Derrick Rose started off the game horribly, but was unstoppable down the stretch. Unfortunately for the Bulls, DeMar DeRozan was similarly unstoppable down the stretch, and the Bulls couldn't do enough to win the game.
A lot went wrong for the Bulls, who had very poor interior rotation on defense allowing the Raptors to score repeatedly in the paint and draw fouls. The Raptors shot 58% from the field even draining many of the jumpers when the Bulls did make a good defensive stand.
Early in the game, the Bulls hung around with their offensive rebounding while at the end, it was all Derrick Rose, but their efforts simply fell a bit short.
Okay, it's not losing to Cleveland bad, but this loss is pretty terrible and underscores how it's simply difficult to trust this team on the road. They've lost to a lot of mediocre teams away from the UC and have barely scraped by in many of their wins. The Bulls are just .500 on the road this season.
In the end, it's only one game, and if the Bulls continue to play well at home, they'll still finish with 57 wins, but it's tough to drop a game like this with the schedule about to get simply brutal.
Derrick Rose played terrible early and like an MVP late
I had no doubt the Bulls were going to win this game when Derrick Rose had it going on in the fourth quarter. He tied the game on a big three, and Toronto kept scoring, but Rose kept scoring back. I thought no way their defense gets the big stop and ours fails, but ultimately, I was wrong.
Derrick really played aggressively attacking the basket, drawing fouls, and slicing into the lane. This was one of the most aggressive driving performances I've seen out of Rose in his career.
However, inexplicably, after scoring on three or four straight possessions with the drive, Rose decided to take an 18 foot step back jumper with tons of time on the shot clock. Still, given how great he played on the game, it's hard to be critical of that one missed shot.
Joakim Noah had plenty of energy
His timing looked a bit off offensively, his passing wasn't that crisp, and he didn't look all that comfortable, but the same hustle was there, the same work on the glass. He had a number of outstanding help rotations to cut off penetration and overall played a pretty solid game for his first game back.
It's clearly going to take a little bit of work to get Noah back into the flow of what the team is trying to do, but the early returns were fairly promising.
Carlos Boozer's defense makes me sad
He scored 24 on 9/20 shooting and put on a clinic with some spin moves in the paint early. Unfortunately, his interior rotation was very poor and his man defense wasn't any better either.
The Bulls will continue to live and die by Boozer's defense at times, and tonight they died by it.
Luol Deng had Carlos Boozer disease tonight
Deng was easily beaten by DeRozan when he defended him, and he even allowed James Johnson to make plays on him. His interior defense was pretty poor and his rotations needed work.
He had a decent offensive game, chipping in 19 points on 7/16 shooting. He had moments of excellent offense where he sliced into the lane, but he struggled on open threes and could have done more.
Kurt Thomas won the battle over who plays backup center minutes
Let's hope the Bulls change their mind on that one. In a game where the Bulls desperately needed energy, I would have loved to see Omer Asik rather than Kurt Thomas. Thomas particularly seemed to hurt the team in the 4th quarter when he played and the Raptors went on a little run.
He still played decently, but I liked him more with the starters when they were playing slow, and I didn't like him at all playing with the high energy bench which I felt had much better push with Asik in the game.
Ronnie Brewer's night never got better than his 3 steals inside a minute
Brewer had a stretch where he dominated the Raptors all by himself scoring six points off of three turnovers he caused in the open court. It was a huge swing that gave the Bulls a nice lead in the second quarter. However, outside of that brief stretch, he wasn't all that impactful on the night.
Kyle Korver and Keith Bogans may as well have been invisible
They both failed to contribute a whole lot to this game. The Bulls missed Korver on a couple open looks including one at the end when they were down by 4 and desperately needed a three, but such is life.
The Bulls lost a game that you figured they could show up half asleep and win. That's always disappointing. They now have to go back to Chicago and prepare for Miami tomorrow night.