And things get much worse: Magic 111, Bulls 82

Another heart attack moment for Bulls fans.

Another heart attack moment for Bulls fans.

Realistically, the Bulls didn’t have much of a chance to beat the Magic.

Orlando came into the game on a six-game winning streak, while Chicago stumbled into the Magic’s Kingdom on a season-worst five-game skid. The Bulls were without Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis in his left foot) and Luol Deng (strained calf muscle), and both Brad Miller (thumb injury) and Taj Gibson (plantar fasciitis in both feet) were hurting. All the Bullies really had going for them was Derrick Rose.

Then they didn’t have Rose anymore.

With 55 seconds left in the first quarter, Rose drove to the hoop. And for the second time this season, Dwight Howard put Rose on the floor. Derrick stayed there for while, holding his left wrist. Eventually, he got to his feet and walked to the locker room. Rose did not return to the game.

Neither did the rest of the Bulls.

But I’ll get back to that. 

Rose had an X-ray on his injured wrist, and it initially revealed a sprain. Derrick will have an MRI done on the wrist today. There’s no word as of yet whether Rose will suit up against the Heat in Miami tonight.

Said Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro: “Derrick has a sprained wrist. I have no idea how bad it is. He’s going to get an MRI [Friday] to see how bad the damage is and see how he feels.”


Regarding the collision, Howard said: “As a big man, you never try to hurt anybody when they come down the lane. Me and Derrick are cool. I think he’s a great player. A great person. Never wanted to see him get hurt. But I always tell him, if you come down the lane, always come off two feet. That way you’ll be on balance. You come off one all it takes is for somebody’s body to hit you and you’re going to fall. I hope he gets better. I hope there’s nothing seriously wrong with him. But I never intended on hurting him. It’s just the way it happened.

“I think if you hit something that doesn’t move. you usually end up falling.”

Uh huh.

Added Magic coach Stan Van Gundy: “He’s going full speed, and he’s hitting basically an immovable object.”

Uh huh again.

Look, I’m not saying that Howard’s foul was especially dirty. It wasn’t Kevin McHale clotheslining Kurt Rambis or Bruce Bowen doing, well, pretty much anything. However, it’s worth noting that Dwight has a history of elbowing people like Samuel Dalembert. And Pau Gasol. And LeBron James. Heck, Howard once fractured the sinus of one of his own teammatesduring the playoffs!

And of course, “Superman” took Rose down on a similar play back on February 10, bruising Derrick’s hip in the process. Rose left that game and did not return, and the Bulls got blown out with extreme prejudice.

Sound familiar?

In last night’s play, Rose was going in for a layup as Howard jumped into him, causing a body-to-body collision. Derrick was already in the air when Dwight went into him. That’s a dangerous play. Any time you hit somebody when they’re in the air, you risk hurting them. All that “immovable object” talk from Howard and Van Gundy rings a little hollow to me. The more I rewatch that play — and you can see it here — the more I see Howard jumping hard into an airborne player who had no chance to protect himself.

But maybe I’m a bit biased. Or maybe I’ve just seen the video one (or many) too many times.

What slim hope the Bulls had to compete left with Rose. Chicago was down by 11 points (26-15) when Derrick trudged to the locker room. By halftime, they were behind 65-33. The third and fourth quarters got played only because David Stern hasn’t instituted a slaughter rule yet. Maybe games like this will change his mind.

I don’t even know what to say about this game. Orlando outshot Chicago 55 percent to 39 and outrebounded them 46-29. Acie Law played 19 minutes and Joe Alexander logged 13. Stats, words, blah, blah, blah. It was an ugly, embarrassing, hopeless blowout. The Bulls had almost no chance without two of their top three players. Those chances were downgraded to “none” when they lost their best player.

Make it six losses in a row (by an average of 17 points each). And probably seven in a row tonight.

Said Del Negro: “We’re a different team than we were. From our injuries, to the trades, to everything involved. We’re without a lot of our guys. There’s no excuses. It is what it is. We’ve got to find a way to get healthy and weather the storm like I talked about, but there’s no question we are a battered bunch right now.”

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20 Responses to And things get much worse: Magic 111, Bulls 82

    Gnomo March 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    It’s official to me now(and for a lot of bulls fans, i believe), I FUCKING HATE DWIGHT HOWARD.

  2. chad March 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Atleast JJ finally got some playing time. Might as well not play Rose when we play the Magic. Not like we had a chance anyway.

    Brad S. March 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Twice is no coincidence. I like Dwight Howard, and I believe that it was not intentional, at least not from the standpoint of making a decision to hurt someone. He just doesn’t seem like that kind of guy. However, he does play very physically and aggressively. I think the league knows this and that is why he has such problems with foul trouble and we get treated to Stan Van Gundy whinning about it all the time.

    That said, good to see James Johnson get some minutes. I was actually proud of the team in the 3rd quarter. Great ball movement. Kirk and Taj were playing some gutsy ball. Oh, and Pargo still sucks. What happened to that guy?

    bullsfandom March 12, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Look on the bright side…at least you didn’t have to watch duo design again!

    Greg March 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    Wow, Rose goes down and it is pretty bleak.

    Watched the game, and the foul wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Yeah, he jumped into Derrick, but only in the same way that takes place every game on nearly every drive.

    It was interesting that both Howard and Pargo were quoted regarding Rose’s dangerous tendency to launch off one foot thus leaving the player out of balance. I wasn’t aware of that as an issue, but I’ll be interested in watching for it.

    Basically, it sucks that Derrick got hurt… but don’t blame Howard for making a basketball play, especially a game after Rose was quoted as saying he was going to start recklessly charging into contact to try to get fouls…

    that would be the eerie coincidence of this injury to me

    bobbysimmons March 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    When driving for a layup, who lifts off with two feet? That’s just stupid, you’d have no range, Howard should take responsibility for hurting Rose since he’s done it twice. I agree Matt, twice he has jumped into Rose, sending Rose flying, if Howard was standing still it would’ve been different. If it was a problem with Rose he’d get injured more often from other players, but it has only been Howard. He’s dirty, he has the same attitude as Shaq, since he’s big he thinks he can bully people around. Someone should elbow that stupid smirk off his face.

    As for the Bulls, I think it’s fair to say that we don’t really have an “X factor” All of our scrubs got sufficient PT last night, I actually watched the second half because I was curious to see what Joe Alexander could do. Though I know they almost never play and must be rusty, they were all quite terrible. Joe Alexander, all I can say is wtf? Acie Law, maybe with a better team on the floor could do something. But all those clamoring for JJ, he proved yesterday that though he has team high 13 pts he’s still a very awkward and nervous player. Actually all those guys looked awkward and nervous.

    reggie March 12, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    Lets get this out by the facts once and for all for those that are not up to date on this this is not the first time not the second time but actually the third time howard has knocked rose down even vinny finally got mad about the ruff play the magic showed against his team this dwight howard is a bully but need to be sent a message ala elbow in the mouth thrown to the floor something by the bulls you cannot let no team hurt any member of yr team and get away with it the old school bulls would of retaliated quickly after the second time this happened that was no play for the ball he jumped into rose intending to knock him off balance not with the intent to block the shot I hate howard now he is a dirty player it is what it is thus I hope some if not all of the bulls players read this where was yr heart where was yr guts to stand up for yr team mate where was yr man hood that was not the bulls I wanna see compete on the court that was horrible wow yr pro’s play like it but yr also men by that no more free passes for you send a message that yr not gonna be bullied your the bulls dammm be the bulls just made me mad had to turn the game off I know refs did not make any calls your way but you cannot depend on them to win the game or play the game for you stand up man up this is a wake up call not only to the bulls players but to the fans we can no longer make excuses for what happens on the court when the game is being played change your style if you have to to adjust to the team your playing not wanting our bulls to play dirty at all just want them to play hard and to be tough send the message to the next team that thinks they can bully you enough is enough protect your team mates be proud to be a Chicago bulls player I am well not at this moment but I will be again once my anger is gone be a proud bulls fan you hear me pax ton get us some help in the porm of a big sized scorer also make sure they get along with derrick he is our present and future do not let anyone kill D rose and howard should be punished for what he did bulls please do not let him get away with what he did to derrick I am not buying he likes rose what I am selling is he thinks the bulls are weak being humble does not make you weak time and place for everything the time is now the place is on the court handle that all of our chicago bulls and fans let them know chi town is not to be messed with in dissrespect of any kind Peace

  8. Ryan March 12, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    This was a very tough one for me to judge. Howard jumped AFTER Rose was in the air, but Howard didn’t put his arms/hands up for a block? If you look, Howard sort of clamps his hands up to his chest. They say “straight up,” but he jumped AT Rose. I also noticed on a post move by Howard when Taj was guarding him – he spun to the paint with a nice lefty elbow to Taj’s face. Taj stood as Howard dinked in the lefty hook.
    I know that as a ‘Big Man’ in the NBA you have to patrol the paint and not let people have any easy layups/dunks. You have to be willing to ‘make a statement.’ I think Howard was trying to give Rose some ‘hard contact’ – unlike Duo Design though – and intimidate Rose from the prior run-in with the same results. Here is why it was dirty:
    #1. Howard didn’t go for the ball with his hands, just gave Rose the body. GO FOR THE BALL!
    #2. It wasn’t ‘straight up’ defense – he jumped towards Rose as Rose was already in the air.
    #3. Too eerily similar to the 2/10 collision.

    Why was it a clean play?
    #1. It wasn’t a hard foul where he hacked him or came across his body.
    #2. There was no follow through, or no celebrating his hugeness by standing over Rose.
    #3. Howard is BIG, Rose weighs much less, and I don’t think Rose expected that much body contact.

  9. Ryan March 12, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    I think you made a pretty sweet magic eye with your post. I see a sailboat with a pirate, but the pirate has absolutely no punctuation? Just playing… I refused to read past the first three lines – then again my post was no haiku.

  10. Bullsfan22 March 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    What did the Bulls do to deserve this? I hope the worst is behind them and they can (miraculously) move on. If Derek is out for a longer period of time, and Deng and Noah aren’t back quick, then it’s pretty much over….hope they don’t lose all of their remaining games and/or hope that they get what they want from the summer’s trading. To quote Shaq: “This is horrible and awful, horrawful.” Maybe they should just tank it, or actually play harder…

    Adrian March 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    I think that the bulls organization would have a good case in civil court suing dwight howard for the money he has lost the bulls by putting rose out of commission. I would rather pay to watch a high school basketball game than pay to see the bulls with out rose or noah. FUCK DWIGHT HOWARD, he clearly did not go for the ball it should have been a flagrant foul. I will not be watching any more bulls games this year it is just too painful. We are so far from the team that one 5 in a row on the west coast. I pray for a dynamite free agent and a dynamic power forward to pair with noah in our front court, these are sad times.

    Excuse me while I blow my brains out with a sawed-off 12 gauge

    dlouis March 12, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    I was kind of disappointed Vinny didn’t send Jerome James (or Joe Alexander) out to go Charles Oakley on Howard, especially after Pargo got blasted and didn’t get a call. Kornheiser had a good point today. He was talking about how Isiah would go to the hoop with the same recklessness as Rose, and he hypothesized that opposing players wouldn’t hit him because he had Lambeer, Mahorn and Rodman. Young MJ had Oakley, and Rose needs an enforcer to get his back. Maybe that’s Noah or Johnson’s role moving forward. It would have been nice to see Johnson practicing some roundhouse kicks or something during a time out.

    The one silver lining in this is that if we tank enough, we can get Evan Turner, and until then, James Johnson can get some minutes and become more relaxed in the offense. The more minutes he gets, the more comfortable he will be with his ability and the pace of the game.

    Fortunately, I don’t think this will affect our ability to get a free agent. Until the wheels came off, we were playing strong ball, and my guess is that most FAs know that trading Salmons and Tyrus weakened the team in the short term. If we win or even get second the lottery, I would think that there would be a line of FAs outside the Berto Center this summer.

    inkybreath March 13, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    I think we need to take it easy on JJ. He hasn’t been any more erratic than … Deng, when going to the basket (especially when grading on experience) … Not to mention that the machine of the team is not running very smoothly, so that puts all the more pressure on individual play. It is part of the reason that Taj has gone a little invisible at times. Everyone is getting played way too straight-up, because the other team can get away with it.

    inkybreath March 13, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    Again, halftime:

    Johnson is getting minutes and is also getting his hands on the ball early. They are playing ball out there right now, simplified for the new guys. I like what I see from JJ’s instincts. In the state this team is in, it would be so easy for some tunnel-vision to set in and lead him to force up shots with too much urgency (*cough – Pargo*). On a small sample, he seems very comfortable looking for the open man quickly, or swing the ball around quickly. I already see an improvement of his help recognition. He is ready with another move at the basket to evade or draw the foul from the other defender. The Bulls, having unreliable three-point shooting, need all the And-1 mentality they can find to finish this season and he brings it every time. He is a gap-filler, like Tyrus was, just at a different angle of the position scale. He can shoot, drive, finish, dunk, steal, block and rebound, all with confidence. I am simply stating what he is capable of and has shown in degrees. So, we are pretty well resigned to missing the playoffs now. Our silver-lining will be James Johnson getting serious NBA court time. For him to be able to take that into an off-season will make a huge difference, as he will now understand, first-hand, what he needs to do and how hard he needs to work to be the success that you can clearly see he wants to be. Let’s not underestimate how other teams will be salivating and how his trade value will sky-rocket. I have gotten cautious, over the years, in trying to project what young players will do. I see no reason to be shy about JJ. He has the body, the moves and is a 23 year old rookie, not 19. I’ll try and shut the heck up about him now … hehe.

    bullsfan76 March 13, 2010 at 3:02 am #

    i agree jj is playing well the last 2 games. that just proves that this coach is an idiot ………. how does richard play 20 min have 1 board and warrick in just 8 min has 2 boards and 3 points, this coach is killing me

    reggie March 14, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    Okay lets just get the votes out now and tell me what you think the bulls players should of did
    (1) Do you think howards foul on D rose was on purpose .
    (2) do you think it deserved to be called a flagrant foul.
    (3) how do you feel out howard now as to before these two hard fouls on derrick rose.

    give me your best answers also do the bulls not get the calls other teams get that have super stars on them

    inkybreath March 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    (1) no
    (2) yes, he did not make a play on the ball
    (3) it is his distinct job to protect the paint, I expect this to happen from time to time

    inkybreath March 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    (4) yes, I want to see JJ round-house kick dunk Howard next year … (thanks to the other poster for reminding me about his black belt)

    Savage March 15, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    I agree with Reggie. This might have been another play that happens every day but a message needs to be sent that you can not try to floor our best player every time he goes for a lay up. A few elbows flying at his brow might get his attention and next time Miller should send one right to Howard’s dome


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