Technically, the players went to the FedEx Forum, they dressed, and they went out onto the court.
But even without Derrick Rose, the team's effort was inexcusable, leading to a 102-86 Memphis win that really wasn't that close.
Among the truly bad from this game:
The Grizzlies shot 69.2% from the field in the first half.
They outrebounded the Bulls 46-34, even without Zach Randolph in the lineup.
Luol Deng (20 points) and Carlos Boozer (13) were the only two starters in double figures- Noah, Lucas and Brewer combined for only 16 points (7/22 FG) and seven rebounds while committing nine turnovers vs only three assists. In a combined 78 1/2 minutes, no less.
Taj Gibson was outstanding off the bench- 16 points (6/8 FG), five rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots in 25 minutes. Omer Asik was very solid as well (6 rebounds and 2 blocks in 18 minutes).
But Kyle Korver (0/4 FG, 0/3 on 3's) couldn't shoot, though he didn't get but one really good look as the Grizzlies clamped down on defense from the opening tip. On the other hand, outside of a few minutes in the 4th quarter when they cut a 25-point defecit to nine, the Bulls didn't really play much defense at all in this game.
The Bulls almost made a game of it in the 2nd quarter, cutting the lead to 7 with 5:00 left in the half. But the Grizz went to a 16-3 run to close out the quarter, and the Bulls were never in the game after that.
Even the best of teams are going to have a few stinkers during a season- the greatest team in NBA history even lost 10 games- so hopefully the Bulls just burn the tape of this game and start getting ready for tomorrow. Phoenix comes to the United Center for a 7 o'clock tip, and I fully expect the Bulls to come out on a mission to make up for today's debacle.
Everyone on Memphis looked pretty good today, and with the Bulls lack of defensive intensity and their sloppiness on offense, even 20 turnovers didn't stop the Grizz from becoming only the 4th team to score 100 or more on the Bulls this season. And the Bulls had won two of the previous three times their opponents topped the century mark.
Rudy Gay (24 points), Mike Conley (20) and Marc Gasol (19, plus 10 boards) were the main culprits as they did their damage on 29/44 (65.9%) shooting from the field.
Comments anyone? Do any of have any major concerns about this game, or was it just "one of those days"?