Unfortunately I was out and had to watch this one with the sound off, so I wasn't able to devote my full attention to this game and the complete nuts-and-bolts to this collapse. But is there really any detail needed? maybe it's just...
Well, not entirely 'wow', since if I had to pick a team that would blow a 35 point lead, it'd be a team who has one of the league's worst offenses, a unit that could go completely in the toilet at any time.
The Bulls were never 30+ points better than the Kings, so the fact that they looked so good in the first half was a bit of a mirage. A lot of it can be attributed to Andres Nocioni in his return to the United Center, a -28 in 16 minutes, shooting as if he had something to prove against old pal Luol Deng, though it was just reaffirming what we learned last year: when he's not hitting shots he's useless. (again: this is the guy Bulls fans give a standing ovation to while Ben Gordon got booed whenever he touched the ball) And at 1-7 from the field, 1 rebound, and letting Luol Deng completely abuse him on the other end, it was one of those nights for Noc. But the Kings have a real coach who eventually got that and pulled him for the rest of the night.
And that was just a minor point where Paul Westphal proved the difference between him and Vinny Del Novice. It could've been how Vinny didn't give any of the starters any in-game rest during a game where they were up so big (and have a game tomorrow night for that matter). Or the usual lack of execution in close-and-late situations.
But it's bigger than that. The team is just poorly coached all around. They were able to (literally) run out to a lead off of Sacramento's first-half turnovers, but when it came time to run a real offense they had no clue. When it got close, one team knew they had a star guard who needed the ball at all times, and how to get it to him in the best place to operate, and that guard was Tyreke Evans and the team was the Kings. They similarly seemed to have little clue on defense as to how to handle Evans besides putting their 'stopper' (cough) Kirk Hinrich out on an island.
But it's even bigger than that. VDN sees the need to keep the starters in because he was given such a deplorably incompetent bench. They pretty much have to go small (and it cost them some key defensive boards) due to a lack of depth as well (though if Tyrus Thomas was healthy, he'd likely still be sitting). Everyone knows that Derrick Rose is the future star of this team, yet he's not even made a captain. So when the team doesn't know that Rose has to have the ball, nor apparently can correctly execute a play where he's given the ball and the team gets the hell out of the way...sure, it's VDN, but also the people who hired him.
Our owner uses this team as an out-of-sight financial boon while he focuses on his true passion. Our VP of Basketball Operations was talked out of quitting by being given a promotion. The current GM's qualifications is stepping in and giving Luol Deng an extra 7 figures on his deal. They collectively spend nearly a whole summer trying to hire a coach, and end up with a complete unqualified unknown, and even while he proves himself to not be ready for the job, they keep him anyway.
So is it really that surprising that such an unorganized front office hiring an over-his-head coach could produce such a discombobulated team capable of choking away such a huge lead? That Rose wouldn't be given the best chance to finish out the game (though he's not faultless in not rising above it either), and the rest of the team would be completely tense up in 'support'? Guys who defer to the Org. are rewarded, and it's not surprising that it leads to deference in games.
But it wasn't THAT shocking or demoralizing. Is this loss truly any worse than the string of blowouts on the west coast, or the home loss to the Nets? It will get more attention, but if Vinny wasn't fired then he won't be now. They don't have a plan to handle the coaching, just like the coach doesn't have a plan to keep a lead. Gar Paxdorf's "process" is just as screwed as Vinny Del Negro's "attack", and we'll be watching the results for the foreseeable future, hoping a star player decides against his best interest to save us from it in the offseason.