COMMENTARY | The Chicago Bulls were fresh off another big win over the New York Knicks when they welcomed the Phoenix Suns to the United Center Saturday night. The two trends I thought played into the Bulls’ favor was they had a huge road win the night before and the Suns were just 2-17 on the road coming into this match-up. That being said, I figured the Bulls would play the kind of game that would give the home fans something to cheer about. Unfortunately, this assessment was way off the mark, as the Suns defeated the Bulls 97-81. With the win, the Suns snapped a five-game losing steak, along with a 12-game road skid in the process.
Every loss is disappointing, but this one was difficult to digest. The Suns beat the Bulls in just about every statistical category. They out shot the Bulls 49 to 36 percent from the field, enjoyed a 46-42 edge on the glass and they even recorded more assists than the Bulls (23 to 18). If you have been watching this team during the course of the season, you will agree they have not played too well on their home court. The Bulls are currently 20-15, which is understandable once you factor in the absence of Derrick Rose, along with various injuries to Rip Hamilton and Kirk Hinirch. What is surprising is 10 of their 15 defeats have come on their home floor. This includes losses to inferior teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats and now the Suns.
Joakim Noah had this to say about the team’s lack of effort at the United Center: “We’re 10-10 at home. That’s not very good, that’s very average. There’s obviously a problem if we’re going on the road, beating some of the best teams and coming home against the lower-echelon teams and not even competing. So we have to fix that, and it’s definitely something that I think we can solve, but it’s going to take a lot of work.” Head coach Tom Thibodeau took the blame for his team’s poor play at home, stating that the team has to play better and that he has to take a hard look at everything.
Final Word: While the Bulls have solid roads wins against the Knicks and the Miami Heat, they must find a way to turn around their misfortunes at home. Chicago will have an opportunity to right the ship when they host the Atlanta Hawks on December 14. The Bulls fell to the Hawks 92-75 when the teams met last month.
James Tillman III is a resident of the Chicago-land area, who has followed the Bulls and the NBA since the 1987-1988 season. James is a Sports Journalist for Sports Rantz Magazine and a former Featured Sports Contributor for Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @jtillman9693
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“Thibs’ crew falls to 10-10 at UC after perplexing loss to bad team”, Joe Cowley, Chicago