The Bulls lost this game in the 3rd quarter when their generous half time lead turned into a deficit inside six minutes. The Bulls would fall down by 12, make a run, but ultimately come up short.
Even in the first half, there were signs that this might not be the Bulls night. They struggled with isolation after isolation that ended with jumpers in the first quarter. After a second quarter where the bench gave them a big lift and got the ball moving the Bulls looked like they might roll. Then it fell apart.
What is there to make of this game? For the most part, the starters failed the Bulls. Derrick Rose was quiet up until the very end of the game, where he started to play big when it was just a bit too late. Luol Deng, Brad Miller, Kirk Hinrich, and Taj Gibson just served up a platter of crap sandwiches for us. That group combined to shoot 29% from the field.
Any positive takeaways from this game? The bench played pretty well. Hakim Warrick had a fairly solid game with a few defensive rotations that left something to be desired. Flip Murray had an outstanding game, and even James Johnson and Jannero Pargo played well. Joakim Noah missed another open dunk, but looks like he's coming along overall.
I'm not going to get too negative after one loss, even to a crappy team. It's always tough to win on the road and after shedding their veteran players, Washington is just a big group of young guys with nothing to lose. They played hard, and the Bulls just came out flat.
You have to wonder if the fatigue of playing five games in seven days has just worn the team down a bunch. They won all four of the four in five and had a day off yesterday, but they've played a lot of games in the past week and may have just worn down.
Still, at the end of the day, these are the type of games you can't afford to lose often. The Bulls did just win four of them, so if you're winning 80% against the bottom feeders that's still probably good enough, but the Bulls have a tendancy to turn these losses into trends and will need to avoid that when Indiana comes to town on Wednesday.
The Bucks already picked up a win, so they gain a full game on the Bulls tonight, the Bobcats play later this evening.