Worst loss of the season; Bulls blow 35 point lead to Kings

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.


Leave a comment
  • Its this season and losses like these that I feel with stay with guys like Noah and Rose a long time. They wont even enjoy victories anymore unless they win like 8 straight.

    This season is essentially over now unless we move Vinny, get a coach in that makes up great schemes and motivates the guys and we get sometime of trade that gets us back right.

  • Doug a quick question, do you think the Bulls are actually self conscious of letting Vinny go before Christmas?

    When Pax let Skiles go last time at Christmas Eve, he took alot of flack for it. And I remember Paxson saying something like maybe the timing of it was poor.

    So I think Vinny will make it past Christmas but to only get relieved of his duties shortly after.

    But if he makes it to the new year, it means we wont ever fire Vinny. Then we will wait till season's end to see what happens.

  • Let's face it, we have a dysfunctional organization and I'm not even talking about the players. From the owner down to the coach, they are responsible for the product on the court. The players are moldable and fit where you put them. A lot of players are problems but not our guys. So if management is responsible for the product, when does management pay the price for the results?

    Reinsdorf is cheap with his basketball team and perhaps interferes and handcuffs his management team for that. Too many bad contracts, inexplicable contract disputes and trade rumors / coaching hires that don't materialize. To me, that signals an owner that is too involved in the process.

    GarPax (more Paxson since there is a longer history at the controls) is inexplicably gun shy. Maybe this goes back to Reinsdorf. The amount of trade rumors that have gotten our hopes up, fans and players alike, that are never completed is incredible. A friend txt'd me a week or so ago about the Tryus for Harrington rumor. I told him, it's not going to happen. Cause when a rumor comes out about the Bulls that means its DEAD. I'm waiting to be proven wrong ...

    And then there is Vinny. What more is there to say about Vinny? First he was dealt a shitty hand. Last kid on the playground picked. After the Bulls miraculously failed to hire at least TWO awesome coaches WHO WANTED TO COACH HERE they plucked him out of the Suns' mailroom and gave him a job. Then instead of giving him a team on training wheels to learn with, we went and won the lottery. Literally! Now with the #1 pick and the savior of the franchise it's time to produce.

    But honestly, Vinny's still that mailroom clerk. And given the personnel and his experience, HE'S overachieving. Yes, I said it. He's overachieving. The Bulls aren't a championship team. They're quite frankly average. They've got talented pieces but to expect them to be that much better than average is not realistic and we're all expecting them to be a contender. Last year, they were shitty until the trade deadline when they got an extra spark. This year, they have even less talent, more injuries, less depth and it's showing. The mailroom clerk is not coaching better because he doesn't know how.

    With that said, it's time to put this clerk out to pasture. Call it the mercy firing before Christmas. Perhaps he'll actually get a chance to be someone's assistant coach one day where he can learn. But as for the Bulls and their fans, we deserve an experienced coach with a somewhat successful resume. We don't need a babysitter (Del Negro), we need a teacher (Doug Collins, Jeff Van Gundy, Avery Johnson, etc).

  • We need Byron Scott or Avery Johnson......this is just ridiculous.

  • Well, I'm done breaking stuff. Onto the second phase of my frustrations.



  • I knew this team was going nowhere, but somehow this defeat made me sad...Where is the accountability?????? GarPax please show your faces!!!

  • I'm glad i didn't watch the game. It would have been horrible to listen to Funk & King during the lead, and then during the collapse and defeat.

    Sacramento definitely reeled them in.

  • Does anybody know, if Chuck Swirsky made it to New York yet? That's a long walk ahead of him. Live up to your promise man!!!

  • Doug,

    Get a load of the Sacramento Kings' website this morning.


    Did they win the NBA Championship last night? Seems like it.

  • Chris Sheridan has a good piece on Jerry Sloan on ESPN, he thinks Vinny is done.


  • watch the replay of Rose's last shot....who crashed the boards...FAIL. In the press conference afterward VDN said the Deng Salmons Hinrich Noah n Rose line up is best scoring line up....damning with faint praise. what a pitiable mess.

  • All I know is, if the Bulls' would have kept Derrick Byars, this would have never happened...haha.

  • Doug,

    What should the Bulls managemet do with James Johnson, Jannero Pargo, Lindsay Hunter, Aaron Gray and Jerome James? They are giving the Bulls absolutley nothing this year.

    That #16 pick couldn't look any worse than it does right now.

  • Ive been against this but now I think we should take a gamble on Tracy McGrady. Watching him in these couple of games he seems fine to me. I know brad miller,since yao is out, and Kirk would be appealing to them. Maybe we could get T-mac,kyle lowry and chuck hayes for those two. We have nothing to lose now....

  • Ive been against this but now I think we should take a gamble on Tracy McGrady. Watching him in these couple of games he seems fine to me. I know brad miller,since yao is out, and Kirk would be appealing to them. Maybe we could get T-mac,kyle lowry and chuck hayes for those two. We have nothing to lose now....

  • The Chicago Bulls. The Chicago Bulls.

    Seriously, if we could remove ourselves from being Bulls fans for just a minute, and look at this team as an outsider would..

    Over the last, say four years, is this a team to be respected? (Insert outsider NBA fan Chuckle here)

    How many fourth quarters(over the last couple of years) have we seen Chicago put up 10, 12-13 points as other teams come back to win games or hold a lead? We know the reasons include: No all-stars, No legit low post player, No scorer who generates a quality number of free throw attempts per game, and No talented offensive minded coaches.(Yet they do have some Decent talent Rose, Noah, Deng(fourth quarter ghost/bad fit for this team), Gibson looks like a keeper, Tyrus at times is a legit player - third in the league last year in combined blocks and steals behind Wade and Howard?!?! Insert shock and disbelief here).

    You can debate about Skiles, but to me he was a one note guy with the drive and kick. His second half adjustments to to other coaches adjustments were lousy. He did beat the Heat(in that playoff series), albeit with an injured/slowed Wade, but after that teams/coaches figured out the Bulls.

    I remember a game against Golden State where Don Nelson just fronted all the Bulls players on defense down low. Skiles was helpless. Instead of back picking in the lane(as Utah does so well/Sloan), sealing guys and going to the basket with cross court/post passes(as Riley/Miami does well), or bringing out all your bigs in perimeter double screens to foil the fronting strategy(as several NBA coaches employ effectively), Skiles just kept trying to run his version of a weave/drive and kick. Last night with Vinny the same thing happened. The Bulls befuddled a sub .500 team for a whole half with a weave effectively multiple screening/obstructing defenders while Bulls players swung into the lane for easy passes and drives to the basket.

    The Kings were the Generals and we(the Bulls) were the Globetrotters). Of course in the second half Paul Westphal adjusted, and we switched roles becoming the foils. It amazed me that someone could be so offensively shortsighted/lacking in ability to read and adjust, and just keep running the same offense that was now failing. It ended up pathetically with guys like Deng and Rose trying to go one on one at the top of the key with their teammates confused and no longer swirling/rotating, but clogging the lane.

    In the horrifying aftermath of that yes epic collapse, it is good and appreciated that Doug is acknowledging that failure of a coach not to bring in some bench guys and also fail to make adjustments i.e preside over a 35 point implosion.

    Singing players for huge overpays who don't fit(Deng, and also career 41% shooter Hinrich))is a failure instead of getting a legit low post player, hiring a budget, no experience coach for a relatively young team of Rose, Noah, Thomas, and now Gibson and Johnson(Jenny Craig reassignment)? You get the picture.

    This franchise will be reeling from these moves(as they have been) and losses like this one to go along with all the west coast thrashings but especially this one for some time to come. Way to go Pax(I really don't blame Gar for Deng, Hinrich, no low post guy brought in) and Reinsdorf. Now the only thing left to do is can Vinny, and let Uncle Bickerstaff caretake out the Weekend(season) at Bernies. You know the Reinsdorf Cheaps(aka Chicago Bulls) will NEVER hire/attract a name coach(Jeff van Gundy) to come in mid season to turn this thing around. After the way Jerry personally insulted D'Antoni and then divulged it to the media, "If you think we're going to get something done this weekend you can forget it." Poisoning the well of attracting self-respecting able coaches at its finest.

    "Yeah, we fired Vinny Del Negro. Yeaahhhh"(said in the voice of the dopey, politically incorrect phone pestering "challenged" kid from Crank Yankers). We are so screwed.

  • I now hate Tyreke Evans, i hate him with a passion never seen before. Lets go Brandon Jennings for ROY. As for the other Kings, Beno Udrih single handily kept them alive in that 1st half. Bulls felt they couldnt lose and must had a cocky mentality. This game made me so angry and depressed, my mom told me "Mike didnt you see this coming" and i totaly was like No way and she was "well I did". Yes a woman who knows very little about the NBA knows the bulls better than I do.

  • we were on our way to (our first??) 3-game win streak of the season. things were looking on the up and up. we beat a tough atlanta team. we come out DOMINATING the kings, and then we fall the fu&k apart! i can't watch another Bulls game for a week or so just because of this. it's left a sour taste in my mouth and i've grown sickened of this team, our coach and our player's lack of effort and poor performance. Nothing but inconsistency.

    I'm open to anything at the moment. fire vinny?? i've said the last week or two that it wouldn't help. but shit, right now i feel like it can't hurt either. our bench gets no play even when we're up 35 in the 2nd half.
    also now open to ANY trades...no one is safe on this team anymore...no one.

    i hope 2010 brings about some minor or major tweaks to this team. or else i will have little interest in following them the rest of this season.

  • When we went up thirty early in the 3rd, I thought to myself what is Vinny waiting for, as I expected to see 5 guys get up off the bench to replace the starters but it didn't happen. When we went up thirty-five I was nearly yelling at the tv to put the bench in but of course it didn't happen. By late in the 3rd the Kings had already started a comeback and I was frustrated yet again with VDN for not taking the starters out when he had a chance.

    Usually he makes this mistake late in the 4th, when their is no chance to come back yet the starters play all the way or nearly all the way to the end, but this time, because the opportunity was missed earlier in the game it came back to bite him. This loss is a sign of what happens when you play your starters into the ground and I hope it serves as a lesson to VDN on correct substitution patterns. Of course that lesson should matter little as I just don't know how you can keep him after such a horrific loss.

  • I was saying that ALL night!!! Why the hell did Vinny not put in the bench when we were up by 30+???? I know the players are "always" to blame because they are the ones on the court- but in this particular game i truly believe VDN lost this one for us.

    We came out and played great... +After such a big lead starters become disintersted... +with back to back games why would you not sit them a little... +JJ, Pargo & Gray havnt been playing so why not give them some real game practice with a mix of our 1st unit (Rose, Deng or Noah)... +if we then lose the lead with our bench in there- u bring in the starters who will be rested and have enough energy to compete at the end of the game...

    This is my 1st time saying this.. I think its time- VDN should be fired.

  • Not too mentioned I have been so hyped up this past week or so because I got tix to tonight's game and the Bulls been looking good... but after last night I dont even feel like going... I just know the Knicks are going to win... I just hope its not a blow out

  • Not too mentioned I have been so hyped up this past week or so because I got tix to tonight's game and the Bulls been looking good... but after last night I dont even feel like going... I just know the Knicks are going to win... I just hope its not a blow out

  • Mid-January for VDN?


  • Vinny will be gone by the end of the year. For sure.

    The biggest indictment for me was the use of timeouts. As a coach, you cant force your guys to drive the ball, but Vinny sat and didnt use a timeout as the lead evaporated. It was a joke.

Leave a comment