The difference was that the second was less-completely-bad, but bricking nine of 17 free throws, allowing a 31.6% offensive rebounding rate and 70.9% shooting at the rim, and turning the ball over 19 times displays a team effort of suck, according to Hoopdata. The suck went from Joakim Noah disappearing in the second half to C.J. Watson and John Lucas III getting embarrassed by Goran Dragic and Earl Boykins to Luol Deng wasting a great offensive night by not having the necessary amount of energy to finish his defense.
The difference between Sunday and Monday was that Sunday was a game full of so much suck that Derrick Rose wouldn't have made that game a win, while Monday, the complete lack of pace control for a good majority of the game did the Bulls in. It was a night where we saw Kentucky head coach John Calipari build a lead with his team in overdrive to protect that lead with a major slowdown to limit possessions for Kansas in the NCAA Championship.
Sure, the NCAA and NBA games are very different, but this basketball principle is universal and the Bulls were unable to execute this.
If there was a need for Rose's game control, last night was it. The Rockets ran the floor and moved the ball in ways that used George Karl's formula that recently beat the Bulls, showing that savvy coaches are taking notice of how to exploit Rose's absence. What's scary is that it may be exploitable when Rose returns for the remainder of this season and the playoffs.
We've been told Rose has a groin pull, which could justify not stepping on the court for almost three weeks. It could be justified by Tom Thibodeau erring on the side of caution.
Sure, Thibs implied the problem was his team quitting on last night's game and concern over the chemistry between Rose and Richard Hamilton in the backcourt are conversation topics. But what ought to start arousing curiosity is that Rose isn't being sidelined out of caution, but because almost three weeks later, he "still isn't able to run". I repeat: He Still Can't Run.
I'm no doctor, nor will I pretend to know how to better understand this using WebMD.com, but not being able to run for three weeks is much more than a groin pull. Maybe the turf toe was aggravated and more full healing time is being recognized. Maybe there's a more serious tear elsewhere in the lower body. Maybe it is a hernia of some sort. Maybe he tripped over Bryan Robinson's dog and landed on Carlos Boozer's gym bag. Who knows?
I won't pretend to know what's up, but we're at a point where it's undeniable that something is up and everyone with knowledge of the truth is keeping tight lips. That's their prerogative. But whatever it is, the hope that the type of D-Rose the Bulls need to win a championship won't be seen before next season, as each game he doesn't play passes.
EDIT: Conveniently, Steve Aschburner, who works out of Chicago for NBA.com was on 670 The Score's "Mully and Hanley Show" discussing just this:
"It's sure looking like the mother of all groin strains," Steve Aschburner of NBA.com told The Mully and Hanley Show. "I don't know that there's anything else you can do besides put the guy in a bubble and prevent him from moving around at all. People who have seen him try to run have said that it looks painful to them the way he moves. I heard people say that when he walks up the ramp at the United Center that he's hanging on to the railing, he's helping himself up or down. ... It seems serious. Groin strain is so generic that you think ‘Oh, we've seen guys come back in a game or two.' To me, it has shifted since Sunday from ‘Oh, he's a game-time decision' to ‘He will play a game before the regular season ends.' There's only 11 left."