I’m not in the mood.
All you really need to know is that the Chicago Bulls blew a 21-point lead and lost to an Indiana Pacers team that was without its best player *AND* on a seven-game losing streak. The Bulls allowed them to score 70 points in the 2nd half and were outscored 36-23 in the final frame.
In other words, it was a complete and utter collapse in what will go down as a brutally embarrassing loss. In other other words, it was the same old freakin’ Chicago Bulls.
After handily taking care of the Pistons in Paris and the Hawks at the United Center, I wanted to believe things were different. I wanted to believe the Bulls could actually turn a corner and take down a lifeless Pacers team. Now was the time to start their ascent up the East standings. Now was the time time to prove they learned from their mistakes.
Instead, here we are. The Bulls still sit in 10th place and they add to their long list of losses against below-.500 teams. And, look, I know it was the backend of a back-to-back. But this was the Bulls’ third game in nine days compared to the Pacers’ third game in four days! Tired legs weren’t an excuse, especially after they shot 55 percent in the first half and held Indiana to just 32 percent.
There are flat-out no excuses for this loss. It was just another example of the team taking their foot off the gas and allowing an opponent to outwork them. The moment the Pacers ramped up the defensive pressure, the Bulls folded faster than a lawn chair. Any semblance of basketball IQ went out the window as reckless turnovers, defensive breakdowns, and stupid shot selections allowed the Pacers to weave their way back into the game.
The straw on the camel’s back was Zach LaVine’s final possession. The Bulls’ max player first chucked up an ill-advised deep 3 which his teammates were able to bat back out toward the perimeter. LaVine snatched it … and immediately traveled. He finished the night 4-14 from the field with 6 TOVs. Could he possibly have an excuse for his injured hand? Sure. But if it’s impacting him that much, the simply shouldn’t be on the floor. Simple as that.
I guess the only good news is the Bulls can make us forget about this loss by beating bum teams like the Hornets and Magic this week. Even if they do that though, I’m not going to be ready to fully believe that this team has turned a corner. Indeed, if there is one thing we’ve learned about the Chicago Bulls after 47 games, it’s that they can’t ever be trusted.
Check out the full box score here.