Bulls vs. Thunder: Chicago Suffers 48 Minutes of Bad in Its Loss to OKC
Oklahoma City is arguably the NBA's best team, but despite defeating the Bulls 92-78, the Thunder are not that much ahead of the pack. The Bulls played their worst game of the season today against the Thunder, and several things led to their demise.
It was 48 minutes of bad basketball for the Bulls, who were missing both Derrick Rose and Richard Hamilton. Injuries should not be an excuse for the loss, though.
The problem was simple—the Bulls failed to compete.
Consider these points:
Chicago became a jump shooting team early on. Watching the guards chuck up 18-23-foot jumpers was disheartening. The Bulls are great when the shots are falling, but when the shots don't fall it is time to take the ball to the hole.
The Bulls signed Carlos Boozer for his low-post game. It is the job of the guards to make damn sure he gets his touches in the post just as often as he gets his touches on the elbow. The guards will not settle down and play ball.
And was it just me, or did C.J. Watson and John Lucas get caught up in the moment? Both of them played nervous and reckless. The Bulls have fed off their energy while Rose has been out, and if Watson and Lucas continue to play skittish, so will the rest of the team.
Where was the aggression?
Who is the NBA's best team?
Joakim Noah was absent, Luol Deng left his offensive game in the corner and Ronnie Brewer was benched in favor of Kyle Korver. Three key players to the Bulls' success, and each of them was underwhelming, at best.
Someone has to be aggressive.
If there is a shot-blocker in the paint, so what—somebody has to force the issue. The worst-case scenario is the shot gets blocked again, but being aggressive would have allowed the refs to give the Bulls the benefit of the doubt and perhaps a few foul calls.
Each reason had a helping hand in the loss to the Thunder, and if you take a look at all of the Bulls' losses, they are all due to the points I have just mentioned.
A loss to the Thunder is not the end of the season for the Bulls; I expect them to get back to their winning ways in their game against the Rockets. Chicago has and will rebound from this loss.
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