This is what Bulls fans have to look forward to the rest of the season. Chicago, on the heels of being blown out by nearly 40 points by the Clippers, was just defeated by far and away the worst team in the NBA tonight. The Jazz controlled the game for most of the way, but they made their best effort to give the game back to the Bulls in the 4th quarter. The Bulls, though, gave it right back. On the final two possessions of regulation, the Bulls, inexplicably, isolated Luol Deng. I get that they don’t have a lot of end game options, but surely, running any sort of play would have been better than an isolation for a player who is plainly not a good creator of off the dribble offense.
As a result of their lack of offensive creativity to close the game, the Bulls were forced to go to overtime, where they were bested by the Jazz. Chicago struggled to score the entire extra period, just as they had for the entire game, and as they will do for the rest of the season. For some context, according to Basketball-Reference.com, coming into the game, the Jazz were the third worst team in defensive efficiency in the entire league, surrendering 108 points per 100 possessions. Chicago managed to score just 83 points against them in 53 minutes. The Bulls just have no offensive catalysts on this roster now that Derrick Rose is gone for the year. It’s a function of the way management constructed the roster, relying on the return of Rose to alleviate the need for the ball handling skills and off-the-bounce shot creation of Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli. It’s hard to blame them for that decision. Who could have predicted the Bulls would be so cruelly forced to play without Rose for a second straight season?
I don’t have a lot else to say about this game. It made me sad to watch and it’s almost certainly a harbinger of things to come, barring roster changes to bring in some level of dynamic offensive talent. Those changes are unlikely to come, as this season is a lost cause, so really, what’s the point of sacrificing any assets to bring in a shot creator- other than to make the games marginally more watchable? So get ready for more of this, everyone.