Welcome back to game grades. It's been a while but they're back. Sorry if that angered any of you. You'll see that the grades now have a new look to them. Rather than have two separate charts, I figured I should combine everything together to give it a cleaner and more convenient look for you all. Hope you like it.
So last night the Chicago Bulls took on the Miami Heat in the United Center in what I hoped was going to be yet another great game between these two rivals. I was severely disappointed. The Bulls were dropped hard against Miami 86-67. The game was filled with up and downs, mostly downs. Both squads were absolutely terrible tonight (at least both were for the first half) and couldn't get anything consistent going. Credit Chicago's defense, Chicago's abhorrent offense, or Miami's defense if you want, but whatever was causing that kind of play needs to be banned from the NBA forever. The Bulls continued to struggle in the second half while the Heat eventually got a hold of the game and ran off.
Let's take a look at the performances of the team tonight:
For the most part, Noah's night was fairly solid. He put up good numbers across the board and almost nabbed himself a triple-double with points, rebounds, and assists. It wasn't the most efficient night for him in any of those fields though. Noah only shot 45.6% from the floor, was pushed around on the boards a little bit, and had a four turnovers.
Defensively, Noah was solid for most of the night. While he did have some lapses, most of them could be attributed to a teammate messing up in some manner.
What stood out the most was the amount of energy Noah was putting all night. Even with Chicago down by 15 or more points, Noah spent a great deal of energy trying to hype up his teammates and get them going. There was a bit too much energy at times which resulted in a technical foul when he was heated about a charging call on Taj Gibson, but oh well. It's not like that tech made a huge difference to the outcome of the game.
Outside of all of the screaming, Boozer was pretty bad for most of the night. His first shot didn't come until well into the second quarter, something I find unacceptable considering the only thing he's really good for is scoring. Defense was non-existant, but that's nothing new.
When Boozer did shoot tonight he was pretty efficient as he went 5 ot 9 from the floor. Again, he probably should have shot more considering there were times when undersized players, like Shane Battier, were guarding him.
Boozer's grade is definitely saved by the rebounds. For as much trash I, or any other Bulls fans, give him he does get it done on the boards. His 11 rebounds, four offensive, tonight were a team high for Chicago. It's a shame that he couldn't knock down bunnies after he grabbing some of those offensive boards though.
It looks like Deng forgot his game back at home tonight as he was quite possibly one of the worst players on the floor tonight.
Defensively he was solid tonight and lived up to the norm. There were some lapses but I can't be too hard on him considering he was guarding Lebron James all night.
Offensively Deng was abysmal, something that has become somewhat of a trend lately. He shot a terrible 25% tonight (only 3-of-12) and the majority of the missed shots were open jumpers. He was also slow moving the ball around which led to Chicago missing the open man quite a few times.
Bad night for Deng.
Hamilton, for the most part, was pretty non-existant tonight. Defensively he played a decent game as he limited the damage Wade could do against the Bulls. But that wasn't anything great as all he did was shuffle his feet to stay in front of Wade (or whoever else he was guarding).
Offensively Hamilton had a pretty bad night. He missed most of the shots he took and came out with a 38% field goal percentage.
He needs to step it up.
Robinson was the team's leading scorer tonight, though for the most part he was a detriment to the team. He played little defense and allowed Mario Chalmers to do work against him. The two steals you see to the left were only because the Heat tried super long passes that Nate happened to get in the way of.
Robinson also turned the ball over five times tonight, two or three of them being traveling violations because he overdribbled himself right into pressure. Lastly, his shooting night was mediocre at best as he went 42% from the floor (5-of-12).
The bench unit tonight was kind of the definition of the Bench Sobs. While they did manage to add on 17 points tonight, the majority of the damage they did was done via isolation ball. Everyone seemed to be playing one on one ball and the ball moved very poorly. The few times that it did move ended up mostly as turnovers as the bench contributed 11 of the teams 26 turnovers.
The bench continues to make me cringe and they need to step up their performance.
Nothing Thibodeau could do here. His game plan, in my opinion, was good but the players simply did not execute. It's also hard to put too much blame on him given how good the opponent is.
The team, as a whole, was terrible. The Bulls were held to a season low 67 points on 37% shooting from the floor. The team also turned the ball over 26 times, which I believe is a season high (have to be honest guessing without checking that one right now). The team has to step up in a big way. They can't shoot that poorly, especially when a good deal of shots were wide open, and they definitely cannot give opponents unnecessary transition opportunities the way they did.
Tonight was the first night I became ashamed to call myself a Bulls fan. I don't care who the player is, what they've done to you (which couldn't have been anything in this case), how severe the injury may be, if the player is faking it (how do you know if they're faking it?), or what the circumstance may be. Cheering for an injury is absolutely, ridiculously stupid, unnecessary, and classless. The fans at the United Center disappointed me tonight when they cheered after Lebron James was seemingly hurt by a Nate Robinson foul. I hope I never have to see or hear that kind of thing from Chicago fans ever again.
What I want to see for next time:
- Needless to say less turnovers. This one would entail the Bulls move the ball better so you could conclude that I'd just like to see better ball movement altogether.
- Made shots. I'm not the kind of guy that cares if someone misses a shot so long as the shot isn't a stupid one or wide open. At the level these guys are at and for the amount they're getting paid, they need to make the easy shots.
- Kirk Hinrich. I can't believe I'm actually going to say this but I miss him. In his absence the Bulls have gone 4-10 this season which, you guessed it, isn't good. Don't get me wrong though. I still hate him for having hard capped the Bulls and for how much he's paid but if he's helping Chicago win, I'll take him.
That does it for tonight. I hope you enjoyed the new look of game grades and enjoyed the game as much as you possibly could given the events that unfolded tonight. The next game is tonight, February 22nd against the Charlotte Bobcats in Charlotte. We hope you're looking forward to the game.Tags: Carlos Boozer, Chicago, Chicago Bulls, Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah, LeBron James, Luol Deng, Miami, Miami Heat, Nate Robinson, NBA, Richard Hamilton, Taj Gibson, Tom Thibodeau