The Chicago Bulls "Bull"ies the Hawks in Philips Arena; Bulls 114 Hawks 81

This is a recap I did not want to write...

There comes a point in time when things get frustrating to talk about. Right now, it’s frustrating to talk about this Hawks team. I’m usually a pretty optimistic guy, so when the Hawks continue to fail me over and over, it gets frustrating. I always want to write something good about this Hawks team, but they never give me anything too good to write about or the bad really outweighs the good. But as a blogger, I have to have that mental toughness (that most of the Hawks’ players don’t have) and just push through and hope things get better.

In my Bulls vs. Hawks Game Preview, I said the Bulls will win by at least 8, thinking I was going to look pretty smart knowing the Hawks will probably lose. Well, the Hawks did lose but they made me look dumb by thinking it was going to be by a pretty close margin.

Quick Recap for the people who didn’t watch it:

The Hawks made shots early, and traded baskets with the Bulls in the early going but as we all know, once the Hawks cool down, it’s trouble. That’s exactly what happened. The Hawks stopped making their shots and the Bulls continued to get easy shots. The Bulls established themselves inside in the paint and throughout the night since there was no resistance inside whatsoever. The Bulls would either post up the Hawks and get fouled or get a good look or they will drive it in and get an easy layup or dunk. The Bulls ended up scoring 18 points in the paint in the first quarter. The Bulls (already) led by 10 after one quarter, 31 to 21.

In the second quarter, the Hawks defense continued to struggle. Larry Drew didn’t really exactly put the best defensive lineup out there, putting Jamal Crawford at the point guard position to guard CJ Watson, but that (Jamal) wasn’t the only reason why the Hawks struggled defensively. CJ Watson did create many easy looks for his teammates in the second quarter by dishing and driving, and he did make a fair amount of easy shots himself since Jamal was guarding him though. But even when Jamal did leave the floor, the Hawks defense was still nonexistent. The entire Bulls’ team made shots and was rarely missing. Their layups, dunks, and jumpshots were all easy looks for them. The Bulls eventually led by 29 points (biggest lead of the game at that point) after Derrick Rose made a three pointer at the buzzer at the end of the quarter. Bulls, 72. Hawks, 43.

In the third quarter, the Bulls continued their surge on offense, the Hawks continued to give Bulls easy looks, and the Hawks continued to take dumb shots. Both teams played their regular starters/rotational players for the entire quarter. Eventually, the Hawks found themselves down 38 after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, it was garbage time play. Both teams played their benches. However, the Bulls’ bench didn’t let up. They kept playing like the game wasn’t over. Teague was the same too. He scored 17 of the Hawks 21 points in the 4th quarter. The game eventually ended and the Hawks lost by 33.

Final Score: Bulls: 114 | Hawks: 81

Some thoughts….:

  • I know I made it seem like the Hawks were at fault, but honestly, even if the Hawks played up to their best potential, I’m not sure if the Hawks would have won this game. The Bulls are a talented team, with a lot of depth and good coaching.  They play like a team should. They play together at both ends of the court and they never take their foot off the gas pedal, no matter what the score is.
  • People will be quick to blame Larry Drew, but most of the blame for yesterday’s loss should go to the players. If the players don’t want to play, LD can’t do anything about it. The Hawks never gave themselves a chance, they didn’t even try to do anything to stop the Bulls on the defensive end. They just let the Bulls take advantage of them inside. Look, I know it’s Coach Drew’s job to lead and motivate the players, but these players are grown men that are getting paid millions. No one should even have to motivate them. Fact of the matter is, I’m not sure if any coach could have motivated the guys to play last night defensively.
  • Don’t get me wrong. Coach Drew did some things that were once again questionable like, why did he (and why does he continue to…) put Jamal at the point guard position to guard quick point guards? Why did Jeff Teague only get minutes when the deficit was out of reach already? Why does he keep letting Josh Smith shoot jumpshot after jumpshot? I’m a Drew supporter, but the 3 problems I pointed out are too common every single game.

My other Noteable Notes:

  • Al Horford suffered  a hamstring injury during the game, but he should be fine.
  • Derrick Rose and Luol Deng took over this game. They combined for 57 points and they didn’t even play in the 4th quarter. At the end of the quarter, Rose and Deng alone almost equaled the amount of points the Hawks scored in three quarters (60).
  • The Hawks scored 18 points in the paint for the entire game. The Bulls scored 18 points in the paint in the first quarter. The Hawks scored 0 points in the paint in the second half. Shot selection….. *SIGH*
  • Jamal Crawford, where were you at? He played a respectable amount of minutes (26) but only attempted 4 shots and scored 2 points. He seemed hesitant to shoot the ball and he wasn’t looking for his offense. Jamal is an offensive player. If he isn’t shooting, why play him?

Next up: The 76ers on the road. I can see this Hawks team winning this one and I can see this Hawks team getting blown out. For the Hawks’ sake, and for the fans’ sake, the Hawks need this win. It’s a must win if you ask me.

Final Thought: Uh, Playoffs?! You talkin’ ’bout Playoffs?! You kiddin’ me? Playoffs?! I’m just hoping we can win a game.

Tags: Atlanta Hawks Chicago Bulls Game Recap NBA

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