The All-Star break is here, which means players scattered to experience family time, warm beaches or other diversionary pursuits.
And Tom Thibodeau prepared to lock himself in a darkened film room at the Berto Center.
What Thibodeau will see — for the second time, with rewind options to boot — is an injured Bulls team that limped into the break After Wednesday night's 71-69 loss to the Celtics. The season-low scoring performance dropped the Bulls to just 4-6 in their previous 10 games, with Kirk Hinrich still out, Joakim Noah still battling plantar fasciitis and no imminent return of Derrick Rose.
"There are a lot of areas we want to clean up," Thibodeau said. "We have to get our energy up both offensively and defensively. We're playing a low-energy game now."
In a brutal offensive game, the Bulls saved the worst for last.
Going scoreless in the fourth quarter for 5 minutes, 44 seconds, the Bulls blew a seven-point lead and fell when Jason Terry blocked Marco Belinelli's 3-point attempt and Taj Gibson's desperation 3-point heave at the buzzer fell well short.
Kevin Garnett's baseline jumper with 19.8 seconds left just beat the shot clock after the Bulls had pulled within one on Belinelli's driving layup with 44.6 seconds left. Following Garnett's jumper, Carlos Boozer tipped in Nate Robinson's 3-point miss that rattled in and out.
Paul Pierce sank two free throws with 10 seconds left. Avery Bradley purposely fouled Robinson with 6.2 seconds left, and he missed the second free throw on purpose after making the second. The Bulls came up with the rebound, but that's when the final flurry of Belinelli and Gibson misses occurred.
"Getting our team healthy would help," Joakim Noah said. "We have to execute our offense better. Defensively, we did a pretty good job. But teams are scoring on us in transition because we're turning it over."
Bulls' offense AWOL in 71-69 setback
Chicago Tribune | Feb 14