They had a lineup at one point of Duhon/Gordon/Griffin/Noah/Wallace. Because there was a lead to protect, and Boylan be damned if they actually put a team away.
Ben Wallace, after 36 minutes the night before, played over 47 tonight. From the opening tip you could tell it was going to be one of those games where he just really didn't feel like jumping. He did come up with some big plays near the end of the 4th and overtime, but it just emphasized how he should be sitting more often and saved for those spasms of competent play. Unfortunately Ben doesn't realize he's a corpse, so he's out chasing the ball at the 3 point line to make sure he was a step late on Lamarcus Aldridge jumpers.
(Uh oh, I said the secret word. Aldridge would be a good fit on this team, he shoots a lot of jumpers and doesn't rebound. In fact this Portland team is a lot like the Bulls in that it's just a bunch of jumpshooters and not much else. Except their defense isn't as good, and rebounding shouldn't be. Granted they were on the road and in the second of a back-to-back, but this looked like a team the Bulls should've blown out.)
Tyrus Thomas played 3 minutes, and was yanked for getting 2 fouls and getting hit in the mouth on the second of those, which was a pretty questionable call. He was promptly yanked, because you always yank a guy with 2 fouls even if he never plays enough minutes to foul out.
It's also in the NBA coaches handbook to never make substitutions in extra periods. They got you to that overtime, dag namit, you best make sure they are completely exhausted in that extra period, out of appreciation.
Games like this are why Nocioni has been called (by me, anyway) the dumbest player on the team. It's the intangibles that make him special, like leaving a 3 point shooter to rotate far too late on a Roy drive. See, Roy's passed the ball to the corner and Noc barely got touched, but damned if Noc didn't make sure to hit the deck anyway so he could watch the 3-pointer go in from the floor. It's that kind of thing that doesn't show up in the box score, no sir. Shooting 4-13 from the field does show up in the box score, however.
Speaking of our small forwards, Deng was hurt and missed the 2nd half (you could've said he missed the first with his performance). But why didn't Thabo dress?[sprained ankle -ed.] Why hasn't Griffin retired? Nothing says 'calming influence' like coming in committing 2 non-shooting fouls on Roy while the team's in the penalty. That dude is aloe he's so soothing.
An adage of hoops pundits is that a good team will get extra points at the end of periods. The Bulls suck at the end of periods, and games. Their plan is usually to give the ball to Ben Gordon and let him dribble a lot. Even if it's not the last possession and there's no incentive to run out the shot clock. And if you really want to add a wrinkle, send Ben Wallace out there to set a pick with 4 seconds left. Because that way your two options are Gordon shooting over two defenders, or a pass to Wallace 25 feet from the basket.
Chris Duhon: 1-6 in 26 minutes. And that 1 was on a goaltend. I especially liked waiting while the Blazers were on the ropes in the 3rd quarter to get Gordon in. We could've put them away with our real team out there, phew.
Joe Smith was the only true bright spot, but a reason that watching this team has become a joyless predictable exercise. They played Smith 45 minutes and relied on him (when not doing the patented Gordon play) to carry the team. And it's little coincidence that a team that needs Joe Smith to do this much is one that's this bad.