LA, California: The Staples Center Crowd got their money worth witnessing a 101-80 Clippers rout of the Chicago Bulls. While most of the off-season buzz went to the Clippers city counterpart, the Clippers have established themselves as a legitimate title contender with their early play this season. The Clippers came out with an abundance of energy in which they were able to sustain the entire game, racking up a total of 46 fast break points. The Clippers fast break "offense" is led by the best passing point guard in the league, Chris Paul, and usually results in an alley-oop to one of the Clipper's big men. The Clippers bench players also made a huge impact on the game, scoring 53 of the teams 101 points. Jamal Crawford has become of of the most prolific second unit scorers in the NBA. Tonight, he had 22 points on 6-10 shooting and seven successful free throw attempts. The Clippers simply outplayed the Bulls in every aspect of the game.
Notes About the Bulls Tonight
1. I raved in a previous article that Kirk Hinrich is better than former Bulls guard CJ Watson because Hinrich is a veteran that can limit turnovers. Not the case tonight. Hinrich had a game high 5 turnovers. The back-up point guard,Nate Robinson, only had one despite his much more erractic playing style. Hinrich should not be allowed to start if he continues to turn the ball over.
2. Also regarding Kirk Hinrich. I do not like Hinrich guarding young fast guards like Chris Paul. Hinrich is very old for a NBA player and has lost a step or two compared to his early playing days. I'd like to see Coach Thibs base Hinrich's playing time on the guy that he has to guard. If he has to guard guys like Rajon Rondo or Chris Paul, put in Nate Robinson until there is a more favorable match-up.
3. This loss can be largely attributed to the Bulls miserable shooting percentage. Late in the game, the Bulls essentially were chucking up three pointers. But, throughout the game players like Noah, Hinrich, and Robinson were missing shots that they normally make.
4. I sensed a lack of energy in this game. It may have been the fact that the Bulls were playing from behind almost the entire second half. The Clippers were blantantly out-hustling the Bulls which is completely uncharacteristic of a Bulls team that prides themselves on always giving their best effort.
In a year devoid of Derrick Rose, the Bulls need to remember that they are playing for something every night. No longer is a first or second seed guaranteed. At this point, a playoff birth seems somewhat questionable. Every game matters and the Bulls need to bring it every single night.