Bulls 100, Wizards 97- Dunleavy saves the season, Bulls win in spite of Thibs

Bulls 100, Wizards 97- Dunleavy saves the season, Bulls win in spite of Thibs
Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

Box Score

Just for the record, I started writing this with 1:35 left in the 4th quarter, and Taj Gibson shooting the 2nd of two free throws (after he missed the first) to tie the game, so I'm not sure the Bulls lost this game yet. But even if they wind up winning, I'm officially sick and tired of Thibs' lack of in-game coaching adjustments.

Thibs is an outstanding defensive coach, certainly the best in the NBA. But the crap I am seeing at the end of this game has officially pushed me over the edge.

Taj Gibson has had Drew freaking Gooden guarding him since Nene got ejected, and I have yet to see him get the ball in the low post. Except for the one time Gortat picked him up, and he got lucky to get fouled on the putback. Every Bulls fan knows what a putrid defender Gooden is, why Gibson didn't get a chance to take him one-on-one is beyond me.

Jimmy Butler has been absolute garbage in this game, I'm not sure why he's on the floor. He's a great lock-down defender if the opponent has a superstar that needs to be locked down, but the Wizards don't have that.

And Joakim Noah is the heart and soul of this team, but he has been horrible tonight. Missing free throws, mishandling the ball, fouling Wall on a drive when all he needed to do was make Wall shoot over him... it's been rough.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but Boozer should have been in the game instead of Noah for the last 4:00, at least Carlos would have made Gortat or Gooden pay for trying to defend him.

Butler hits a huge 3, and the Bulls now lead 96-93 with 6.3 seconds left, only because John Wall for some inexplicable reason didn't pass the ball to Trevor Ariza for an open 3 to possibly tie the game, and Hinrich knocked the ball out of Wall's hands. Bradley Beal choked on the first free throw, and after he made the second, the Wiz inexplicably fouled DJ before the ball was inbounded.

He made the free throw, and the Bulls eventually held on to win. But Thibs screws up again, having Snell on the floor instead of Dunleavy, and Snell accidently fouled John Wall on a 60-foot heave to give the Wiz a chance. Why in the hell is the rookie in the game instead of the veteran who won the game for you? There was no need to play defense, let the Wiz score and the game is over.

But it's not Snell's fault, he's a rookie who had no business being on the floor at that point. I think we all now see why it took Thibs 20 years to get a head coaching job in the NBA, and inexperience is no longer an excuse- this is his 4th season, he should know better by now.

But wow, what a game. Of course I couldn't be happier that the Bulls won to keep the series alive, but it was pure luck.

Dunleavy had the game of his life, hitting 8/10 3-pointers and finishing with a career playoff high of 35 points, more than doubling his previous career best of 17.  And he saved Thibs' ass for now, but I don't know how much longer the Bulls can overcome some of Thibs' ridiculous rotations and his lack of flexibility.

Now I'm going to finish watching the Blackhawks' OT game vs the Blues, I'll break this game down some more tomorrow.

 

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    Don Ellis started covering sports professionally when he was 15. He attended Ball State University, and some of his past credits include InsideHoops (NBA Runaround, The NBA According to Ellis) and ESPN Florida (The Florida Sports Reporters, SportsCenter anchor) . In addition to running Bullsville.net and ChicagoSportsWriters.com, and writing for ChicagoNow and SportsBlog.com, he is also a KHSAA and semi-pro baseball umpire. He's a 3rd-generation Cubs fan, a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier and Sloan, and a life-long New England Patriots fan. Follow Don on Twitter @Bullsville.

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