Atrocious D in Noah's Return Highlights Bulls Loss to Raptors

Atrocious D in Noah's Return Highlights Bulls Loss to Raptors

The Bulls embarrassed themselves with terrible defense and about as juvenile of a halfcourt offense as you could get to lose 118-113 in Toronto.

With the Bulls down 116-111 and 10.1 seconds remaining in regulation, they called a timeout. Derrick Rose inbounded to Joakim Noah. Then, simultaneously, Luol Deng fell down, Rose crashed into Leandro Barbosa to lose his footing, and Noah bounce passed the ball out of bounds.

It was about as fitting an ending to this game as one could see. The Bulls (38-17) 118-113 loss to the Raptors (16-42) in Toronto on Wednesday was an abomination of no defense and terrible halfcourt offense.

Shortly after the game, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweeted:

Thibodeau: "Defensively, it was a disaster. "less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Pretty much. I couldn't describe this awful game better than Tom Thibodeau, so let's go to the extended comments:

To recap, when Thibs was asked what disappointed him about the Bulls _efense in Toronto: "What didn't? Every aspect. Start with: defensive transition, keeping the
ball out of the paint, challenging shots. Every aspect of our defense. Out the window."

On Noah's conditioning: "He's rusty. His timing's not there."

On only playing Omer Asik for 24 seconds and Kurt Thomas for 22:27, he said that it's because when Noah was gone, Thomas the "anchor of our defense." He added that Omer's been "good" for the team, but Thomas has been "great."

  • Singling out bad defense is impossible with this game. Because everyone played like shit. Ronnie Brewer had about 18 tremendous minutes, but there were two minutes where he sunk into the same mistakes his team was making.

    The Bulls allowed 25 points and 50% shooting in every quarter -- 30 points in the final three and at least 65% in the second and fourth. This is humiliating.

    No one rotated well. Carlos Boozer fell for every pump fake and Amir Johnson scored 17 on 8-for-8 shooting. Andrea Bargnani shot 2-for-8 on long twos and bricked all three threes, but those were mostly wide open looks where Boozer failed to close out. Bargnani scored 24 on 7-for-19 shooting, but with hitting 10-for-11 FTs, could've very well dropped over 30. And Noah isn't immune here, as he wasn't helping Booz, let alone staying home on his man. He was very in-between in a defensive scheme where you need to commit to staying or helping, so his teammates can stay home or rotate.

    Rose was absolutely terrible. I don't give a shit if he dropped 30 in the fourth, his defense was lazy and his decision-making was stupid. Jose Calderon got wherever he wanted on the court and made Rose look silly on every pick n' roll to finish with a game-high 17 assists. Deng, Brewer, and Keith Bogans rotated like a apeshit and didn't communicate when DeMar DeRozan didn't have a body on him. Not that the bigs would've picked up on one of DeRozan's cuts, as the Raptors converted all five of their dunks and went 17-for-21 on their layups.

    Rose and Noah's help on this DeRozan highlight is a good description of how terrible this team played:

  • Allowing the 22nd most-efficient offense to shoot almost ten points over their eFG% on the season is embarrassing. Toronto came into Wednesday's game shooting a .489 eFG%. On Wednesday, they shot .581., despite bricking all five of their threes.
  • Rose sucked. He scored 32 on 8-for-22 shooting -- 2-for-6 on threes -- and was very aggressive. He shot 5-for-10 at the rim, got to the FT line frequently, and nailed 14-of-16 at the charity stripe. But in the first three quarters, he had 13 points on 4-for-14 shooting, bricked all three threes with his atrocious _efense.

    "Rose showed why he is in the MVP conversation when he scored 19 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter," Holly MacKenzie wrote at

    His 19 points in the fourth quarter while the Bulls allowed 33 on 67% shooting from Toronto in the same amount of time, after getting outscored 30-23 in the third. Big time offense, taking over the game, scoring at will in the fourth quarter isn't clutch when you can't guard anyone and your team isn't stopping anyone. At that point, it's just trading baskets. At that point, it isn't "MVP conversation" value, it's about as value-neutral of a game as you can get for your franchise player.

  • Noah's played with energy, just not all that good. He had seven points and 16 rebounds in only 25 minutes -- ten rebounds in the first quarter. But he was gassed after that. His last three shifts were like that of a guy who hasn't played basketball in two months.
  • Don't praise the Bulls rebounding too much. They out-rebounded Toronto 36-30, but this was in a 100-possession game. A large part of those rebounds were great hustle, crashing the boards for 16 on the offensive end for 16 second-chance points at a staggering 37.2% Offensive Rebounding Rate. But the high quantity of offensive boards were the result of terrible shooting without forcing misses on the other end.

    Embarrass yourself by shooting 43.7% against a defense that doesn't need help embarrassing themselves, as the second-worst in the NBA, and you get a lot of offensive rebounds. I'm just sayin'.

  • The Bulls couldn't finish. They shot 24-for-44 at the rim. 44 attempts is amazing, but when you figure 30 fastbreak points, you're looking at terrible finishing on the attack. The aggressiveness was the Bulls only offensive weapon -- as they created best in transition and forcing contact (30-for-37 on FTs). I like the aggressiveness when it passes up long twos, but there were wide open three-point attempts passed up, though they shot 7-for-15 from long range.
  • If Omer's so heavily protected from a deal for Courtney Lee, maybe he's deserving of more than 0:24 of PT. I'm just sayin'

    I get Thibs' rationale and I'm cool with Thomas and Omer's time being situational, but Toronto's athleticism, aggressiveness, and terrible off-ball defense calls for more Omer and less Thomas; not the other way around.

I'm done talking about this game. On to the next game, the tail-end of this back-to-back set at the United Center, where the Bulls face.... Fuck this shit.

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  • We know they sucked. Let's stick to the trades right now.

    Even if we get into a little funk/get spanked by Miami tonight we still have a very good team nonetheless/Thibs will right the defensive ship.

  • Wasnt Boozer a good defender in college? I dont understand whats wrong with him. Amir Johnson was backing him down last night...terrible.

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