Bulls playoff hopes on fumes now

The Bulls fell to the Phoenix Suns in an exciting, yet heartbreaking game.   The loss pushes them a game and a half back from Toronto.   The Bulls will now need to be near flawless or need an epic collapse by Toronto or Charlotte to make the playoffs.
In the key moments of the game, Steve Nash could not be stopped.   The Bulls could have really used Hinrich's perimeter defense down the stretch, but he sprained an ankle early and didn't return.   With Jannero Pargo trying to check him, Nash went nuts; scoring, passing, and handling virtually ever possession down the floor.

Rose was great down the stretch up until he tried to hit a three to tie the game.   He double clutched for no reason and heaved an incredibly awkward shot which missed badly.   The Bulls then had to foul and never threatened again.

Joakim Noah looked very solid in his minutes, Flip Murray had a nice night, the Bulls offense completely rolled, the defense could not stop the suns, particularly on the perimeter, but with Rose/Pargo playing a bunch of minutes together what do you expect?

This game likely spells the end of the Bulls season, and it's kind of sad to see the team derailed by so many injuries down the stretch when they just started to play well.

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  • Just great coaching by Vinny tonight and great all around play by Pargo.

  • oh wait what the hell am i saying, horrible coaching as usual down the stretch and horrible defense by Pargo. If Kirk didn't get hurt in the first half he would have been on Nash no doubt about it. Nash killed us in the final two minutes with getting to the basket (once on Brad and once on Pargo) and finding a wide wide wide open Frye for 3.

  • In reply to Newskoolbulls:

    Isn't Law a better defender than Pargo, how could he not be.

    Wouldn't missing the playoffs be worth it just to get rid of Del Bimbo.

  • also with 22 seconds out of the timeout that is the best we could come up with? a desperation 3?????????? We should have inserted Brown down the stretch for defense.

  • sad thing will be seeing the Raptors in the playoffs because we are clearly better than them.

  • If the bulls still think they have a shot than they need to give noah back 30 minutes the rest of the way.

  • is anyone here? Mr happy i fear for your safety, i hope this loss didnt make you jump off the sears tower.

  • Gawd I hate Pargo...Vinny giving him more then 1 minute on the court is enough reason for him to get fired...

  • Well... the Bulls did try to win this game. All I know is the NBA should really be pulling for the Bulls to beat out Toronto cause this team does not deserve to get into the playoffs. For one who really wants to see Toronto and Cleveland in a seven game series which will only go four games. Another reason is everybody knows that Bosh is gone from this team next year so why bother watching a team that is going absolutely nowhere. And lastly another one of their players who really isn't interested in winning is Turkgolou according to reports of him faking an illness so he could go out partying. The Bulls are no way out of the race yet but every loss makes it more difficult and chances slim at getting into the playoffs. The Bulls need to beat the teams that they are suppose to beat. I'm gonna throw Boston in with these teams that they need to beat along with Charlotte, Washington who they cannot look past,Milwaukee at home cause they are benefiting from the Salmons trade and New Jersey again from the collapse game at home and especially Toronto in Toronto cause the Bulls are o-2 against them this year and for the main reason the playoff race which hopefully the bulls will still be in. They just need to handle their business and win. Phoenix was on a roll so the loss wasn't to much of a surprise even though the loss did hurt. The game in Charlotte will be a tough one also, but hopefully the Bulls will catch a break before the season comes to a close. GO BULLS and stay confident.

  • What can you do, it was just Nash showing why he's a great PG. The last 8 scores by the Suns (well, other than the garbage FTs at the end) were either Nash scoring or Nash assisting, he just took over when it mattered. I hope Rose was taking notes, that double clutch three was just an awful play (I really hope Vinny didn't draw that up). Chalk it up to experience and move on.

    At least we've had a win and a good close game against the Suns this year, we've put up a good show against a potential FA target in Amare.

  • Luol Deng absence has hurt the team. He was getting tough rebounds and playing good defense compared to JJ. Even having Hinrich today would have helped to reduce Nash's impact. Pargo couldn't stay in front of Nash for whatever reason.

    If the Bulls play like today and they can get Deng back by the weekend, they still have a shot if they don't mess up the Washington game.

  • Glad you mentioned Kirk. Seems like Kirk gets beat up by the fans quite a bit (although I'm a huge fan), and he was clearly missed down the stretch. If he doesn't roll that ankle...???

  • The Bulls were "supposed" to lose this game, so things really didn't materially change.

    If Toronto goes 4-5, which would be about their expected finish given their remaining competition and how poorly they have played of late, the Bulls would need to finish 6-2, which while not likely still only requires them to beat the teams they should beat, Philly, Washington, Toronto, and Charlotte(twice) and then steal one win from Cleveland, Boston or Atlanta.

    so, tonight the Bulls only lost their first chance to win one of the "steal a win" games.

    Mind you, I don't expect us to win all the games that we should win, however, we are not materially worse off after tonight than we were before.

  • Lets face it, he's nothing more than a marshmellow, but hey at least he is our soon to be $14 million marshmellow.

  • Is Ronald "Flip" Murray the poor mans Ben Gordon that we have been searching for all season.

    Wait a minute, he is not a midget, and he doesn't dribble the ball off his leg, or trip over his own feet while attempting to handle the ball, so no I guess that he is not.

  • Wow!! Flip has been super good in the last few games. I would have been curious to see a line up of Noah, Taj, Deng, Flip and Rose with Warrick, JJ, Kirk, Brad, Acie to backup. We are really missing Deng I feel or someone who is atleast as efficient as Deng.

  • My guess is Vinny said to take the three since he had no timeouts left

  • He could at least go to James Johnson

  • If we want to make the playoffs and that's truly our goal we need Noah to play big minutes. Forget if his foot flares up and he's out for the playoffs. We won't have to worry about that if we don't make it.
    Man, I am going to be so unsatisfied if the Bulls don't make it to the playoffs.
    Doug, if we don't make it please update this blog ALL the time in the offseason so I have somewhere to pass my time at work!

  • I have to say it. It's time for the to MAN-UP!!!

    8 for 8th...the Bulls need to WIN-OUT or they are going home early.

  • Im giong to close my eyes, put my tin hat on and say

    A) I think vinny did a good job coaching this game. Our talent level is simply no where near theres. They have a better starting PG, SG, SF, PF, and C than us, yet we still had a chance to win at the end.

    B) Until 1 minute left, pargo did a serviceable to good job on steve nash on the defensive end.

  • If we get Lebron you're going to have to day a Lebron fact of the day

  • So you're not mad about the whole screwing over rookies when the veterans were giving us nothing. Gooden over Tyrus/Noah, Hughes over Thabo, Pargo over Johnson.

  • You need size and Johnson was giving you some activity on the boards. Pargo wasn't do anything except take the ball out of Rose's hands in the 4th quarter. The Frye three really screwed us because of our size. Taj had to help rebound when he thought Nash was going to shoot the three. If we have Johnson in Taj probably doesn't leave his man

  • In reply to Dpauley23:

    Yea, unfortunately, Pargo really did turn out to be the poor man's Ben Gordon, regularly shooting us out of games, and once or twice a season, shooting lights out for a quarter here and there.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    He's a homeless man's ben gordon, and that's being nice...

  • While I agree that last season's playoff series against the Celtics enhanced the Bulls appeal to players accross the league. Do you really think that the Bulls would have repeated that against Cleveland this year. Being swept might be worse than not making it in because of injuries.

    Money is always the first, second and third consideration for the top guys not named Lebron, so we have as good of a shot as anyone else, it just comes down to how our management executes the free agent process. And if they manage it as a process, like they usually do, then we are not likely to be winners.

  • I got the "expected" record backward, it should have read 5-4. The win against Charlotte was a bigger blow to the Bulls than was the Bulls loss to Phoenix, since that was a game that Toronto should have lost at Charlotte.

    Look, I don't think that the Bulls will win the games that they should/need to win anyway. But as bad as they have been playing, Toronto is at least a risk to lose to Golden State and/or New York, which would open the door just a crack for the Bulls to sneak in with one "unexpected" victory.

    My point was that the Phoenix loss was an expected one, and going into the game we only needed one unexpected win by the Bulls and one unexpected loss by Toronto to get in. This has not changed because we lost a game that we were expected to lose.

    This may be a tortured exercise in logic, but it is sound in theory even it it does not work out in real life.

  • Would we be in the playoffs right now if we had last years Gordon with this years Bulls injuries, never mind that Gordon himself appears to have channeled Luol Deng injury wise, starting with last seasons playoffs.

  • We're locked in with Johnson because of his rookie contract, and he's actually been showing some promise lately, Acie Law has definatly shown some promise and is a better defensive and offensive player then Pargo, why then does Vinny play a black hole of a guard offensively and a trainreck of a guard defensively when we're just gona dump him after this year, play the other guys. I would have benched Pargo for the rest of the year months ago....even with Kirk out.

  • Lol nice...all my posts would probably just be smiley faces....

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