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Bobcats 83, Bulls 82: shorthanded

Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr
Charlotte 86.0 96.5 40.2% 14.9 29.5 8.1
Chicago 95.3 42.9% 20.8 30.2 15.1

Call me an old softie, but I'm proud of the team tonight. If he made it, the praise would've been epic, so conversely is Derrick Rose any less of an MVP candidate because that final shot was short? Of course not, if it wasn't for him the game wouldn't have even been close. Rose did absolutely everything he could've to try and carry the team offensively, especially in the second half when it was clear he wasn't going to get much help. With his usual drives, a post-up, using the left hand, and two 3-pointers, Rose almost got the Bulls a victory by his lonesome.

Without their starting frontcourt, the Bulls other points had to come from somewhere. But expecting a repeat performance of what occurred in Memphis from Luol Deng or Kyle Korver is folly. It's not sensible to assume 'someone steps up', just because...if they could consistently give that kind of game they'd be a different class of player. Not that Korver was awful, and Ronnie Brewer did contribute with 12 points, but that made him the second-highest scorer on the team tonight.

Similar to the Bulls loss in Charlotte last week, the pace was once again slow, and once again the Bobcats simply did not turn the ball over. They were able to run off the Bulls miscues for some easy chances, whereas the Bulls had to work. And with not just key injuries, but playing their fourth game in five nights, the Bulls just ran out of gas. Rose had his heroics in the 4th, but there were other plays in the game where the Bobcats looked quicker to the ball.

Special consideration goes to the Bulls replacement starting frontcourt of Kurt Thomas and Taj Gibson. Thomas played 35 minutes and Taj had 46, and while they were clearly laboring when changing ends they were able to still provide the foundation for the consistently-solid Bulls defense. It is worth questioning whether Thibodeau has been short-sighted in staying away from his deep bench during this stretch, as neither James Johnson nor Scal even entered the game tonight. But that isn't on Gibson (who had 6 blocks, by the way) or Thomas, who were run into the ground and almost helped the Bulls pull out a victory anyway.