If I told you the Bulls came out flat against a sub-.500 team what would you do? Probably just shrug your shoulders and ask “yeah, so what’s new?” Well that answer would be nothing. All is normal in Bulls land as they once again failed to take advantage of a lottery team. With the Bulls loss and the Nets win, Chicago cannot finish any higher than fifth in the Eastern Conference.
MVP: Kyle Lowry flirted with a triple-double (13 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds), but I’m going to give it to Amir Johnson. He scored 24 points, outdueling the Bulls’ best offensive option, and also grabbed nine rebounds.
LVP: There were a few options for this one, but Kirk Hinrich takes it. Kirk went 1-3 from the field, dished just one assists and turned it over four times in his 19 minutes. The shooting guard of the future!
X factor: Fastbreak points. The Raptors piled up 23 fastbreak points compared to just six for Chicago. And four of those Bulls’ fastbreak points came in the span of 30 seconds. It’s hard not to connect this to the heavy minutes that some of the Bulls played last night in New York, while Toronto hadn’t played since beating Chicago on Monday.
That was…normal: The Bulls have been doing this all season. They play up to the good teams and down to the bad ones. I won’t say that it’s just this year, because I remember them coming out flat against some of the lesser teams last season, but they had way more talent and could get away with it. Now, when they start slow or take a quarter off, they just don’t have the ability to overcome it.