Jeff Teague: Little dude flat out kept the Hawks in this game by scoring a team-high 21 points on 8-for-11 from the field and 5-for-7 at the line. He also had a team-best 7 assists and went 5-for-5 at the rim. Atlanta might have had a chance if not for the following four factors:
Factor 1 -- Joe Johnson: The 120 Million Dollar Man once again played like a third or fourth banana...assuming that banana had been half-peeled and left in the sun for a couple hours. Joe finished with 15 points on 6-for-15 shooting in 41 minutes. He was 1-for-5 from downtown and had only 3 assists and 2 rebounds. Still, Johnson wasn't half as bad as...
Factor 2 -- Jamal Crawford: Crawford was instant offense last night, minus the "instant offense" part. In 27 minutes of PT, Jamal managed just 2 poitns on 1-for-9 shooting (0-for-4 on threes). Note that Keith Bogans outscored Crawford 11-2 last night. I'm just sayin'.
Factor 3 -- Atlanta's fourth quarter offense: During the final 12 minutes, the Dirty Birdies scored only 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting. They committed 5 turnovers -- including one shot clock violation -- and got 2 shots blocked. They jacked up four three-pointers and made zero of them.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau went with a fourth quarter lineup of D-Rose, Lu Deng, Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer and Taj Gibson. That unit straight up shut the Hawks down. It probably didn't help that -- because Atlanta has no bench -- Hawks coach Larry Drew had to play Horford, Johnson and Teague 40+ minutes each. And Smith played 39 minutes.
Factor 4 -- Atlanta's fourth quarter defense on Taj Gibson: The fact that Derrick Rose (33 points, 9 assists, +17) torched the Hawks with 11 points and 3 assists in the fourth quarter isn't all surprising. But Gibson also lit 'em up for 11 fourth quarter points. THE RISE OF TAJ!
Luol Deng, poster boy: Uh, Lu, you don't need to get out on him. Trust me, you want Josh Smith shooting jumpers.
Carlos Boozer versus Josh Smith: Cat fight!
Not sure what that was all about, really. It sort of looked like Boozer thought Smith was going to come down on him and stuck out a protective arm...only Smith landed safely and walked right into Boozer's 'bow.
Said Smith: "I dunked the basketball and I go to turn and he just cleared me with an elbow to the jaw. Nobody is going to do that to me. I don't care who you are. I'm a man first."
Wow. That line was so macho, the woman sitting across from me on the train just grew a tuft of chest hair.
Josh Smith's shot versus Omer Asik's hand: Get out, Josh. Get out.
Benny the Bull: Hey! That's a waste of some perfectly good popcorn.
Chris' Playoff Lacktion Report: Pape Sy and Rasual Butler went mining in 65 seconds each for a 1.1 trillion payday.