Coming out as the aggressor early is important.
The Bulls let the Golden State Warriors dictate their style-of-play early in the bout.
Chicago could have tried to slow down the pace early-on and look to pound the ball inside to Boozer, and let Hamilton and Rose look to get inside shots and perhaps force the officials to blow the whistle. But, instead, they pushed the ball and ran in the Warriors’ run-and-gun style in Oakland. Rip Hamilton had an easy fade away basket over the smaller Monta Ellis in the post early in the game, but the Bulls never went back to that kind of strategy offensively.
Rose is capable of having bad games.
The reigning MVP did not play like it tonight. Rose was not aggressive in looking for his own shot even when the team was in desperate need for him to live up to his reputation as the “run-killer” (deemed by Bulls’ play-caller Neil Funk). There were also let-downs defensively on his part. Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis both torched Rose nearly whenever either of them saw him guarding one of them. One blown assignment by Rose allowed Ellis to get an easy two-handed dunk off of a give-and-go with the Bulls trying to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter.
Turnovers are bad.
This is probably the most obvious point made on this list.
The Bulls allowed 16 Warriors’ points off turnovers in the first half to dig themselves into a 57-41 halftime hole. It takes away from the offense when the Bulls play out-of-control because it takes away would-be field goal attempts and allows Golden State to push the ball for easy lay-ups. They should leave the helter skelter style of offense to the Warriors.
Noah and Boozer under-performed.
When you take up $31 million on a team’s pay-roll, you need to be more consistently good. Tonight, Boozer and Noah combined for 13 points and 13 rebounds in 52 minutes of playing-time. And neither player finished the game – the Bulls can’t afford to have two of their best players sitting on the bench in the final minutes… especially when they are healthy.
Luol Deng has established himself as the legitimate number 2 option.
Deng has shown that he is not afraid to take shots and is now Derrick Rose’s main target in their half-court offense. And he has shown that he can hit them as he hit some tough, contested jump-shots tonight on his way to 10-of-15 field goal shooting. That was a positive sign in an otherwise frustrating game for the Bulls.