Chicago is 11-7 at home this season, a pretty pathetic mark for a great team. They also happen to be 14-4 on the road which is an elite road record for everyone. Beyond that, it doesn't appear to be a scheduling issue, but the Bulls have simply played much worse at home.
Boston (without Rondo)
Dallas (thanks Kirk)
Portland (no Rose)
Sacramento (no Rose)
Denver (10 minutes of Rose)
The Bulls road losses were largely without their superstar and to good teams [the Kings were very hot back then before firing their coach and DMC going down then going all nutcase on the team again).
Their home losses are a mixed bag, but four of the losses were to teams the Bulls would be expected to flat out beat. Worse yet, it doesn't seem like Chicago even competed in a few of those games.
If you break it down like this:
Cleveland, Dallas, Golden Sate, and all four road losses are pretty easily explainable. Quality opponents, missing personnel tough situations.
Utah and Indiana losses somewhat make sense to me. These losses came following big, emotional wins for the team. Right before Utah the Bulls beat up on the Rockets in a game where they surged ahead at the end. Prior to the Indiana loss they had beat the Raptors on the road whom were leading the Eastern Conference at the time.
That leaves Brooklyn and Boston. Sometimes you simply don't have it, and maybe that's the case with these two games.
What is surprising and disappointing is Chicago's energy level at home. Many of these losses the Bulls energy level was downright pathetic. Typically the home team is energized by their crowd, but the crowd needs something to feed off of too.
The United Center isn't the loudest building in the NBA, but it's also not one of the arenas that sits half empty night after night or is ever filled with 1/3rd with fans for the opponent.
Why can't Chicago get things going at home consistently? At this point, I'll simply go with fluke ans small sample size especially given this more or less same core group of players has dominated at home in the past.
Either way, after one of the worst games of the season, maybe it's best the Bulls head out onto the road to play Washington.
Chicago won the first matchup against the Wizards in Washington last month, more or less controlling the game wire to wire. Derrick Rose had one of his best games of the season and definitely seems to get up to play against the other elite PGs of the NBA.
Hopefully a rematch against John Wall will bring out the best in Derrick as he's struggled mightily the past six games or so.
Also key for Chicago was Pau Gasol who did plenty down low against the Wizards. Jimmy Butler didn't fair so well and was generally outplayed by Bradley Beal. I don't know if Jimmy's yet at the Jordan level of score keeping against each opponent, but let's hope he has something special to bring in the rematch as well.
All in all, the Bulls are typically fantastic after losses. Tom Thibodeau, throughout his tenure, has always found a way to keep the team from going on big losing streaks. I'd suspect the Bulls find a way to win tonight.
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