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Game 24: Sixers 98, Bulls 82

2 Feb 2012

Three Stars (leaderboard)
1. Derrick Rose: 18 points (.491 TS%), 6 assists
2. C.J. Watson: 20 points (.635 TS%), 4 rebounds, 4 assists
3. Taj Gibson: 9 points (.699 TS%), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks

Well, that might have been the worst game the Bulls have played all season.

We didn’t expect greatness, not with Luol Deng and Rip Hamilton sidelined and these Sixers making serious noise as a home-court playoff contender in the East. But geez, we expected better than that.

I’m having trouble remembering how the Bulls nearly beat Miami last weekend (without Deng and with Hamilton playing on one leg). Certainly last night’s offensive performance was so uninspiring as to wipe from memory all positive memories.

The Bulls posted their fourth-lowest point total of the season and tied a season low by grabbing only eight offensive rebounds. Yes, eight. And it’s not like there weren’t rebounds to get; they shot 43.2 percent, missing 42 shots.

Worse still was the defense, which took its cue from Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver and did almost nothing to stop Philly’s young pups from out-scoring them 46-28 in the paint and 21-4 on the break. I mean, wow, every time you turned around there were Sixers going coast to coast or driving from the 3-point line to the front of the rim.

Chicago couldn’t stop Andre Iguodala or Jrue Holiday or Thaddeus Young or even something called a Lavoy Allen. Each had at least 15 points on better than 50-percent shooting.

Down five at halftime, the Bulls collapsed instead of recovering, losing the third quarter 26-11 to fall into a 20-point hole. Even Stacey King was forced to point out multiple occasions when our local heroes looked asleep.

There was no shame in taking a loss here. Philadelphia is a good team, and Deng and Hamilton are important to Chicago’s success. But the abject ineptitude and lack of spirit was embarrassing — and for perhaps the first time this season, a little worrisome.

Box Score

Record: 18-6, first in the Eastern Conference
Next: Thursday 2/2 at New York, 7:00 CT


From → Game Analysis

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