Rapid Reaction: Grizzlies 80, Bulls 71

December, 17, 2012
12/17/12
9:26
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


MEMPHIS -- Here's a quick look at how the Memphis Grizzlies earned an 80-71 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night at FedEx Forum.

How it happened: Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Zach Randolph added 10 points and 15 rebounds in a defensive struggle that had to be tough for Tom Thibodeau to watch because of his team's lack of offensive execution. Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 16 points and 13 rebounds.

What it means: The Bulls' offense struggled badly. They couldn't get any rhythm going and couldn't make shots down the stretch. The bigger issue for Thibodeau is the play of Kirk Hinrich. The veteran guard returned to the floor after missing almost a week because of a left knee bruise and struggled. He was just 2-for-8 from the field and looked a step slow most of the night in 31 minutes. He has battled five different injuries throughout the season, but what has to be of even greater concern for Thibodeau is that Hinrich's shot has inconsistent most of the season. He doesn't seem to have confidence in his shot and that showed again on Monday night. With the way Nate Robinson and Marquis Teague have been playing recently, it will be interesting to see if Thibodeau decides to let Hinrich play his way out of the slump or if he opts to play Robinson and Teague heavier minutes. It's not all Hinrich's fault the Bulls lost, but Thibodeau can't afford to leave Hinrich out there if he can't find his shot given their already limited offensive options.

Hits: Jimmy Butler had eight points in a productive 17 minutes off the bench.

Misses: Aside from Hinrich's struggles, Marco Belinelli and Luol Deng weren't much better in this one combining to go 8-for-29 from the field.

Stat of the night: The Bulls shot just 37 percent from the field.

What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Tuesday when they take on the Boston Celtics.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5