News
News

Bulls defense, at last

The Bulls played 82 games to claim homecourt advantage, and then spent 45 minutes of their first playoff game against Indiana on Saturday trying to give it away.

For all the world it looked like the Bulls were collapsing under the burden of capturing the NBA's best record.

They committed nine turnovers, gave up five three-pointers, and allowed Indiana to pound the offensive boards. In one half. At home. Against a team that won 37 games.

Defensive urgency, anyone?

That was the worst part. They were getting schooled inside and out, and they offered little response. Where was the relentlessness of the league's best defensive team?

Even after that awful first half and a likely torching from coach Tom Thibodeau, where was the relentlessness?

Even after some runs in the fourth quarter, where was the relentlessness?

Tyler Hansbrough had just scored his seventh straight point, sinking a free throw after stealing the ball from a nearly useless Carlos Boozer and dunking while drawing a foul. Pacers, 98-88. The unimaginable was unfolding. The relentlessness, people. Where was the relentlessness?

With less than four minutes to go in a game the Bulls trailed by 10 points, there it was. Finally.

Needing stop after stop, the Bulls got stop after stop. Hansbrough, Danny Granger, Mike Dunleavy, didn't matter. Pacers shooters who were able to get their feet set all game suddenly weren't so comfortable. The Pacers couldn't make a basket in the last 3:38, missing their last eight shots, a shutout from the floor when the Bulls desperately needed it.

Deng, the enforcer who came to Derrick Rose’s defense and revved up the crowd, hit a couple free throws. Joakim Noah made a couple baskets. Kyle Korver drilled a three. And Rose scored the last seven of his game-dominating 39 points.

The Bulls outscored the Pacers 16-1 down the stretch. The offense came through, but it was the defense -- the relentless defense -- that sparked it. And finished it, as Noah twice swatted Josh McRoberts in the dying seconds.

It’s close to a perfect situation for the defense-crazed Thibodeau: Enough defense to win a game, but not enough to prevent him from hammering his players the way he has all season. Talk about relentless.

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    Marrow's 'The Gold Standard' raises the Chicago rock bar

    The four musicians in Marrow know quite a bit about bringing diverse influences to the table. After all, three of them, singer-guitarist Liam Kazar, singer-keyboardist Macie Stewart and bassist Lane Beckstrom were in Kids These Days, a now-defunct septet that combined jazz, funk, rap and rock in...

  • The Kids These Days family tree

    The Kids These Days family tree

    From its 2009 beginnings to its 2013 demise, Chicago's Kids These Days seemed like one of the most promising acts the city had seen in years. While the band split up at the height of its hype, its members have since gone on to do bigger and better things—seriously impressive considering the hip-hop/rock/jazz...

  • Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    Solid 'Gold': How ex-Kids These Days members came back stronger as Marrow

    After the dissolution of Kids These Days, the much-buzzed about Chicago fusion-jazz-rock-rap septet that split in spring 2013 just a few months after releasing its only album, “Traphouse Rock,” some of its members spent what seems like all of 20 minutes bandless. "We were driving back from the...

  • Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Mr Twin Sister's 'In the House of Yes' is one of last year's hidden treasures

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    GrubHub's weekend customer-support issues made people hangry

    Technical difficulties at GrubHub and Seamless over the weekend drove hordes of hangry would-be customers to air their grievances on social media. The food ordering and delivery sites, which merged in 2013 and use GrubHub’s back-end technology, errantly accepted payments on Saturday evening without...

  • One dead in Heart of Chicago after being shot by police

    One dead in Heart of Chicago after being shot by police

    A 29-year-old man died after being shot by police on the Lower West Side early Saturday, police said.

Comments
Loading
75°