There you have it folks. The quintessential let down after a blowout. Doc played the starters 28 minutes in a blowout last night and the C’s come out the flattest I’ve seen them in a long time.
Some teams you can afford to come out flat and then get up to game speed as the action unfolds. The Bulls are not one of those teams. While guys like John Salmons and Luol Deng can shoot poorly from the field and deflate the Bulls before they have a chance to take off, it’s guys like Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose that keep the game in high gear. The Bulls also have consistent players like Kurt Hinrich and Brad Miller who go out and do their job and hardly come out of a game the goat. Take all those things and add an on-fire Luol Deng and I’m surprised the C’s were in this one for as along as they were.
Since it’s a loss due to a lack of effort (whether more effort could have even been a possibility, we’ll never know), I’ll just give you a few bullets to chew on before Zach “bull”-dozes you with analysis:
- Let’s start with what’s on everyone’s mind. I hate Joakim Noah. He’s the type of emotional player that lacks any semblance of “cool” to make him likable. Kevin Garnett is an emotional player, annoying to some, but part of me wants to be KG. No part of me wants to even touch Joakim Noah. He looks like a clown yet acts like a badass. Put those together and you get on the same level as the guys on MTV’s the Jersey Shore. Except, Noah might be worse because he’s not tough at all. At least I couldn’t beat up the Jersey Shore kids, while I’ll take me in a fight (for charity?) against Noah everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. The absolute worst part about Noah? He’s effective. Tonight he put up Allstar numbers against a great team. 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 blocks. For a guy who can’t hit a jumpshot? Pretty damn good. Yuck….
- The most depressing thing about this game (aside from Joakim Noah) is that the Bulls hardly got anything out of their bench. The Bulls bench were a cumulative -11. This is an area where the C’s could have really done some work, but they failed to muster any sense of urgency. It felt as if they said, “We’re home, I get to sleep in my own bed tonight, let’s get there as soon as possible.” And I don’t blame them for how hard they have played this season.
- Ray was especially bad tonight. He bricked two shots in the second half that the C’s had to have and, to be honest, they were shots Ray should have made. One of those clangers was especially egregious. Ray got a wide open 15 footer off an inbounds play that could have broken the rim. What made this miss even worse was Luol Deng hitting an identical shot a few possessions later. When Deng is beating you in a game of horse, you know you’re having a bad shooting night. The other miss was a three that really sealed the win for the Bulls. Ray usually makes that game changing three his calling card. He just missed this time.
- Taj Gibson has been a pleasant surprise as a late first rounder this year. Brian Robb and I were talking earlier today about how last year’s draft might have more quality players 20th pick and on than any other in history. Gibson’s biggest asset is his confidence. Something J.R. Giddens has none of despite being in the league a year longer. With four seconds to go in the 3rd quarter, the C’s inbound the ball to half court to an awaiting J.R. Giddens who could have taken two dribbles and got a good look at a long three. Instead, he made a cross court, completely east/west pass to a covered Glen Davis, whose man batted the ball away and Davis could not get a shot up. Giddens, that deserves a “C’mon man!”
- Derrick Rose is fast. Now Derrick Rose can make a consistent jumper from a step inside the three. My head hurts…
- The lack of effort bothered me tonight. I wholeheartedly believe the idea that teams just come out sometimes and lay eggs. The problem is that this game was so up and down despite how poorly the C’s played and they couldn’t capitalize on momentum. The play that sticks out in my mind the most is Rondo’s picked off pass in transition in the second half. The C’s had just got it within in four and Perk was able to get a strong rebound off a shot inside. He gave the ball to Rondo who tried to make a cross court chest pass to Ray and it was just sniped easily by Luol Deng running back on defense. Rondo doesn’t normally do this. He doesn’t normally give up the ball unless he has to or has a wide open man and this makes me worry. Not so much that his play is regressing, but more about how tired he is getting by playing 40 minutes a night. Expect a minutes plea piece coming soon.
That’s it for me, but hold out a little longer for a fuller recap from Zach Lowe. If I know Zach, which I do, he’ll have a few choice words about tonight’s game.
Oh and we can finally, officially put the 72-10 talk to bed. Good night!
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