Derrick Rose was 6-21 for 14 points and 0-7 from beyond the arc [though in his defense, two of those were desperation heaves at the end of the game], Kirk Hinrich didn't score for the second game in a row and seemed to make a dumb ass play or miss a shot every time he was near the ball.
Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson were so lazy on defense I wanted to tear my eyes out, especially in transition. If you're a big man who can shoot from more than eight feet from the basket you can get whatever you want on Gasol. Gibson kept diving out at Millsap at the three point line out of control in idiotic ways that lead to drives.
Nikola Mirotic had an abysmal shooting performance for the second straight game. Aaron Brooks, one of the few guys with more points than shots, barely played and was yanked after a couple poor decisions on offense in the fourth. The Bulls odds to win ended right there.
The Bulls looked like a team with zero continuity on either end of the floor, I mean this was awful, awful basketball, and you know what? With a minute left, on the road, against a quality opponent, while playing the second half of a back to back, they were still right there in the game, one possession down at one point.
I'm not suggesting there's anything to be even mildly happy about the results of this game, but it does show something for the Bulls talent level that they can be this bad and still hang with a team. I mean this was awful.
This was the polar opposite of the Portland game. Derrick Rose looked like he could barely dribble a basketball at times. Every time there was a crucial possession, Rose was there to miss a short or turn the ball over. He ended with 14 points on 27 possessions which is truly, truly awful.
It's fine, I'm happy Rose is out there playing, and he'll have some games like this as he works himself back into proper form, but it's pretty rare for a real superstar to be _this_ bad which tells you all you need to know about whether Rose is really back yet.
After a couple good games against Brooklyn and Portland, Rose was lackluster [though not awful] against Miami and was a train wreck against Atlanta.
Pau Gasol is playing too many minutes
I don't know if he's just worn out or if he's just always this slow, but his defensive intensity was embarrassing at times. He gets you some blocks at the rim, and plays tough when he's down there with someone, but he won't guard anyone 10 feet out.
He gave up probably six to eight points on simply being lazy in transition defense, and I don't mean slow, I mean lazy. Like oh wow look at those guys running, I'm going to turn around and jog now that they're past half court.
On offense, Pau tried to force a lot of shots and the offense looked pretty ugly running through him. He tends to lose the ball if he has to dribble more than twice, and Chicago needs serious lessons in how to feed the post, because with a guy as slow as Pau the answer isn't to throw slow lob passes.
Taj Gibson, you weren't much better
Taj gave the Bulls an efficient lift with his offense. He scored 15 on 7/11 shooting and added 17 rebounds. You'd think Gibson had a great night with those numbers, and I suppose relative to the rest of the Bulls he did, but his defensive decision making was bad, and It felt like he must have been feuding with Thibodeau because he was also incredibly lazy in transition.
What's Thibs to do?
This team looked tired to me. They didn't look like they were into the game. Guys need bigger breaks, especially Gasol who's being worked like he's 25.
I'm sure Thibodeau will be tempted to drill the crap out of the team the next two days after a game where the defense was so lack luster it felt like guys were purposefully ignoring what they'd been taught and not even trying to execute the scheme.
I think that's the wrong move though, this team needs an off day even if you do want to drill some madness into their head.
Knicks on Thursday
That seems like a good chance to regroup.
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