The Chicago Bulls lost to the Golden State Warriors last night in a disheartening game where they simply didn't look like they could compete at times. That's two games in a row the Bulls have played poorly, though they've managed to escape with a 1-1 record so far. Some things should work themselves out, but others are genuinely concerning.
Only two starters were in at the end of the game -- concern
Sitting on the bench? Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, and Richard Hamilton. Hamilton hasn't really earned a closer role yet, so that might be his regular location for awhile. Noah/Boozer have generally closed games for Chicago, but the Bulls went small to try and generate more offense as they needed to come from behind.
Boozer was getting abused by David Lee on both ends of the court, and the Bulls opted to keep Taj on him rather than Noah for their lone big man.
It might not be time to panic about Carlos Boozer after he played pretty well against the Lakers, but this game brought out the worst in him. If Boozer doesn't find a way to step it up, then he may end up sitting on the bench for a lot of fourth quarters and take on an Eddy Curry role for the team only generating some offense at the start of the 1st/3rd quarters.
Noah's game was a bit better as he showed a couple of post move son offense to get the Bulls some buckets and still had 10 boards in 25 minutes, but he's also still trying to find his niche out there and isn't having the impact he could have.
I'm concerned for Boozer and patient on Noah. Joakim actually looks like he's worked considerably on his offensive game this summer based on the things he's attempting. His effort level is still high, and he's probably due for a big game because of it.
Carlos scares me, but I'm nearly in acceptance stage with him. He's lived up to many of my fears when we initially signed him; no defense, offense that is far less impactful than the numbers. The Bulls turn the ball over attempting to feed him a ridiculously high percentage of the time and often stagnate the offense trying to use him in the low post.
I'd like to see Boozer in the pick and roll more than trying to be used as an isolation scorer down low. I think he'd be more efficient, less disruptive, and the team would have fewer turnovers.
Richard Hamilton not playing well -- concern
I want to think this experiment is better than having Bogans out there, I really do. However, let's be honest. Hamilton's scoring at an efficient clip, something he's done for three straight years. Shots that more efficient players were taking are now being taken by Richard Hamilton.
He is generating some easy offense for other players at times, but not nearly enough to make up for the fact that Keith Bogans, warts and all, would have scored six points on four shots rather than 10 points on 12 shots. Not to mention that Hamilton looks like the inferior defender of the two.
In his defense, Hamilton is still adjusting to a new team and judging shooting performance after two games is silly. He has plenty of time to improve and make a stronger impact on the team. That said, the early returns on the signing are not positive at all, and management should consider J.R. Smith if the trend doesn't reverse itself by March.
Derrick Rose jacking up threes? -- blip
Not a concern in this game. Most of his threes came late in the game when the Bulls desperately needed threes because the clock was working against them. As such, I don't have any major concerns about his three point attempts yet.
However, I do have come concerns on the minimal attempts at the hoop so far this season. Rip Hamilton's shots appear to come directly from Derrick Rose, and so far, swapping out Derrick's 55% TS% for Rips 50% isn't something that makes a whole lot of sense.
Rose is trying to become more of a distributor and running the offense rather than taking on so much himself. The plan is good if the Bulls can pick up the load, because a more balanced attack will make them more difficult to defend. However, it's been painful to watch at times when they can't.
Luol Deng looks awfully good -- hooray
At least it's not all bad news.
Luol is off to a tremendous start this season, he didn't have a great shooting night against L.A. but he basically won the game for the Bulls in the final minute generating a big steal, a big block, and five points in the final 54 seconds.
His offense looked outstanding tonight, as he was the only one of the starters dialed in. He scored all over the place and defended at a high level too. The only downside is because Deng was so good, he played 41 minutes, a trend Thibodeau needs to be wary of in this compressed season.
C.J. Watson looks awfully streaky
He's had a stretch in each game where he killed teams with three point shooting, but in both games he was otherwise ineffectual on offense. I still like his defense, and he was a big part of important, meaningful runs in both games. Hopefully, he can add to the good and let go some of the bad. C.J. is 5/9 from the three point line and 0-7 from inside of it so far this season.
Well it's never pretty to lose a game like that one. The Warriors destroyed the Bulls in transition, got to the foul line, and contained their turnovers. They hit tough shots when the Bulls played solid defense and had enough easy opportunities to win the game fairly easily.
The Bulls did some things well, as they did well on the boards and defended the three point line well, but they turned the ball over too much and struggled with defensive fundamentals. They get an off day to think it over, before heading out on the next back to back.