Last night the Chicago Bulls hosted the Milwaukee Bucks for the first of four divisional battles of the 2012-2013 season. Out of the gates Chicago looked very hot as they built up a quick and early lead by the end of the first quarter. As the game progressed, the lead grew and grew eventually reaching a max of a 27 point lead. Unfortunately, as I've noted in past posts I have been involved in, Chicago's play went bipolar again. For the final eight minutes of the third quarter through the fourth quarter, the Bulls looked absolutely horrendous and blew the 27 point lead and eventually lost.
I'm still angry about this game especially considering it's the first on I was able to see in a very long time. So let's just take a deeper look at each player's performance:
Noah didn't have a great game tonight, especially towards the end. However, I suspect that has something to do with the fact that he played 39 minutes. Offensively, he just couldn't finish around the rim and was repeatedly blocked and out hustled. However, defensively he did a solid job.
Overall it was an average grade. However, I opted to bump him up a letter grade based on the impact he had on the floor. While playing, the Bulls looked dominant with Noah. The moment he left, the defense collapsed and there was nothing happening inside.
Boozer did what he was supposed to by getting his double double. Unfortunately I can't forgive a few things. First and foremost, the defense. I get Boozer isn't a defender, but there were so many instances last night when Boozer didn't even try to stop someone from getting by him. Add the fact that he wasn't rotating like he was supposed to and it's no surprise the Bucks came back.
I'm not going to talk about the missed rebound in the final minute only because I'd like to stay calm. But don't worry, it's factored in there.
This is a game I'm sure Deng would like to forget but his body cannot. Deng's shot was miserable all night as he couldn't get anything going. Defensively he was fairly average for the night. However, the most notable thing about him in the game is the fact that he played 47 minutes. He was probably fatigued towards the end which obviously would affect his performance
Hamilton is finally justifying my defense of him from last season. Hamilton has, once again. Offensively, he wasn't very efficient but he did manage to shoot 50% from the floor. Defensively he was strong as he limited Monta Ellis from doing major damage. My only issue is that he played 36 minutes last night, however that's on Thibodeau, not him.
Good to see Hamilton carry the team again. Too bad the rest of his team didn't step up.
Kirk Hinrich continues to anger me. While his box score is solid (though boosted by many free throws), what I've seen from him on the floor makes me wonder why he's still starting or why he gets major minutes.
Defensively last night he was decent, however we could likely attribute this to him having faced a hobbled Brandon Jennings. Offensively, he was subpar only hitting on 4 of 11 shots (almost 33%). Again, his point total was boosted by his 8 of 9 free throws.
If Kirk can't step it up and step it up soon, I'm probably going to start a campaign to get him out of Chicago. Especially since he's the reason the Bulls are hard-capped.
Only three bench players were used: Taj Gibson, Nate Robinson, and Jimmy Butler. None of them made a significant impact in favor of the Bulls. However, they did allow the Bucks bench to look like they could be a legitimate starting five for another team. That's inexcusable.
Thibs tried to get this team out of their slump and stop the momentum with correctly used time outs. Unfortunately, his team couldn't perform for him. That's not his fault.
However, what is his fault is abandoning his rotation, only playing three bench players, starting Kirk Hinrich, and playing Hinrich, Boozer, Hamilton, Deng, and Noah 36+ minutes.
Chicago blew a 27 point lead. Take a guess what the team grade is.
What I Expect For Next Time:
- Thibs to start giving Marquis Teague more minutes. Why get talent in the draft (while ignoring a team need) if you're not going to develop it. Teague hasn't been bad during the minutes he's played this year. Might as well give him a shot now
- The bench to perform.
- The starters to player fewer minutes.
Thanks for tuning in everyone. We hope you enjoyed the game as much as possible and that you're looking forward to the next one tomorrow night against the Mavericks. Until next time!
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