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.