Jan 12, 2012

Death By Squeegee

Probs an offensive rebound

The Zards rolled into Chicago on Wednesday night less than 24 hours removed from their first victory of the season. Playing their second game in two nights against one of the league's top squads, the odds of starting a winning streak did not look good.

But then the basketball gods smiled and Derrick Rose, he of the Most Valuable Player award, was declared a late scratch with a sprained toe. Plus, it turned out Chicago was playing its third game in three nights, a brutal scheduling quirk unique to lockout-shortened seasons sure to put them at a disadvantage (someday ZA will discuss the lockout, right now the wounds are too fresh). So there were reasons to be cautiously optimistic that Washington could steal a victory it realistically had no right to claim.

Instead, the Bulls delivered a sharp reminder that Coach Tom Thibodeau's defense is a machine, and even MVP's are no more than cogs, easily replaced. The Wiz shot an atrocious 31% from the field and the final, 78-64, was hopefully one of the ugliest we'll see this year (64 points is, indeed, another franchise record, thank you for asking). Wiz faithful had to be asking themselves afterwards if the loss wasn't a major step back. Good news: it wasn't!


For the second night in a row, the Kidz played hard, team basketball. Javale was a monster, blocking five shots (and goaltending at least three others), snagging 14 boards, and even hitting two jumpers and a skyhook. Look out if he ever gets that thing going. Singleton and Booker both got the nod again while Lewis saw just 21 minutes and Blatche sat with a sore shoulder. The ball was being shared, with six players getting between 10 and 13 looks. And as a team, the Bulls themselves were held to a fairly icy 36% shooting. Without a doubt, the energy and the effort were there. It was the scoring that didn't show up.

As was mentioned yesterday, the Wiz have the worst offense in the league. There just aren't many scorers on the squad. In fact the only semi-serious candidate is Nick Young, and ZA's golden child had a bad night, netting just five points on 11 shots. To illustrate the depths of our offensive woes, consider this: With five minutes to go, Washington was only down five. At that critical point, Flip scanned the court, the bench, and possibly the crowd, and decided his best move was to go to Trevor Booker in the post on two straight possessions. Or this: The Bulls had the hottest D in the league last year, and at one point we ran a lineup of Mack, Young, Singelton, Vesely, and Seraphin. With Young not hitting, who scores there? As in, literally, who puts the ball into the basket?

So look on the bright side. By just busting their tails, the Wiz were in this thing for 43 minutes. In fact, we were still in it with 3:40 left in the fourth quarter, down nine. Then the Bulls managed to hold the ball for a mind bending minute and forty seconds, courtesy of four consecutive offensive rebounds. Chicago snared 23 of those in the game, and had on overall 16 board edge, which in a game like this was almost certainly the difference.

But rebounding issues are a post for another day. On to Philadelphia. The only team in the league with a better defense than the Bulls. Joy!

1 comment:

  1. "there just aren't many scorers on the squad" - Dray would beg to differ, according to him we have too many scorers and thats why we cant score. Mind games from the Cap