Game 49 Recap: Warriors 101, Bulls 90

Off.

The Bulls were off. They played poorly. Passes weren’t crisp. The Warriors were faster (or luckier) at gathering up loose balls. The Bulls seemed confused on rotations…or even about how to keep their man in front of them.

It was just that kind of night.

Still, they kept things close until the Warriors went on a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter. To a certain extent, it was a collapse of Chicago’s league-leading defense (if you go by Defensive Rating). I mean, the Warriors had 31 fast break points. That’s unacceptable.

But this loss highlighted something about the Bulls that has been bothering me a lot lately.

Offense.

Derrick Rose is amazing. Carlos Boozer averages 20-ish points and is one of the best field goal percentage shooters in the league. Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer…these guys can all score. And yet the Bulls rank only 19th in Offensive Rating (106.0).

Last night, the Warriors — who rank 27th in Defensive Rating (111.0) — held the Bulls to a one-night O-Rating of 100.1. They did it by throwing an unusual variety of double and even triple-teams at Rose. They forced the Bulls out of their comfort zone and lured them into jacking up three-pointers (in you check Chicago’s game log, you’ll notice that the 25 triples they attempted last night was one off their season-high).

The Bulls…shut down by one of the league’s worst defensive teams?

Said Rose: “We were just out of sync. The way that they doubled was kind of weird. Where they had three people on one side, making sure that when I come off the pick two people were on me. If I made the little slip pass somebody was sticking Carlos [Boozer] and it was just tough. A tough night, but we’ll get used to it and I know Coach is going to go over it the next time we have shoot around or practice. It was just something we’ve never seen before I guess.”

Added Boozer: “They tried to get the ball out of his hands which is a smart thing, because once he has the ball other teams are in trouble. We got to do a better job of, when he does pass it, make the right play afterwards. Do some different things. We brought C.J. [Watson] in to try and move D to the two a little bit, get him the ball in different areas. But we’re not going to knock what they did, they did a good job and we got to get better at what we do.”

Another danger of playing the Warriors? Turnovers. They force them. Golden State ranks 2nd in total turnovers forced and they’re 4th in Opponents Turnover Percentage. Sure enough, the Bulls committed 17 turnovers on the night. And some of the turnovers were the results of carelessness.

Said coach Tom Thibodeau: “I thought our turnovers came from over-dribbling, dribbling into a crowd. They were collapsing on dribble penetration. When we made the simple plays and just hit the open man, that’s how we scored effectively. I thought we scored the ball in the first three quarters and then in the fourth quarter we struggled scoring. Usually your turnovers end up being a result of either risky passes or too much one-on-one; it usually falls into one of those categories.”

Before that 15-0 run, the Bulls were down a point. Here’s a quick summary of what Chicago’s offense did while the Warriors were running all over their defense:

Boozer turnover (bad pass); Watson missed 16-footer; Watson missed 12-footer; shot clock violation; Deng missed three-pointer; Rose missed layup; Korver missed three-pointer; Rose missed 17-footer; Boozer turnover (traveling); Deng missed three-pointer.

Lu broke the streak by going 1-for-2 from the line with 4:54 left, by which time the Bulls were down 89-75. Five minutes is a lot of time in NBA terms, but 15 points might as well have been 25 with the way the Bulls were operating on offense.

Too many jumpers, too many turnovers, and what may have been Rose’s worst game of the season. Yes, he had a double-double (14 points and 10 assists). But he went 6-for-15 from the field, missed all five three-point attempts, earned only one trip to the line (and that wasn’t until there were less than four minutes left in the fourth and the team was down double-digits), and committed (gak) a career-worst 9 turnovers.

Bottom line: If Rose doesn’t play well, the Bulls probably won’t win. And don’t think that other teams won’t notice how Golden State’s unusual defense put Derrick through the meat grinder.

Said Rose: “I just got to get used to it. It was weird. Where I couldn’t get a feel for the game because they didn’t let me. Where I couldn’t split. When I dragged it out they were coming out with me. Every pick and roll they trapped and I guess that’s what I got to get used to.”

Personally?

Thibshas done a great job with the Bulls this season but they’re underachieving on offense. They should be better. I wish I could e-mail Thibodeau a copy of this post by TrueHoop’s Kevin Arnovitz that outlines the value of running more flex sets…how they would be ideal for the team’s personnel.

Even when Noah returns from injury, offense could end up being this team’s Achilles’ heel come playoff time.

Extras:
Recap, Box Score, Advanced Box ScorePlay-By-Play, Shot Chart, Photos.

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19 Responses to Game 49 Recap: Warriors 101, Bulls 90

  1. mguard@uchicago.edu'
    Mad King February 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    What have the Bulls been running this season?

  2. Inception February 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    playoff games are defense-oriented anyway, so i’m not worried too much about CHI’s offense come playoff time….what does worry me though is the possibility of Melo coming to NY and facing CHI in the 1st round….ouch, that would blow big time.

  3. TBF February 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    Hmm, a coach who doesn’t stress any offense and doesn’t really care about it as long as we’re playing defense. And we’re not all that good on offense you say? Could there be a connection?

  4. jeremyhornik@gmail.com'
    J Hornik February 7, 2011 at 3:13 am #

    I was half watching the game in a bar. The Bulls were up by 5, I look away; I look back, they’re down by 10. That doesn’t really happen this season. Thanks for the update.

  5. Matt February 7, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    I think this weekend embodies all the argument for DRose getting the MVP over Lebron. Both players had off nights against dangerous but mediocre teams The difference between the two is that Lebron’s team had enough healthy talent behind him to carry him on their off night…on the Bulls have to have DRose.

  6. Bam! February 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Hmmm…lack of offense…
    Sounds like this problem could be helped with a consistently good SG (*cough* Arron Afflalo *cough*). I came up with a trade among the Bulls, Knicks, Hornets and Nuggets that will benefit all four teams.

    Bulls give: Brewer, JJ and Scalabrine
    Knicks give: Azubuike, Chandler, Curry, Douglas, Felton, Fields, Gallinari and Mason
    Nuggets give: Afflalo, Andersen, Melo, Melvin Ely and JR Smith
    Hornets give: Trevor Ariza, Okafor, and Chris Paul

    Bulls get: Afflalo and Gallinari
    Knicks get: Chris Paul, Melo, Andersen and Scalabrine
    Nuggets get: JJ, Curry, Brewer, Azubuike, Ariza, Okafor and Fields
    Hornets get: Toney Doublas, Felton, Chandler, JR Smith, Mason and Ely

    Everyone benefits (kinda):
    Bulls finally get a good SG (Gallinari sweetens the pot). With this trade, they have one of, if not the most balanced roster in the NBA.

    Knicks want Melo and achieve their own “Big Three.” And I would take a Big Three of Melo, CP3 and Amare over Wade, Lebron and Bosh any day.

    Nuggets know that they are going to lose Melo, so they might as well get something for him. Essentially, they are getting two starting centers for two backup centers, slightly downgrading in the SG area and getting three quality backup small forwards for an overrated All-Star who is going to leave anyway, whether Denver gets anything out of it or not.

    Hornets know that Chris Paul wants to leave and need to get something for him, just like the Nuggets do with Melo. In exchange for Chris Paul and two other players, the Hornets achieve a very deep roster and a slightly better record (according to the Trade Machine) than they would have with Chris Paul.

    Trade Machine approved.

  7. Matt February 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    What about Asik and a pick for Rudy Fernandez and Marks as soon as Noah is healthy?

  8. bob.edwards47@yahoo.com'
    BoppinBob February 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Here come the Bulls fans, the sky is falling, the sky is falling, we’ve had one loss in a row. Let’s get this team healthy, focus on the next game and let the team develop it’s identity when healthy. I do not think Rose should play in the “all-star” game. He nees the rest after the world championshiops and playing all summer.

  9. lukerygh@gmail.com'
    Luke February 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    hahaha completely agree boppin. I was waiting for it to happen. It’s the end of the world!

    And Bam, why would you want that trade? The last thing I want to happen right now is for the Knicks to get Melo, not to mention chris paul too. I would much, much, much rather keep the team we have if it means keeping those 3 outta NY together.

  10. RB February 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Luke, your issue with that trade is that you don’t want the Knicks to get Melo and Paul? How about the fact that the Hornets are giving up three of their best players for “Toney Doublas, Felton, Chandler, JR Smith, Mason and Ely.”

  11. Luvabull February 7, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    What we ran in to here is the “All-Star Snub Buzz Saw” people. Monta Ellis got left off the all star team and it especially hurts this year because two guys got chosen from teams with worse records, and one is a rookie! And of course you’ve got a chance to show the league you’re pissed against one of the new darlings of the league, D-Rose. Both Ellis and Steph Curry, (both excellent guards themselves), played their A+ game on both ends of the floor to frustrate Rose and the result showed in the box score and on the scoreboard.
    Yep. That’s what’s known as the “All-Star Snub Buzz Saw”. Rose better get used to it. He has some tough opponents at the lead guard spot in the next several games.

  12. Jimmy February 7, 2011 at 11:22 pm #

    i agree boppin,

    Its one game people, one bad game. People are whining about this game because we have raraely allowed a mediocre team have a big run in the fourth. It happens! Move on

  13. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath February 8, 2011 at 5:43 am #

    Man, it sure seems like someone put a voodoo curse on Taj. He with the impact plays on offense…

    Portland was def in the mood to win…

  14. inkybreath@gmail.com'
    inkybreath February 8, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    How does Asik get off 8 shots in 11 minutes and Taj gets off 3 in 27?

  15. reggiemcglory@yahoo.com'
    chitown4life February 8, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    I am gonna make this short and simple We sure are missing J. Noah , and I for one will be so glad when he gets back on the court yes the team has done well without him. Noah is a glue guy some of the things he does for this team will not show up on a stat sheet lets all hope his return is sooner rather than later not pressing him to come back but this team has stayed the course maybe about as long as they can without him.Kurt thomas has played big but lets face it his legs are tired and Brewer is a big bust im my eyes , tell me agina why JJ did not get any mins well , there will be some feed back for my last comment for sure but if you respond please make yr point solid .. Peace Go Bulls

  16. Bam! February 8, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    @Luke – If those three land in New York, I think the Knicks will only be marginally better than they are now. Chris Paul is incredible, and Amare is very good, but I legitimately think Melo is just a slightly above average SF (imho). A Paul-Melo combo would prob be more successful than a Paul-Melo-Amare trio, one reason being that the trio would gut their roster so much that any improvements made by addition would be negated by subtraction. Also, the Trade Machine estimated no difference in win percentage between the current Knicks team and the team after the trade I proposed.

    And, in my mind, Afflalo is the best available young SG for our current system. After the trade, our roster would be ridiculous:

    PG: Rose, Watson
    SG: Afflalo, Bogans, Korver
    SF: Deng, Gallinari
    PF: Boozer, Gibson
    C: Noah, Thomas, Asik

    That would be INSANE! Our bench clould beat the starting five of sub-.500 teams. If we achieved a roster like that, I really can’t see us NOT winning the ship.

  17. Bam! February 8, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    @Luke – If those three land in New York, I think the Knicks will only be marginally better than they are now. Chris Paul is incredible, and Amare is very good, but I legitimately think Melo is just a slightly above average SF (imho). A Paul-Melo combo would prob be more successful than a Paul-Melo-Amare trio, one reason being that the trio would gut their roster so much that any improvements made by addition would be negated by subtraction. Also, the Trade Machine estimated no difference in win percentage between the current Knicks team and the team after the trade I proposed.

    And, in my mind, Afflalo is the best available young SG for our current system. After the trade, our roster would be ridiculous:

    PG: Rose, Watson
    SG: Afflalo, Bogans, Korver
    SF: Deng, Gallinari
    PF: Boozer, Gibson
    C: Noah, Thomas, Asik

    That would be INSANE! Our bench clould beat the starting five of sub-.500 teams. If we achieved a roster like that, I really can’t see us NOT winning the ship.

    ..

  18. Bam! February 8, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    @RB – sometimes you have to give up valuable players if it means forming a team that would be theoretically better. I know the Trade Machine is not the end all be all, but its estimation indicated that the Hornets would actually have a better record after the trade.

  19. admata1789@gmail.com'
    BigUpsTo#15 February 8, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Good Old Batum trying to claim he didn’t say that…

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie

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