We’d be remiss if we didn’t start off the day talking about the original crazy haired insane person starting Center of the East who came up huge in OT last night and nailed home a win in Phoenix. Real strong game from Noah, played big down the stretch keeping balls alive and getting buckets and even threw in some 6-shooters after crushing that 17 footer to put the game away. Dude’s playing like a starting All-star at this point and he probably should be, regardless of when that absurd mop-top in Philly gets back to actually playing.

More importantly the Bulls are winning games they should be winning. Excluding the Celtics and OKC, they’re 5-1. They’re doing it with defense (blowing an 18 point lead last night aside), and spreading the ball on offense. There’s little to no consistency scoring the ball night in, night out but there’s enough vets that can try to step up that in most cases the points start to emerge. Last night was evident of the struggles they can have at the end of games but Noah stepped up the last couple minutes, played like the star he is and that was that. Winning games on the road against average Western Conference teams is a solid indicator that the Bulls aren’t playing down to their competition and are set as an above-par middle of the road team until D-Rose gets back. Throw in the Pacers injuries and it wouldn’t be surprising if they were atop the Central when he finally does.

PS – Hinrich got crushed in the ever rare “Battle of 2 white point guards” match-up with Goran Dragic. But Hinrich gets crushed by everybody so who cares.