Bulls fall to a Spurs team playing without their big three

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.


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  • I have really had it with this Bulls team. Another no excuse home loss. Players are run down, hurt or lazy. Coach is stubborn and myopic. The Bulls need to make a few trades and get Rose back to get me interested again.

    I am tired of Deng's half-baked offense, Boozer's half-hearted efforts, Hinrich's repeated injuries, Hamilton's creakiness, Robinson's mercurial play, Taj's mediocrity and the bereavements of Mohammed and Radmanovic. This team needs need blood, an improvement in athleticism and a more flexible coach.

  • This game was very frustrating, but I don't think Robinson was the problem at all. For a good portion of the game, he seemed to be the only one that played well. Hamilton had a nice game too. I was really disapointed with the way that Butler played. I see him as a big time stopper on D and he was getting blown by all night. It seemed like Deng and Butler did not show up in this one. Those two are the core of the defense, in my opinion, and if they don't show up then the defense will strugle. I thought Gibson and Noah played well, too.

  • The Bulls "All-Stars" Deng and Noah one shooting 420 something and .313 from three and Noah for a big shooting .45% which is nothing to write home about. Now he's injured yet again.

    This all character team is fun to watch at times, but after this year it's time to rebuild. Derrick is still coming off of his last healthy playoffs shooting a terrible percentage.

    The fact that the Bulls could be considered an ECF Finalist is less a compliment to their prowess as it is evidence of the dire straits the Eastern Conference and the NBA as a whole are in. The Mega Tax with Rudy Gay and James Harden as write offs has just made teams on the rise a looming dilemma for exultant fans waiting for the other shoe to drop; all to subsidize small market, unprofitable teams.

    Stern and the owners have f-d this up so bad with the new CBA which was supposed to empower the non Los Angeles' and the New Yorks and it has done just the opposite. Yeah Miami and an OKC lite team in the Finals again. Who else? The midget PG led Clippers? Old geez Spurs?

    The "Association" of greedy fan unfriendly owners has become the least enjoyable pro 'product' in recent memory. Well, I guess if the money is being made with record Finals ratings of James and Wade then it must be a good thing.

    Meanwhile I've turned to the NFL at least as an enjoyable product with many entertaining teams to watch unlike the boring, talentless Mega Tax euniched slash deballed NBA. Stern you suck worse even then greedy slob fan's worst nightmare Reinsdorf. Enjoy your profits Jerry while we try to trade Boozer for an even bigger stiff just to avoid any tax which would have been minimal. Right now the sport I lve has just been fucked up to kingdom come.

    NBA you suck, yeah I'm talkiing to you, yeah you, you suck!

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Interesting post. I'd like to understand better what the NBA has tried to do, and how it has failed. What I mean is: If the owners are trying to empower the non-LA, non-NYC teams and getting more parity, I'm all for it. That's what makes the NFL, which you referenced, so great to watch. It works in the NFL, where any team is only 2 years away (see Niners for proof), so why isn't it working in the NBA?

    I think there's something wrong with a salary cap in conjunction with max contracts. Too many non-max guys are demanding max contracts and hamstringing the teams that sign them. Meanwhile, Lebron is totally underpaid. If there's a cap, let teams spend it the way they want to.

  • Wow, this site software just sucks crank. "The comment you wrote has been repeated" and my post is lost..? Nice.

    Miami and OKC are the only teams worth watching right now other then a young offensive talent in Portland. Harden and Gay lopped off of fans on the rise ball clubs. Yes, a fan friendly league.

    A mega tax which keeps anyone but a NY or LA fan wating for the other shoe to drop and some of their best players to be yanked out from under them. All to subsidize watered down joke unviable, unprofitable franchises where fans don't even come to the f-ing games or watch. Yeah, makes a lot of sense.

    Stern this CBA you presided over makes you one of the worst comissioners of all time. Jordan made the league and you are a souless lwayer schill for the owners. And no profit/greed didn't used to be the only concern. It was about the fans. No longer

    Whose worse: Reinsdorf the greed mongerer who has raped fans or Stern who has nuetered the league and made it impossible for teams to keep their stars even when they wish to remain and don't even make crazy money?

    I'll watch the NFL right now at least they have several entertaning, talented teams and not maybe two contenders and a bunch of gutted unwatchable subsidized joke franchises. Yeah Clips with a midget PG or old Geez well past their prime Spurs. It's Miami and OKC as a clear runner up. Suck league. Joke league. And Reinsdorf you are a fans worst nightmare. You greedy rip off now you want to dump Boozer just to get under a minimal tax for even a lousier player? Jerry you and David Stern must share the same set of nads one ball each for you to suck on.

    NBA with this new CBA is a joke as are the Bulls when it comes to contending. Great character, fun to watch at times yes. Hard working all respect yes. But, They will get knocked out in the first or second round. Deng shooting .426 and 313 as an "All Star" Noah injured again shooting 45% as a big and he's an All-Star? The league is now officially a joke. Homers discuss.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    It's gotta be interesting to see your exact same post written twice...

    It's almost like a snapshot into your psyche a mere minutes apart...


  • Disgusting loss, right up there with the 27 point blown lead against the bucks, the bobs or hornets at home. I guess that pop is the coach of the year.

    Couldn't watch the game, not part of the league pass package.

    Hard to say what happened without watching, but, 4 of the Spurs starters were plus 22,23 &plus24. For the Bulls Deng and Hamilton were only minus 1 and Noah was plus 1, Nate and the slugdog millionaire were minus 22 and minus 24 respectively. Plus minue isn't always determinative, but something seems to have been going on there.

    Hard to believe that the Bulls killed on the boards plus 20 something and still lost going away. Not sure who let Leonard go off, Deng, Bulter or both, but Deng has been horseshit pretty much since being named an all star. His defense hasn't been there and his shooting has been horendous, 4-13 again last night, 34% over the past 13 games. Maybe he still needs wrist surgery, even though it wasn't his shooting wrist that he hurt.

    It is nights like last night that bring home the reality that the Bulls are not an elite team, and in reality have no shot at a title as pressently constituted, even with Rose.

    Apparently, right now, Hinrich is our most important player. If he isn't #1, then he is at worst #2 behind Noah. If that is the case, it just proves that the rest of the supporting cast is simply not good enough, i.e. primarily Deng and Boozer.

    Last nights game coming on the heals of your trade post of yesterday makes me think that trading them all is the only option; Deng for Gordon, the slugdog millionaire for Smith/bargnani/Okafor and Brick plus a #1 for Redick.

    As I have long contended Rose and Noah are our only 2 championship worthy starters, so what is the point on deluding yourselves on the others.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Marcin Gortat is not happy in Phoenix, the Bulls should see if they can get him. We need Size and interior defense, too many easy buckets being given up. Noah can play 4 some,. Gortat's contract is up next year and he has said he would love to play for the Bulls.

    I dont understand the Deng-Rose shooting percentage plunge under thibodeau, both of them shot 47% before thibs came and now both are low fg% the last few years. Could it be a sign that they are wearing down? I'm not sure.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Not sure that Gortat wants to be a backup center, since he is complaining about not being involved enough even as a starter.

    However, I guess you read the Sam smith piece on Gortat loving the city of Chicago due to the huge Polish community. If that is what it takes to get a home town advantage, I'm all for it.

    Gortat would certainly take the sting out of losing Asik. Gortat has the better offensive game, probably not as good a defender or rebounder. Can't see the Bulls doing it unless they unloaded the slugdog millionaire in the deal. No way Phoenix does that since they already have a better player for less money(Scola).

    Good thinking on Gortat, even if it is only the wishful kind.

  • upto I saw the paycheck which had said $7283, I didn't believe ...that...my cousin was like they say actually taking home money part time from there new laptop.. there friend brother has been doing this 4 only 16 months and just now took care of the mortgage on their condo and purchased a brand new Smart ForTwo. I went here, http://www.bit90.com

  • So much for rose coming back after all star break. He says himself in interview with USA today he is far far away...eh

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    I don't blame Rose for not wanting to come back yet to a inconsistent team like this Bulls team. The Spurs big 3 didn't play and they still beat the Bulls at the UC. I'M glad I don't watch this team on a regular like I used to cause at times they can be frustrating and very disgusting.

  • In reply to bullzfan:

    Heard at least March until he comes back not right after AS break as expected. They are doing good enough not to worry about rushing him back and not bad enough for him to sit out the season. He said he felt like he was in the high 80's right now as far as how close he was to being a 100%.

  • I hope Rose stays out as long as he can, next year would be appropriate imo. He shouldn't put added pressure on his knee trying to Carry this Bulls team, too many fans would be expecting too much of him with a inconsistent roster so I say... take your time D Rose cause you don't owe anyone anything. Your team and FO owe you to improve this roster and their level of play on defense and especially on offense.

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