It's probably a good thing that I'm writing this a day after the game, and not right after, as it's already probably going to be the most profane post ever. If I had wrote it last night, it might have been nothing but swear words.
Quick disclaimer before I rip into Thibodeau here, what I'm about to write has exactly nothing to do with Derrick's injury. Well, not nothing, since if Derrick was around to bail the Bulls out, we wouldn't be here right now. But I would feel the same way as I do now about TT if Derrick got hurt in the 1st quarter of game 1, or was just missing one game.
Heart. Toughness. Defense. Depth. These are all the things that were supposed to be strengths of the team, that were going to get the Bulls to the 2nd round despite the lack of a superstar. Instead we saw the opposite of those things on display last night. And TT stood by gaping while it was happening. And not just the 3rd quarter. It seemed like he was checked out all night.
But lets talk about that 3rd quarter, where the Bulls took an 8 point lead the Bench Mob gave them with defense and hustle (with an assist from Joakim's sudden offensive prowess) and turned it into a 14 point deficit. It was a 7 point deficit by the time TT sprung into action and decided to make a substitution with 4 minutes left, putting in Taj and Turkish. Apparently he needed Boozer to do more of this first:
8:14 Carlos Boozer 3 second
7:54 Carlos Boozer shooting foul
6:41 Carlos Boozer bad pass (Spencer Hawes steal)
6:39 Carlos Boozer personal foul
5:31 Carlos Boozer misses 19 foot jumper
And the box score doesn't even mention all the times Boozer had a front row seat to a Jrue Holiday layup. One of the things the media loves to give TT credit for is a willingness to hold his big men accountable for poor play. I believe the last time we all slurped TT for it, I qualified it by saying I wanted to see it in the playoffs. Last night he had the chance to make changes in the middle of the third quarter, before things got out of hand. Instead he waited until the Sixers had all the momentum. That was a fucking VDN thing to do.
The other thing about TT that's driving me crazy?
So you can sit Boozer and Noah when they're having bad games, and Rip pretty much all the time because you think he's Keith Bogans for some reason, and even Derrick towards the end of the season, but there are times when Deng is actively hurting us, yet stays on the court. If you don't want to play JFB for whatever reason (despite the fact that maybe he could have shut down Evan Turner, and brought energy to the offense, but whatever), then at least play Korver and Rip together, or the Korver/TBN combo, but Deng didn't help on either side of the ball last night, and needed to sit a lot fucking earlier than he did. Hold all your players accountable, TT.
See above. Great first shift in, kind of crappy 2nd shift, and then he clearly came out from halftime ready to take fadeaway jumpers and play no defense. We won't even get out of the first round if Boozer doesn't step up on offense.
CJ Watson- 8%
No one's asking you to replicate Derrick's offense, but it would be nice if you could not make Jrue Holiday look like the second coming of, well, Derrick. I know he'll never replicate those shooting numbers again this series, but that out of control. If the shots not falling, you can at least play decent defense. Otherwise, I want to see some Mike James action, TT (or is that too crazy for you?)
I know it's not your fault you're on the Bogans plan, and you played pretty well in the first quarter, but everyone who was on the floor for that 3rd quarter (except Noah) needs a little blame.
Again, for some reason Korver wasn't really part of the offense last night, which isn't totally his fault, but he needs to find a way to get more than 4 shots off in 24 minutes.
Joakim- A lot is being made today about how Holiday and Evan Turner's numbers last night were flukey, and unlikely to be replicated, but let's be honest, Joakim isn't shooting 10-11 again in this series, either.
JL3- Wasn't great in the 4th, but no one was, and we're going to need some instant offense in this series, so hopefully he keeps that up.
Fix this shit now, TT. The wheels are falling off.