The Bulls came out hot in the first quarter, lead the thunder and prevented Durant from scoring up until the second quarter when he scored his first ten points of the night. The entire game was a sloppy battle for both teams they combined 42 turnovers, Durant contributed six of his own. The thunder lead the Bulls in steals (10-6) blocks (8-3) and at fast break points (12-6). Luol Deng came up big for the Bulls scoring 27, Rip Hamilton contributed 20 boards, and Joakim Noah grabbed 13 rebounds. In his thirty minutes of play: Carlos Boozer managed to score just nine points, and he got himself in a lot of foul trouble. Boozer’s lack of performance and defense tonight is one of several games that has caused every Bulls fan to develop a “love-hate” outlook on him.
The Bulls often rushed sloppy, and unnecessary shots; particularly three pointers. In the third quarter the bulls trailed 50-53, Kirk Hinrich felt the need to rush a stop and pop 3 pointer, rather than running a screen or setting up a drive for an easy two, the rushed sloppy shot contributed to their loss. The Thunder outscored Chicago 31-19 in the 4th quarter. The Bulls have yet to find a player that they can count on to carry the team down the stretch and close out the game. This is probably where the Bulls miss Derrick Rose the most, he is the go to guy in every close out situation. It is vital that the Bulls figure out a closer in the absense of Rose, or else they will continue to struggle to win games against bigger teams.
Honestly this game could have been a lot worse. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, the Bulls need help closing out games, it seems as if in the fourth quarter they lose their composure. We’re lucky; Durant, Ibaka, and Westbrook could have had an absolute field day and they could of easily blown out the bulls. However the bulls kept things rolling on defense and in the low post. Defense wins games obviously but you can only contain Durantula for so long, he put up eight boards, and he sealed the deal with two back to back seventeen foot J’s. The thunder went on to top the Bulls at 97-91. The Bulls now stand at 3-2, I am not panicking yet I still see so much potential in this team. They need to work on their chemistry and they need to find a closer. Once the Bulls find a guy that can get them down the final stretch and close out wins, the Bulls will sit pretty until their MVP comes back in February/March.