See this picture? It’s a symbol. It’s a symbol of the Bulls offense. On Saturday night this is what the offense did…it fell down and it didn’t get up. Well Pippen Peoples, the third game of the road trip is here. The Chicago Bulls stop in Sac-town for a date with the Sacramento Kings. The Bulls are 1-1 on the current road trip by shocking the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night and then shocking us ALL with how bad they shot on Saturday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans featured Anthony Davis who was snubbed for the All-Star game. He took out his alleged anger and frustrations out on the Bulls with 24 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots. He basically ran the Bulls out of the paint and forced them to shoot jumpers. Tonight, Sacramento features their own All-Star snub in DeMarcus Cousins. I’m pretty sure he’s angry and frustrated. He gets angry and frustrated breathing clean air. However he has missed the last few games with a badly sprained ankle.
This doesn’t mean that the Kings are short-handed. They have a point guard that is lightning quick. Actually the Bulls play a team who DJ Augustin is taller than. Isaiah Thomas at 5’9 is on a tear these days. He dropped 26 points on the Spurs Saturday night. He is an inspiration to us all. It’s hard to believe that he was the next to last pick in the draft a few years back, now he’s starting making a difference. Jimmer Fredette the lottery pick in the SAME draft is so far down on the depth chart that he will be watching this game on NBA League Pass. The Kings also have Rudy Gay who is playing despite having a sore Achilles tendon. He is a scorer who can get his own shot. Derrick Williams, who came in this season from a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves has found a home coming off the bench. Marcus Thornton who is as inconsistent as your local weather forecast, can go for 40 points at any time.
When Dr. James Naismith invented the game of basketball, I know he didn’t think in a million years that a team would struggle to score like the Bulls do night in and night out. If defense was the only thing the Bulls had to do to win, you could mail the championship trophy to Chicago. The problem is you have to score points. Right now, with the possible exception of DJ Augustin and I don’t want to jinx the man, this team cannot score. The Bulls have to speed up the tempo to get easy baskets but sometimes they lose their defensive discipline. If that happens, the Kings will run them out of Sacramento to Phoenix. The Bulls are going to have to avoid offensive lulls to win this game. That’s asking a lot for a team that is DEAD LAST in third and fourth quarter scoring. The Bulls are going to have to hope Carlos Boozer just came to California early to get some sun because he wasn’t in New Orleans. He is going to have to score for this team to have a shot. Period.
DeMarcus Cousins is day-to-day (wait a minute, we’re all day-to-day) with that bum ankle. If he does play, the Bulls need to be aggressive and take the ball to the basket and hope to get Cousins in foul trouble. If they make it to the line, I am going to give some unsolicited advice, hit one or two. The Bulls missed 11 free throws against the Pelicans. If Cousins does not play, they really need to keep Isaiah Thomas out the middle. He is so quick he causes breakdowns in the defense which the Bulls do not need in this game. He opens up a lot options for the Kings including high-flying alley-oops.
The Bulls really need this game with Phoenix and Golden State coming up. With the Bulls struggles on offense, I just don’t see them winning. I’d love to be wrong and eat more crow….but I doubt it.