Well, last night was kinda rough. Oh let’s keep it real. The Chicago Bulls got a wake up call getting whipped from the United Center to 1060 West Addison by the San Antonio Spurs 104-96. This was ugly and for the recap of the game log on to Pippen Aint Easy for the lowdown of the game. This piece will be about what I learned from the game last night. The Bulls got a little ahead of themselves when they beat the Miami Heat on national television. Joakim Noah had his Emperor from Star Wars going on, letting the hatred of the Miami Heat flow so the journey to the dark side would be complete. Well last night reminded everyone that this is the NBA and you have to play hard every night. The Bulls didn’t and got their behinds handed to them. Here’s what I learned from last night’s game.
1) Gregg Popovich is the best coach in the NBA under any circumstances, not Coach Thibodeau.
Last night Coach Thibodeau was outcoached. I mean royally. I do give the coach credit, he did take the blame for not having the team prepared for a big game like this. I appreciate that he fell on the sword for a pitiful performance against the best team in the NBA right now, but let’s take a close look at this. Coach Popovich always has his team ready and you had better believe he ran the video of the game in January to the team so much that it looked like a new reality series. The Spurs will stay relevant and at a certain level as long as Tim Duncan mans the middle. I don’t care if he’s playing with a walker, a cane or riding in a wheelchair. The Spurs are the best team in the NBA…again because they are the most prepared. The Bulls came out flat and got knocked that way too, FLAT! If Tom Thibodeau can get all of the credit for what he has done this year keeping the Bulls afloat making himself a candidate for Coach of the Year, he can get lambasted for that mess he brought out last night.
2) The Bulls do not know how to win yet.
The Bulls seems to always bring everything they got when the Miami Heat comes to town. The Spurs do this with ALL the teams that they play. They take a business approach to every game. They may not win every game but they are going to execute on offense and defense. That is if the players like playing from time to time. San Antonio has the same powerful defense as the Bulls but they execute just as well scoring the ball as well. Combine that with the championship experience that keeps them at an even keel at all times. They don’t get too high or too low. There is a phrase that applies here when it comes to San Antonio…”If the General doesn’t panic, neither will the troops.” When have you ever seen Popovich lose total control of his team? Never. Plus with Tim Duncan as his right hand the Spurs are always steady. The Bulls got so high emotionally after the Heat game, they had nothing left last night. This is an important stretch for the Bulls. They have the Houston Rockets, the Sacramento Kings who destroyed them the last time they played on Saturday. If that is not enough The Oklahoma City Thunder come calling on Monday. Three losses here and we have a different conversation. It’ll be if the Bulls can hold on to a playoff spot.
3) Man, the Bulls point guards struggle against quick guards. MIGHTILY!
Tony Parker going off last night was no accident. Kirk Hinrich can’t stay in front of quick guards. Well check out this murderer’s row of point guards…After getting whipped by Parker last night, Houston brings in Patrick Beverly who is lightning fast and then Linsanity will back him up. Then Sacramento brings Isaiah Thomas who is lightning quick and showed that to the Bulls on the west coast. If that’s not enough, the Thunder has some dude named Russell Westbrook that can explode at any time. What’s the point? If Kirk Hinrich struggles keeping these guards out of the lane it puts pressure on the Bulls defense. It gets the frontline in foul trouble. This just in to Pippen Aint Easy…If Noah gets in foul trouble, game over.
This is what I learned…Now learn from this!
After the Miami game Sunday, the Bulls was ranked third in the league in total defense. After that butt whipping last night, they are now fourth.