Drink: Distilled Water
Good News: The Bulls seemed to have kicked that slow start trend. Bad New: The Bulls cannot hold a lead, nor do they even seem interested to even try. You might see where this one is headed.
The Bulls started out this contest playing competent offense, while the other side saw a combination of good defense and crappy shooting by the NJ Nets. Then after the Bulls gained an early lead, they laid down and the Nets got right back into it. The Bulls would then get a lead and look like they would run away against an inferior team, only for the Nets to get right back into (getting slim leads, to boot!). For the rest of the game, you can just reread the above a few times – and then the Bulls pulled away late. It has been a common theme as of late.
If you have watched any games of late, you might have noticed that the Bulls have stopped running an offense. From what I can tell, they have about two plays in their playbook.
Play #1: Dump it to Carlos Boozer. This has sometimes been dubbed a “pick-and-roll,” yet this is rarely the case. Most often, the ball is dumped down to The Beard, and he decides if he wants to shoot it or kick it out.
Play #2: Kyle Korver runs through 20 screens and the point guard tries to hit him coming off the 20th.
And that about wraps up the Bulls 2010-11 Playbook. Thanks for attending.
What is frustrating is that Derrick Rose is not playing a his position. Rose brings up the ball like a point guard, but too often he dumps it to the first open player he sees then goes to one of the wings. His job is to set up and create offense. Towards the beginning of the season, he was driving to the hoop very effectively. This opened up other players, if he was not able to finish himself.
Lately, defenses have been closing down the lane and daring the Bulls to shoot. Rose’s drives have become less threatening with this look, which has led to his new way of “setting up” the offense. This has turned into the Bulls not spreading the ball well and, thus, an inconsistent offense. Ergo, we have these games where they are able to get a lead, but are unable to hold it.
The other big reason for these lapses is a lack of energy. And their biggest source of energy is injured. It is a factor that one would think would be an easy fix, but I guess there is the reason that Joakim Noah got a six year $60-some-odd million extension with stats that do not back up such figures.
Oh yeah, the Bulls won, extending their winning streak to three, improving their record to 21-10, and a seven game lead in the Central.