VIDEO: Highlights from games played Jan. 19
NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Rose, Bulls frustrated by team’s lack of energy — After last night’s blowout loss in Cleveland at the hands of the Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls have lost two straight games and are 2-6 in their last eight games. They are averaging 97.8 ppg in that stretch and, more of a concern, have looked listless the last two games in particular. This run of flat performances has affected star point guard Derrick Rose, who lit into his squad after the game. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has more:
“Everybody has to be on the same page. Until then, we’re going to continue to get our ass kicked,” Derrick Rose said. “We’re not communicating while we’re on the floor to one another. Everybody is quiet. Trust plays a part, but communicating on defense in a team sport is huge.
“We’ve got to give a better effort. It seems like we’re not even competing. It’s (bleeping) irritating.”
For the second straight game, the Bulls never led and played a low-energy game. That it came after a day off should be as troubling as these statistics:
A 25-point deficit. A 54-40 rebounding deficit, including 20 offensive rebounds allowed. A 19-7 deficit in second-chance points. Just seven fast-break points and 37.5 percent shooting.
No wonder coach Tom Thibodeau said everything is on the table, including lineup or rotational changes.
“We have to decide when enough is enough,” Thibodeau said. “Right now, we’re not a multiple-effort team. We’re not concentrating. We’re not doing our jobs. We have to change that.”
“We have to practice harder,” said Taj Gibson, who had 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. “We can’t be taking days off. We have to play with some energy.
“We have the personnel. It comes from within. There’s nothing more you can say. It’s all about how much heart you have and how determined you’re going to be.”
Gibson’s words echo what Thibodeau has bemoaned since the start of training camp, the lack of cohesive practice time.
“As a coach, he has a right to say that,” Rose said. “But it’s just competing. I think guys are just holding on to the ball too long. But on the offensive side, to tell you the truth, I’m not even worried about that. It’s defensively, like we give up so many easy baskets, man. Over time it gets to you.”
Thibodeau called for Rose, who sat the entire fourth quarter, with a little under five minutes remaining and the Bulls down 19. Thibodeau then changed his mind and sent Rose back to the bench.
“I just decided where the game was, it just didn’t make sense at that point,” Thibodeau said. “I thought if we had it around 15 or less, we could maybe take one more run at it. I didn’t feel it. I thought the group that was in there had cut it down so I wanted to see what would happen with them.”
VIDEO: Inside the NBA’s crew discusses Derrick Rose’s postgame comments