Umm, this is not good. The Chicago Bulls was left singing, “You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille” losing to the New York Knicks 100-89 snapping their seven game losing streak. If the Knicks were out to play spoiler, this is the blueprint on how to do it. The Knicks with this win knocked the Bulls into a tie with the Toronto Raptors who beat the Detroit Pistons earlier on Sunday. I could say that the Chicago Bulls played a garbage non-playoff team, but this was a little different. The New York Knicks remind me of a kid who is getting their report card the very next day and it’s horrible. You know the kind of report card that’s going to put you on punishment and the night before you tell your parents how much you love them. Oh, that was just me? Well anyway thanks to the Knicks being eliminated from the playoffs they are on their best behavior trying to impress Phil Jackson who is on his way to pressing the demolition button on the team. Mike Woodson telling everybody he’s sorry and the fans deserved better for the hard-earned dollars they spend to watch that train wreck of a team. Amare Stoudemire telling the press that on paper the Knicks had the best team. What? What does STAT mean…Stupid-Tipsy-And Touched? Well now that I’ve got my Knicks rant out-of-the-way, let me get back to my job and analyze the game. The loss not only snapped the Bulls winning streak, but the loss also technically moves Chicago into the 4th seed in the conference standings. Toronto does have the tiebreaker and have to lose a few for the Bulls to get back in front.
This Chicago Bulls team going into the playoffs really are an enigma. They realistically could make the Eastern Conference finals. Seriously, when they play defense and score twice a week they are formidable. However when they play like they did against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night and New York on Sunday, they could be out of the playoffs in a week and a half. The Bulls are NBA’s version of a guy walking a tight rope over the Grand Canyon with no net. The way this team is built and the way the style of play they have, there is very little room for error. Chicago depends a BUNCH on their defense to cover up the issues that they have on offense. If the defense is not up to standard like in this game, the Bulls are vulnerable. Jimmy Butler led the team in scoring with 17 points. Joakim Noah was one assist shy of a triple double scoring 13 points grabbing 17 rebounds with nine assists. Here’s what I learned.
1) This team has fallen in love with the perimeter shot. Here’s the issue…The Bulls CAN’T SHOOT MAN!
Remember this phrase in the playoffs Pippen Peoples! You heard it here first on Pippen Ain’t Easy the best choice for Bulls news, previews and reviews. The absolute worst thing happened in the Bulls win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. They hit their three-point shots. They hit 11-21 from the land of three. That was absolute Fool’s Gold and I guarantee the gold will turn green if the Bulls keep firing up these shots. The Bulls shot 6-22 from three-point line in this game. That amounts to 27% if you are scoring at home. Against the Pistons, the Bulls shot 5-19 from distance. Hello? Let me give you guys some advice…STOP! You guys CAN’T SHOOT MAN! Coach Tom Thibodeau said that the Bulls missed open threes that they could live with. Okay Coach, there is a reason your players are open behind the arc. The Knicks for one can’t play defense hence you are doing them a huge favor shooting out there, plus your team CAN’T SHOOT MAN! When the Bulls went on a 15-4 to cut it to 93-87 with all of the momentum in their favor what did they do? They went back to shooting bricks from the perimeter which lost them the game because everyone say it together…with feeling…the Bulls CAN’T SHOOT MAN!
2) The Bulls had better figure out a way to score when DJ Augustin is off his game.
Let us be very clear here Pippen Peoples, DJ Augustin is the best scorer on the team right now. That carries some weight considering the Bulls are the worst scoring team in the NBA. If he’s off, the Bulls are in major trouble. Well Augustin was off. Augustin scored 12 points on 3-13 shooting while contributing to the Tuskegee clay brick project shooting 2-8 from distance. He missed two from the line and had four turnovers. Look we all have bad nights. But I warn you. DJ Augustin snuck up on the entire NBA in December. He was the Bulls secret weapon. This just in to Pippen Ain’t Easy…He ain’t no secret no more! Whether the Bulls play the Brooklyn Nets or the Washington Wizards I can flat-out guarantee that the name DJ Augustin will be on the chalk board and in the scouting report. The Bulls had better find a way to get Augustin in rhythm early or find a way to score when he’s not.
3) The Bulls can’t keep falling into these deep holes and thinking they have a switch they can turn on and off.
The Bulls fell down by 17 points Sunday versus the Knicks. Does this story sound familiar? They were down 18 points to the Pistons. Chicago cannot afford these scoring siestas that coincide with these opponent invitations with love to shoot threes. They do not score enough points to keep playing with fire the way they do. In the playoffs, I assume the Bulls will have better competition in the playoffs which means if the Bulls want to continue this trend they won’t be as successful next weekend…Just sayin.
Here’s what I learned… Now learn from this!
This game was supposed to be a nationally televised game on ABC. But after the Bulls put a whipping on the Knicks 109-90 back in March, the game was replaced with the Oklahoma City Thunder and The Indiana Pacers. Thanks New York. You successfully screwed things up again.