The Chicago Bulls this season has been a team of emotional highs and lows. Just like last night against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Bulls got a very gutsy win. Coming off that emotional win, you would have thought the Bulls would be more than ready to battle the Toronto Raptors at the United Center. Instead, they blew that opportunity and got completely embarrassed by the Raptors 99-77.
The Bulls just can’t quite put it together consistently this season. Over the last few weeks, they have been playing some uninspired and bad basketball. There hasn’t been any rhythm. They can’t generate enough offense and there have been lapses with effort all season. This type of loss to the Raptors at home is very unacceptable. These are teams they should not be losing to like this, and they have to find a way to get these wins.
The inconsistent basketball is what is troubling to many fans. There are nights when the Bulls fight and play tough defense even if they lose. But on this night, they just seemed to roll over and take the punishment in crunch time. The Raptors went on a 26-5 run in the fourth quarter to seal this victory. That is a telling stat on where the Bulls had their struggles.
There was some good news to come out this game as the Bulls got Luol Deng back in the lineup. He finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, but it wasn’t enough. Joakim Noah, who had an monster game against the Bucks, continued his great play with 10 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks.
The Bulls did play without starting point guard Kirk Hinrich, who is nursing a bad back. Marquis Teague and D.J. Augustin took the place of Hinrich and finished with a combined 12 points and nine assists.
It was another problematic night for the Bulls offensively. They are way out of sync because of the injuries. Noah says there are no excuses and you have to commend him for saying that, but the reality is that these Bulls are struggling and they have to find a way to fight through these difficult times.