God love the Chicago media. As the referenced story above proves, serious reporting is in short supply. After the foolish loss to Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets, the press let Tom Thibadeau escape his fatal rookie mistake with “we have to get a loose ball” . Well that’s not good enough. Vinnie del Negro was excoriated for much less and the press never let up. I love K.C. Johnson, but he almost ignores the blunder of the year. We now have the Lovie love fest spilling over into Bulls coverage.
One of the cardinal rules of coaching in the NBA is to have your “closers” on the floor at the buzzer. Who did we have in the absence of Derrick Rose? Somebody named John Lucas, who was asked to win the game by hitting two free throws. Why in the world was the ball not in the hands of Kyle Korver or at worst Luol Deng in a situation where they did not have to shoot? A rookie off the street should never get near the ball in this situation, even if he is a 1.000 free throw shooter. You might as well have picked someone from the third balcony and put him on the line.
We’ll forget that the defensive strategy on the final shot was non-existent. This supposedly wonderful defensive strategist does not know what a double team of the star player on the opponent looks like, allowing a Carmelo Anthony jumper at the buzzer. But the coach blames it on the fact the Bulls did not get the loose ball on the previous play. Well this may be true, but the truth is, there was no Bull near enough that ball to get it. They just made a great play on the previous shot and couldn’t be in two places at once. That does not excuse allowing a free shot at the buzzer 4 seconds later.
But none of this matters if Korver or Deng or maybe the star of the game CJ Watson were on the line to win the game. John Lucas? Not today, coach. It just doesn’t wash. Man up and admit you blew the game and I’ll believe it was just a rookie mistake. Keep it up and join Vinnie on someone else’s bench.