For the second straight game, the Bulls were out-hustled, out-matched, and out-classed, in a game in which the faltering Wizards entered at 16-19, missing Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat, and Kris Humphries. What should have been a relatively easy victory was another uninspired and unimaginative struggle bus of an effort, as the Bulls dropped to 22-14.
- The first half of the game was characterized by turnovers (two in as many possessions to start the game), a lack of sharpness, and mental mistakes. The Wizards sprinted out to a double digit lead, which the Bulls briefly captured back, before the Wizards bolted right back to taking a 14 point lead into halftime.
- A series of turnovers by the Wizards, Nene saving the ball under his own basket, aggressive drives by Derrick Rose, and a patented Jimmy Butler passing lane steal resulted in a 10-0 run that got the Bulls back to within six in the third quarter. But second chance points due to a lack of effort on the part of the Bulls kept them at arm’s length – the Wizards had 21 second chance points for the game. The Bulls managed to do just enough to keep the game within striking distance and tried to make the fourth quarter interesting with a four-point play from Doug McDermott and a couple more Wizard turnovers, but it ultimately wasn’t enough.
- The Bulls were not on the same page on the pick and roll. Seemingly in three consecutive PNR plays involving Derrick and Pau, Derrick turned it over, passing nowhere near the rolling big man. Overall, Derrick scored 23 points, but had four turnovers and only one assist. His shooting numbers looked good – 8/13, 2/3 from the three point line, and 5/5 from the line, but was by far the worst +/- on the team with -26 (next was McDermott at -15).
- Joakim Noah was back tonight, hoping to help plug what had become a gaping hole in the paint, after the Bulls gave up 66 easy points against Atlanta, but it didn’t seem to help quite enough. The Wizards still managed 46 points down low. Offensively, Jo was a non factor. He was 0/7 – five of them were tip-ins at the rim and one was within the restricted area. Of course it wasn’t all on Rose and Noah – the whole team struggled – but this shot chart just makes me cringe:
- This was the 11th straight game that the Bulls scored 100 points or more, but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t win. Hoiberg is struggling to figure out why the Bulls come out lethargic, saying: “We didn’t come out of the gate with the energy we needed to. It’s beyond me how that could happen,” and “the guys on the bench talk more than the guys on the floor, for whatever reason.”
- John Wall was too much for the Bulls, breaking down the defense on the pick and roll, having his choice of a rolling big man, popping the jumper if the Bulls played off him down low, or driving and kicking for some nice ball movement. The Wizards had 31 assists on 48 baskets and looked much better than their record would indicate.
- Coming up: the Bulls take on the Milwaukee Bucks on NBATV tonight.