“I’m ready for the next one already,” Carlos Boozer said, even before taking any questions from reporters after the Bulls’ disappointing 86-67 loss Thursday night to the Heat at the United Center.
Following a first quarter in which they played Miami to a 22-all draw, the Bulls scored 13 points each in the second and fourth periods, as the defending champions exploited their alarming 27 turnovers.
“The turnovers were a problem. Also, the type of passes that we were making. They have great quickness. You have to give them credit. They were into us and we didn’t move the ball, and that part, to me, I have to make our team understand the type of plays that we have to make to give ourselves a chance. Obviously when you turn the ball over like that, that part is on me. We have to understand what we have to do against that team to have a chance and we made the wrong type of plays against them,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau dissected. “They’re very good at pressuring the ball and swarming the ball. If you’re trying to thread the needle against them into the paint and keeping the ball on one side of the floor, you’re going to have a problem. The few times that we did move the ball side to side, we got good rhythm shots. We didn’t make them—you’ve got to make them—we didn’t make those shots, but they were the right shots. When we weren’t making shots and turning the ball over, we got frustrated, but to me, the big thing is the game is still within striking distance. We had a problem in the second and fourth quarter. Huge problem.
“I thought we were unselfish. We were trying to pass the ball. However, we didn’t see the plays the way we should have seen the plays. That part, I have to have our team understanding what we’re trying to get accomplished out there, so I have to do a better job with that. I also thought the level of intensity in this type of game wasn’t where it needed to be,” he continued. “Miami is rolling right now. They are playing great. Their intensity’s great, they’re playing very unselfishly at both ends of the floor. You have to give them credit and that being said, if you have two or three bad minutes, you’re going to crush yourself and that’s what we did. At the end of the first quarter, we were okay, but the ball wasn’t moving the way it needs to be moving.”
All-Star Luol Deng, who struggled through a 3-for-12 shooting night, put it more succinctly: “It was terrible.
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