If you wondered just how mentally weak a supposedly veteran Bulls team could be, then that embarrassment Tuesday night against a team tied for the worst record in the league told you everything.
A blown 21-point lead at home.
Beaten on the boards.
Refusal to play hard for four quarters.
Less than a week after a quality win over the Spurs.
Yup, all the worst signs. Yup, worst loss of the season.
This effort, execution and result looked like that mess against the dogbreath Mavericks after beating the reigning world champion Cavaliers. To think, that was less than two weeks ago. That’s some learning curve for this bunch.
I realize this isn’t the playoffs, but geez, show some professionalism.
It would be easy to blame the Bulls coach for that pantsing. It would make for an easy narrative, what with former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau making his return to the United Center against the franchise that fired him two seasons ago.
But if you believe the coach is responsible for getting players ready to play, then the Bulls’ 38-22 first-quarter assault indicates that Thibodeau failed and Fred Hoiberg succeeded.
It didn’t look like Thibodeau coached and coaxed his new, young, athletic team into outsmarting his old, deeply flawed, duct-taped team as much as his old, deeply flawed, duct-taped team got fat and lazy and took the easy way out.
No, this wasn’t Hoiberg. This was the players. This was Jimmy Butler. This was Dwyane Wade. This was a joke.
You don’t have to argue about whose team this is, guys. There’s enough stink to go around.
All-Star players shouldn’t look like saps at home. Fact is, they shouldn’t look like saps anywhere, but the Bulls’ go-to move of looking for the first exit apparently is portable.
It’s the players’ job to crush a team that was begging to be crushed the way the Timberwolves were from the opening tip. It’s their job to play hard for four quarters. Do. Your. Job.
If the job was to look like chumps, however, then Wade capped the night perfectly.
First, with the Bulls down four points in the final 20 seconds, Wade drove to the hoop, but Zach LaVine swatted his layup attempt.
Second, Wade refused to hustle downcourt the way he often did with the Heat because he wanted to whine about not getting a call.
Third, Wade did get a call — a technical foul.
Fourth, Wade got another call — a second technical.
I must’ve missed the day they taught that not hustling and then getting ejected was a big slice of leadership.
The Bulls gave us a different look this season, a different story, a different cast. Too often, the players give us nothing but a different brand of stupid.