Where was Bulls' defense after missed FTs?

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
12:17
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
Giving the ball to a bad free-throw shooter like Omer Asik with the season on the line Thursday wasn't the only fatal mistake made by the Chicago Bulls in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Philadelphia 76ers.

After Asik missed his two free throws, Andre Iguodala grabbed the rebound and dribbled the length of the court before being fouled by Asik. He hit two free throws with two seconds left to seal the 79-78 win and 4-2 series clincher.

The reason Iguodala had an uncontested drive was because the Bulls' guards -- C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer -- were out of position and Luol Deng didn't stick with his man, Iguodala, after the free throw.

"That's inexcusable," ESPN analyst and former NBA head coach Hubie Brown said Friday. "You always tell your guys when you're on the foul line, look, you're matching up now. If we shoot and miss, you're matched up with the guy next to you.

"The two guys who should have been back were the two guards, however they set up on the foul line area. Everybody matches up and you play the ball. So when Iguodala went and got the rebound, I was shocked that Deng was nowhere in the picture near him."

And Brown was shocked no one picked up Iguodala as he crossed midcourt.

"Anytime during a game when you have a dribbler coming to the top of the circle, you stop the ball by making the ball change direction," Brown said. "You know how many seconds are left because you just had that pause while the guy attempted two foul shots to communicate with one another, a) on the match-ups, b) where you were picking up. Because you could never assume that he was going to make two fouls shots in that situation."

Bulls color analyst Stacey King said stopping a player like Iguodala was a tough task for Asik.

"You've got a free throw shooter that's under 50 percent so you have to play the odds that he's going to miss, although you hope he doesn't," King said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "But two guys have got to get back. The guards for the Bulls had to get back on that play.

"And the way Philadelphia was setting it up, they were setting it up so they could get a long pass in case they got the rebound. Because neither team had a timeout. It was a bang-bang play, and they didn't get floor balance back defensively. And on one stopped the ball. They left that to Asik, and that's a tough matchup for a 7-footer, to guard that type of player in Iguodala. But it was just one of those things, a couple of late-game mental lapses down the stretch that hurt them."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jimmy Butler
PTS AST STL MIN
21.9 3.3 1.6 39.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.7
AssistsD. Rose 5.1
StealsJ. Butler 1.6
BlocksP. Gasol 2.0