The focus will likely be on Kirk Hinrich missing the game, but Nate Robinson played a pretty good floor game and Deron Williams scores less on him than he did on Hinrich last game. The Bulls may have missed Kirk, but they lost because they couldn't control the glass.
The final score was a 19 point blowout, but that wasn't reflective of how close the game was. The Bulls were right there with Brooklyn for the majority of the game, but their inability to secure the defensive rebound combined with a lackluster defensive effort overall doomed Chicago to a loss.
If a team is going to shoot 50% against you then you'd better not allow 17 offensive rebounds as well. Brooklyn effectively ran 12 more plays than Chicago, and the Bulls can't win when that happens. Chicago's typically the team with extra possessions against their opponents, but not tonight.
It was too much to handle. The only team in the NBA to not have a four game streak (in either direction) all season wasn't prepared to start in the playoffs.
It's a minor point that had nothing to do with the outcome [nor do I think the game overall was officiated poorly] but when Marco Belinelli got whistled for a flagrant by slapping Andray Blatche across the upper arm [the one with the ball in it no less] and didn't even use enough force to take him to the ground, I had to laugh.
Brad Miller and Omer Asik are now demanding video review of a couple o key playoff fouls they took that weren't deemed flagrant even after league review. Where's Bill Walton to tell you that's a playoff foul when you need him?
How seriously do you take the loss?
Well it's not time to panic, but you'd better not feel like the Bulls have the series in the bag either. Chicago has allowed some epic come from behind wins in games, and is one of only five teams [off the top of my head anyway] to lose in the playoffs as the one seed as well as one of the few to lose after taking a 2-0 lead in a series.
In short, would it really shock you if they became one of the few to drop a series after leading 3-1? I can't say it would. Especially if they continue to be this beat up.
The next game isn't "must win" in the sense that there's still a game seven, and the Bulls are a strong road team, however, if the Bulls can't close at home Thursday then you certainly won't feel warm and comfy about a game seven in Brooklyn.
On the plus side, Gerald Wallace had a nice night which means he's due for a clunker next game, and Brook Lopez had 10 rebounds which isn't likely to happen again. Chicago's still in a good spot to win the series. They just can't take anything lightly, but with Tom Thibodeau roaming the sidelines there's no chance of that anyway.