In the words of esteemed philosopher Emmitt Smith, plain and simple, the Bulls got debacled. The 121-82 final score that will show on the tickers of various sports networks is every bit indicative of how bad Chicago got blown out today by the Clippers. Things were good to start (well more passable than good, but it isn’t called “The Passable, The Bad and The Ugly”), quickly turned bad and the entire second half was flat-out ugly. Let’s get this over with:
-Luol Deng set a season high with 13 free throw attempts, nine of them in the first half. He was aggressive slashing to the basket, and it appears the Bulls will try to establish him in the post going forward. It’s not pretty, but they aren’t exactly flush with alternatives. He had 14 points, five assists in the first half and finished with 22 and six.
-Carlos Boozer started out hot, hitting four jumpers in the first quarter, though he finished 6-13.
-Putting it mildly, Kirk Hinrich is frustrating to watch, but hes at least palatable when he hits a couple shots as he did in the first half, in which he was 3/6 with a couple from midrange and a corner three on an assist from Deng as the Bulls tried to make progress before halftime.
-While the Bulls got a couple buckets in transition, they gave it right back on the other end. Hinrich executed with numbers to get Deng a layup only to see Los Angeles push it back down for Chris Paul, who finished with 16 points and 17 assists, to knife his way through a scattered defense and casually nail an open 13-foot jumper.
-Tony Snell has the tools to be a very good defender, but J.J. Redick repeatedly threw both Snell and Mike Dunleavy for a loop on the perimeter. They fell for every fake, leaving Redick with an ocean of space to launch open jumpers.
-The Clippers got any and every look that they wanted. Redick and Jared Dudley were open all game for shots they could hit not only in their sleep, but in a coma, and Paul, Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison had no problem finding driving lanes. All of L.A. starters shot at least 60%, shooting a combined 29-42.
-All five Bulls starters finished with more points than shots, and they still lost by 39.
-After scoring 24 points in the first quarter and 28 in the second, Chicago just scored 30 points after halftime, including a measly nine in the final frame.
-Mike James played.
-He might play more, as Marquis Teague continues to be a train wreck. He just has no plan when he has the ball, and it’s not hard to imagine Thibs turning to James to at least cut down on the facepalm type of plays Teague continues to make. Teague was 0-7 and bricked a three in the second half just about as badly as an NBA player can.
-The Clippers dusted off Antawn Jamison for his first minutes of the year, and after going 0-3 in the first half, he went 4-5 in the second half for 11 points, highlighted by freezing Nazr Mohammed on a perimeter pump-fake before a very nice finish at the rim to avoid other defenders.
Deng’s first rest of the game came at the 6:27 mark of the second quarter, at which point the Bulls had Snell in Deng’s place with the starters.
Despite their listed positions, Noah/Griffin and Boozer/Jordan were the matchups on both ends of the court
Before things turned really ugly, Chris Paul coaxed a rare in-game smile from Tom Thibodeau. It’s safe to assume that was his last chuckle of the day.
Listening to the Clippers broadcast was a bright spot in a dismal game. They were fair rather than being homers, and if anything were too effusive in their praise of the Bulls. Best line of the broadcast from Ralph Lawler: “How many guys do you know named Nazr?”