Not a single player had a good game for the Bulls. Paul Pierce started the game hot and built an early lead for the Celtics, and instead of the Bulls playing within their game, they all panicked. Instead of letting the game come to them, everyone began doing too much, trying to make spectacular plays. Very little ball movement, a lot of one-on-one, and a lot of turnovers.
Give the Celtics credit. Doc Rivers showed the difference between a real coach and our coach by making the necessary defensive adjustments to slow down Rose and Gordon.
In the first half, the one good thing the Bulls aggressive(forced) offense did was put them on the foul line, and a depleted Celtics team in foul trouble. However, this didn't make much of a difference, as the Bulls inexperience showed yet again, shooting a dismal 63% from the stripe compared to the 90% the first two games of the series and mid-high 80's for most of the season.
As Blog-a-bull mentions here: "Paul Pierce put them in the early hole, but that wasn't insurmountable. What really took the game from 'uh oh', to 'oh shit' was a Celtics run to end the 2nd quarter that put them up 22 at the half. It was as if the Bulls were waiting to regroup at halftime and forgot to play the last several minutes of the half first."
All of that happened with Rondo on the bench with three fouls, and the Bulls still couldn't do anything. The game was essentially over at that point.
It was a rough game to watch and the kind where you pretty much lose all hope, but I still don't believe this series is over. Boston played lights out on both ends of the court and at the same time the Bulls couldn't have played worse at either end. Anytime you turn the ball over 22 times, it's going to be a long night.
I still believe that despite last night's schelacking the talent level of these teams are evenly matched. (Stephan Marbury, Brian Scalabrini, Mikey Moore... seriously?) I see Derrick Rose spending today and tomorrow beating himself up replaying every mistake he made that game in his head, but coming out on Sunday and having a great game, because that's Derrick. He's a winner, and he hates losing.
Bulls shake off the tough loss and win a close one on Sunday and go back to Boston 2-2.