You'd figure a game against the Spurs wouldn't be easy, but a game against the Spurs missing Parker, Ginobili, and Duncan would certainly be a winnable affair. Apparently, not the case. The Spurs are a well disciplined team and have excellent depth. They certainly made Bulls fans feel like the Bulls have made fans of other teams feel when Chicago's won despite their injuries.
It'd be easy to blame the turnovers, and the turnovers certainly were a huge problem in the game. The Bulls lost the battle of ball control 19-9. However, while the Spurs scored a ton of points off turnovers, they didn't score them in the traditional sense of getting fast breaks and easy baskets. They just walked the ball up and coldly executed their offense.
The Bulls second chance points and rebounding advantage largely offset the Spurs advantage in the turnover department. Where Chicago really lost this thing was at the three point line. The Spurs were 8-16 while the Bulls were 2-12. Both teams entered the game as excellent three point defensive teams. If they both held each other to around 33% then the game is nearly tied.
Chicago also managed to knock down four less free throws than the Spurs despite an equal amount of attempts. You factor in those two things and its easy to see while both teams shot the ball pretty well and had a similar number of attempts, the Spurs managed to turn the game into a blowout.
Kawhi Leonard simply beasted the Bulls all night long. He scored repeatedly through excellent defense and looked like a future superstar. I love what the Bulls do in the draft in general, but if there's one team that really evaluates talent better then its the Spurs. This game is also an interesting game when viewing coach of the year consideration.
Popovich and Thibodeau won the past two years and both will be candidates again. With both coaches going at each other without their stars, the Spurs were able to execute their game plan better. In my opinion, they're probably the two best coaches in the NBA at getting players to buy in, play hard, and execute. Both coaches consistently deliver through adversity, though of course, Popovich has been doing it much longer.
All in all, a disappointing loss for Chicago. Say what you want about the Spurs greatness, this was a game the Bulls should have been able to go out and win but fell short in.