Bulls’ C.J. Watson, John Lucas III getting their due as Derrick Rose’s backups
By Neil Hayes email@example.com March 19, 2012 10:18PM
Stan Van Gundy
Updated: April 21, 2012 8:13AM
ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy wasn’t overly relieved to know that Derrick Rose wouldn’t be playing Monday night, which says a lot about how Bulls backup guards C.J. Watson and John Lucas III have performed in Rose’s absence.
‘‘They’ve just beaten Philly and Miami without Derrick Rose, so we certainly can’t expect anything other than a great opponent out there tonight,’’ Van Gundy said before the Bulls’ 85-59 victory. ‘‘They’ve played really well without him. They really have. Their point guards have done a good job, Watson and Lucas. They’re different. They’re not the attackers [Rose] is, but they can both shoot the hell out of the ball and make plays on pick and rolls.
‘‘[Carlos] Boozer has been tremendous. So has [Luol] Deng. They run more catch-and-shoot for Kyle Korver. They find their way around it and base their game on what they do on the defensive end anyway. Their defense, more than anything, is based around Deng, and their bigs, their front-line guys, so their defense doesn’t really suffer at all.’’
With Rose (groin injury) out for a fourth consecutive game, Watson started, finishing with just one point after scoring 20 in Saturday’s win over the 76ers at the United Center despite a twisted ankle that has robbed him of his quickness and mobility. He failed to make a shot from the field in eight attempts.
Lucas had a career-high three three-pointers in the first quarter and finished with 20 points after scoring 24 against the Heat last week.