Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Postgame Report Card for Chicago

James Tillman III@@JTILLMAN9693Analyst IMarch 11, 2013

Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers: Postgame Report Card for Chicago

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    The Chicago Bulls began a three-game road trip with a stop at the Staples Center to take on the Los Angeles Lakers.

    As was the case in their last few outings, the Bulls hung tough with their opponent for the first 24 minutes, trailing by just four points (44-40) at the break.

    Unfortunately, for the Bulls, their offense struggled in the second half as the Lakers stretched the lead to 18 points, before coasting to a 90-81 win.

    With the victory, the Lakers moved ahead of the Utah Jazz for the eighth spot in the Western Conference, while the Bulls remain a half-game ahead of the Boston Celtics for the fifth spot in the East.

    Without further ado, let’s see how the Bulls starting five and the bench performed in this game.

Carlos Boozer

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    Grade: C

    It is difficult giving a low grade for a player who recorded a double-double, but unfortunately I have to in this case.

    Boozer scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, but he struggled from the floor, connecting on just 4 of his 16 shot attempts.

    The blame cannot be put on Boozer's shoulders alone though, as the Bulls' outside shooting was horrendous to say the least.

Luol Deng

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    Grade: D

    Although Luol Deng leads the Bulls in scoring (16.3 ppg.), he has had a difficult time shooting a high percentage from the field.

    After a 4-for-12 outing in the win over the Utah Jazz, Deng followed that up with a 5-for-16 effort against the Lakers.

    While he did manage to score 11 points to go along with eight rebounds, his production hasn't been the same as of late.  

    In fact, during the month of March, Deng is averaging only 13.5 points per contest, while connecting on just 39 percent of his shot attempts.

    If the Bulls are going to overcome their offensive shortcomings, Deng must find a way to be an effective scorer.

Joakim Noah

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    Grade: A

    In spite of the team's lack of offense, Joakim Noah continues to be one of the few bright spots for the Bulls this season.

    Noah scored 18 points and pulled down 17 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end, while shooting an efficient 7-of-12 from the floor.

    While all of the starters scored in double digits, Noah was the only player out of the group who connected on over 50 percent of his attempts.

Nate Robinson

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    Grade: B

    Nate Robinson got off to a hot start, scoring 13 points in the first half on 6-of-11 from the field.

    Unfortunately, like most of his teammates, Robinson cooled off in the second half, scoring just six points, while connecting on just two of his eight attempts.

    While Robinson's shot selection was suspect at times, he was a big reason why the Bulls were able to remain within shouting distance in the first half

    He also did a solid job running the offense, handing out eight assists, while adding four steals and four rebounds.

Marco Belinelli

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    Grade: D

    Marco Belinelli had been shooting the ball near a 50-percent clip over the past three games prior to this one (23-of-47).

    Against the Lakers though, his shot was not falling with great frequency, as he hit just 5-of-15 from the field for 11 points.

    While he had a tough outing in this game, Belinelli has shown the ability to be a scoring option when he sees extended action.

    That sentiment is supported by the fact that he is scoring over 17 points per game in March, while averaging 40 minutes compared to just eight points per contest when he comes off the bench.


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    Grade: D

    Under normal circumstances, I would have probably given a failing grade for the production of the reserves in this one, but the low scoring output was not entirely due to poor play.

    For the second consecutive game, the second unit combined for just 10 points, which meant the starters were forced to log a majority of the minutes.

    With just 19 games left, Tom Thibodeau needs to play his bench more because the team will not go very far in the playoffs without scoring from the second unit.