Fitting that this was the game TNT decided to take the Ernie/Kenny/Chuck show on the road. A group whose analysis isn't meant to be taken too seriously sent to cover a game that was a complete joke. One drawback for me being that in a second half I'd usually be firmly in fast-forward, I wound up watching most of the debacle just to hear what they'd say next. Mostly they just said the game was terrible. Oh, and Chuck's grandma used WD-40 on him as a kid to loosen his knees and ankles.
I know that following this uninspiring bunch all water-treading season doesn't raise the highest of expectations, but I'm honestly completely shocked at this result. The Bulls (outside of when everyone was hurt) usually at the very least stay competitive against non-elite teams, as one of VDN's strengths (and a roster of 'good guys') is that they try hard nightly. Plus being at home, and with few days rest...and again: I'm can't things turned out this poorly tonight.
Maybe it's a case of the Bulls usually exceeding the effort of opponents who may be bored or tired, and this Heat team tonight came ready. They jumped all over the Bulls from the start, and were able to pound the ball in to Jermaine O'Neal while the defense focused more on Wade. When they tired of that, it was Quentin Richardson's turn to destroy Flip Murray on the block. Not just the finishes off of post ups, but they were hitting cutters, open three-pointers, the Bulls were simultaneously carved up and overpowered. The absence of Luol once again forcing 3-guard lineups in, and while one alternative is more Hakim Warrick at the 3, I'm not sure that'd be any better.
Meanwhile, on the other end, the Bulls had their usual bad offense, and even Derrick Rose struggled, displaying impressive moves but rarely finishing (the Yahoo box score had his shot blocked 4 times) and nobody else being able to help. A 19 point first quarter followed by 14 point second. Shooting under 28% for the first half while the Heat were over 60%. The worst home halftime deficit since 1980, and the game was already over.
Again, the only entertainment came from the fact that at least a joke game took the pressure off of the TNT crew to actually call it. So when Kenny Smith wondered in the 4th why Jannero Pargo hadn't come in earlier, instead of calling out how the analyst somehow missed Pargo's 7 first-half minutes, and how nobody should wish Pargo is in at all in the first place, one couldn't help but laugh with him, and at the Bulls.
Nets on Saturday, which is an obvious must-win. Though I suppose tonight was as well. It does now mean they have to get more wins that won't be expected on the remaining schedule, as this looked like one they'd take. I certainly didn't expect this. Flush the result, a loss is a loss, blowouts happen, yeah...but still: ouch.