Rose suffers ankle sprain as Bulls fall to Cavaliers

It seems like the worst case scenario possible: Derrick Rose goes down with an injury, and the Bulls lost to the Cavaliers. However, despite the loss/injury, I feel fairly upbeat about the game.

First, Rose's injury doesn't look severe at all. If it ends up being a high ankle sprain that keeps him out for 10 weeks then I'll revisit my optimism, but this looks like a 2-3 day type ankle sprain rather than a 2-3 weeks type ankle sprain.

I wouldn't be surprised if Rose sits out the second half of the back to back against Minnesota, but I'd guess he'll be ready by the Orlando game Tuesday or shortly afterwards.

As for the loss, I thought the Bulls played fairly atrocious basketball. Despite that, they lost in overtime without their superstar. They could have won the game if not for a few tough foul calls at the end.

LeBron had a great game in the box score, but his aura of invincibility seems off to me. The Bulls weren't double or triple teaming him. They basically left him in isolation and let him get his.

Chicago basically lost the game in two areas: turnovers and rebounding. I suspect the Cavs might be a better turnover team in general, but the rebounding advantage is something I'd expect Chicago to clean up. In general, after this game, I felt better about Chicago's odds of beating Cleveland rather than worse.

Derrick Rose looked pretty bad ass

Prior to his injury, he put up 20 points on 8/16 from the field. He knocked down 2/6 threes and hit a few mid range jumpers as well. Overall, his level of play continues to be very high and aggressive.

I really like what I've seen out of Rose this year in terms of his approach.

Pau Gasol kinda lost us this game

He struggled boxing out his man more so than anyone else, and the offensive rebounds he gave up were so numerous that it was ridiculous.

It was enough for me to briefly think, Carlos Boozer may not play defense, but at least he rebounds. Briefly.

On offense, he shot just 6/18 which was amongst the worst of the Bulls players in terms of percentages. Gasol needs to start knocking own shots, but he absolutely needs to do a better job on the glass than what we saw.

He had a lot of good looks inside, but he simply could not finish them.

In general, we need a hell of a lot more out of Pau Gasol then we were getting on both ends of the court.

Dunleavy shows why we shouldn't write him off

Dunleavy had a great game. He missed a few shots clumped together in the middle of the game, but overall finished 4/7 from beyond the arc and 5/10 overall.

He looked very poised out there and created a few shots off the dribble when the Cavs got lazy and played under the screen.

He looked especially good given that Doug McDermott struggled. McDermott missed all three of his shots, two of which were wide open threes with no one in his zip code and a third was a pretty clean look from beyond the arc.

Quite simply, those are shots we expect McDermott to make 2/3 out of. Doug played hard on defense and had a nice come from behind block. He hustled out there, but the Bulls struggled while he was on the court.

Nikola Mirotic didn't add much either in his brief appearance. While Tony Snell got plenty of minutes on the floor and generally played pretty well, but again, lost track of time and situation at the end of the game committing a stupid foul on LeBron which helped the Bulls blow a five point lead at the end.

Kirk Hinrich had an amazing game

Kirk's shooting was tremendous, something I doubt we'll see with any consistency given his track record. However, his hustle was also great. He really led the come back with his spirit.

He went to the floor multiple times to get balls the Cavs could have had and provide the toughness we all love about him. I wish he could give a better more consistent effort, but I'll give the captain his due, I love watching him when he can put together a game like this.

Thibs rode the hot hand

Thibs used some interesting rotations out there and generally rode the hot hand. The one thing that disappointed me was in the Bulls final offensive possession with a tie game, they put out the same lineup they had to end quarter. Hinrich, Snell, Dunleavy, Gibson, and Noah.

This was an opportunity to go all offense. You know the Cavs are going to call timeout after this shot attempt if there's any time left, so you don't need to worry about defensive matchups.

There was no one on the floor skilled at getting their own shot which is crucial when you want to take a shot as close to zero on the shot clock as you can.

I really think the Bulls needed to put Aaron Brooks back in there for Tony Snell and possibly McDermott for Gibson and even Mirotic for Noah. Give the ball to Brooks with four three point shooters on the perimeter and see what Cleveland does to match up.

My guess is that Brooks is able to get you a great interior look in this situation or someone is taking a wide open jumper. The Bulls instead ran a Hinrich/Dunleavy pick and roll which might be effective if you didn't care when you got a shot off (ie, willing to shoot with 10 seconds left on the shot clock so you could try multiple times) but completely failed.

Overall? meh

Can't say I'm too upset about the outcome. I would have loved a win, but the Bulls rallied on Cleveland without Butler and Rose. They got killed on the glass, something which I think they can improve on, and Cleveland really didn't look all that great.

I think the Cavs and Bulls will both be better teams by the end of the season, but the game showed that they're certainly in the same class. LeBron looks far more mortal, despite scoring a truckload of points, than he did a few seasons ago, and Irving is no prime Wade.

Despite the loss, I feel slightly more confident about the Bulls ability to actually beat the Cavaliers in the playoffs than prior to the game.

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  • Tristan Thompson basically got any offensive boards that he wanted mawinly due to Gasol. Rose was all over Kyrie defensively, he didn't have a field day after all. It was interesting to see Marion get time on Rose. The Bulls made a mistake not getting the Butler deal done, Omer Asik all over again.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    Yes, shame about butler. However, the Bulls may feel that they have no problem paying Butler huge money if he shows them he's worth it this season. If he cant improve off last season giving the guy $12-13 mil per is not good.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I think Butler had a down year last season. Expect his offensive numbers to be much better. A small market team will give him that money. Jimmy was doing everything in preseason, he just looked so comfortable.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    They also may want to see a healthy Rose bc the team may want to go in a different direction otherwise bc Butler, Gibson and Noah are not young.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    Hard to know about Butler until we find out some more specifics about what he wanted vs what was offered.

  • In reply to Jamie W:

    No not mainly due to Gasol, he got at least half against Gibson. Thompson didn't even start for them, it was Varejao who started out getting offensive rebounds against Gasol. and the final offensive rebound putback in overtime to seal the win came with Gibson meekly sitting on the floor in the lane as Thompson dunked home the win. Gasol sucked, but Gibson was worse, actually the worst Bull last night. Plus/minus Noah +12, Gasol 0, Gibson -18

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The entire bench was negative, unlike the last few games where the whole bench was positive. I really did not expect the bench of the Cavs to outplay the bench of the Bulls!

    M and M combining for zero points did not help. Still, the Bulls had a good night on O.

    Both the D and rebounding stunk. Those 4 weak areas together sunk the team. Even so, they were a free throw away from the win.

  • You knew the Cavs and LeBron would come back strong after the first night they had against the Knicks so why not get Mirotic and McDermott involved to acclimate them to that kind of intense game?

  • In reply to Sluggers:

    They couldn't do much of anything when they did play. Snell played much better than either one of them.

  • Agree with your comment regarding the rotation on last possession.. Moreover, I didn't understand why Thibs didn't have Brooks in the game more in the 4th quarter. I presume it was for defensive purposes but having only one shot creator (Hinrich) on the floor against a team like the Cavs is misguided IMO. I wish JVG wouldn't pull his punches with Thibs. I think there is a real conflict of interest there.

    I think the rebounding issue is more problematic than you are indicating. Gasol's interior lateral movement is way too slow. This is something that can't be fixed by "cleaning-up." His size is meaningless when you are not quick enough to box-out or get to the ball in time. Thompson and Love dominated on the glass. Hopefully, Rose and Butler in the future can give the Bulls a lift in this area as well as other areas. I also expected more from Noah in these interior battles eventhough he had 13 boards. I am still concerned there has not been more info provided on the condition of his knee.

    One further comment regarding Gasol. When the Bulls signed Pau during the summer one poster mentioned how awful he was finishing around the basket last year in LA. I am worried that what we saw last night was not an aberration with him.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    You might be right on Gasol's rebounding. We'll have to see, but I think having Butler back in at SG will help the rebounding quite a bit too.

    The Bulls got beat quite a bit inside, but they also lost a lot of the rebounds that went over the initial bigs and Butler would have helped a bunch there.

    We'll see about Gasol and finishing around the hoop, we'll have to hope for the best there.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Totally agree, rebounding isn't a one man effort, it is a gang effort and Butler will help out in that regard, evev Dunleavy did contribute 9 boards, it didn't seem to help. But Gasol's inability to move his feet/body to block out could be a significant hurdle to overcome.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Just I believe you're not being fair with snell!! last night we could see why GarPax were so high on him especially when he tracked down Lebron all over the floor (he tried to lock down irving too but was a bit slow though) but between lebron weight loss and snell gaining some it wasn't the nightmare everyone expected. He made a stubid mistake fouling lebron with 47 seconds left and 5 points ahead but taj made worse on 2 occasions (on irving with 3 points ahead then again with lebron in OT not to mention the silly mistake on pau FT). Since it was halloween I do have a theory Snell wasn't snell it was butler in disguise and thompson was in reality was dennis rodman :p !! speaking of rebounds it's the second time cleveland outrebounds the bulls I definitely hope it's not becoming a pattern otherwise it would be a season killing they're already a good defensive team if they can have second opportunities almost on wishes it woud be nightmarish playoff time coming.
    But I was pretty much pumped up after the loss regarding what I saw and what could this team level be with an 82 game season and a good offensive scheme

  • Oh yea, Thibs seems to care so much about W's throughout the year than looking at the long haul.

  • You cant call out Gasol, and not comment on Gibson. Taj simply did not come to play last night; low energy, bad hands, just an ugly game from him overall. This loss is on his shoulders as much as anyone's.

  • In reply to BullsMan:

    Thank you for having your eyes and mind open. see my rant/tirade below.

  • Taj sprained his ankle as well, but he stayed on the floor.

  • Gasol lost this game? I beg to differ. 2 stupid fouls when you're up by 4 with 47 seconds left lost this game.

    Sure he struggled to box out but so did the rest of the team, IMO the perimeter players couldn't box out either.

    Gasol may have had a meh game especially offensively but let's not conveniently forget he had 6 blocks too.

  • In reply to JPesos1230:

    Exactly Taj's foul on Irving was pathetic and gave them 3 points instead of only 2, again the difference in the game, well that and his lane violation which wiped out our 99th point.

  • Rose, if he can stay healthy, looks like he's going to be a very good/all-star likely player for the Bulls and that's key.

    Gasol after a few weeks of in game play we'll know what we're getting from him both offensively and rebounding. Hopefully he can be solid in both areas. Time will tell. Taj with three rebounds in 25 minutes doesn't help.

    As for McDermott, when you have a four year player at a mature age, you'd hope a guy you gave away two mid firsts for would be ready to contribute. Dunleavy puts up solid numbers percentage wise, but he's also 34. If Doug can't get consistent minutes say 25 per game then I'd view that as a negative for the team. Personally, I'd like to see him start at SF and give him 30mpg for a couple of weeks anyway and see how he responds. Of course Thibs will probably go with vets per usual.

    As for Klank eventually he will go back to being Klank not to mention injuries are usually his forte which will mean more minutes for Brooks for those who like his game.

    Side note: if you don't want to play Derrick at SG then that's fine, but Isaiah Thomas from the Kings now with the Suns looks excellent offensively. Costing $7 mil he'd have to be a core rotation player, but the guy's numbers are prolific and high quality. Phoenix who downed the Spurs last night, who played very well, is an interesting team, and shows why the East is pathetic in comparison to the WC IMO.

  • Did I read the box scores correctly?

    Against Cleveland McDermott and Mirotic in 21 combined minutes had zero points and zero rebounds? I can't double check that because I already recycled the Chicago Tribune.

    Any word on Cameron Bairstow's progress as a 3rd stringer? That young man is a banger, something I think the Bulls have missed, forever.

  • Despite being snot spewing furious at the end of the game, I still had the same feeling as you did, that we played about as bad of a "big game" as we could, played the entire game without our best defender and most of the second half without Rose and we still had the game won without several bonehead plays by Snell, Taj and Thibs.

    You are right about Gasol's rebounding and defense in general, he blocks a lot of shots because of his length and he gets a bunch of rebounds by being tall and in the lane, but he simply cannot move his feet or body to play D or box out for rebounds. Not sure that boozer boxed out much better but he greedily went after defensive rebounds because he knew that was the best way for him to pad his stats.

    That said, it wasn't just Gasol having problems with Varejao and especially Thompson. Taj was absolutely physically destroyed by Thompson. Taj only had 3 rebound for the entire game, while Thompson did at least half if not more of his damage against Taj. Is there anyone out there today who still wants to argue with my assertion that Taj is slightly undersized even for a power forward. A game like last night proves it. Thompson is an old time power forward in the vein of Charles Oakley or the Davis brothers from the 90's Indy teams. Taj does not have that type of physicality, and last night Thompson out athleted him too. Everyone goes nuts when Taj has a good/great game or 2, but he always regresses to the(his)mean. As I've always said, Taj is good enough to start, but if he is your starter then you are always in the market for a starting power forward. The only exception to this would be if he played with a big 3 where one of the 3 wasn't the power forward.

    Then after contributing virtually nothing the entire game, Taj also almost singlehandly(one assist from Snell) lost the game with moronic mistake after moronic mistake in just the last minute of the game. First he committed a lane violation which wiped out our 99th and would be game winning point. Then with only 47 seconds left as the announcers pointed out Snell made an idiotic foul on Lebron on the inbounds play giving them 2 points with virtually no time off the clock. On the following possession Gibson took a shot with 12-13 seconds left on the shot clock, which gave Miami an extra possession. Even though it was a wide open shot, he looked like he could have either driven into the lane or perhaps passed to Naoh(I think) under the hoop for an easy bucket, Van Gundy called it an ill advised shot also.

    So while Gasol looked physically awful as he usually does even if the results are better, blaming the loss on him rather than Gibson seems fairly short sighted. Not that plus minus is always relevant, but Taj was a team worst(by a mile) minus 18 in the same game that Noah was plus 12 with Gasol at 0. A 30 point differential in a game that went to overtime is pretty astounding.

    In general the Cavs really took it to us physically, in addition to the rebounding advantage, they seemed to come up with all the loose balls, the so called 50/50 plays. We just seemed to play afraid, constantly fumbling the ball through our hands causing turnovers and eliminating opportunities to score. I've always felt that the Bulls were a bad hands team, but last night the fumblitis was really obvious.

    I have to quibble with your assessment of Hangdog's game a little, in that he was great in the second half, but just like in the opener against NY he kind of sucked in the first quarter. Thats basically the problem with him, he isn't physically capable of being consistently good, it almost feels more like luck than skill when he has a hot streak.

    Finally, I thought that Thibs sending out his defensive lineup for the last possession of regulation with 27 seconds left was idiotic. Even if they hadn't played all half, he should have put all the offensive talent in the game, Gasol for Noah, Mirotic for Taj, Brooks for Hangdog, and McDermott for Snell. Instead he sends out the same five guys to just stand around and watch Hangdog run the clock down and jack up a bad 3 at the last second. Thibs should be impeached for stupidity.

    However, after my blood pressure recovered, I really didn't feel that bad about the loss, since we couldn't have played much worse, were without 2 of our 3 most important players and still had victory in our grasp. The injuries to Rose and Taj were the things that got me down the most, hopefully they will be minor and not the start of season long problems.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Great commentary and fully agree, Off topic, I was at the game yesterday, and it seems that the constant music and distractions were at an even higher level than last season. It's becoming almost disadvantageous to watch the game live with the basketball becoming secondary to the constant distraction of entertainment appropriate for seven year old kids on a sugarhighs.

  • Some of MY Observations:

    1--Taj's ankle? If he played hurt, OK. That said, he was terrible on the boards and missed a wide open jumper in the last minute of regulation. Let's see tonight.

    2--Just the wrong nite to play Cleveland. They were really hungry after that loss to NY. (What a nice win if we beat them with all that said)

    3--That shot by Kirk as the clock was running out was dishearting and so reminiscent of last years frustrations on Offense.

    4--I think the reason the Bulls just didn't get Jimmy signed(supposedly 2 Mill a year difference) has a little to do with overall salary balance. Can we really pay Jimmy $6mill a year more than Taj? Maybe we should, maybe we'll have to, maybe even more? Let's hope Bulls get this right.

    5--Are there any circumstances where we can sign Jimmy DURING THE SEASON?

  • Speaking of being furious by the end of the 4th, I didn't think those refs would let the cavs lose last night in Chicago. Honestly we seem to ALWAYS lose more in translation with players out and players hurt. Rose. Butler. Taj. All hurt and hurting. McDermott missing wide open shots. And snell.....
    I hope Thibs has that jumbo lineup in his back pocket for the playoffs ( Noah, Gasol, Gibson, Butler, and Rose) with Taj guarding LeBron in spot minutes and at the end of game situations. Not just giving a different look in defense but also inforcing LeBron to deal with a longer and stronger defender in the half court during intense playoffs moments.

  • I'm upset about the loss but we have a "get-right" game vs Minnesota and that's about all you could ask for.

    Dunleavy really did show why he's valuable to this team. He was my favorite part of the game. There wasnone sequence where Kyrie & Lebron were playing a pick and roll two man game around the baseline and Mike wound up guarding both of them perfectly, forcing a missed shot. I've seriously never seen the pick and roll played that well before by anyone.

    Believe it or not Snell kind of led the comeback. He forced a few turnovers, knocked down a couple 3's and most important he attacked the rim. He was the only Bull going to the rack for a good 7 or 8 mins there. I was out of the room for the foul on Lebron so I can't say much about that.

    I thinknwe should've used Pau down the stretch instead of Taj. Pau just generates the highest percentage shots in this offence. And say what you like about his rebounding but he did block 6 shots too. Maybe I'd be saying the opposite if Taj sat down the stretch in the 4th and we lost. Who knows?

    I think what's bothering me most about the loss is they failed to make ab adjustment on Tristan Thompson. When a guy is causing that much havoc on the opposing team I expect Thibs to figure out a way to check him. Very disappointing.

  • Butler not signing could do wonders for the Bulls this season. Remember how badly Taj played the first year of his resigning? I think he is going to be extra motivated to improve and show that he is worth a lot more than 11M annually.

    I also noticed 2 decent games from Tony S., which brings hopes that he may become a solid wing contributor, at least on defense and open shots.

    The interesting fact about yesterday's game is that the Bulls offense is that carried them, whereas defense was way below expectations, where they were beaten badly on the boards. As the team begins to jell, I think a top 10 offense and top 3 defense is achievable for this roster.

    Lastly, Cavs are running the big 3 to the ground by playing back-to-back 40 mins. For the Bulls to sustain and keep up with the Cavs at any game, they may have to play Rose, Noah and Butler 40 minutes as well. If not, I think we cannot expect the Bulls to finish the regular season ahead of the Cavs, which is Okay, as long as the Bulls start the playoffs healthy.

  • Btw It' just an opinion but I believe both butler and snell should give up shooting 3s consistently (once in while when wide open ok but not everytime they have the ball beyond the arc) since they seem much better and more efficient attacking the rim or settling for mid-range jumper having 2 shooters on both teams (starters and bench mob) between rose/brooks and dunleavy/mcdermott and/or mirotic and kirk (occasionally) would be enough to space the floor and open lanes for them

  • Where's The Beef?
    I've noticed the physical nature of the game is more apparent watching in-person than on TV. Last night I was at the UC and the physicality of the Cavs was obvious, it surprised me, and I commented on it to my friends during the game.

    I noticed all the Bulls bigs are thin - Gasol, Noah, Gibson, Dunleavy - and were getting pushed around by Varejao, Love, Thompson, Marion, and LeBron, all of whom appear beefier/stronger than our Bulls frontline.

    During Gasol's 3 Finals appearances with the Lakers, the rub was he was soft - talented, but soft. He certainly looked soft against the Cavs as he repeatedly avoided contact at the rim, instead of going up strong and getting fouled.

    And yes, Taj is undersized for a PF.

    These issues usually don't matter too much during the regular season, but they often become glaringly obvious in the playoffs.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Yep, after baseline talent, in the playoffs it's about physical matchups

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