March 15, 2013
Golden State Warriors Status Check:
Home Record: 22-9
Last 10 Games: 4-6
Streak: Won 2
Last game: 105-97 win over Detroit
PPG: 100.6 (9th)
Opponents PPG: 100.7 (23rd)
Offensive Rating: 105.9 (13th)
Defensive Rating: 106.0 (16th)
Pace: 94.3 (6th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .501 (11th)
Turnover Percentage: .142 (23rd)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .751 (3rd)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .257 (21st)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .208 (15th)
Opp. eFG%: .487 (9th)
Opp. TO%: .123 (28th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .214 (23rd)
Leading scorer: Stephen Curry (22.2)
Stats from Basketball-Reference
Warriors Injury Report:
Draymond Green: left Wednesday’s game (sprained ankle)
Brandon Rush: out (knee surgery)
How do you bounce back from a game like the one the Bulls had against the Kings? Normally, I’d say Chicago bounces back quite well from defeats, but normally they don’t have absolute no-shows like they did in Sacramento. It was the worst defeat I can remember for the Bulls, especially under Tom Thibodeau, and even especially-er considering the opponent. And that’s including losses to the Bobcats and Sun this year.
There is no point in looking at all the stats again. The only one that really matter is that the Bulls have one more loss after an embarrassing face-plant in which they were out-played in every way imaginable.
And coming off that disappointing defeat, the Bulls play their last contest of a three-game California swing in which they looked poor and awful in the first two-thirds. Remember that Bulls great road record? Well, that was fun for a little. Chicago has dropped five straight on the road, scoring more than 83 points just once during that skid. According to Stats LLC, the Bulls are averaging 81.4 points per game during their road losing streak. If that isn’t the definition of rock bottom, I am going to really hate watching tonight’s matchup.
In Chicago’s six games in March, they are averaging 86.7 points while giving up 97.0.
The Bulls have fallen so far, that the difference between their offensive rating (102.6, 23rd) is just 0.3 points better than their defensive rating (102.3, 6th). You can blame it on injuries, which you can partly blame on fatigue, which you can blame on extended minutes, which you can blame on off-season moves…or you can just say that the Bulls really aren’t that great of a team this season and are starting to show it.
As they are in their prime slumping form, Chicago would probably want to avoid a hungry team trying to keep the sixth spot in the Western Conference with a very good home record. But that’s what they are getting. The Warriors are 3.5 games ahead of the eighth-place Lakers, currently riding a two-game win streak.
To make matters worse, while the Bulls are shooting terribly, they will have to slow down Stephen Curry’s hot hand. Over his last ten games, Curry is shooting an absurd 52.4 percent from three and averaging 28.3 per night. Curry hit 5-7 from deep last time out against the Pistons and went 6-10 versus the Knicks in the game before that.
With Kirk Hinrich still nursing his somewhat mysterious foot injury, Nate Robinson could be tasked with trying to slow Curry—which I’m sure will just go perfectly…for the Warriors. Hinrich is listed as questionable for tonight, saying he is optimistic he will play.
Hinrich shined in the Bulls first game against Golden State this season, scoring a season-high 25 points on 8-11 from the field and 6-7 from deep. Chicago owned the glass, grabbing 56 boards to 37 for the Warriors. They also held Golden State to 34.6 percent from the field en route to a 16-point victory.
That somewhat commanding win came at home, but more importantly came in January, a month the Bulls finished 12-4. In February and March, the Bulls are a combined 7-12. They’ve also lost four of their last five, and completely pooped their bed in the last contest.
I’d like to say something good about the Bulls, something they can build on, but I’m not sure what that is. They are still a playoff team with a top six defense that can keep them in any contest when they are playing as a team.
“It’s no time to make excuses. We need to find a way to bounce back,” Joakim Noah said to the Bulls website. “We just have to move on fast and get ready for Golden State. They are a lot better team than (the Kings).”
That’s the scary part. If the Bulls looked that awful against the Kings, they are going to have to flip some switches or something to not get tossed out of the gym tonight.
January 25, 2013
Golden State Warriors Status Check:
Road Record: 12-9
Last 10 Games: 5-5
Streak: Won 3
Last game: 104-99 win over Oklahoma City
PPG: 100.7 (9th)
Opponents PPG: 99.4 (21st)
Offensive Rating: 106.2 (12th)
Defensive Rating: 104.8 (12th)
Pace: 93.8 (7th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .505 (9th)
Turnover Percentage: .143 (26th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .751 (1st)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .261 (19th)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .207 (14th)
Opp. eFG%: .480 (9th)
Opp. TO%: .124 (28th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .211 (22nd)
Leading scorer: Stephen Curry (20.9)
Stats from Basketball-Reference
Warriors Injury Report:
Andrew Bogut: out (ankle)
Brandon Rush: out (knee)
Another hard fought win at home over a team that really shouldn’t be that tough to beat has the Bulls sitting atop the Central Division and in fourth place in the conference. Doing this all without Derrick Rose, and the last two wins without Luol Deng, deserves some credit.
But the Bulls struggles at home are cause for concern. Detroit is 4-15 on the road after falling in the United Center, and the Bulls had to come back from 17 down to get the win.
Chicago will have its hands full with the Warriors, especially the point guard combination of Kirk Hinrich/Nate Robinson as well as Joakim Noah.
Noah will start with the task of trying to stop David Lee. Lee was named an All-Star last night for his 19.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. He also averages 3.7 assists per game.
Only one Warrior made the All-Star team, which means Stephen Curry got snubbed. Curry is the leading scorer on the Warriors averaging 20.9 per contest along with 4.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists. Rajon Rondo has scored season-highs against the Bulls twice this season; Brandon Jennings has scored big as has Raymond Felton. The point being that less talented point guards have torn up the Bulls’ defense.
It’s going to take a team effort to slow down Curry, but it starts with Hinrich and Robinson. We all know Robinson isn’t a great defender, and although Hinrich is thought of as a good stopper, he really isn’t. Kirk and Nate both have defensive ratings of 102, while the Bulls as a whole are at 100.8.
Curry is the third best three-point shooter in the league, hitting on 45.1 percent of his treys (over his last ten games he’s shooting 47.1 percent). Klay Thompson is not too shabby from deep either, as he connects on 38.9 percent of his threes. As a team Golden State shoots 39.0 percent from three, second best in the league (Oklahoma City is shooting 39.1 percent).
The Bulls are 5th best in the league defending the three, holding opponents to 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. They have also allowed the fewest three pointers made in the league (191). Opponents are shooting 32.7 percent from three against Golden State, second best in the league.
While the Bulls are coming off of a tough win against the 16-26 Pistons, the Warriors topped the West-leading Thunder on Wednesday night.
The Warriors are currently riding a three game winning streak and are just now hitting the end of an extremely tough stretch. Golden State is 5-5 in the month of January, which doesn’t seem very good, but it’s impressive when you look at their opponents. They lost to the Clippers, Grizzlies, Nuggets, Heat and Spurs, all of which are playoff teams. The Warriors have also beaten Clippers (twice), Blazers and Thunder over that stretch.
They took care of Oklahoma City Wednesday in their most recent time out. Curry scored 31 points to go with seven assists and four steals. He didn’t shoot well though, going 11-27 from the field and 3-14 from deep. Lee finished 50 percent from the field and recorded 22 points and 12 boards. Thomspon scored 19 and Carl Landry dropped 20 off the bench.
Although the Warriors aren’t normally good at forcing turnovers (28th in the league in opponent turnover percentage), they forced Oklahoma City into 19 giveaways, and scored 24 points off of them.
Last season: The Bulls and Warriors played just once last season, in the second game of the year, an eight-point Golden State victory. Monta Ellis, no longer with the team, led the Warriors with 26.
Hamstrung: LuolDeng said his chances of playing against Golden State are “not good.” That means more Jimmy Butler, who is averaging 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in his three games as a starter, and came up huge in the fourth quarter against the Pistons.
January 19, 2010
Let’s not mince words: the Golden State Warriors are a bad basketball team. They entered today’s game against the Bulls 11-27 overall and only 7-10 at home. In terms of wins and losses, only the Minnesota Timberwolves (9-33) and New Jersey Nets (3-37) are worse.
The Warriors have had two main problems this season. First, they’ve suffered a bizarre number of injuries. Seriously, the Warriors have as many players out of action as they have available for games. Their injured list includes Anthony Morrow (strained right knee), Anthony Randolph (torn ligaments/avulsion fracture of the left ankle), Brandan Wright (left shoulder surgery), C.J. Watson (lacerated right hand/index finger), Kelenna Azubuike (left knee surgery), Raja Bell (left wrist surgery), Ronny Turiaf (sprained left ankle) and Vladimir Radmanovic (strained right Achilles).
Crazy, right? I guess it’s safe to say the Warriors aren’t exactly oozing sympathy for the Bulls, who were without Kirk Hinrich (flu-like symptoms).
Golden State’s second problem has been their defense. Or, more accurately, their complete and rather embarrassing lack thereof. The Warriors rank 29th in Defensive Efficiency (108.7 Points Allowed Per 100 Possessions). And although they score a lot of points — they average 107.3 PPG, good for 3rd in the league — the Warriors are only 20th in Offensive Efficiency (103.5 Points Scored Per 100 Possessions). The point being, their offense isn’t nearly good enough to make up for their lousy defense.
In all honesty, Golden State’s best defense is the mind-numbing effect their uptempo, undisciplined style has on their opponent’s offense. That was definitely the case today. They suckered the Bulls into playing their style…and it worked.
The Bulls only have themselves to blame. Too many one-on-one plays, too little movement without the basketball, not enough passing and waaaay too many jump shots. In fact, 72 of Chicago’s 96 shots were jumpers. Sure, I could give a little stink eye to Tyrus Thomas, who attempted only two shots at the rim (one of which got stuffed), but everybody was guilty of chucking…even Joakim Noah, who went 0-for-5 on jump shots (one of which was swatted). Has Noah ever attempted five jumpers in a game? Probably not. And there’s a very good reason for that.
Mind you, Golden State’s opponents hit 65 percent of their shots at the rim, which is second-worst in the league. This means that Chicago’s best strategy would have been to attack the basket relentlessly. Not only would that have earned them higher percentage shots, it would have gotten the Warriors in foul trouble…a real bonus considering Golden State coach Don Nelson only had eight players in uniform.
Instead, the Bulls were content to jack up outside shots, which probably explains why they hit only 36.5 percent of their field goals. That does not, however, explain why Chicago missed 11 of their 33 free throw attempts.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Golden State’s Andris Biedrins — who has appeared in only 14 games this season — is finally healthy. He set up camp in the paint and defied anybody who tried to challenge him. Biedrins grabbed a season-high 19 rebounds and blocked a career-high 8 shots. Now that he’s back and feeling like his old self, it’s very possible some of the Warriors’ defensive stats will improve. Probably only slightly, but still.
In addition to losing their minds on offense, the Bulls never really established themselves on defense. Nellie has always specialized in isolating his best offensive players to create mismatches. That’s precisely what he did against the Bulls, and you can see the results in the stat lines of Monta Ellis (36 points, 8 assists), Corey Maggette (32 points, 11-for-14 from the field, 10-for-11 from the line) and Stephen Curry (26 points, 5-for-8 from downtown, 6 assists).
Said Noah: “They’re match-up problems. And Maggette’s an unbelievable offensive talent. And Ellis is … he’s a monster out there. I think that they just played harder than us and they deserved the win.”
Now the Bulls are left to ponder one that got away, which could very well come back to haunt them. By the numbers, the Warriors were easily the worst team they’re going to face on this seven-game Western Conference road trip. If they don’t come through against the Clippers on Wednesday, an 0-7 trip wouldn’t be out of the question.
Said Chicago coach Vinny Del Negro: “When you lose there’s a lot of question marks. Our intensity was not at the level defensively that it needs to be at. We’re not going to win just out-scoring people. Especially Golden State, who can really put the ball in the basket. Those three guys are tough to cover off the dribble — we know that — but we should of done a better job with them.”
Well, you can’t change the past. Not without a DeLorean outfitted with a Flux Capacitor, anyway. So what can the Bulls do moving forward?
Said Vinny: “Play harder. Play smarter. With more intensity. And that’s what it’s going to take for us to win on the road. There’s no magic pill. There’s no perfect scenario. What it is, is, going to work — understanding, executing and getting after it.”
Sounds good. Now they need to go out and do it.
If you check last season’s schedule, you’ll notice this was the point of the year when the Bulls started to turn things around. After opening their road trip with a loss in Minnesota, the Bulls rebounded to beat the Clippers and eventually finished their seven-game trip 4-3. Let’s hope we see a repeat of that this season.
Recap, Box Score, Advanced Box Score, Play-By-Play, Shot Chart, Photos.