Luol Deng steps up, but the defense fails Chicago

Luol Deng steps up, but the defense fails Chicago

As expected, the Bulls could not stop Rajon Rondo and that doomed them to defeat. Chicago made big runs when he left the game, but neither Marquis Teague or Nate Robinson had any hope of slowing him down while he was in it. Rondo scored 20 with 10 assists and was just a rebound shy of a triple double. However, there were some positive to take away from the loss for Chicago.

Luol Deng looks awfully healthy

Many felt Deng should have the surgery on his left wrist because he would be too limited, but he handled the ball quite frequently in this game and created plenty of looks off the dribble. Luol's never been a great shot creator, but against both Boston and OKC he showed an ability to create off the dribble and score at times.

He's clearly below superstar level, but in the bigger games, he looks like he's trying to step up. He delivered with a game high 26 points and 11 rebounds and kept Chicago in a game that could have easily fallen away.

Marquis Teague played well

The Bulls left Marquis Teague in the game to finish it off after they mounted a comeback while he lead the reserves. I'll question whether this was the right thing to do, especially as the Bulls needed three point shooting, but the fact that he played well enough that it wasn't a crazy thought was nice to see.

Teague shot just one of four from the field, but drew two fouls while driving to the rim and was screwed on a bad call on a potentially momentum changing layup that went down as an offensive foul. The refs thought Teague pushed off with his off arm while in the air, but the replay showed barely any contact and certainly no forceful contact.

Had the call gone the other way [or been a no call which was probably the right choice] the Bulls would have closed a lead to a single point and really stifled the Celtics momentum.

All of my other comments on Teague to date still stand. He needs plenty of work on defensive fundamentals, and he needs to hit more of his shots, but tonight he was in a bit more control with the ball with his only TO coming on that weak offensive foul call and consistently found himself deep in the paint after slicing through the Boston defense.

When you Booz, you lose

Defensively the Bulls needed a huge effort from their front court last night. They needed guys to defend Rondo and then still rotate back on their own man or to help the helper. Whenever you need a big night from your frontcourt defense, you know it's going to be trouble with Boozer playing.

The Celtics simply annihilated the Bulls while Boozer was in the game. Carlos shot the ball well giving the Bulls 15 points on 7/14 from the field, but his rotations were slow, his rebounding was lazy (which is somewhat uncommon for him), and the Bulls could not contain the Celtics while he was in the game.

On the other hand, when Taj Gibson entered the game, the Celtics offense struggled significantly more. They failed to get up as good of looks, and the Bulls made big runs. Part of it was personnel (Taj played against backups more), but part of it is what we already know to be true. Boozer kills you on defense.

Noah continues hot offensive play

Joakim Noah had another big offensive night flashing the full skill set. His hustle to get down the floor on the breakaway and get a dunk off a nice pass from Deng put the Bulls in position to win, and he hit other key shots to keep the Bulls in the game when Boston was threatening to break away earlier.

I would have liked to see him do a bit more damage on the offensive glass, but it's hard to complain about his 17 point 11 effort.

Defensively he had his work cut out for him. He had to defend Rondo in the paint, but still get back on his own man as well. He put forth a tremendous effort, but he frequently wasn't getting help when he left to help, and the Bulls defense fell apart.

Things went much better with Gibson in the game, but the pair still made a couple of critical mistakes down the stretch that allowed for easy points by the Celtics as Rondo and Garnett went to the same screen, alley oop play three or four times during the game and twice down the stretch.

No more moral victories

The Bulls were put in a tough spot without Kirk Hinrich, but moral victories just add up in the loss column, and this was a missed opportunity. The Bulls kick off their five game road trip in Phoenix on Wednesday and need to get a win or else we'll likely be in for a depressing podcast this weekend.



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  • It's not so much the Bulls defense Doug, its the usual suspect their offense. I watch the end of the game and the Bulls closed the Celtics lead to 2 points and they couldn't buy a basket. This road trip will be a bad one imo. I look for them to go 2 and 3 and be at .500 or a game below .500. It's going to be a long season with no go to offensive player.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I disagree completely with this. The Bulls lost the game by giving up 60 points in the first half for the first time since January. Play their usual defense in the first half and there wouldn't even be a clutch situation to come up short in offensively, the game would have been over half way through the last quarter as the Bulls run wouldn't have been to draw within a couple of points, it would be blowing the Celtics out.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I'd have to say that it was a combination of both, lousy defense in the first half or even 3 quarters, and then lousy offense in the fourth once the initially closed the gap to 3 points.

    Without Rose, that is pretty much what this team is about, mediocre offense at best with Bozo and Rip in the game, but absolutely attrocious defense, or stifling defense with them on the bench but inconsistent & struggling offensively.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I'd probably be pretty happy with a 2-3 road trip and sitting at .500 after it was over.

  • It's not so much the Bulls defense Doug, its the usual suspect their offense. I watch the end of the game and the Bulls closed the Celtics lead to 2 points and they couldn't buy a basket. This road trip will be a bad one imo. I look for them to go 2 and 3 and be at .500 or a game below .500. It's going to be a long season with no go to offensive player.

  • with Marquis Teague showing he is capable of running the point(although with many flaws)though i was impressed by his defensive effort, I think the bigger need now is to get another big. Did you see how Nazr was rountinely burned for easy layups? and the way Noah and Gibson play physical, one is most likely going to get nicked up during the season. Last night was lost due to poor defense and mediocre rebounding, your not going to out firepower the Celtics but you can win by outworking them which is usually the case. Taj Gibson looks lethargic and awful on offense, 4pts? come on Taj, put that hardhat on and go to work. I also think Thibodeau is putting to much pressure on Deng in the 4th quarter, he needs another offensive option-probably live with rip or of them has to be with deng in the 4th quarter.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Actually, I think it's easy to outfirepower the Celtics. Their offense is pretty pedestrian these days.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    compared to the Bulls offense, they look like the harlem globetrotterrs. They have Jason Terry who can get hot, Pierce, Garnett and unlike Taj, Bass can hit the midrange jumper. The only consistent players on offense we have is Deng and Noah. To borrow a line from ex-Cubs Zambrano..we stinks.

  • It is going to be a long season alright and us fighting to be around .500 . OJ Mayo scoring like crazy starting for the Mavs! JR Smith scoring good as always off the bench. Hopefully we can work out a trade with the Kings to get Tyreke because boy o boy would he be fun to watch along side Rose! :-) Both coming out of Memphis and both getting the ROY year after year!

  • List of free agents according to Hoopshype:

    PG. .Derek Fisher
    Point Guard / 6-1 / Last team: Oklahoma City Thunder

    Agent 2011/12 Earnings Career Earnings

    Rob Pelinka $3,400,000 $61,242,000

    SG. .Mickael Pietrus Latest Rumors
    Shooting Guard / 6-6 / Last team: Boston Celtics

    Agent 2011/12 Earnings Career Earnings

    Bill McCandless $3,000,000 $33,653,622

    SF. .Josh Howard Latest Rumors
    Small Forward / 6-7 / Last team: Utah Jazz

    Agent 2011/12 Earnings Career Earnings

    Derek Lafayette $2,150,000 $39,213,523

    PF. .Kenyon Martin Latest Rumors
    Power Forward / 6-9 / Last team: Los Angeles Clippers

    Agent 2011/12 Earnings Career Earnings

    Andy Miller $2,500,000 $110,784,447

    C. .Eddy Curry Latest Rumors
    Center / 6-11 / Last team: Dallas Mavericks

    Agent 2011/12 Earnings Career Earnings

    Leon Rose $1,229,255 $70,027,141


    POINT GUARDS: Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Arroyo, Mike Bibby, Earl Boykins, Anthony Carter, Sherron Collins, Antonio Daniels, Jonny Flynn, Courtney Fortson, Sundiata Gaines, Eddie Gill, Vernon Hamilton, Mike James, Armon Johnson, Shaun Livingston, Brian Morrison, Chris Quinn, Anthony Roberson and Walker Russell.

    SHOOTING GUARDS: Blake Ahearn, Antonio Anderson, Kelenna Azubuike, Rodney Carney, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Dion Dowell, Andre Emmett, Maurice Evans, Christian Eyenga, Andrew Goudelock, Stephen Graham, Eddie House, Larry Hughes, Marko Jaric, Othyus Jeffers, Trey Johnson, Tarence Kinsey, Dwight Lewis, Travis Leslie, Shelvin Mack, Dwayne Mitchell, Ronald Murray, Michael Redd, Quentin Richardson, Quinton Ross, Xavier Silas, Chris Smith, Dar Tucker, Willie Warren, Kyle Weaver, Delonte West and Terrence Williams.

    SMALL FORWARDS: James Anderson, Renaldo Balkman, Derryck Byars, Da'Sean Butler, Gary Forbes, Ryan Gomes, Joey Graham, Donte Greene, Mike Harris, Lazar Hayward, Damion James, JaJuan Johnson, Jason Kapono, DJ Kennedy, Adam Morrison, Jamario Moon, Larry Owens, Bobby Simmons, Alando Tucker, Bill Walker and Shawne Williams.

    POWER FORWARDS: Jeff Adrien, Keith Benson, Jon Brockman, Derrick Brown, Brian Cardinal, Brian Cook, Josh Davis, Ike Diogu, Dennis Horner, Juwan Howard, Darnell Jackson, Kevin Jones, Solomon Jones, Antonio McDyess, Mikki Moore, Magnum Rolle, Jamal Sampson, Walter Sharpe, DaJuan Summers, Etan Thomas, Jordan Williams, Sean Williams and Chris Wright.

    CENTERS: Chris Andersen, Tony Battie, Brian Butch, Jarron Collins, Marcus Cousin, Erick Dampier, Jordan Eglseder, Jarrid Famous, Kyrylo Fesenko, Dan Gadzuric, Mickell Gladness, Chris Hunter, Chris Johnson, Dwayne Jones, Jerome Jordan, Jamaal Magloire, Brad Miller, Randolph Morris, Hamady Ndiaye, Greg Oden, Jarvis Varnado, Ben Wallace and Hassan Whiteside.

  • In reply to smiley:

    List of free agents above the Bulls can sign: none. They are hard capped. They can get one FA at the pro-rated vet minimum at the end of the month. But tell me, which one of these stiffs is really going to help? Better yet, tell me which one will help the least and that is the one GarPax will sign.

  • Heck hasn't Gilbert Arenas made enought $ already to sign here for the league minimum? LOL

  • Omer Asik with an 19/14 game last night ... he even hit 11 of 14 free throws, almost averaging a double double on the season now. Yeah a lot of it is just getting extra minutes, but he's going to win most improved so long as he stays healthy.

    Boozer is freaking terrible, him going to the bench had more to do with the Bulls being able to make a run than Rondo going to the bench. After the quick points he scored to start the game he was invisible on both ends. That said it would be nice if Taj was playing a little better, he's defending well but his scoring/rebounding is down. I hope it's not that the contract is in the bag now - not saying he's doing it deliberately but it's got to be a mental relief of having "made it" and that has to take a bit of the edge off.

    Deng and Noah playing well so far ... both guys are 27 and in their prime, gives the Bulls some decisions to make. I really think they have to decide whether they can win with those two around Rose in the next couple of years or not. If so then trade the Bobcats pick and Mirotic and the whatever future picks for help. If not then they both should be gone while they have the most value they're going to have, they're only going to go down. Sitting on the fence and making no moves should not be an option, the Bulls need to get active this trade deadline and/or off-season.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I agree with pretty much everything you said.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    saw that stat line on Asik against the Miami midgets. I told you guys last year that Asik would average a double double if he got the chance to start, and that he was a starting caliber center. Heck, at the rate he is going he might end up top 10 in the league. I always said that I would take him over Perkins, or a guy like Hibbert who has sucked this year so far,

    It appears that everybody is starting to worry that Taj is overpaid/underperforming, although I guess it won't be official unitl next year when his new contract kicks in.

    Your right about Noah and Taj, they could use some help physically, which is just one more reason that we should have kept Asik and figured out the salary cap issues later, i.e. amnestitize bozo asap, trade Deng as an expiring at next years trade deadline, and as a last resort, if absolutely necessary trade Noah for a scoring wing in the summer of 2014.

    If Teague can continue to get some minutes, it looks like he just needs to develop some confidence and he might even be usefull. Given Hangdog's(Hinrich) fragility we are going to need him to be.

    Final note, it is a good thing that Bozo destroyed that "bum" Brandon Bass, ooopps. Some people will never learn, i.e. those same people who still think that the Bulls should have reacquired Ben Gordon this summer.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Teague has a long way to go, and I still think he's unlikely to turn into a good player, but if he could it would help the Bulls a ton. I'd love the Bulls to have the option of playing Rose next to him. Rose is obviously going to be playing 40+ minutes a night in games that matter, I think it'd help him towards the end of games if some of those minutes are at SG where he doesn't have to handle the ball every possession.

    Obviously Asik is water under the bridge now, but I think the Bulls can still build something to compete if they can find the right trade. Mirotic/Bobcats pick/2013 + 2015 Bulls firsts is a decent trade package. You'd have Rip (unguaranteed next year) and Hinrich (can cover 3 million of his salary in cash if needed) to give you 9 million of salary to match. If you amnesty Boozer you have the MLE to help fill out the bench too. Would probably have to get lucky to beat the Heat, but that's about all you can do, blowing it up is no sure path to building a championship team either.

    I think it's time for the Bulls to cash in what they have an go all in win now. If Mirotic turns out to be a star, or the Bobcats pick turns out to be the #1, then I'd live with that. Derrick Rose will be 25 before next season starts, this is his prime, it's time to swing for the fences.

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