This isn’t where the Bulls expected to be come December. They find themselves sitting at #5 in the Eastern Conference, behind (horrors) – Cleveland – with three straight losses at home, and a losing home record (2-5).
Even worse than the home losses are the loss of defensive identity, which has always distinguished Thibodeau-coached Bulls teams.
“Defensively, we are not at our best; we are not where we want to be. It’s been too up and down; teams have gotten their way too easily against us and that has to change.” Pau Gasol said.
Sure, the Bulls almost beat the Mavericks earlier this week, in a stunning double OT thriller, which some journalists called the best regular season game thus far this year.
I would have to agree with them – if our Bulls had come away with the win.
Maybe they’re all off kilter due to the unexpected (yet welcome) offensive prowess? Too much time stepping back and kissing themselves when they make baskets? Getting points on the board, we all know, was a statistically validated impossible task last season.
The past few years, pick an excuse, and it worked. DRose injured. Luol Deng traded. Five players injured. Three players injured. DRose injured again. Jo playing on one ankle. Flu bug. Pandemic game.
But last night, during the Warriors game (I had to turn it off in the fourth quarter, and thankfully, I forgot to DVR it, so I’ll never have to watch it again), everyone was healthy; the starting lineup was intact. And they still lost!
Oops, forgot. Dougie McBuckets, with is bad “old” knee was out. So there you have it. Blame it on the McBuckets injury.
And/or Benny the Bull. I didn’t check the injury report for his status. Maybe he was on the bench wearing one of his best suits?
Can they turn it around?
“Tough night,” said Noah. “Defensively, not great; we’ve got to step it up. I have to step it up…a lot of guys are frustrated now. We’re better than we are playing, but we believe in each other and we’ve got to stay positive and keep grinding. We have a ways to go and we all know it, but we definitely have to change our ways because defensively we know it’s not where it needs to be.
But the fans certainly aren’t helping the Bulls’ cause.
“We definitely have to turn it around (at home),” Gasol said. “It’s becoming an issue. It’s not good to lose at home; you have to protect your home court. Your home should be a fortress. A team should be afraid of coming to play here and know they are going to have a long night. But now there is a certain level of confidence they are coming with, so we are going to have to change that quickly.”
“When we play home, it’s tough,” Gibson added.
Were the fans in comas last night? Still recovering from the after-effects of last week’s gobble ‘til you wobble? It’s the UC folks, not a library.
Maybe we’re (CHI fans) just spoiled because we’re so used to great basketball, the unbelievable MJ feats, and past track record of winning ways.
Sure, I’m disappointed, but as much as I’d like to do something about it…other than working on my game in case Thibs decides to add a 5’ 10” inexperienced shooting guard to the roster, who brings a history of stress fractures in her left foot, and who takes a lot of water (and coffee breaks), I guess we’ll leave it up to the players.
“There is a lot of work we have to do,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We have to build those habits in practice and carry them into the game.”
We can’t make any more excuses. This was supposed to be THE year. We’ll let the mad scientist Thibs go back to the lab and figure it out. And quick.
And remember – we still have reasons to be thankful.
- The Bulls are not the Knicks
- The Bulls are not the Bears
Beat the Nets.