While Derrick Rose was out again and the Bulls were on their fourth game in five nights on Saturday, they were at home facing a Celtics team that was without the services of Rajon Rondo and Marcus Smart, so a win was still expected. Instead, the Bulls played like utter garbage for three quarters before a late rally led by Aaron Brooks fell short in a 106-101 defeat.
I only watched the last couple minutes of this one, so I basically saw the only exciting part of the game for Chicago. Brooks scored 19 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, but the Bulls just didn't have enough to overcome an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit.
The second quarter was an absolute disaster, as the Celtics finished the half on a 27-8 run to take a 15-point lead into the break. Boston maintained that lead until midway through the fourth quarter before Brooks led the Bulls back into it.
From what I can tell, the defense (51.9 percent shooting for Celtics) and Kirk Hinrich (0 points on 0-of-7 shooting) were absolutely horrid again. The Bulls were outrebounded for a sixth straight game, so that continues to be a problem, although the Celtics only had seven offensive rebounds on the night. So I guess that's not too terrible.
Pau Gasol had 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Jimmy Butler had 16 points. I read a lot on Twitter about how poor Joakim Noah looked, but he finished with a respectable enough line of 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. However, Noah was a team-worst -10, so it seems like he's still not getting it done on the defensive end.
The Bulls probably deserved a loss after their prior three games were closer than expected, and they finally got one. The team isn't playing great ball right now, but they're still 5-2 and have plenty of time to get right. The Pistons are up next on Monday, and perhaps Rose will be ready to get back at it by then.