Exactly who were these Bulls on the Pepsi Center floor Thursday night?
Certainly not the hard-nosed, defensive-minded, prideful bunch their fans have come to love and even rivals have come to respect.
Their 128-96 loss was the type of lackluster performance that isn’t seen from the Bulls, not on Tom Thibodeau’s watch.
From the first quarter all the way through the extended garbage time that was the entire final stanza, Nuggets players threw down uncontested dunks, waltzed through the lane at will and generally had their way with their guests, and there was nothing Thibodeau or anybody else could do about it.
Dunk after dunk, 100 points through three quarters of play and most importantly, getting bullied, embarrassed and outhustled by, while definitely a good Denver team, not the cream of the crop in even the Western Conference.
Just as they’re beginning to be taken seriously by the basketball landscape as a true contender and not just an overachieving team without injured superstar Derrick Rose, they laid an absolute egg.
“It was an offensive game in the first half. We scored 58; I think they had 63. They came at the start of the third quarter, just smoked us and they played very good defense, and they had 37 in the third and got a big cushion, and that was the game,” Thibodeau said afterwards, with smoke coming out of ears almost visible, particularly as he talked about the Bulls’ trademark defense. “Until we change that [their defense], the result’s not going to be good. We’re trying to make it an offensive game and the ball’s going wherever they want the ball to go. We’re not containing the ball, not keeping it out of the paint, not challenging shots, not rebounding the ball. Very difficult to win like that.
Unfamiliar look to Bulls in lackluster loss to Nuggets
CSN Chicago | Feb 8