[Thanks to wjb1492 for today's game thread. -Matt]
I don't even know where to start, or what's worth saying again about the team. The Bulls' Saturday loss to the Knicks (the Knicks!) was yet another display of bad passing and poor shooting. It's not as if the Knicks played well, shooting 39.4%, missing 16 free throws, and racking up 17 turnovers. But the Bulls incredibly, fantastically, and unbelievably managed to play even worse, shooting a hideous 34.5%, which they combined with a -10 rebound margin, 14 TOs to a measly 13 assists, and a grand total of 29 personal fouls for the day. And that's just the stats - if you missed the game, you'll thank me for sparing you the details of the many passes directly into the arms of Knicks and the many airballs put up by our team, not to mention the long scoreless stretch at the end of the 4th quarter when the game was there for the taking. It seems I can't help pulling for this team, so I'm really hoping that their crash to the bottom of the East has jarred them all, Kirk and BG and their anti-career years in particular, into remembering that they are capable of playing much better than this.
Meanwhile, Toronto is coming off of a Saturday loss of its own, narrowly losing to the Cavs 108-111. Unfortunately for the Bulls, not all losses are created equal. The raps shot 49.4% from the field and 90.9% from the line, with 25 assists to only 5 TOs. About the only box-score type thing they didn't do well - other than getting the W, of course - was rebound (only 28, -19 margin). If the Bulls shooting stays as cold as it has been, the Raps will get plenty of opportunities to work on that!
So what to expect in the game tomorrow? I confess, I'm a little scared to think about it. I'm guessing everyone remembers what happened last time the Bulls and Raps faced off, and if the guys show up in Toronto with a performance like Saturday's, it could get really ugly really quick. I'm going to cling to the law of averages - as bad as they've been, at some point they're going to play outstanding ball to even out the stats. Hopefully that will start really soon. Nesterovic, TJ Ford, and Garbajosa were out for yesterday's game, while Lu sat out the Knicks disaster with his back injury. Nesterovic and Garbajosa will almost certainly be out again, while Ford and Lu are listed as questionable.
I wish I could come up with something positive to wrap up with here, but I've got nothing. Bracing for disappointment does that to me. But maybe this will be the game...