Following the Bulls loss to the Miami Heat, Tom Thibodeau said something to the effect of “Defensively, we were terrible. We have a lot of stuff we need to clean up”. Please, please, please tell me this is just his standard stock answer and not the internal workings of his mind.
The Chicago Bulls held the Miami Heat to 85 points.
At some point, you have to step back and look at that. In 94 games this season, the Heat have been held to less than 85 points a total of five times. The Miami Heat haven’t scored less than the Bulls 75 all season.
Do you really think you can hold them to 74 points and win?
The outcome of this game had nothing to do with defense.
The Bulls defense was still generally fairly active especially with Asik
The Bulls gave up a fairly high percentage from the field (47%) again, but they denied three point shooting and limited free throws. Overall, Miami had a fairly pedestrian offensive efficiency.
When Omer was on the floor, Miami really struggled to get anything going, and the more the Bulls limit Boozer, the better the defense will be. Also, Chicago will need to get Korver to knock down shots while leaving him on the floor, Miami left Korver open repeatedly, and the Bulls failed to turn this into an advantage.
What is Chicago going to do with the offense?
It’s a scary thought, but that’s where we lost this game, and I’m tempted to say the shots simply didn’t fall 15% three point percentage on 20 shots isn’t going to get it done too often. 34% from the field isn’t likely to win many games either.
Does Tom Thibodeau not address the offense because he thinks the shots are good but didn’t fall? Or more scary, does he not address it because he’s simply so defensively focused that it’s just not on his radar. Does he really think the Bulls can win this series scoring under 80 points?
I’m going to assume it’s the first. The Bulls generated plenty of open looks for Luol Deng and Kyle Korver that simply didn’t fall. Derrick Rose has a terrible night finishing around the basket missing numerous shots he typically would hit.
Plenty of reason to be encouraged by last nights game though
As deflating as that loss was for Chicago last night, the Bulls have blown out the Heat once and loss in a fairly close game once. They’ve held the Heat in check with their defense in both games.
The worst fear of Miami was that the Bulls wouldn’t contain their star players, that Miami’s offense would prove too great. However, despite a brilliant run by LeBron to close game two, we haven’t really seen that.
Chicago’s done a great job dealing with Miami, and I feel more confident right now tied at 1-1 than I did when the series started at 0-0. The Bulls are going toe to toe with Miami and have every chance to win this series.
Miami did their job, time for Chicago to do theirs
The Heat earned a split in Chicago. Now Chicago has to go down to Miami and earn a split there. Despite the loss, I feel absurdly positive about game three for Chicago.