Monday, November 19, 2012

Los Angeles Clippers 101, Chicago Bulls 80: Well, That Happened

Look, we knew this was a possibility. We knew full well that the Chicago Bulls were inferior to the Los Angeles Clippers. And that has less to do with the Bulls being terrible and more to do with the Clippers being really, really good.

There were a few reasons the Bulls lost. Their defense got shredded, the bench got severely outplayed, the offense was terrible and…that about covers it.

Anytime you shoot 33.8 percent from the field while allowing your opponent to shoot 49.4 percent, you're going to get destroyed. Furthermore, HoopData's wonderful box score tells us that the Bulls shot 13/31 at the rim and 5/13 from 3 to 9 feet. The Clippers, meanwhile, shot 15/20 at the rim and 11/17 from 3 to 9 feet. That's really all you need to know about last night.

However, because we're apparently masochists here, we're going to keep going.

For all the times we here at Bulls 101 have complained about the demolition of the Bench Mob, never has the inferiority of the new group been more obvious than it was last night. Not even when they helped blow a 14 point fourth quarter lead in Phoenix. Even after managing to score just 15 points in the first quarter, the Bulls were only down three. Then the benches squared off to start the second quarter and the carnage began.

The Clippers went with an all-bench unit of Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom and Ryan Hollins against the Bulls mostly-bench unit of Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli, Luol Deng, Taj Gibson and Nazr Mohammed. Go on, guess how that turned out. We'll wait.

If you guessed that the Clippers opened the quarter on a 15-4 run and never looked back, you're correct. Basically, the Clippers bench did to the Bulls what the Bench Mob used to do to other teams. They took a sluggish outing from the starters and turned the game into a blowout. It was a sobering reminder of what we, as Bulls fans, have lost.

There is some good news to be had, however. The Bulls killed LA on the offensive glass, and if they'd been able to make anything at all from the field, this could have been an interesting game. They had 21 offensive rebounds — just 24 on the defensive end, but that had a lot do with the Clippers shooting so well — and outrebounded LA overall, 45-41.

Also, they really didn't turn the ball over as much as it seemed like they did. 16 turnovers isn't good, but it isn't atrocious either. The Clippers had 14 turnovers of their own, and both teams were equally good at turning those turnovers into points.

Bottom line: You have to make shots to win games. And the Bulls will occasionally have nights — this makes two of them now, the loss to New Orleans being the other — when they simply cannot make anything. And while the Clippers interior defense had a lot to do with it, you can't go 13/45 on jumpers and expect to win either.

Player o' the Game: Carlos Boozer, 22 points, 12 rebounds
This title is basically being awarded by default, but Carlos is starting to suck less. In the first two games of this road trip, he's averaging 25 and 13. So…that's something. Still, it'd be nice if you could tell during the game that he was playing well. Would never have guessed he'd put up 22 and 12 until checking the box score after the fact.

Dan Benton

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