Saturday, November 17, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 101, Bulls 80
By Nick Friedell
LOS ANGELES -- Let's take a quick look at how the Los Angeles Clippers cruised to a 101-80 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night at Staples Center.
How it happened: Blake Griffin had 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Clippers beat the Bulls on both ends of the court all night. Jamal Crawford poured in 22 points off the bench while Matt Barnes added 13 points of his own. Carlos Boozer had another solid outing for the Bulls, scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough for Tom Thibodeau's bunch on this night.
What it means: The Bulls got outclassed in this one. Against the elite-level teams in the league, they simply don't have enough talent to pull out wins at this point. Thibodeau's team had several major problems in this one. First and foremost, they got outworked in the post. The Bulls are usually aggressive and take it to teams down low ... but not in this game. Griffin and DeAndre Jordan did what they wanted and changed the complexion of this contest defensively. Secondly, the Bulls' biggest recurring problem beside the fact that their offense is struggling without Derrick Rose is that their second unit is not playing well. It's obvious that this group is still trying to find its rhythm and it's also clear that the group is still trying to earn Thibodeau's trust. They have not performed well yet this season as a group and that trend is only becoming more pronounced.
Hits: On a bad night for the Bulls, Boozer once again played well. What has to make Thibodeau happiest is that Boozer was more aggressive going to the rim. The former Utah Jazz star seems to have a comfort level playing against Western Conference teams.
Misses: Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich combined to go 0-for-11 from the field. They also combined for eight turnovers. Hinrich is still battling a couple of lingering issues, but he hasn't played very well much of the season. Noah appeared to just have an off night given his recent play, missing several point-blank looks at the basket.
Stat of the night: Led by Crawford, the Clippers' bench outscored the Bulls' bench 53-25
What's next: The Bulls are right back at it Sunday night when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers.