Omer Asik has played two of his better games of the season in back-to-back wins over the Knicks and Heat. He was so effective in Thursday night's win over Miami that he played the entire fourth quarter and overtime and finished with eight rebounds, two blocked shots and a steal, although his effectiveness can't be accurately measured with statistics.
"Basically, he and Taj anchor the defense back there," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "It gives you two guys with size. if you get past the first one there's another guy sitting there at the rim protecting. That's a tremendous advantage."
Asik isn't as versatile defensively as Noah, who is quick enough to guard players on the perimeter, but excels in other areas.
"He's not a good screener he's a great screener," Thibodeau said. "When you come off Omer you're open, whether it's catch and shoot or pick and roll. He's a big-time multiple effort guy. A lot of times he sets a pick and roll and he's going to fly back out if there's nothing there and set another one and another one. He keeps going. He has added a lot to our offense."
He continues to struggle at catching the ball, however, especially when he's on the move.
"He's rushing a little bit," Thibodeau said. "He'll get better as time goes on. He's a diligent worker. He puts a lot of time in."