An Embarrassing Effort, Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Rose's Reception, and Other Bulls Bullets

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An Embarrassing Effort, Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Rose’s Reception, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Full disclosure: I didn’t watch the game.

Due to some prior engagements, I let BN handyman Patrick Flowers take the car keys for the night. While I feel bad that he had to sit through that crapfest, I do think it ended up best for my heart and mental well-being that I missed the game.

On the off chance that I miss a full game, I usually throw on the League Pass recording to get caught up. But guess what? My Christmas gift to myself is going to be to sit this one out. I saw enough of the highlights, box score, and postgame press conference to know it would be a complete waste of 48 minutes. That’s just not how I want to spend my Saturday.

  • Speaking of the box score, the moment I saw a 15-2 advantage on the offensive glass for the New York Knicks is the moment I knew the Bulls didn’t care. Putting up a better fight in this department was arguably the No. 1 priority coming into this matchup, and I said as much in yesterday’s morning bullets. How do you lose this battle 15-3 on Wednesday and change nothing? I get that New York is the better team, but boxing out and putting yourself in the right position to deter second-chance opportunities is largely an effort thing.
  • Seriously, this kind of stuff just can’t happen:

  • The other major eyesore on the box score came courtesy of Zach LaVine. He finished with a team-worst -31, scoring just 17 points with 5 turnovers. While LaVine did shoot a decent 7-12, only three of his attempts came at the rim and he didn’t get to the free-throw line once. This is your max player. I don’t care if the Bulls are 11-17, LaVine is supposed to be the one out there setting the tone and executing at a high level.
  • Honestly, what’s just as confusing as the on-court product is the fact that the Bulls continue to say the right things behind the scenes. I can’t even sit here and knock them for sounding like a defeated team, especially DeMar DeRozan! The Bulls’ veteran remains one of the best interviews in the league, and he doesn’t shy away from saying what needs to be said:

“We gotta get tired of having this feeling of not competing and losing like this, especially on our homecourt,” DeRozan told NBC Sports Chicago. “It’s not ideal where we’re at. But hey, great stories start with some sort of tragedy.”

  • Even Zach LaVine at least sounds like the leader this team wants him to be:

“If you don’t have belief, what you doing out here? I have confidence in myself and my teammates because we put the work in. If you doubt it, you shouldn’t be here,” LaVine said (h/t The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry). “Obviously, these are tough times. We’re not trying to play like this. But if you do, you gotta own it and try to play better.

  • Here’s the thing, though: Actions speak louder than words. Sure, I’m glad they aren’t ripping their teammates apart or failing to take responsibility, but none of that matters if it doesn’t come with a change on the court. If these players really thought this kind of performance was unacceptable, then it simply wouldn’t have happened in the first place.
  • The only words I really want to hear are the ones that come from the guys upstairs. Where the heck have Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley been during this mess? When you explicitly state that the goal is to improve on what this team accomplished last year, I need to hear from you when your team is 11-17. Even if it’s just to put some pressure on your coaching staff and players … say something!

  • You know things are getting really ugly when Billy Donovan starts to sound like Jimbo Boylen.

  • “Spirit” shouldn’t be a problem for a group that has proven very little, and “resolve” shouldn’t be an issue for an organization that has preached continuity. A group of veteran All-Stars is supposed to know how to keep their composure and play to a level that is at least acceptable.
  • The only enjoyable thing about last night was the fact that Derrick Rose got to check into the game. And the fact that we still have to rely on that man’s heyday for joy is pretty darn depressing.

  • It is always cool to see him come home, though, and I’m glad he got that moment last night in front of his family:

  • At least y’all were supposed to be tanking.

  • I don’t want to wait any longer.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.