Chicago Bulls: Game 3 Confirms Worries of Derrick Rose-Less Roster
Without Derrick Rose, most had given up hope of a title run but still expected an extended stay in this rather one-sided first-round playoff series.
The Bulls offense ran stagnant for long stretches of Friday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers, but Chicago still showed their ability to clamp down on defense.
No one on the Bulls roster was able to knock down a shot consistently. C.J. Watson and John Lucas III failed to inspire any confidence as replacements for Rose, shooting a combined 4-16 on the night.
The free-agent pickup that was supposed to put the Bulls over the top, Richard Hamilton, has proven to be a flop in his first year with the team.
Hamilton relied almost completely on drawing fouls to make up for his maladjusted shot. Luol Deng is having the worst shooting year of his career, which can be partially blamed on the torn ligament in his wrist.
And while Carlos Boozer was the best player on the court for the Bulls on Friday, he absolutely vanished in the fourth quarter (watch the fourth quarter film back and you'll catch a few air balls).
The third quarter saw Joakim Noah plant his full body weight as his ankle rolled on a fast-break, marking him ineffective for the rest of the game—he is now doubtful to return for Game 4.
How long will the Bulls last in the playoffs?
Despite all of this, the Bulls were still ahead 67-54 early in the fourth quarter, but once the 76ers realized the hole in the Bulls defense, they came back to the tune of 10 fourth quarter points.
Philadelphia's Spencer Hawes took control of the game in Noah's absence and was one of the key factors in the Bulls' late collapse.
In the first three games of this series, the Bulls lost last season's reigning MVP and now have lost the leader of the team's stingy defense.
What was witnessed in the fourth quarter of Game 3 was a team left feeling hollow after fighting their way to the top of the league's standings for the second season in a row.
Without Rose and Noah, the Bulls are left as a ship with no rudder. A once promising season will likely draw to a depressing end in the first round with nothing but questions left for the future.
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