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The Bulls collapse last night was on the defense too

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The Bulls were up 10 with 3 minutes left and still managed to lose to the Hawks

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls were up 10 points (110-100) on the Atlanta Hawks with a little over 3 minutes left and optimism was running high as it looked like the Bulls would be over .500 again. But no lead is safe with this Bulls team and it showed in a late game collapse that resulted in the Hawks walking out of the UC with a 119-114 win. This was a very brutal loss. No other way to put it.

After Atlanta took the lead thanks to a Dennis Schroeder layup, the Bulls offense went cold and their defense couldn’t seem to stop the German point guard. Schroeder, who went off against Chicago last week, had another good game, scoring 24 points off of 7 of 15 shooting with 9 assists.

Down the final stretch of the game the Bulls had Jimmy Butler guard Schroeder, but allowed a Taj Gibson switch multiple times and caused havoc for the rest of the defenders. It was a mad scramble on defense for the Bulls with the Hawks getting any shot they wanted in the final 3 minutes.

Especially when you get to the final few plays of this video, you can see the Hawks getting the matchup they wanted: Schroeder against Gibson in open space. Again, Atlanta used the 1-4 pick and roll with Paul Millsap acting as the roll man and Schroeder as the ball handler. They did this against Chicago before (it worked then) and it seems to be the play that always catches the Bulls. Much of it is due to the threat of Millsap, who has the ability to play around the three-point line. That was enough to keep Butler out of the paint.

On one play, Schroeder easily beats Gibson on the drive baseline and forces both Robin Lopez and Paul Zipser to crash the pain to prevent the layup. It also drags Dwyane Wade into the paint, leaving open his man Kent Bazemore. Schroeder has two easy options on this play, pass to Zipser’s man (Tim Hardaway Jr.) or Wade’s man (Bazemore). He chooses the latter option and that forces Wade to come flying back out to the line to prevent the three. Bazemore takes advantage of all of Wade’s momentum running towards him and gets into the paint with ease. Again, Lopez is there to contest just in front of the hoop but in the process of helping the drive, he leaves his man (Dwight Howard) wide open behind him. With Lopez the only one in the paint, Howard is all alone and has no problem catching the lob from Bazemore. Chicago let Gibson switch on Schroeder a lot in the final minutes of the game, and it costed them. Gibson’s a good defender but he just can’t stay in front of Schroeder and it showed again here.

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