With yet another match up against another elite opponent came another crushing defeat for the Bulls. The Thunder steam rolled the Bulls 102-72 and forced a terrible offensive game from the Bulls from the start. The Bulls, who were shorthanded once again, were once again dismantled on the offensive end where the offense just looked stagnant and the ball movement was almost non-existent.
It was pretty clear from the opening tip that the game was not going to be favoring the Bulls as both team started off the game sloppily turning the ball over. However, as was the case in the Miami game, the Thunder took advantage of their offensive opportunities while the Bulls failed to capitalize when they had the rock. The Thunder managed to hold the Bulls to a terrible sub 20% FG shooting first half. Without the edge in offensive boards that the Bulls actually managed, that number could have easily been even lower. It was an amazing feat in itself that the Bulls were able to only be down by 13 at the half but as anyone watching the game could see it was clear the Thunder were going to blow it open in the second half and they did.
The offense looked particularly terrible tonight. Not only were they shooting an atrocious percentage, but there was also very little ball movement. The Bulls were just simply out-played and out-worked in every way possible. They finished the game with a dismal 29% FG shooting mark. Outside of Luol Deng and his 6-14 shooting, the rest of the starters shot a combined 5-35. Taj Gibson added to the misery with his own 2-11 shooting night.
The bad news only got worse when Taj Gibson also appeared to go down with an apparent knee injury early in the fourth quarter. While it looked he was still able to walk, he was taken out of the game pretty fast and seemed to be having trainers working on him on the sideline. The Bulls called it a knee sprain and hopefully it won’t keep Taj out of the lineup too long. The Bulls cannot afford another injury with Kirk Hinrich already out and the big man depth so thin.
I guess the one highlight of the night was Nate Robinson trying to dunk on Ibaka from the free throw line. Not much else the Bulls can take from this game. It’s clear the Bulls aren’t in the conversation of the elite teams anymore, at least not like this. For now, the focus shifts to the next game, where the Bulls can hopefully right the ship and get a W on the board.
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