This was an overtime game, and as such, a million things could have happened that didn't that would have swung the game, starting with Derrick Rose's missed free throw at the end which would have been the difference had the rest of the game played out similarly.
We could also look at Rose's consecutive missed fade away jumpers down the stretch, either of which would have won the game. The Miami Heat's insane free throw shooting down the stretch knocking down their last 18 FTs in regulation, Kyle Korver's continued massive shooting slump, or any one of a million little things that could have moved the game by a point.
It's all irrelevant
Watching the game, I never felt like Chicago deserved to be as close as they were. They were lucky to even have a shot. Miami was able to get good looks too easily when they needed to. The Bulls, like the whole series, can't contend with LeBron and Wade's athleticism, and Chris Bosh is a hell of a lot better than most of the world seems to remember.
I felt the Bulls would lose this series in six before it started, and the Bulls will be lucky to push it to six games now. They gave it a great shot, they fought hard, they played grimey, but they didn't play well enough.
Derrick Rose may be the MVP, but LeBron is still the best player in the league
I never thought anything otherwise, and this series has proven it. In each of the losses Rose has come up small at the end of games. It's not all his fault. Carlos Boozer is no Chris Bosh and doesn't complement the pick and roll nearly so well. Kyle Korver can't space the floor anymore because he inexplicably can't hit a jumper.
Defenses build a wall of guys around Rose because, for the most part, they still don't need to deal with anyone else. All that said, Derrick Rose has still been bad down the stretch. When the Bulls were fighting for their last breath he threw the ball away. Down the stretch he had two step back jumpers that could have won the game and missed both, he missed a key FT that could have won the game as well.
In the end, the Bulls lack of success starts with Derrick Rose's lack of success. He's really in a nearly impossible position without more offensive talent around him, but his amazing performance this season allowed us to dream the impossible anyway, to think Derrick Rose could pull off the impossible.
Against almost any team in the league, he probably could.
Hell of an effort by Joakim Noah
His box score doesn't look that impressive. 3/10 for 6 points and 14 rebounds with 6 assists, 2 steals, and a block. However, almost everything good that was working for Chicago started with Joakim Noah. He played tremendous defense the entire night, he started the break numerous times, he got the Bulls easy points even if he didn't score much.
Joakim played a hell of a game, and it was one of the few things that went well for Chicago.
Carlos Boozer's defense could be hidden against most teams, but not this one
Almost everything the Heat did well on offense was directed at getting Boozer involved as the secondary defender on a play and then beating him. I can't blame Boozer much. It'd be easy to hate on him, but really, what is Boozer going to do to try and defend LeBron coming off a pick and roll?
He doesn't have the physical tools to have any hope of success in that situation, but Miami was able to milk that weakness over and over again.
To his credit, Boozer played great on offense converting most of the easy looks he got, getting to the foul line some, and generally playing very well as a secondary threat.
Bulls can't win shooting threes this badly
25% isn't going to get it done, and Derrick Rose's 1-9 is the biggest contributor there. If Derrick Rose needs some pain and hurt to improve this off-season, then the pain of missing a crapload of threes in the playoffs, all playoffs long, and losing a bunch of games because of it ought to lead to some nice shooting next year.
Derrick improved his three point shooting tremendously this season, but it's completely disappeared in the playoffs.
Kyle Korver can't buy a three all of a sudden, the Bulls keep finding him for open looks, and he keeps bricking them. This has been a massive negative factor for the Bulls in the series as the Heat aren't paying as much attention to him on offense and simply abusing him on defense.
The Bulls could have swung a couple of games if Korver had simply knocked down his open shots.
Why the hell do we keep slowing it down when all our positives have come from speeding things up?
Big play? Walk the ball up the court slowly, piss away 10 seconds of the 24 second clock, and then settle for a fade away contested jumper.
Over and over again.
The Bulls played well by pushing the pace faster and at the very least getting into the offense earlier even when it wasn't a transition play, but for whatever reason, they just didn't seem to want to stick with that when they instead had the option of slowing things down to snail speed and settling for one shot at a Rose pick and roll that leaves you with a terrible shot if it fails, because there's no time to try anything else..
WTF happened to Taj Gibson?
Well we sure as heck found out that Gibson/Boozer's not a great pairing on the court that's for sure. The Heat just steamrolled the Bulls when that lineup was out there. Gibson was 0-1 with 1 board in 10 minutes and had a -21 over that stretch.
Omer Asik's inability to play (meaningfully anyway) really hurt the Bulls, as you could tell they'd have brought him in during the 2nd have stretch that led to Gibson/Boozer and the absolute destruction of the Bulls defense during a stretch which really decided the game by erasing the Bulls lead.
It's crazy to say after this season, but in this series, the Bulls need more Bogans
Korver's not hitting his shots anyway, and Bogans has really played tremendous defense while giving the Bulls some shooting.
Do the Bulls have anything left? Can they get a win in game 5 back at the United Center to force a game 6 or will they fold up shop and go away quietly? I think the Bulls come out and play hard, I think they might steal game five, but I can't see them coming back and winning.
As we thought at the very beginning of the season, the Bulls simply don't have enough on offense. Their defense has by and large played well, but the offense just isn't able to do enough. Derrick Rose has inspired us to believe in him, but he just doesn't have enough around him and isn't able to do it all on his own.