United Center, CHICAGO, IL— On Thursday evening, the Chicago Bulls were unable to come back from a 21-point deficit for the second time this season. They, once again, struggled against a sub-par team at home.
But this time they lost, and in embarrassing fashion, against the New York Knicks, 120-112.
Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, and Toney Douglas all caught fire from downtown for New York. The Bulls rotations were slow at times, but often times the Knicks were nailing threes even the faces of the contesting Bulls’ defenders.
As a team, New York hit 16-of-24 three-pointers (75%) from beyond the arch.
Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson all had solid efforts for the Bulls. Rose and Noah, respectively, bothcame away with their 2nd and 4th consecutive double-double (Rose: 24 and 14 assists; Noah: 12 and 13 rebounds). But both players sat for the final 8+ minutes of the 4th quarter. Thibodeau let the 2nd unit players stay out there even with the Knicks’ being lead cut to single digits on numerous occasions…
And despite the protests from the crowd, who were chanting, “We want Rose!” with just over 3:00 minutes remaining in regulation.
The question that comes to mind is an obvious one… why not play the Bulls’ starters in the final minutes?
Was it to save some fresh legs for the Boston game tomorrow? Even though it is only the 4th game of an 82 game season?
The games that the Chicago Bulls need to win are home games against the Knicks… not the second game of a back-to-back, on the road, against the defending Eastern Conference Champion, Boston Celtics…
Tom Thibodeau is the right guy to be coaching the Bulls, but he made a mistake on Thursday night. Chicago can definitely put this one in the bag as one they let get away from them.
Hopefully, they can redeem themselves in what is sure to be a loafty challenge tomorrow against Rajon Rondo’s Celtics.