The Chicago Bulls got outworked, outhustled, and outscored Saturday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Chicago had a difficult time keeping the Clippers off the glass, and out of transition. For a team who prides themselves on offensive efficiency the Bulls coughed up 16 turnovers which led to 20 Clippers’ points. Chicago also allowed 26 fastbreak points. Not to mention there bench was outscored by the Clippers’ bench 53-25.
The game took a turn in the second quarter when Chicago, known for their defense gave up 35 points.The Bulls entered the locker room at halftime trailing 53-40. The second half started the same way the first half ended as the Clippers opened the third on a 7-0 run. Blake Griffin scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter as the Clippers handed the Bulls their worse loss since December 1, 2010, where they suffered a 29-point loss to the Orlando Magic.
The Bulls, who blew a 18 point lead just the night before in Phoenix only to come back to win the game in overtime 112-106, got 22 points and 12 rebounds from Carlos Boozer. Loul Deng and Richard Hamilton also chipped in 14 points a piece in the losing effort Saturday night.
“We got outscrapped. We got out-competed,” said Joakim Noah after the loss. “That’s disappointing. We took a couple steps back.”
It’s obvious Chicago was anything but themselves. Their perimeter defense was unable to keep Chris Paul from penetrating and Griffin from scoring. The Bulls also struggled offensively as DeAndre Jordan blocked 7 of their shots.
Did Chicago have a off night? Perhaps. But defense is about effort and that effort was lacking. This loss also highlighted how the off-season trades of the Bulls bench could affect the team as they continue to battle without Derrick Rose. Chicago needs to go back to the drawing board. Increase the defensive intensity and play as a team, basically everything they didn’t do Saturday night in Los Angeles.