Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rose, Bulls Struggle Late, Fall To Thunder In Season Opener

How it happened: Derrick Rose dominated at times during the first half racking up 20 points while shooting 8-for-15 from the line. He struggled with foul trouble throughout the game and couldn't regain his shooting touch once he came back into the game in the fourth quarter. Yes, he finished with 28 points, but any time Rose is taking more than 30 shots in a game it's going to be a major problem for the Bulls this season. Tom Thibodeau's club held its own throughout most of the game, but they withered late. When they needed to make crucial shots down the stretch, and Rose couldn't make things happen, they didn't have another answer.

What it means: We knew the Bulls were going to struggle without Carlos Boozer, and for the most part they handled their own against a very tough Thunder team, but it was painfully obvious that they don't have another consistent option to go to when Rose struggles. Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson had great games, but neither one is a threat at the offensive end. Thibodeau has to find a way to shore up his team's defense if it can't find a Robin to Rose's Batman while Boozer remains on the bench.

What’s next: The Bulls have their home opener Saturday night when Ben Gordon and the Pistons come to town. If they want to win that game they've got to do two things much better than they did on Wednesday night. They've got to get to the foul line more often and they have to find a way to space the floor better. They were just 2-for-14 from behind the arc.

Stat of the night: The Thunder had 47 free-throw attempts while the Bulls had just 22.

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