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Monday, April 22

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Bulls Wed Jan 06 2010

As the Bulls Turn: Back to the Lecture at Hand

Now that's more like it! After winning four straight game (and even pulling "zee upset" over a sleeping Orlando team), the Bulls have lost two in a row and gave up a should've won game against Charlotte after dropping a game to the very capable Oklahoma City Thunder. Peep the boxscore again, gang and understand that Vinny Del Negro is culpable for this one. As is Derrick Rose. As is Kirk Hinrich. As is John Salmons. And Luol Deng. Heck, even Ty Thomas screwed this one up, and he's been a can of awesome lately.

Defensively, the Bulls (in spite of everything else this season) have been pretty good. They made OKC work hard for the points (excepting for Russel Westbrook who, of course, manhandled rudderless, young point guard Jedi, Derrick Rose. DRose still has no defensive skillz [sad face emoticon], and the game was close up until the Thunder mounted a run in the fourth. This Charlotte game? Not so much with the defensive effort or offensive effort (natch). You let three players score over 25 points and you're going to lose. And, lo!, that's exactly what happened: Gerald Wallace went off for 32 on 10-16 shooting with nary a hand in his face, nor a body in his path to the basket. Stephen Jackson dropped 25 with three boards, three dimes and three steals all whilst shooting an efficient 10-21 from the field.

Maybe things would've been different had the Bulls managed any semblance of offense but, again --always again!-- there was no cohesion to the offensive game plan. Derrick Rose refused to penetrate and draw fouls and only attempted four shots from inside 11 feet. All four of those shots, by the way, were makes. And how many free throws did Rose attempt? a paltry 3? This madness needs to cease. Feel free to begin pulling your hair out, Bulls fans. Microcosm of offensive frustrations for the season = Derrick Rose's stunted development. There's just nothing going on with the Bulls offensively. They still are mired in 29th out of 30th in offensive productivity. Incredible.

The Eastern Conference is (much like last season) top-heavy with the likes of Cleveland, Boston, Orlando and Atlanta swinging maces and broad swords, while the rest of the conference cowers under their beds with damp pajamas. The Bulls could easily make the playoffs and be exterminated with extreme prejudice. Even if that does occur the Bulls need a sea change to move forward with. They need an offensive solution, they need a defensive game plan that's more evolved than simple hustle and athleticism.

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