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Net Loss

So can I offer any viable excuse why the Chicago Bulls got beat by the New Jersey Nets last night 96-94.  Yeah maybe, but we don't want anyone thinking its bunch a bull (if you know what I mean).  I have been very vocal about the perception going around that the Bulls don't play their best ball against sub-500 teams.  I feel due to key injuries and their sometimes brutal schedule they are not going to blow teams out of the water, which is something I touched on in my last post.  In addition you have to take into account that they are still adjusting to one another.  When you jumble the roster and the coaching staff in a extreme matter as the Bulls did over the summer you will get your growing pains.   Yeah I know I'm beating a dead horse but through all that adversity the Bulls have managed to have a 23-11 record leading all teams in their own division (Central).  Oh yeah the Bulls are 3rd overall in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat. 

So why would the Bulls tank one against the New Jersey Nets you may ask?  It wouldn't have anything to do with the Bulls playing them a second time within 5 nights would it?  No way why would anyone think that.  Maybe its because they were coming off of one of those nasty back to back nights.  They did maul the Toronto Raptors the night before to only end up in Jersey 3:30am in the morning due to plane issues.  Perish the thought that an uncomfortable flying experience would bend the nerves of this strong and capable Bulls team.  I know, I know, it was Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau's fault.  He decided to bench forward Carlos Boozer for the final 14:21 of the 4th quarter.  His reason as follows: "They were playing zone, so we had to keep shooting on the floor. That was the main reason to put [Luol Deng] at the four, to get more range shooting out there."   Do you hear the subliminal brain fart going off after hearing that.  Honestly I can't see what the Nets were doing that Thibodeau felt compelled to bench one of his best players the majority of the 4th quarter.  I always thought since you are the superior team that your opponent bows down to your strategy not the other way around.  With 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists was Boozer's benching warranted?  Yeah probably with the Bulls trailing 78-65 entering the 4th quarter Thibodeau needed a boost.  So he decided to go with Deng and the reserves( C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver and Omer Asik).  That group led a surge to get the Bulls within 85-84 with just under 5 minutes left.  The Nets then went up 93-84 with 3 minutes to go.  Only for the Bulls to rally back and tie it with 11.1 seconds.  Off a loose ball with 5.3 second left Nets guard Sasha Vujacic picked it up and tossed in a shot over Bulls center Kurt Thomas.  With no time outs left, Derrick Rose had to come the full length of the court to attempt a desperation 3-pointer.  Yeah that didn't work out too well seeing he didn't make the basket.   The Bulls had a poor defensive showing which obviously led to Thibodeau to mix it up.  Was Boozer happy about it?  Mind you after the game he kept his feelings to himself, I think he was pissed off.  I see both sides of it.  Thibodeau did what he had to do for the team.  It won't always be popular and I'm sure his experience as an assistant all these years he is fully aware of that already.   As for Boozer he should just chalk it up as a bad game and let it ride.  He needs to remember that Thibodeau was the one who started him and threw him back in the fire after Boozer returned from surgery.  When others, including myself didn't think that was the best idea, Thibodeau had the faith to start Boozer who had no training camp and missed pretty much a quarter of the season.  So Boozer shouldn't take this as Thibodeau targeting him.  The Bulls played poorly on defense from the get go and played into the Nets game plan.  Even though I don't know Thibodeau all that well, I know he was not at all pleased with the Bulls defensive effort. 

I should of played hooky from work and went to the game.  Since I live in Jersey, I could of went to the Prudential Center to cheer the Bulls on.  Next on the schedule, the Bulls head down the "pike" to face off against the Philadelphia 76ers.....nuff said.....


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