Defining moments of a haunting loss

Things started out so well for the Bulls. They raced out to a 19-8 lead with 4:22 left in the first quarter…and then bad things happened.

Very bad things.

Very bad offensive things.

The terror actually started exactly at the 4:22 mark when Ronnie Brewer clanked the free throw of an “And 1” opportunity.

Keith Bogans went on to brick three-pointers on Chicago’s next two possessions. Why would Bogans ever shoot threes on back-to-back possessions, you ask? Because the Heat left him wide open, of course.

Rose followed Bogans’ bricks with a three-point clunker of his own.

Then Carlos Boozer went 0-for-2 from the line and shanked an open 19-footer in consecutive scoreless possessions.

Then Bogans missed another three.

Then Rose committed a turnover on Chicago’s final possession of the quarter.

That’s right. After taking that 19-8 lead, the Bulls didn’t score again despite having several open shots. The first quarter ended 19-16. I really thought that four-minute drought cost the Bulls the game. They had a very real chance to take complete control and didn’t do it. That’s just one of many things that will haunt them about this particular loss.

And this sequence pretty much defined the loss: D-Wade’s block, the Heat winning the scramble for the loose ball, the heavy-legged helplessness of the Bulls.

2 Responses to Defining moments of a haunting loss

    Tony C. May 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    I have a slightly different take. I think that the defining moment was clearly the last play in regulation. If Thibs and Rose believe that the best option was to have a 6′ 3″ guard who has been shooting poorly for many games launch a step-back jumper over the most athletic 6′ 8″ defender in the history of the NBA, then there’s little else to say.

    I have previously expressed my concerns about the Rose-centric offense, and it has obviously been a recipe for disaster in the playoffs. But that final play reflects just how limited Thibs is as an offensive coach, and how deeply ingrained Rose’s instinct is to win games by the force of his will.

    And those two weaknesses are fundamental to the Bulls’ likely defeat in this series.

    Tony C. May 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    As an aside, while I’m not interested in mounting a big defense of Bogans’ play, he was 2/6 from 3pt land, while Korver was 0/3 and Rose was 1/9. ONE FOR NINE.

    Meanwhile, Butler sat on the bench.

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