The Chicago Bulls exited the NBA Playoffs rather quietly this past Thursday night, and there could be a reason why the Bulls were blown out in their Game 6 loss against Cleveland. According to a report, tension built between the backcourt of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler.
The list of reasons as to why the Chicago Bulls were eliminated in six games by the Cleveland Cavaliers four nights ago is quite long.
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One of the bigger reasons was the inconsistent play of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler as a duo. Both had their dynamic moments in the six-game series loss, but together, couldn’t put it together against the Cavs.
According to Dan Bernstein, a senior columnist at CBS Chicago’s 670 The Score, sources told him that tension had built between Rose and Butler in recent weeks, and it boiled over in the Game 6 loss.
"Sources describe a passive-aggressive reaction from Rose that was the culmination of tensions building in recent weeks with Butler’s emergence as a primary scorer. Butler is very aware that he won his bet on himself and is poised to reap the reward of a maximum contract from the Bulls, whether or not it takes an offer sheet from another club in restricted free agency this summer. Butler’s emergence was validated by the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, and he’s now feeling every bit the star, with all that entails."
Regardless of Bernstein’s thoughts towards Rose in the past, his sources might be onto something with this Rose/Butler tension.
Personally, I don’t think it’s a huge matter at this point. The tension from Game 6 was probably more frustration than anything. The Bulls’ offense was atrocious most of the night, and the Rose/Butler duo was just the icing on the cake in terms of poor play.
For example, Rose was dominant with a 12-point first quarter on Thursday night, while Butler missed four of his six shot attempts in the second quarter and contributed to the Bulls falling apart early on.
Butler attempted to get the Bulls back in the ballgame, but only shot 4-for-12 in the final 24 minutes. Rose only took four shot attempts in the second half and looked nothing like the Rose from the opening quarter.
Bernstein makes a great point by writing that Rose and Butler — if Butler stays in Chicago on a max-deal — will be “the NBA’s most expensive backcourt”. If Butler’s going to bet on his future in Chicago, he and Rose getting on the same page is vital for the Bulls to succeed.
Having mentioned that, Tom Thibodeau or possibly a new head man in charge, will have to sit the two stars down and calm the situation down if there’s issues.
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