Who'd have thought? Lakers pound Bulls

It was pretty easy to see this one coming except that if you asked me what I saw coming when the Bulls played the Cavs on the road my response would have been the same.   I think the Lakers are the best team in the league.   They were 8-3 while missing their second best player and played us full strength.   So am I surprised the Bulls lost?   No.   Am I surprised it was a blow out?   No.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I didn't get to see much of this game and none of the second half, so someone will have to comment for me on what exactly went right.   Figuring out what went wrong looks pretty self explanatory.    The one thing I wonder about, and I discussed in one of the recent threads was at what point do you accept a game as a loss and rest your starters some minutes.

Luol Deng, John Salmons, and Derrick Rose have played a ton of minutes relative to their health.   Sure, you're not completely out of a game because you're down a ton in the third quarter, but when you know minutes are piling up for some of these guys sometimes during the season you need to throw one a way.    Use it as an opportunity to play James Johnson and Jannero Pargo for 20 minutes.

However, even that isn't straight forward.   For a team built entirely on hustle and hope, throwing one game out the window probably isn't a message you can afford to send.   That puts the Bulls on a dangerous collison course with the fates when it comes to injury.

Some bright sides from the box score.   Derrick Rose must have had a great second half, because he stunk up the joint early and finished with a very solid night going 7/9 in the second half.   John Salmons apparently didn't.   In the past 2 games, James Johnson raised his PER from a -2.8 to a 10.6.   Funny how stupid any stat chanegs when you only play five minutes a night.

The Bulls definitely need another rebounder out there.    Joakim Noah appeared to hold his own leading the game in rebounds with 15, but the Bulls were still dominated on the glass giving up 14 offensive rebounds vs their 34 defensive rebounds while the Lakers only gave up 10 offensive rebounds vs tehir 37 defensiev ones. 

My biggest question about this game is it even worth going back and watching the tape after I get home from work today?   I'm thinking probably not.  

Things aren't going to get much easier on this road trip, so it will be interesting to see what kind of intensity the Bulls come back with against Denver.  

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • Doug you must of not even look at the Lakers boxscore because Gasol made his season debut tonight. We were playing good defense in 1st half, but Gasol and Bynum were too much for us to handle. Salmons actually hit some threes on catch and shoots plus he was getting to the rim easily. He didn't play much in the game after Lakers put it away midway through the 4th. Rose played really well in the second half, but should of had better 1st half as he was fouled three times. He was even hacked one time when he ran into Gasol in the 4th quarter and just screwed at refs all the way down the court. All in all if we could of held Gasol and Odom off the boards we would of probably had the lead or been 1 or 2 at half.

  • The Bulls got beat up, but it wasn't really a winnable game the way things unfolded. The Lakers were just playing a higher level of ball and a lot of that had to do with the return of Gasol. Bryant would drive into help, but he knew where his bigs were and they got a ton of buckets just throwing it up into the seams of the defense. It was pretty.

    I don't want to call it a "good" loss on the Bulls end, because you never want that but it was a teachable event. Rose had his best half of ball this year, and Salmons and Kirk shot well, and JJ started to show signs of being able to contribute (though the D still needs to be polished up). Those are all things we needed to see, so despite losing it wasn't a total waste of a game, and I enjoyed it more than say, the Boston game, which was more of just a straight kick in the teeth

  • (The first thing Doug mentions is that the Lakers have been missing their second best player (Gasol) all season but were full strength against us.)

    The Good...

    Salmons kept us in the game in the first half. He had some nice drives, and hit a couple threes that kept saving us from the eventual blowout. He withered down the stretch, but at a certain point it didn't matter as he was not going to win the game alone.

    Noah was able to put up his numbers against a good team, though Gasol was easily the best big man on the floor. Although, with the rest of the Bulls big men being severely out played, Noah's decent work seemed inconsequential.

    Most encouraging sign of the night was Derrick Rose's agressiveness. He missed his first five shots in the game (mostly jumpers) and was visibly upset. From that point on, he was driving and getting to the rim like the Rose of last year. He had some issues with layups rimming out, but I'm just happy to see him missing layups rather than 17-footers. I'm not sure his explosiveness is quite there once he leaps at the rim, but he's at least trying now, which is an indication to me that he's feeling better. Also, after a couple of strong drives, Fisher backed off him and he was able to hit a couple jumpers. Like an NFL team that runs to set up the pass - Rose needs to continue to drive to set up the jumper, not the other way around. Tonight was a good sign, regardless of shooting %.

    The Bad...

    I haven't checked the box yet, but I believe Vinnie only played 7 guys in the first half (Kirk and Miller off the bench). Does he think you get extra points for winning the first and second quarters? His short-sightedness continues to plague this team.

    Luol Deng was completely shut down by Artest. Deng did a good job defending him too, but they could afford to have Artest focus on D all night and not score. We couldn't afford to lose Deng.

    Bulls continue to get no calls against the superstars (and superstar teams). Rose got hit several times on drives with no foul call, Kobe got his phantom calls, Lakers big men routinely went over the back for offensive boards with no repurcussions. Alas.

    The ugly...

    Taj Gibson should not have started this game. He was eaten alive by Bynum/Gasol. It was not pretty.

    The Bulls new and improved defense was completely overmatched. It was the defending champs, so there is an element of "What can you do?" to it. But still, it would have been nice to see them hold the Lakers to under 100. The Bulls D was no match for The Triangle.

    On several occassions after a decisive play in the Lakers' favor, TNT would pan to Phil Jackson sitting down calm, with a develish grin on his face. Then cut to Vinnie, frantically running his hands through his hair with the definitive "deer in the headlights" look. This may have been the biggest coaching mismatch in the history of the NBA. Ugh.

  • I read the top part wrong

  • The Lakers won because they took and made more shots. The Lakers took 8 more shots (42/92) and made 4 more FG's than the Bulls 38/84). They also took 5 more FT's (18/22) and made 6 more compared to the Bulls (12/17).

    Their interior offense (60 points in the paint) was ridiculous.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    It's hard to win when half the Bulls 8-man rotation didn't show up. Where was Luol Deng? Where was Taj Gibson? Where was Jannero Pargo? Where was Derrick Rose in the 1st Half? Where was John Salmons in the 2nd Half?

    The Bulls need ALL their core guys to play well for 48 minutes, not 24 minutes.

    The only positive, outside of Noah getting his 8th double-double in 11 games, was that a referee WOKE UP Derrick Rose. After not getting the foul and a AND-1 on a driving layup, Rose went 7 for 7. Maybe playing a little bit angry is the way to go?

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    So your point in your first post, Mr. Happy, is that the Lakers won because they scored more? Thanks. In related news, the sun came up this morning again.

    In regards to your second post - What did you expect from Deng and Gibson? Deng was facing the most feared perimeter defender in the league. And Gibson was an undersized 4 taking on the best frontcourt in the league. Not good matchups. Where wa Jannero Pargo? Really? When we're using the absense of Pargo as a reason the Bulls lost, we're really in trouble. That guy is a 10th man, at best. Let's not pin our hopes of beating the Lakers on JP's shoulders.

    I do agree about Rose, however. He had a pep in his step I had not seen yet this year.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    Read the post.

    I said the Lakers took more shots.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Do you know basketball? It doesn't seem so Dan.

    Making excuses for a Bulls loss, won't get it done. The Bulls need Deng, Gibson and Pargo, as well as the other players within their 8-man rotations to play well for 48 minutes, if they expect to win on the road against quality teams, like the Lakers.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    From what I saw, Rose's ankle is not bothering him very much, if at all. His burst is 110% there. He just didn't finish at the rim in the first half. He missed at least three layups that led to an 11 point deficit at the half, which proved to be beyond insurmountable. Granted, he should've gotten to the foul line about three times where there were no calls.

    As for Hinrich/Kobe fouls...the second one was totally a foul on Hinrich. He nearly upended him from behind. Nothing to be upset about there. The first one was a foul on Hinrich as well but at least Vinny showed some fire and got a technical. I like that. This teams needs fire from all sides and it was refreshing to see the coach show some balls on the road in "Showtime," irrespective of the fact that it didn't result in a win. If the defense can continue to play at a high level against teams that don't have two 7'ers and a 6'11" forward then I think that Vinny has done something NONE of us EVER would have thought possible. Cheers to Vinny thus far. The poor offensive performance thus far cannot be pinned 100% on Vinny either, much of the team just hasn't hit shots that went in for majority of their careers.

    Mr. Happy, I couldn't have been happier to see Taj Gibson hit the bench when he did. He was an albatross on both ends. The honeymoon for him is officially over. Though I doubt Tyrus would've fared much better against Gasol, I can't wait for him to get healthy.

    How is it that a team that has played as well as it has defensively (in sum) not know how to box out? I know that Gasol is very good, but there's no reason why a simple box out will not keep him from getting 7 offensive rebounds. If you ask me, that was the difference in the game. No Gasol and this game is much closer, potentially goes down to the wire.

    Deng was awful in all manners. He even missed a couple of "his" shots that were wide open when the game was actually within reach. That, coupled with Rose's missed layups in the first half spelled doom. I figured if they could keep it to 7 at the half they might have a chance to make a run in the third quarter. But no.

    As for Salmons disappearing in the second half, he picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter. That's why he disappeared. Nothing hard to comprehend about that one. It looks like Doug's prediction that he's going to get his wheels on track on this road trip is materializing. Thank god. We need him to score 18 efficiently.

    I don't ever want to see Pargo on the floor. Actually I don't want to see Gibson out there. It's too bad we don't have Amare. Anyone catch any of that Suns games prior to the Bulls? If there was any way to have him and Noah as a front court while retaining Brad as the third big man, that would be great. Ain't gonna happen though. If the Suns can keep pace to win 50 games I see extension for Amare being signed. Damn. I'd rather pay him the max than Bosh. At least Amare is a #1 scoring option. Couple him with Noah and you've got a hell of a front court.

    Rose does need to play with anger. Someone needs to take his candy from him 6 hours before every game. Reward him with some at the half if he plays well.

    Dan Frystak, Bulls got no calls against Superstar team, but it was a very lax called game. If they were really calling the game as it should've been, Noah would have fouled out early in the third quarter. It was a hack fest on both sides. I think it turned out to be more or less balanced. Villageworker2, you're full of shit. FT's at the half = LA:10, CHI:5. Noah's arms were mauling Bynum all over the place and I don't recall ever seeing him go to the line once.

    Doug, don't waste your time watching the second half unless you cherish watching in HD. I watched the entire game ONLY for that reason. The game was put totally out of question within the first 3-4 minutes of the third quarter. The rest was a slop fest with nothing were noting.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    "Granted, he should've gotten to the foul line about three times where there were no calls."

    Tyrus Rodman, you can't argue that refs aren't biased towards superstar teams. Kobe goes to the line everytime someone breathes on him. NBA officials suck, and there is an ex-ref in prison to prove it.

    "Though I doubt Tyrus would've fared much better against Gasol, I can't wait for him to get healthy."

    This statement contradicts itself. You don't think Taj is good, you want Tyrus out there instead, but you think that Tyrus wouldn't have fared any better lastnight than Taj?

    Tyrus Thomas is a Bust. He has an extremely low Basketball IQ, he doesn't hustle in the least bit and he is a distraction on the team. I can't wait till we trade/ release him.

  • In reply to Villageworker2:

    Buddy, bad foul calls did not cost the Bulls this game. There has been and will be much worse officiating to come. Much worse. I don't see any better replacements coming so don't be so sour after this game. It's not like they muffed a call that sent the win to LA.

    No I don't think that Tyrus would have fared any better. That doesn't necessarily contradict with what I have to say. I think Taj is a decent 8th man in a rotation. Thomas is much better, although I totally agree with you about his low basketball IQ and lackadaisical stretches. Distraction, I hope not, although the preseason may have shown something brewing. The fact is that Thomas is much better. And I bet Thomas would've rejected at least one shot from Gasol. Which may have kept him a little more in check, although it's doubtful. Regardless, there aren't a whole lot of players in the league that can stop Gasol from putting the ball in the hole.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    To say Rose's ankle/burst is 110% is ridiculous. He's got no elevation....but he's coming around. Hopefully he's 100% by Jan 1.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Doug-

    I agree, the medical staff needs to get involved. The only problem is that particular injury, or any inflamed tendon for that matter, can be pain free one day, and flare up the next. I have the same problem in my arm, from the result of a broken arm...its very tough to pinpoint how severe the injury is from day to day and treatment basically consists of a regimen of anti inflamitory pills...the only cure is resting...so yeah, I guess your point about reduced minutes is correct, probably wouldnt do much...

  • In reply to jt563905:

    Doug (dont watch it btw),
    The only positives I saw in the game were:
    -Salmons seems to have gotten his shot back (though got raped all 2nd half and pretty much dissapeared due to it)
    -Rose was noticeably pissed about his 1st half perfomance + getting severely mugged every time he drove with no call...But getting pissed made him attack repeatedly until he started to look like old Rose (minus the dunking)
    -Noah held his own per usual, but needs a bosh / boozer / stat to help out with scoring.

    Negatives:
    - Refs were clearly bought. Bulls got beat up so obviously, but thats never surprised me when playing on the road in LA.
    - Deng got absolutely owned by Artest.
    - Gibson got owned by Pau / Bynum. We sorely need an allstar PF...Tyrus being gone hurts us pretty bad if anything on rebbounding / blocking...

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Why did the Lakers take more shots get more makes, Dan?

    Answer that question and you'll understand why the Lakers won. It's not a complicated game.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Gasol = 7 offensive rebounds.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    This was the first game where we really missed TT (not that it would have changed the outcome...but 60 pts in the paint, ouch. Either way not much the Bulls could do here as they were severely out-sized and out-skilled. I agree with the comment above that it was better than the Boston game...there were a few positives to take away....let's hope Derrick continues his aggressiveness so we can grab a couple Ws before heading home. 1 or 2 wins would be great.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    "What did you expect from Deng and Gibson? Deng was facing the most feared perimeter defender in the league"

    This is a flat out ridiculous statement. Deng gets paid top dollar to contribute no matter who is guarding him...We need more than 6 pts out of him regardless. His performance was a huge letdown.

    I dont really know what to make of Rose's second half, because the game was clearly over. He was getting into the lane, but how much of that was the Lakers coasting? Hopefully its a good sign of things to come.

    Noah played his ass off....AGAIN.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    You said the Lakers "took and made more shots". So the taking is the important part, not the making? Wait, that doesn't make sense...right? You tell me.

    It seems you just look at boxscores for your game analysis. You should try watching the games, it allows you to offer actual opinion that doesn't reek of ignornace. The reason the Lakers got more shots in the first place was because of their size advantage, which led to offensive rebounds and add'l possessions - meaning the Bulls were overmatched in the frontcourt. Which I noted in an earlier comment.

    The Bulls playing only an 8-man rotation, one that includes Jannero Pargo, is never going to beat this Laker team. Ever. One could argue that the best Bulls player (Rose? Salmons? Deng?) is not as good the Lakers' 4th best (Bynum? Artest?). On top of the talent disparity, the Lakers have a ridiculous coaching advantage as well.

    The Bulls didn't play well, and they lost badly. But if they played their A-game, they'd still need a C-minus effort from the Lakers to take them down. 48 tough minutes from Deng, Gibson, and Pargo are not going to change that.

    I hope reading my comments has brought you back to reality. Can someone else please help me out with this? We need an intervention for Mr. Happy.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Artest has shut down Kobe, T-Mac, even point guards like Chris Paul and Steve Nash. Yes, I expected Deng to have a bad game. Let's be realistic.

    The fourth quarter is worth watching to see James Johnson score some points and get more comfortable with his game.

    Pargo should never play more than 3 minutes per game.

    Tyrus Rodman - I agree with most everything you said. Except that the first bad foul called on Hinrich (when Vinnie got a T) was a bushleague call when you consider Kobe had just elbowed him in the stomach to get separation. Kirk didn't even hit him back, just bodied up and the officials called it. And Rose's ankle is still not fine. He even talked about it after the game, and Sam Smith has more info on Bulls.com regarding this. He got to the rim last night, but still doesn't have the lift once there. Leading to more difficult shots. Rose said that on one of those drives he wanted to dunk but just didn't think he had the lift so he attempted a tough, twisting shot and missed. Soon enough he'll have all his weapons back.

    Mr. Happy - I don't usually resort to name-calling, but come on. The reason you're happy is that you're drunk right now, right? Be honest...

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Dan-

    I agree, I mean, I wasnt saying that he was gonna go for 20+, but it seemed like he was playing scared to me, and was clearly intimidated, settling for bad shots, etc...thats all I was saying...

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Also, I hate to beat a dead horse as I have mentioned this several times, but honestly, HOW is Derek's ankle going to get better when he is playing this much..particularly with an inflamed tendon...They need to really consider either reducing his minutes or sitting him for a week and see what happens..better now than later in the season

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I'm not quite sure how the Bulls should proceed when it comes to Rose's ankle. However, I'd have to say that yesterday's game was an indication he is feeling better. Then again, he might just be playing through more pain as he is a competitor.

    I have a feeling that unles Rose takes himself out, Vinnie will not (much like Deng and his recovery). Vinnie's seat is getting hot and he is going to ride his best players as much as possible. Regardless of how that damages them long-term. Because essentially, what does he care? He won't be here long-term, even if they will.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    Fear is the optimum word, Deng played as if he was afraid of Artest. Yes, he is the marshmellow man.

    Del Bimbo should have had a clue and started Miller instead of Taj, especially since Bynum ended playing only 24 minutes. Then Del Bimbo made the same mistake to start the second half, do coaches actually have their eyes attached to their brains during an NBA game, or are they on cruise control.

    Matchups rule in the NBA, if you are not good enough to force them in your favor then you have to react to the other team to match up as best that you can.

    Despite his nice start, it is becoming very clear that Taj is too small to compete as a starter at power foward, he is simply not man enough. I am not sure that Tyrus is either, but we really needed his length and athleticism last night. Even though he is not always a committed rebounder.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    The Bulls had no shot, they were outmanned and overmatched at virtually every position. As Noah said afterward, it was like the Pro's vs the JV.

    The Lakers when healhy are the 72 win Bulls, they are virtually unbeatable, and they know it. I believed that this team would win 70 games and maybe break the Bulls record before the season, and I still do. The only hope was for Gasol to stay out until Christmas, or to reinjure himself.

    They still have to lose 10 more games, who is going to beat this team 10 more times. Heck, they may get motivated and take a run at Wilts' Laker's 33 game win streak.

  • In reply to DanFrystak:

    maybe now is the time sign AI! : )

  • What a tough game to watch for multiple reasons.

    1. Joekim is an All-Star and battled it out with the league's best last night. He did everything he could to win.

    2. The ref's were on the take. Bulls were getting major contact with no calls while LA got the "Star" treament with every player. This kind of officiating is exposed during international play when refs call things fairly and the U.S. has a hard time winning games. Additionally, I know of know other sport where players can "chat it up" with refs the way they do in the NBA. It kills the credibility of the sport and frustrates true fans.

    3. Deng is mentally soft and got shut down entirely in the first half. This will continue to happen in games where we need him and his overall character is not becoming of an All-Star.

    I take nothing away from L.A., they have a great team, clearly the best. Its hard to contend with that kind of size and skill.

  • Did the Bulls beat Cleveland in Cleveland this year?

  • Are they that deep or just tall? Their front-line is HUGE.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I think they're both.

  • I think he means depth in the post. Bynum, Gasol, Kobe, Odom, and Artest all regularly post up from 15 feet and in. We don't have one guy that does that. Hence our stagant half-court offense. And when Walton returns from injury, he is a decent post-up option as well.

    As far as overall depth goes, I'm not sure. I caught way too many shots of Adam Morrison's wispy, porn-star mustache to believe they have a ton of quality down the line.

  • good thing that came out of this, JS+DR+JN looking good! Turn a - to a +!

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