I didn't get to see any of the game, just listen to most of the 4th quarter on the radio, but you could tell that it was going to go either way by the way the Bulls were playing versus the way the Hawks were playing. The Hawks were getting calls. They were hitting free throws. They were hitting shots, and getting boards. The Bulls - not so much.
It's a bad loss because they had this game in control. Even as I listened they still had a good lead, but I missed the part where they rolled off 14 unanswered at the beginning of the game, then took a lead of 19 points, finally to finish at half time up by 17. There aren't too many games where you have that sort of cushion and you end up losing.
Rose had a bad game, Boozer had his usual poor effort on defense but a lackluster performance on the offensive end. Noah was outplayed by Al Horford of the Hawks. Their bench did little.
It's hard to criticize Thibideaux, but I think he needs a bit of work on his rotations. If Kyle Korver didn't take a shot till the fourth quarter, something is amiss with your second team play. (He hit two of three, both were threes, then he missed the shot to end the game.) The great Bulls teams had Jordan and Pippen, and when Jordan went out, Pippen stayed in to "general" the team in MJ's absence. Then Pippen's breathers came when Jordan was in. The Bulls don't have this. All they have is Derrick Rose. They need a big time two guard or a small forward who can run the team in Rose's absence. Deng is a good player, but he isn't the type of player Pippen was. Could they use a better backup to Rose? Yes, definitely. CJ Watson is okay but he hasn't shown he can do the things he needs to do to run the second team effectively. When Rose is off, so are the Bulls.
Rasual Butler may contribute some shots down the stretch run coming up, but he isn't the answer either. I like this team a lot, but I don't think it is a championship contender this year. Maybe next...