Rose's furious charge comes up short as Bulls fall to Raptors

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. 

Final thoughts

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.

Comments

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  • Kind of interesting that Omer didn't play. C.Lee had a pretty decent game tonight. I hope we get somebody tomorrow.

  • In reply to Vedo:

    +1

  • At the risk of going against everything I said earlier in the season I was hoping Thibs would put Bogans in for Korver at the end of the game. Korver clearly couldn't guard DeRozan, and if Thibs didn't want Brewer because he wanted someone who could hit a three then Bogans seemed like the way to go. FWIW DeRozan had 6 points on 2-8 shooting while Bogans guarded him too, so it wasn't like he was killing everybody.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Interesting,
    I hadn't thought about that. It clearly would have helped the D.
    And on the offensive end, although it may have clogged the lane a bit more, Bogans might have been wide open.
    Perhaps he should also have been platooned.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Even Taj was struggling tonight by getting blocked. Were they looking towards tomorrow's game?
    I just saw JJ being interviewed and he was talking how he learnt from the D-league...and the interviewer told him you are not going back to the D-league anytime. They love him after one night...Good luck to JJ.

    One thing which Rose has to work on is when to pass/shoot. He should have passed it to Korver in one of the last few possessions.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    I haven't been that impresssed with Korver. His defense is poor and his shooting is below what I expected. Part of it may be how he's being used, but the SG position still frustrates me. Defense is what killed us tonight.... especially Boozer and surprisingly Deng, but is it too much to ask that we get a game changing performance from the SG position? The most we seem to ever hope for is breaking even from a match-up stand point.

    Brewer can't stay on the court because he's limited on offense. Korver can't stay on the court because he's limited on defense. And Bogans is just plain limited. The games we keep losing are from perimeter players killing us. It's usually not the big teams with size beating us. We've been killed by everyone from DeRozan, to Marcus Thorton, to Shannon Brown. The Bobcats, Knicks, and Warriors killed us with their guards too.

    Don't get me wrong, I know our size and defense is important, but is it too much to ask to have a guard that can defend without looking lost on offense. Maybe I'm spoiled watching Jordan and Pippen all of those years. Those Bulls teams never had anyone as good as Noah defending the basket, yet those teams could lock teams up.

    Lee would be a huge upgrade. He's not going to shut people out, but he'll at least close out shooters and slow guards down long enough for our bigs to rotate. This is another close loss where we got 8 quality minutes at best from our SG's. The last time I checked, the game is 48 minutes long. I know the defense killed us tonight, but in a close game 40 sub-par minutes from both sides of the ball do matter from our SG's. Give us something! We can't be expected to hold teams to 92 points every night. I would like to see us pull out a win in a game where our opponents are hitting on all cylinders on offense or defense. Why? That's because in the playoffs teams like The Celtics and Heat will have games where they're just clicking. Instead of losing a close game because Lebron, Wade, Pierce, and Allen are on fire; I want to see a SG impact a game. Impact the game instead of giving us 40 minutes of crap.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Interesting tidbit that I just stumbled upon in the Memphis Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/ecZjiN):

    "Among the potential deals that didn

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Sam Young anyone?

    http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/4020/sam-young

    He is playing better than OJ Mayo these days. (Scores and rebounds)

    SIDE NOTE: CLee and Mayo might not be going anywhere, now that Melo and DWILL are out of the way. Both HOU and MEM have a better shot at making the playoffs now.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    is 27% from 3pt line good for u ??

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    OJ MAYO UPDATE:

    I guess he isn't being traded. The Bulls apparently offered up Kyle Korver and a pick for him, but the Grizzlies decided to keep Mayo.

    http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/feb/23/if-memphis-grizzlies-make-deal-nothing-major-expec/

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    James Johnson will be good. Especially with those athletic young guys on the Raps. Wishing him the best.

    The trade deadline is tomorrow and soon the dust will be settled. I thought of this today, but what do you guys think about Rodney Stuckey? We could potentially absorb his contract and throw some picks DETs way. I'm sure Dumars would wanna make up from his mistakes of overpaying Ben Gordon and Villanueva. Stuckey could come here and play SG, what I believe is his natural position anyways. I'm banking on Rodney Stuckey as a sleeper tomorrow!

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    No, not Stuckey...He is a blackhole. If the ball goes to him, he is either shooting even if there are 3 defenders on him or he is going against 3 players to the hole. I was watching a Detroit game a few weeks back and Will Bynum was shooting like 8/8 or something from the field and the ball went to Stuckey a couple of times and he took the shot and missed a couple of times.

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    Well put ManOn Neptune. Good luck to JJ!!!

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    The Bulls might sweeten this deal. We shall see...

  • In reply to joeacook3:

    This was just one of those games where you had a feeling all along that they were going to lose. Couldn't get a damn stop when they needed one.

    Thibodeau, I love you, but you're a shithead with your rotations. Are you going to completely lose Asik now? K. Thomas got way too many minutes. Noah sat way too long in the 4th. How about trying the Noah Asik combo when you need defense? Could have helped this game.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    i told u that thibs wont make him play in playoffs ! i agree with him, he isn't a player. It's awful to think that it's becuz of that kind player bulls don'T want Mayo !!! it's just stupid !!

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I still like him, even though Thibs prefers the vet Thomas right now

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It should have been Asik on Amir and Noah on Bargnani yesterday. Thomas is too slow for Bargnani and Gibson is too short for Bargnani and Boozer is too slow for everyone..

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    I agree. Love Thibs to death, but he makes rotations like a shithead.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Interesting, Kirk traded to Atlanta. So for taking on Hinrich, Washington got 2 picks in last years draft, ours (Seraphin) Atlanta's (Jordan Crawford), and get a 2011 1st, all for nothing more than taking on Hinrich & Bibby

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    we havent played atl yet. not even sure we can beat them easily in playoffs !

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I know, we suck, why do we even show up?

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Bulls seem to be missing Korver a lot lately. No real excuse for this game, but I would be curious to know the Bulls' record in games that start early--that is, they seem to be poor in those 6 PM starts. Maybe it's just my imagination. I'm too lazy to check on it now, sorry.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Terrible....just terrible....76ers,Nets,Bobcats,and now the Raptors. This is why we cant beat the heat or Boston in a 7 game series. Ya we can win 1 or 2...maybe even 3, but we cant beat them in a series. BOOOOOOOZER IS A TERRIBLE DEFENDER. If Amir Johnson is backing you down an scoring on you....you suck. Get me a freakin SG please before D Rose gets hurt trying to do everything by himself.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Johnson 8 for 8 from the field, ridiculous.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It's not Mayo or Bust. Mayo won't help us stop the Raptors from scoring 113 points next time.

    As for the original post, the point raised that I liked most was the part of Thomas slowing down the higher energy bench and fitting in better with the more methodical starting lineup.

    I'd always thought that with Joakim back, that we should just go back to the way it was with Thomas out of the rotation and Asik getting the minutes with the second unit.

    That second unit was clicking on defense I saw no reason to mess with it.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    i know we lost the game becuz of bad D but we shot 43% and i didn'T saw ur savior(noah) make the bulls offense better.
    This is Mayo or Bust !!
    Your great player asik didn't even played and he's a reason why we can'T have Mayo.
    Mayo or Bust !!!

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I think Noah may have had something to do with the 30 fast break points and 16 offensive rebounds. But I don't know, maybe that's just me being silly and not just looking at the one offensive stat the Bulls weren't good at.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    davis to cavs! Moon and Williams to LA!

    But why?? Here comes an injury for Davis

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Raptors Strut, Defense Sucked, Gar/Pax Pick up the Phone

    It was hard towatch Raptors strutting a bit off the court just after the victory. A mediocre team knew they had beaten the Bulls, and it wasn't luck.

    Was it 58% shooting by the Raptors in the first half. Boozer was horrible, I could've done better (I'm 59).

    The Bulls do not have a "big 3". They have a big two, at best. Rose is the all star. Boozer is half an all star on offense, doesn't play defense. Noah is half an all star, just not on offense (OK, maybe a little harsh, his first game back). 1 + 1/2 + 1/2 is 2.

    So here's hoping Gar/Pax make a deal for a SG who can defend and score. Give some team all 3 of our draft picks for a good SG. Even if we draft well in the next 2 years, the odds of that rookie being productive are 50/50 at best.

    Gotta go. It's 3:12 AM and I think another sleeping Toronto Raptor scored again against Boozer, in his dreams.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I only got to see most of the 2nd half but a few thoughts.

    Playing down to our competition is going to cost us the #1 or 2 seed and make the playoffs much tougher for us.

    A small child could put up 20 on Boozer. Where is your pride man?

    We need more production out of the SG position. Make a trade. Get it done.

  • In reply to mikemuadib:

    Richard and Z, I couldn't agree more.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    This is why we need to make a trade happen. We shouldn't have to choose either or at that position. We trade off enough with Boozer's enormous defensive liabilities. I wouldn't mind upgrading his position down the road. Just unacceptable.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Doug went easy on Korver, which probably has something to do with still thinking he could start. Last night was another example of why not. Korver was a gaping, festering wound on defense. Toronto repeatedly ran lobs against him in the half court. He's got to be better defensively.

  • In reply to DontLetsStart:

    Korver and Boozer have been turrrible (in the voice of Cleveland Brown from the Cleveland Show) individual defenders all season. Nothing new there, but the Bulls are still one of the best defensive teams in the NBA because they usually do a great job with defensive rotations and challenging penetration in the paint. Last night was a team issue.

    These defensive lapses happen too often to be called aberrations but they seem to happen most against bad to mediocre teams. That's a sign of them playing down to the competition, which is one of things that separate the really good teams from the great teams. The Bulls will be up for the game tonight, though. Our perimeter D can't keep Wade and James out of the paint (what perimeter D can?), so our front line had better come with it on the defensive end or the Bulls are going to get embarrassed.

  • It appears that instead of living and dying with Carlos' defense in the 4th quarter perhaps Thibs should platoon him.
    It seemed that in the final few minutes Toronto successfully went at Boozer.
    Other teams will as well.

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