Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, February 2

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Peavy in Fine Form Early for Sox Fire Falter at First Big Test »

Bulls Wed May 02 2012

Bulls Have Work to Do After Game 2 Drubbing

Bulls_200.pngNot even Derrick Rose could've saved the Bulls last night.

In the first game without their superstar point guard, the Bulls fell apart after halftime in a 109-92 drubbing at the hands of the visiting 76ers to even the series 1-1.

The culprit in defeat was something nobody saw coming. Sure, everyone knew the Bulls would have a tough time scoring during stretches of games without Rose's run-stopping abilities. Yes, the offense would get stagnant and more prone to turnovers because they were missing their primary ball-handler. But nobody could predict the lax defensive effort the Bulls showed, especially in the second half.

After building a 55-47 lead behind Joakim Noah's surprisingly hot hand (14 points on 7 of 7 shooting in the first half) along with John Lucas III hitting some tough shots to add 11 of his own, the Bulls offense fell flat in the third, and the defense utterly collapsed.

Long rebounds and untimely turnovers magnified the offensive woes the Bulls suffered without Rose, leading to 25 fast break points for the Sixers, who also smoked the Bulls by a 52-32 margin in points in the paint via mostly easy buckets. For a team that finished dead last in the NBA on scoring in the paint, they sure didn't show it in the equalizer.

Jrue Holiday led the way for the Sixers with 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting to go along with six assists, while Lou Williams chipped in off the bench with 20. But neither of their nights held water to Evan Turner's 19 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.

After coming off the bench in the opener, Sixers coach Doug Collins inserted Evan Turner into the starting lineup for Jodie Meeks, and the results speak for themselves. Turner did nearly anything he wanted on the offensive end against anyone that guarded him, which may lead to Luol Deng seeing some time against him defensively when the series moves to Philly on Friday.

CJ Watson struggled while starting in place of Rose, and you wonder why Tom Thibodeau didn't go to Lucas sooner in the third quarter in an attempt to stop the bleeding during the 23-8 run to start the half. He was successful during the second quarter, and the margin for error has become razor thin in this series. On a day where Thibs finished second in the Coach of the Year voting to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, a quicker hook may have been the way to go to save the game.

The biggest thing the Bulls can take away from the game is the 18-9 record without Rose they kept touting after his ACL tear is meaningless. That record shrinks to 7-5 against playoff qualifiers and regular season records have had little predictive or useful value in the playoffs over the past decade. The game slows down, teams play harder, and basketball in May and June is simply a different beast.

The Bulls need to stop talking about Rose's injury. No more open letters from current (Kyle Korver) or former players (Scottie Pippen - who used an awful analogy by trying to compare the '94 team losing MJ to the current squad). We all know you're sad for Rose, and you're going to play hard without him. The recipe for success doesn't include rah-rah speeches. The key to beating the Sixers is simple.

Play better basketball.

GB store
GB store
GB store

Tailgate on Flickr

Join the Tailgate Flickr Pool.

About Tailgate

Tailgate is the sports section of Gapers Block, covering all Chicago sports. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Chad Ruter,
Tailgate staff inbox:



Tailgate Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15