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Second Chance Points: Bulls notes from a weekend of losses

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Now with a new and improved name, Second Chance Points takes a look at the Bulls' losses this weekend. There wasn't much good, unfortunately.

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A couple bad losses in March doesn't mean the sky is falling. If I were a complete homer, I'd chalk up both games over the weekend as schedule losses. Like, the Indiana game was the second in this current four-games-in-five-nights stretch, and a let down was probably expected if not fully anticipated. And then the Spurs game started at eleven o'clock in the freaking morning on daylight savings no less. I mean, something as weird as Tim Duncan not scoring a field goal for the first time in his Hall-of-Fame career probably doesn't happen under normal circumstances.

However, I'm not going to rely on those built-in excuses. No sir, the Bulls got beat fair and square. So with that, here are ten notes -- mostly negative, but some positive -- I'd like to share with you.

Friday night: 98-84 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

1) Pau Gasol Free Throw Box Out

At this point in the season, Pau Gasol not boxing out should not take you by surprise. Pau's method of boxing out is basically standing straight up and being really tall. For the most part, though, Pau's rebounded well this season so I don't think it'd be fair to say his lack of boxing out has hurt the team considerably or is to be interpreted as though he doesn't want to play physical. However, moments like this are inexcusable:

If you'll recall, Pau gave up a critical put back to Enes Kanter off of a missed free throw late in the Thunder game last week. So I believe Roy Hibbert slipping past Gasol in the example above is a byproduct of Indiana doing a great job scouting. I don't think the play Hibbert makes is instinctual as it is preconceived.

2) Sealing Nikola Mirotic

To me, this seemed like a halftime adjustment Indiana made because it didn't happen once in the first half, but happened around a handful in the second. What would happen is that off a missed shot, whichever Indiana big was guarding Mirotic would go on a dead sprint as soon as he realized the rebound wasn't in his vicinity. The end result looked like this:

Mirotic runs the floor extremely well on offense and he usually hustles back on D, so I don't believe this is a deeply rooted problem. But in the example above, David West seals Mirotic with ease and should have been rewarded except his teammates didn't find him here.

Then, in the example below, Indiana very nearly gets an easy layup if it were not for Rodney Stuckey (behind Tony Snell) dribbling the ball off his leg.

3) Indiana Adjustments

Indiana started the game with Hibbert guarding Joakim Noah and West guarding Gasol. By halftime, those matchups had flipped. I think what Indiana recognized was that Gasol isn't fazed by mass as much as he is by length, and that it really doesn't matter who is guarding Noah because he's not a threat to score anyway. Kudos to Frank Vogel and his coaching staff for making the proper adjustments. They did so all game long.

4) Awful Announcing

On this night, Neil Funk and Stacey King were so blatantly homerish that it would've made Hawk Harrelson proud. The icing on the cake -- although it wasn't a homer moment -- was when Funk proclaimed Watson and Kirk Hinrich as former teammates. Though Watson was a former Bull, he and Hinrich had never played together.

Sunday morning / afternoon: 116-105 loss to San Antonio.

5) Turnovers

Just watch:

You get the picture.

6) Spurs in Transition

The Spurs absolutely destroyed the Bulls in the open floor, outscoring Chicago 35-9 in that department. Obviously, the turnovers played a large part in that, but the Spurs play with such brilliant pace. Check this out:

Above, Kawhi Leonard rebounds the ball and is also the player furthest under the basket. But then four-to-five dribbles later, the play looks like this, and San Antonio has spaced the floor perfectly with options at hand:

The Spurs did whatever they wanted. They were sharp. They were on point. They played beautiful basketball. Simply put, they were the Spurs. Also, as an aside: I'd pay Kawhi Leonard max money in a heartbeat. That dude flat controlled this game in every possible way.

7) Bulls' Third Quarter

I think Jason's tweet here explains it sufficiently enough:

8) E'Twaun Moore's Hesitation Dribble

It's basically like a slow-mo hesitation dribble because Moore doesn't really play at top-speed, which is what makes this move so effective. It's a stop-and-go except instead of starting at breakneck speed, slamming on the breaks, and then flooring it again -- Moore methodically drifts towards the basket then intentionally allows his defender to catch up before creating separation. Moore plays in control, not under control.

9) Tony Snell and Screens

I brought this up last week, but I'd like to dig a little deeper. The thing with Snell is that, unlike Gasol, he's bad at playing tall or being big. Tony Snell is 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot wingspan, but you'd hardly know it judging by this screen-shot, here:

Look at how Snell's head is buried in Tim Duncan's chest. He actually appears to be shorter than Tony Parker. Snell is off balance and is letting the screener paste him so easily because he often gets caught with his head and chest in front his feet. You see it more clearly on this example, here:

Leonard hardly touches Snell on this play, yet he's completely hunched over as if Leonard just set a devastating pick. Again, that's due to Snell's poor body command. Some players -- Jimmy Butler comes to mind, and Derrick Rose does this well too -- can contort their upper body to better avoid screens. Whereas Snell's upper body pulls his weight forward, thus enabling screeners to pick him off as if he were a tiny guard and not a stout wing player.

However in this example below, you'll notice Snell's technique is solid except...god damnit, Kirk. Don't screen your teammates, please! (nothing bad ends up happening here, but it's still so funny)

10) Nazr Is Trying, You Guys

Nazr Mohammed with the ultimate ‘I'm-too-old-for-this-shit' moment. I love it.