The Bulls' 8-0 home record was snapped last night with a loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Derrick Rose and company mounted a late comeback which fell just short.
A potential game-winner by backup power forward Brian Scalabrine missed. While many may ask why it was Scalabrine who took the potential game-winning shot and why Scalabrine was in the game, he does have that range.
Derrick Rose probably should have tried to draw a foul, instead but it's rarely about the last shot. It's about the other 47 minutes and some seconds. Specifically for the Bulls last night, it was about the second half.
The Bulls only managed 16 points in the fourth quarter.
Any time you see Brian Scalabrine on the floor in anything other than a blowout, you know there's got to be a problem.
Taj Gibson, the Bulls' primary backup power forward, has now missed the past three games with a high ankle sprain.
The Bulls also played without the benefit of arguably their second best player in Luol Deng. Ronnie Brewer filled up the stat sheet and had a big game, but still faded late when the Bulls were desperate for scoring.
Carlos Boozer seemed to play even worse defense last night, maybe knowing Taj Gibson wouldn't be gobbling up his minutes if he made a defensive lapse.
Those lapses can be tolerated when Boozer is scoring big, but last night he had 11 points on 35.7 percent shooting.
The Pacers only had to deal with Jeff Foster being out for the game, but since Deng didn't play, there'd have been no one for him to elbow in the head anyway.
(I absolutely had to go with this awesome picture of Joakim Noah and Roy Hibbert from their college days.)
The Pacers scored 50 points on the Bulls in the paint. Roy Hibbert, in what looks to be a career year, scored 20 points against the Bulls on 64.3 percent shooting.
It's tough to win a game when the opposing offense is getting easy buckets in the paint.
The Bulls did a better job on David West, holding him to 14 points on 33.3 percent shooting.
With Hibbert, West and Tyler Hansbrough, the Pacers have a lot of weapons to use in the paint that can frustrate defenses.
The Bulls don't have the most talented roster in the NBA.
They win with effort. They win with their chemistry. They win because they have the best defense in the NBA under head coach and defensive guru Tom Thibodeau.
The Bulls were outrebounded last night. That doesn't happen very often.
Considering how the Bulls beat the Pacers twice in the preseason, they may have been a little cocky last night. This just isn't the same team they met in the playoffs or in the preseason.
Those matchups came before George Hill and David West were familiarized with the system. They've since proven pivotal to the Pacers roster and helped propel them to a 12-5 record.
That brings me to my next slide...
Danny Granger has long been one of the most versatile players in the league. Paul George's versatility is just as dangerous.
Darren Collison is one of the fastest point guards in the NBA and a hard defensive assignment, even for Derrick Rose.
Then they have Roy Hibbert and David West inside. West is a former All-Star and Hibbert might get the nod this year if he continues playing at such a high level.
Their bench contains key players like George Hill and Tyler Hansbrough. Hill would be a starter for a lot of teams in this league.
They're a hungry, young team and a dangerous one.
In the end, a regular-season loss to the Indiana Pacers isn't a big deal.
This could have been a statement game for the Bulls, but instead it's a lesson for them. They won't have long to dwell on it because another game is right around the corner.
The Bulls face the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center on Friday. They're currently sitting at 7-10 but did grab a win against the Miami Heat.
Sunday brings the first of four meetings between the Bulls and the Heat. This is one of the most anticipated games of the season.
The Bulls don't want to pick fights with less successful teams. Their real fight is with the Heat.