Bulls lose nightmare game after leading by 27
The Bulls started 5-3; losing close games late in the 4th quarter against the Thunder and Celtics. Then they took their annual circus road trip. They won an exciting overtime game in Phoenix after blowing a 17 point lead. After losing close games against the Rockets and Blazers, they were embarrassed by the Clippers. Then they actually won a close game on the road in Milwaukee.
Being 6-6 after 12 games is acceptable considering the circumstances and the road trip. Up until the last 2 years, the Bulls had been dreadful on their circus trip and always dug themselves a hole.
I'm happy I didn't watch tonight's game against the Bucks. I may have died or had an aneurysm. I was in a state of shock upon learning what happened. I came home from the gym and saw that the Bulls were trailing 93-92 with 7 seconds left. Then I saw the game went final and they lost by that same score. I immediately went to my phone for a box score. I see they were outscored 30-12 in the 4th quarter. I then went to the play by play and almost became catatonic upon learning they blew a 27 point lead.
Allow me to break this down for you. The Bulls led 78-51 after a Kirk Hinrich 3 with 2:49 left in the 3rd quarter. Okay, so if you're a fan of the team or a degenerate gambler--you're pretty damn happy. What transpired next redefines the word unfathomable. The Bucks closed the third quarter on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to 17. The following is mind blowing.
The Bucks went on a 13-0 run to start the 4th quarter and eventually a 31-4 run to tie the game at 82. Here's the best part. I told you the Bulls led by 27 with 2:49 left in the 3rd quarter. The Bucks tied the game with 7 minutes left in the 4th. So in less than 8 minutes of game action--the Bulls allowed a 31-4 run in their building.
And the Bucks emptied their bench down 27. Ersan Ilyasova, who had been benched in favor of rookie Jon Henson, just lit the Bulls up. Up until tonight, Ilyasova had been a major disappointment. I would know, I have him in fantasy. He was putting up awful numbers for a guy who was rewarded with a nice contract in the off-season. But if you want to get healthy-- just make sure Carlos Boozer is guarding you. I'd rather be kicked in the balls repeatedly than watch this clown play defense.
I'm F***in nauseous. I never thought a Tom Thibodeau team was capable of such a shocking loss. And before you play the Derrick Rose card, know that this Bulls team blew a 35 point lead at home in 2009 against the Kings with Rose in the game. But that was under Vinny Del Negro (he just lost tonight at home against the Hornets). I just didn't think a Tom Thibodeau led team could meltdown like this.
Not only did the defense fall asleep, but 12 4th quarter points????? It sounds to me that their shorts got tight and their balls went home scared. Obviously Carlos Boozer's defense, or lack-there-of, is always an issue. I pray they can amnesty that contract as has been discussed. He will never be a winning player. I called out Boozer and Luol Deng in last year's playoffs after Rose went down. We saw what both were made of, when they only showed up in game 5 to avoid elimination at home.
Luol Deng only took 11 shots and turned the ball over 5 times tonight. Albeit he's having a good season thus far, without Rose on the court, this should be Deng's team. He should be the one demanding the ball and taking big shots. Instead, 35 year-old Richard Hamilton took 24 shots and had the ball in his hands for the final shot. Then after the game, Deng said the Bulls need to find out what's wrong and that they aren't playing like the Bulls. Hey Lou, how about you step up and don't let the team blow a 27 point lead at home.
The Bulls have so many issues. Gar Forman and John Paxson really hamstrung Thibodeau with this awful bench. With the exception of Taj Gibson, nobody plays a lick of defense, which has forced Thibodeau to shorten his bench and play the starters major minutes. In fact, in tonight's game Thibodeau only played 8 guys. It's clear he's already sick of Nate Robinson, who saw just ten minutes. Nate plays zero D (in his defense--no pun intended, he's basically a midget who gets manhandled by anyone on the court) and his shot selection may have cost the Bulls two games on the circus trip.
I hope the Bulls front office knows what they're doing going forward with rebuilding this team upon Rose's return. No team can win with the bench they have currently. I would be content if they can somehow unload Boozer and even Deng for a stud or just better pieces to play alongside Rose. I have tried hard to root for Deng and Boozer, despite being from Duke (I loathe Duke--Go Tar Heels), but I just don't think either guy has the ability to be that consistent and reliable 2nd scorer to take the pressure off Rose. Perhaps it's time to explore other options.