Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before: Chicago Loses Late Lead (Lakers 118 – Bulls 112)

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Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before: Chicago Loses Late Lead (Lakers 118 – Bulls 112)

Chicago Bulls

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Tonight’s first half provided the most promising play of the Bulls’ young season, as a revised defensive strategy (revolved more around switching) helped create a 19-point advantage over the Lakers. The Bulls accompanied that effort by competently knocking down threes, grabbing defensive boards, and playing with a newfound, team-wide energy. It felt like a dream.

The Bulls were up 65-48 on the title-contending Los Angeles Lakers. THIS was the team on which we were sold all offseason. This was going to be the win that turned it all around. This was … and then, we woke up.

In the second-half of the game, Jim Boylen ran with his bench players way too long (and for dumb reasons we’ll get into tomorrow), while watching his lead slip slowly, but surely away. Even still, the Bulls headed into the 4th quarter with a fairly significant lead … but we all knew what was about to happen:

And then it did:

 

The problem here isn’t the 118-112 loss to the Lakers – heck, we chalked tonight up as an L before the game even started. Instead, it’s how the Bulls continue to show exactly no progress where and when it matters most. And if they don’t start playing up to their abilities – especially late in the game – it’s going to become a thing. And as soon as that happens, the narrative will take hold, the Bulls will fear it, and other teams will count on it. Once it gets that far, it’s all over.

Sure, we could talk about how the Bulls shot 50.6 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from downtown. And we can point out the improved, aggressive effort rebounding the basketball. We can even talk about the many more positive signs from the first-half, but if the Bulls don’t win games, it’s all for nothing. They don’t deserve it yet. Not with the way they’ve been losing.

We’ll have more tomorrow.

Michael Cerami contributed to this post.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.