Bulls blow 27 point lead, to crappy team, at home, hooray

So I was sitting at the United Center, the woman next to me started a tally in the first quarter about whether the Bulls were on track to get 100 or not. I told her, there's no chance, they'll be lucky to break 90. The third period rolls around, and she starts giving me all kinds of crap about how in the bag it was.

Well, the Bulls broke 90.

I'm not sure what's worse about this 27 point epic collapse.

1: That I have to read about how it's not even the worst epic collapse in memory over and over today

2: That even when the Bulls were up 27 I didn't feel like the game was in the bag

3: That it was to a pedestrian Bucks team at home (I guess you don't get 27 point leads against good teams in the first place though)

4: That if the Bulls were in Milwaukee the crowd would have probably given them enough momentum to mount a comeback.

It was the first regular season Bulls game I've made it to this season. I took my wife, who's a notorious Bulls jinx. She actually turned to me and said "maybe my curse is over" midway through the third period. She even said "maybe". Even she didn't trust the Bulls with a 20+ point lead.

There's a million ways to describe what went wrong. What the Bulls could have done differently. I've seen Thibodeau thrown under the bus for too short a rotation. The starters were gassed, tired, and didn't have enough energy to win the game. Of course, the bench is what caused the majority of the epic collapse, so I'm not sure what other alternative he had.

Should Thibodeau have trusted his bench players more? Perhaps, but the team was destroyed every time Nate Robinson touched the floor, Taj Gibson forgot how to box out, and no one else but Jimmy Butler even has a pulse on the bench. Chicago went with an eight man rotation, dropping Belinelli and Mohammed completely from the rotation. He only played Nate Robinson a shade under 10 minutes, Jimmy Butler 12, and Taj 18.

Luol Deng was ground into dust for 47 minute minutes despite one of his worst statistical nights of the season (4/11 for 10 points, 5 turnovers vs 2 assists and 8 rebounds). I think we could have used a bit more Jimmy Butler in there given his energy has been a huge positive for the team lately, and Deng shouldn't be playing 47 minutes a night.

That said, with how bad the bench has been, it's hard to blame him. There's plenty of blame to go around. The team obviously relaxed at one point. While they still had more offensive rebounds on the night, the Bucks got the majority of theirs during their comeback destroying the Bulls on the glass during that stretch.

Obviously whatever rotations the Bulls tried weren't working even if it's hard to come up with a better solution.

If you really want to blame someone for the loss though, blame management. Blame the management that decided to put this bench together and leave the coach with a roster too thin to trust anyone outside of the starters. Blame anyone except Rip Hamilton, who for one night played like a superstar for Chicago, right up until he missed the final shot to win the game [but I don't hold that against him, he was awesome all night].

The Bulls fall to 6-7 which isn't terrible. It's hard to feel like this team will ever get a win again after a loss like this. The Bucks? They get a game to galvanize them and prove anything is possible. The Bulls? Well they get to go on to the next game and think if we can't beat the Bucks with a 27 point lead late in the third quarter at home, how the hell will we compete with Dallas?

The United Center had about as little juice as I've ever seen it. Even when the Bulls were winning big. The excitement level was about as high as some of those 20ish win seasons a decade ago. Hopefully the men upstairs are taking note. Hopefully Jerry Reinsdorf thinks twice about forcing his management to go cheap on payroll allowing situations like this to happen.

I'm not holding my breath, but a loss like this ramps up the pressure on everyone, and the Bulls need a philosophical change at the top. Maybe it takes a game this bad to cause one.

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  • My favorite football team is owned by Jerry Jones. My favorite baseball team is owned by Jeffrey Loria. A bad owner can absolutely 100% suck the life out of you as a fan.

  • In reply to RichG:

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  • A loss like this is a good thing in the long run. Nobody should have any illusions about trying to patch things together and waiting for Rose to come back 100%. The bulls need to take the opportunity to get a good draft pick and get some young talent. Thibs has shown he can grind it out, but what's the point? Is anybody excited about the medal you get for a 47 win team that loses 4-2 in the first round? Everybody but Noah should be on the block. Rose shouldn't be back before he's 110%, just like David Robinson in 1997.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    yea this season is already over, tanking time!

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    47 wins? HAH.

    It doesn't matter fans want Rose back or not, he's going to come back.

    Now if you want him to deter him from doing so, to tank, you have to overhaul the team and refreshing the roster.

    Will the Bulls do that? No. Why blow up a team that continues to keep him in the top-2 of profits, and he's only #2 because the Lakers' new TV deal takes effect this year

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    They won't be able to tank hard enough to get anyone good in the draft even if they tried. Trading away everyone only helps you if you bring back better players, and there's many reasons why this isn't so likely.

  • people forget that the only reason the bulls got to where they were the last two years was that they had a decent team (coming off a second round loss) which fell apart and they ended up with the no 1 pick (ok that was luck, but something like no5 would do just fine). Then they had their star plus all the decent guys from the last team and were able to move up the ladder. It only makes sense to take that final step in the same manner, you have a good team which falls apart one year, you pick up your missing piece (hopefully) in the draft, and you become a great team. Its not a 100% plan, maybe its just a 30% plan to become great, but hell, what they're doing now is a 0% plan.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    You can't ask guys like Noah, Deng, Taj, and even Rip to tank a season. They're going to try to win.

    Even if the Bulls tell Deng to get surgery and hold out Rose for the season, they would still compete. They'd probably miss the playoffs this way, but they aren't getting lucky like they did with Rose with the 1.9% or whatever it was.

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    In reply to ixonflex69:

    This is a bit of revisionist history.

    The Bulls did not plan on tanking, getting the first round pick, or to get Derrick Rose the year they barely fell into the lottery. They fell into all of these situations purely through dumb luck, which is pretty similar to what is happening now.

    Also you infer that they added Rose to an already good team, when in actuality they rebuilt most of the team around Rose reacting, rather than planning to the hand they were dealt. High draft picks like Ben Gordon, Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas, etc. were let go for nothing. Deng was kept only because he was already signed to what was perceived as an untradeable bad long term contract and Noah because he was still on his rookie deal. None of these aspects were really planned either.

    People forget how good Derrick is. He will always give us a chance to win. The best plan by far is to sneak into the playoffs and to see what happens with a healthy Derrick, versus completely giving up on the season. Derrick will always give us the best chance to win, and some teams don't even have that tiny sliver of a chance. We as fans are taking that horribly for granted.

    The chances that we will a) get a high draft pick after barely missing the playoffs (we are still much better than a bottom feeder team) and b) the draft pick will be a superstar before their rookie deal is over are both pretty pretty slim and even smaller considering both will need to be conditionally true for the plan to work.

    What they're doing now is not a 0% plan; they're hedging their bets. They're trying to sneak in and live or die with Derrick, or give themselves a tiny shot at the lottery. It's a bad, money-saving plan, but it fits with the Bulls' conservative profit driven philosophy.

  • The title of this article should have been "THE CRAPPY bulls blow 27 point lead, to crappy team, at home, hooray."

  • Things do appear grim right now don't they. Well, here' a few thoughts from someone who has not let the Bulls(hit) NBA get them down but has switched more to watching just a few of the most entertaining teams in NFL, NCAA Football and Basketball, and three or four NBA teams.

    I didn't watch last night's debacle nor will I watch this shit ass Bulls team on an even semi regular basis. If I happen to DVR an ocassional solid win with Jo, Lu etc. having a good game then I'll watch that.

    I'm still wishing more fans would tune out the NBA in general now that the mega tax has further shackled yet ironically enabled all the pathetic second rate franchises to exist. Top that off with players who rather then refine their game and the fundamentals in college just mosey into the pros making much of the NBA a D-League in it's own right.

    Take a team like the Caps with Beal and their other young players with no refinement or development. And people pay to go see this shit?? No that's right, they don't. Instead, we support their suck ass existence through redistribution of revenue. This isn't the NFL. Though they at least develop players for three years minimum. You need more concentrated talent and fewer unhealthy failed franchises existing for what?? Oh yeah, next step GOLBAL I forgot.

    I don't really expect die hards to walk away from the NBA(I haven't either hypocritically watching young talent like Portland who if they had Thibs as their defensive assistant/associate head coach or outright head coach they'd be in the running for the WCF IMO - if not for a weak bench thank you mega tax and oversaturation talent drain.).

    Still, this 1/2 to 2/3 of NBA teams mega tax life support is just a means to an end for investors/owners who don't want to take a loss. No only the fans lose under this new watered down, no development, no possible reinvestment in fans league.

    David Stern if it weren't for Michael Jordan your legacy really would be what? A developmental league with mega tax shackled teams on life support and the least entertaining league in my lifetime. Right now IMO compared to what this league could be, the NBA fucking sucks. As does Stern, sucessor in waiiting bald horned Star Wars villain I forget the douchebag nerds name.

    Imagine three(and four) year polsihed pros like Damian Lillard the norm. Not only would the pros be way better quality but college ball would be off the charts as well. Non-students take life skills courses designated as non-academs or pros in training without silly rules regarding housing and lifesyle budgets for expenses of say $30,000 a year.

    I know any radical change garners mostly sneers and close minded fear of change. So we will settle for what the NBA is right now which is a shadow of what it used to be with a majority of D-League players and over half the teams just plain suck to watch from a talent and development perspective.

    Get a livable hard cap $75 Mil, players play three years in college or Euro, lower ticket prices for fans and put a ceiling on Max contracts with that extra money going to the fans, guaranteed contracts aka complacency motivation killer limited to two years, yes that's right two years, and get rid of at least six of the least viable money bleeding no business existing franchises. Or just continue to watch this bullshit and pay money to enable these greedy bastards while attending games. Yeah, let's go with that.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Why are you blaming the NBA/Stern for? CHi isn't a 'small market', only their owner is.

    In this era of negated, the teams that want to win showed you as much when they spent well over he luxury tax: LAL, BOS, NYK, BKN, and even little ol' MIA who has had maybe 2 profitable seasons in a decade.

    The Bulls have been the most profitable franchise in the NBa for the past 5 yrs (via Forbes), and if they kept track of the past decades, I'm pretty sure Reinsdorf was #1 too

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Also, although I agree there should be a hard cap (with no max caps on individual salaries...like NFL), the Bulls should be raking in an CBA like this.

    Would it really hurt Reinsdorf to go into the luxury tax to keep the entire bench mob...So instead of making $50mil in profit, he makes $30mil and have a title contender?

    No need to answer, it was rhetorical because we already know Reinsdorf will say it hurts.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    The end of it is Reinsdorf isn't in love with the Bulls. He's fond of them. He wishes they do well, but not so much that he wants to lose any money over it.

    If the White Sox were this close, they'd be running at break even levels to win a ring. Imagine what the Bulls roster would look like if they were allowed to run at break even levels.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Great plan, for 1982. Three years college eligibility, lower ticket prices, lower ceiling money rebated to fans. Will NEVER happen. To believe owners will ever give back money to fans is naive at best. And forcing kids to go to college is an anachronism.

    I do agree with you that today's NBA sucks. Too many teams and too little talent. The more realistic option, although I don't think will happen, is league contraction. There has been some talk of it and there are many teams where attendance is crap. Eliminating 4 or more teams would add more talent to existing teams while jettisoning the bad players.

  • I hope this leads to major change in the Front Office. I wanted Paxson canned four years ago when he overvalued his draft picks and failed to make a key trade when needed and let Gordon walk for no return. The team then proceded to epically collapse and they lucked into Rose (Thanks Stern!). Paxson is a bum with no vision for the future. He consistently fails to get return on guys he knows he won't resign even though they have value and could bring back an asset.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Never happening. Reinsdorf's goal is to make profit first and the bulls have been the most profitable since Forbes starting keeping track 5 years ago.

    So if GarPax is doing their job, why fire them?

    People forget after Pax put the team together and the team imploded, there were reports saying Pax should step down to be coach and he said no. Then he comes up with 'stress' or whatever the reason was to get out of the GM role and MOVE UP into a VP role.

    This is why I find it funny when Marlins fans scream for their Prez (Sampson) and GM (Beinfest) to get fired... Like the bulls, their owner has no reason to break up something that's working for them...making money.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    The reason Marlins fans scream for the removal of Samson and Beinfest is because their draft choices the last 10 years have been awful (except for Stanton). Thus, the fans are justified in this request. However, you're right, it always comes down to the owner. It's very difficult to succeed without a good owner. Bulls overcame this obstacle in the 90's. All you want from your owner is to spend generously, hire good people, and get out of the way. Bulls fans should be more upset with Reinsdorf than Gar/Pax.

  • like the saying goes, bad teams always find a way to lose and thats what happened last night. The sad part to me is not that the Bulls are losing right now but how will Garpax react to it. You pretty much know what they are going to do before they do it. 1. they'll draft a defensive minded center to replace the "asik role" and 2. they'll try to get Korver to come back on the cheap. There's nothing wrong with trying to replicate some of the things that gave you success but what you see missing is getting another player that can create their own shot and get to the line to stop scoring droughts and help slow down a run by the opposing team. The problem with the Garpax model is they never solve the problem or have creativity, they just try to mimic things like when they traded Tyrus Thomas for Hakim Warrick and more times than not, try to get a veteran player they once had because they feely good about him and not going out for the best available talent. Management is failing the Bulls and we will continue to see this Orlando Magic-Howard like scenario hovering over Derrick Rose's next four years of his contract.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I'm not going to lie, at this point I would be Ecstatic if they brought back Brewer, Korver, Watson, and Kurt Thomas next year.

  • Kirk's best offensive game with 17 points but still 4 for 11...he is a bad shot. I am not blaming this on him alone but they cannot win with him playing much

  • In reply to drob:

    I may be wrong, but I think 4-11 is actually an improvement on his shooting this season.

    He's Capt. Klank Hinbrick for good reason!

  • I wouldn't categorize MIL as crappy team, they average/mediocre, just like the Bulls.

    This is the recipe for the Bulls this season without Rose: Lose against the good teams, beat the bad teams, and battling the average teams to a close 50-50 victory or loss.

    Hopefully the silver lining is someone is willing to take on Boozer+Rip. if we fail to bamboozle anybody, maybe LAL will be desperate enough for a Pau+Metta+Duhon deal for Boozer+Deng+Belinelli+Nate.

    Because if they don't move anybody now, this will be repeated next year when we get an entire new class of vet-min players and Rose has to carry the team, further risking more injury...again.

    PS. They were overtime away from losing an 18pt lead to An even worse team in PHO.

  • At this point I don't even think Rose can save this team. For starters he's going to be coming off that injury and will need time to get back in a good rhythm. Also by getting rid of so many key players from last season the chemistry is broken. And what I fear the most is the invitable losing mentality. You go from the best record in the east for 2 consectutive seasons to possible not even making the playoffs. We aren't even the same team anymore. Honestly I've watched only 2 games this season and not even all the way because the Bulls are difficult to watch. It's hard watching your favorite team lose a game like this because the management is so damn cheap. Your absolutely right in what you say doug and have been right before the season even started. I'd also like to add that If they don't find a way to score then we may as well tank the season and I think Rose should just sit this year out. Honestly i think Noah should sit out as well to avoid risking injury from playing on a bad team.

  • In reply to J Man:

    Rose will save them from the lottery and into the 7th or 8th seed to get bounced in the first.

    So they won't be good enough to win a title and not be bad enough to get a good draft pick.

    'Basketball Purgatory'

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Man you are drinking too much of the BULL'SHIT!!! This team sucks badly dude and the sooner you realize it the sooner you'll get out of denile. Again, I don't blame Thibs for playing his best players that can score heavy doeses of minutes. A message need to be sent to the FO by Thibs saying that you guys gave me half a roster of garbage players. I wouldn't want this team to even make the playoffs. It's timefor some new and younger talent to surround Rose when he gets back and possibly Noah and Taj if they're not used for trade bait. Deng... he can go, he's too one dementional. This team and roster need to be overhauled.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    What Bullshit am I drinking? Are you saying if Rose gets back in Feb-March, they still won't be good enough to get an 8th seed?

    Because that was my point...what you are arguing.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I'm saying imo they shouldn't try for a playoff spot, especially an 8th seed and get humiliated by the Heat again? I would rather this team as is barely miss the playoffs even with Rose cause this team is horrible man. They have no bench and why put all that pressure on Rose after coming back from such a devastating knee injury. He still has to be the number 1 option and imo that would be just selfish for anyone to ask him to be a savior for a terrible team that as of now is the Bulls.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    We are hardly in basketball purgatory. We have the youngest player ever to be named the best player in the league on a long-term contract; that dumb luck gift will always keep us out of the realm of a team like the Hawks.

    Any roster assembled around Derrick will always have a chance to win, and we should not take that for granted.

  • In reply to Stoops Noh:

    By 'chance' you mean slim, puncher's chance?

    Lebron couldn't win a title min CLE with a solid 'team' surrounding him.

    Having a superstar always gives you a chance, but it's a chance to get bounced in the playoffs...most of the time, early.

    Look at all the previous title winners. Only DAL didn't have multiple stars and is closest to what the Bulls had...But what they had was a superstar, a 6th man of the year, a DPOY candidate, a glue guy SF and a bunch of dirty work and proven vets.

    They won 1 title.

  • In reply to Stoops Noh:

    I agree, when you have a top 5 player, you are typically in better position than at least 25 other teams.

    You can rebuild and retool around Rose much easier than you can go get a top 5 player somewhere else.

    They just have to hope Rose remains that way when he returns from injury.

  • The most telling thing about this loss, is that rather than being furious most are responding with resignation. It feels like we saw it coming and there is nothing than anyone can do about.

    It seems that the only thing that we have to look forward to is speculation about trades that will never happen.

  • I still believe that Thibs was sending management a message last night. Nonetheless, playing the starters for that many minutes will lead to injuries. It's a way of preparing to tank with the injured players as the excuse to wait or next year.

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    Good article. You are always insightful. We are frustrated not because this team is struggling. We are frustrated because we have seen clearly how incompetent the front office is. They let Asik go for nothing. Asik is awesome in Rocket. The Gar/Pax combo had no clue after losing Asik, so they were forced to resign Gibson for a price that would tie Bulls up in the future. $9 million a year for a sub who only averages less than 9pts ? They also extended Tom's contract too early. Do you really think Tom is entitled to $4 million a year ? Yes. We are panic. The front office is ruining this team. I hope Rose would leave here for a better team which has a more competitive front office. Don't blame the bench. Take a look at Philly, Boston among other teams which don't have very deep bench. Is the roster of Bulls so bad ? Tom was totally outplayed by Doug last season. do you remember that ? Gar/Pax made too many bad decisions and they are killing Rose's hope winning a title.

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