Notes From Chicago Bulls Allowing Fourth Quarter Rally By Suns


The Chicago Bulls Dropped Their Latest Game To The Phoenix Suns In A Fourth Quarter Collapse And Here Are Some Notes

The Chicago Bulls are starting to feel way too nonchalant about the way they are starting and finishing games. This wasn’t more clear than in their latest loss to the Phoenix Suns, where Chicago led by as much as 16 in the fourth, and it seemed like the game should be in the bag for the Bulls.

Here are a few observations from Monday night’s 103-101 loss to Phoenix.

1. Rebounding Must Improve

Mirza Teletovic sealed the Suns’ victory with a violent rebound that sent Derrick Rose to the floor and was followed by an off-balance midrange shot. He scored 20 points overall in the game, and his final basket went through the hoop with only .3 seconds left. Phoenix outscored the Bulls 42-24 in the last period.

2. Brandon Knight Outplayed Rose

Rose was coming off one of his most efficient games of the season, but that didn’t stop Knight from putting in work with 21 points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal. Meanwhile, Rose had a pedestrian 14 points and a game-high five turnovers.

“I know we put ourselves in position to win, but nothing’s given in this league,” Knight said to “You have to go out and take it. After losing three or four games like that, I think we realize that. That’s what we did tonight.”

The Suns lost on an alley-oop to Jeff Green with less than a second left on Sunday in Memphis, and they weren’t about to give up that play again to the Bulls as Rose attempted a lob to Jimmy Butler.

3. Pau Gasol Keeps Putting Money In His Pocket

Gasol scored a game-high 22 points for the Bulls to go along with his 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals and three blocks, and you can see why the big man will test his value in free agency. Chicago will definitely try and keep him, but will the price be too high and contract too long? That remains to be determined; but if Gasol keeps balling out, then he is going to make some serious bank next summer. “As long as I keep playing like this,” he told of his future, “I know I’ll have some options.”

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4. Bulls Must Start Faster And Finish Stronger

Phoenix was held to 10 points on 4-of-20 shooting in the third quarter, but then the Bulls laid an egg defensively in the fourth. Head coach Fred Hoiberg was none too pleased about his team’s effort in the final quarter.

“We got a 16-point lead, play our best defensive quarter of the year, outscore them 26-10 in the third and follow that up with our worst defensive quarter of the year,” Hoiberg said. “And just couldn’t find a way to get a rebound. They score 28 second-chance points, a lot of those came at key times.”

Coach brings up a great point about rebounds, and that ended up being what burned Chicago in the end. They actually out-rebounded Phoenix 48-40, but there is a difference between rebounds that lead directly to points and rebounds that just come off of a shot which could’ve gone in.

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The Bulls next face the Boston Celtics on the road, and that will be a difficult game against a well-coached team. Hoiberg will definitely have his hands full, and it would be a step in the right direction if the Bulls can figure out a way to close out games with intensity while also not dropping their energy level at the start of matches as well.