Reeling with the news that Derrick Rose may potentially miss another season, and this being an afternoon start against a very good team, the Bulls had a lot going against them today in Los Angeles. They pretty much followed it to script by getting completely obliterated 121-82.
The new Bulls starting unit (and Taj Gibson as the 6th man) actually did not play that poorly offensively, at least in the first half. They were aggressive both in trying to get inside and the Bulls bigs were crashing the offensive glass well. Deng was 8-9 from the line, Dunleavy 2-3 from three, Hinrich was at least attempting shots on his way to 8 halftime points and there wasn't signs of total capitulation to their circumstances.
But they could not stop the Clippers at all, who proved how extremely dangerous they are on offense and how many weapons they possess on their way to scoring 65 points in that same half. Chris Paul was of course orchestrating it all, and he has so many options from his agile big men running down the court to his wing players standing at the 3-point line and ready to fire. Jared Dudley and JJ Redick had 15 and 13 points apiece in the first half as they were not only taking their open looks but craftily faking their way inside when the Bulls started overplaying them.
A 7-0 run by Paul and Dudley to start the 3rd quarter had the Bulls facing a 20-point deficit they had little hope of escaping. Paul assisted Dudley on those two baskets and finished with a masterful 3 quarters of play with 17 assists in all to go along with 16 points on 6-10 shooting. I don't want to even dog Kirk Hinrich for the lack of resistance because he showed his usual...oh, let's call it 'feistiness' today...because he's just not in the same realm as a starting PG. And with Dunleavy in the starting lineup with Carlos Boozer, there is just enough slowness in this starting lineup to cause one too many breakdowns to where a good offense will kill the Bulls. Though they didn't give up nearly any lobs, which was nice.
After Taj, the Bulls deep bench became their actual bench, and we knew going into this season it was a weakness. They were really really terrible. Both Marquis Teague and Tony Snell received extended minutes but didn't do anything. Almost literally...nothing: in nearly 24 combined minutes in the first 3 quarters, they were a collective 0-2 from the field. 3 assists, 2 rebounds, and a turnover. I suppose it's good news that we'll be seeing what these two have in the weeks ahead, but they're not good players right now.
The 4th quarter saw the Bulls just give in, or at least keep the talent on the floor to where it showed that kind of result. Even Mike James and Erik Murphy played the final 6 minutes, I suppose it's important that they have a game tomorrow (oh god, it's true). They couldn't even trade garbage baskets against the likes of Ryan Hollins and Antawn Jamison, getting outscored 25-9.