9:39 AM CST, January 12, 2012
Derrick Rose’s sprained toe, meet Jay Cutler’s thumb.
OK, maybe the first result wasn’t that bad. Wasn’t Bears bad, anyway. The Bulls beat the worst team in the league. Congratulations.
While the reigning MVP sat on the bench with his left foot in a boot, the Bulls didn’t lose to the Wizards and the growing draft bust known as John Wall. Compare and contrast to the way the Cutler-less Bears choked against the Chiefs and the quarterback that Israel Idonije identified as “Plank Something.’’
But geez, it looked like a rec league game, and the Bulls were as responsible for the mess as the embarrassing Wizards, at least until the last five minutes when the Bulls defended the visiting dopes into their ninth loss in 10 games.
The Bulls’ play was painful to watch and stupid offensively for long stretches. John Lucas III needed to have it explained that he was taking Rose’s spot, but that he wasn’t actually Rose, and stop being a ballhog, kid.
This should’ve been a game where Carlos Boozer forced the Bulls to become the inside-out team that coach Tom Thibodeau demands, but Boozer wasn’t demanding the ball, and besides, even if he was, Lucas wasn’t giving it up much.
No, Lucas was into doing it himself. Lucas apparently believed that making his first NBA start gave him the right to jack up 28 shots. Lucas’ idea of sharing the ball was showing it to a teammate as he rolled off a high screen before rising for yet another shot.
Lucas finished with 25 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, but more importantly for the times the Bulls play lousy teams while Rose is out, he had only two turnovers. Some of his teammates had more, mostly out of shock that Lucas had moved the ball to them.
Here’s the deal: Anybody with a basketball IQ above Jordan Crawford will be an issue for the Rose-less Bulls. The Wizards were playing to get Flip Saunders fired. The Bulls are in big trouble if Rose’s sprained toe doesn’t heal before, I don’t know, right now.
This is not necessarily news. We don’t have to stop the presses to report that the Bulls are all about Rose and a potential mess without him. It’s just that seeing it play out is a scary reality, especially after seeing the Cutler disaster play out.
The Bulls without Rose were barely able to hold off the Washington Generals, so what happens when they face players who have a clue about playing actual basketball? I could be wrong, but I’m fearing how ugly the answers will be from Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo.
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