I joked to my wife with five minutes left in the game [score 83-95] that if the Kings could score 17 points in the final five minutes that they'd win the game, because there's no way the Bulls would break 100. I wasn't serious.
I was right.
If there was a hall of fame for losses, where would this one rank? On the one hand, expectations for this team after getting blown out in 8 of 10 games during one stretch aren't that high.
On the other, how do you drop a 35 point lead with 20 minutes left in the game? I mean really? How do you drop a 10 point lead with 3:09 left to play [okay that's cherry picking, Udoka hit a 3 at 3:08] but still. The sad thing about it was that I saw it coming subconsciously. I made the joke. I had a nervous edge even while watching the game up by 30 points.
The only thing stopping this from being a complete shoot yourself in the head scenario was that the win wasn't lead by a barrage of Nocioni threes and Spencer Hawes post ups. If we gave up a 35 lead, and I had to read about how we missed on Hawes and should ahve kept Noc this morning I might not have been able to open up my web browser.
As for a report on how players looked? How can you even justify taking the effort here.
I typically try not to overreact to an emotional moment, but right after the game I thought "You have to fire VDN after this". I mean, it's almost incomprehensible to let a team come back on you by 35 points, and it's a huge coaching issue when your team has an epic collapse around you.
It may sound counter intuitive, but if the Bulls empty the bench in the mid 3rd, they probably win the game easily. One of the major reasons the starters couldn't finish this game off was that they all played about 40 minutes [outside of Miller]. If Vinny had emptied his bench mid 3rd, the starters would have been rested late in the game, they would have had the energy left to make plays.
If every season has a tipping point, then this very well could be the tipping point for the Bulls. Up 35 points and looking to laugh their way to a 3rd straight victory, they could have been on the road to climbing out of their hole. A game like this is simply backbreaking. It's like the Mavs epic collapse in game 3 of the finals [except the refs didn't fix this one], they simply never won again [note the Bulls will win again this season].
There's little else to say. I'm not even writing with outrage so much as with defeat. Anyone who watched this is going to struggle to turn on the TV to watch the Bulls tonight. They're going to struggle to turn it on the rest of the year. It simply doesn't get any worse.