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News » How low can it go?


How low can it go?


How low can it go?Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for the Bulls , guess what?

It got worse.

Struggling at both ends of the court -- and struggling to make the simplest of plays -- the Bulls suffered another blowout defeat, this one a 118-83 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.

The 35-point margin of defeat is the worst of the season.

''I don't really know what to do," point guard Derrick Rose said. "It's all mental. Either you want it or don't. It's not about what plays we run or nothing. It's about hustle. If want it, defend people and rebound. It's all mental now."

Rose was asked if the Bulls players did want it.

''I guess so,'' he said. ''It speaks for itself. We're just not playing hard, not rebounding the ball as a team and playing our regular game.''

Besides losing for the ninth time in 10 games, the Bulls (7-13) have been blown out in seven of the nine losses.

''It's frustrating, but you have to battle through it,'' Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. ''It's the same old thing, just keep fighting and try to find ways, go [today] and try to have a good practice.

''We have four [games] in five nights, not an easy schedule, but it is what it is. We have to keep guys up and play at a high level."

Rose led the Bulls with 19 points, while rookie James Johnson -- thanks to extended garbage time -- had a season-high 17 points.

Former Bull Jamal Crawford came off the bench to lead the Hawks with 29 points on 10-for-16 shooting.

''Teams know it's going to be a tough game when they come in here,'' Crawford said.

Forget about coming out with the energy and effort to win an NBA road game. The Bulls struggled to simply complete passes and run anything resembling a professional offense.

While their defense left much to be desired, the offense didn't produce enough to give them a chance of winning -- regardless of the defensive effort.

The Bulls actually got off to a decent start and trailed just 22-21 at the end of the first quarter.

But things quickly got out of hand in the second quarter. Trailing 37-31 midway through the quarter, the Bulls went scoreless for 3? minutes as the Hawks ran off 10 straight points for a 47-31 advantage.

The lead was 56-42 at halftime. Then the Hawks opened the second half with nine straight points for a 65-42 edge as the Bulls went scoreless for the first 4? minutes of the third quarter.

A short while later, the Atlanta lead was up to 76-46 and the executives at ESPN had to be fretting the decision to pick up the game.

''We can't score the ball well enough to play catch up like that,'' Del Negro said.

Del Negro tried his best afterward to stay upbeat. ''It's difficult, but you have to keep battling," he said. ''I've been in this league a long time, playing and in a lot of positions. You just have to keep fighting.''

After Tuesday's home loss to the New Jersey Nets, he was asked if he felt his job was in jeopardy. Wednesday he was asked if general manager Gar Forman and vice president John Paxson understood his plight of playing with a roster that wasn't designed to withstand injuries.

''We talk every day. They understand," he said. ''They've been doing this a long time. We have a lot of great pieces on our team and a lot of guys I have confidence in.

''I look at the glass as half full, not half empty. Whether there are injuries are not, you have to go out and play the right way."

THE RECAP

Bulls 21 21 15 26-- 83

Atlanta 22 34 31 31--118

Bulls min fg-a ft-a o-t a pf pts

Deng 32:15 4-9 2-2 2-7 0 2 10

Noah 29:40 0-4 2-4 1-11 3 3 2

Miller 21:49 1-6 2-2 2-4 1 0 4

Rose 32:01 7-18 5-5 1-2 7 0 19

Salmons 36:30 5-9 3-4 0-4 0 2 16

Gibson 18:33 5-8 1-2 3-3 0 6 11

Hinrich 22:06 0-9 0-0 0-2 3 3 0

JaJohnson 19:16 4-7 8-8 0-2 1 3 17

Pargo 12:00 0-4 0-0 0-1 0 1 0

Gray 8:18 2-3 0-0 2-4 0 3 4

LHunter 7:32 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 1 0

Totals 240:00 28-77 23-27 11-40 17 24 83

Percentages: FG .364, FT .852. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (Salmons 3-5, Ja.Johnson 1-1, Deng 0-1, Pargo 0-2, Hinrich 0-3). Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 19 (22 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Ja.Johnson 2, Salmons 2, Noah). Turnovers: 19 (Rose 5, Salmons 4, Hinrich 3, Noah 2, Deng, Gibson, Gray, Miller, Pargo). Steals: 4 (Deng, Gibson, Hinrich, Ja.Johnson). Technical Fouls: None.

Hawks min fg-a ft-a o-t a pf pts

JosSmith 25:24 7-12 4-5 2-7 4 3 18

Williams 24:06 4-10 3-4 1-8 3 2 12

Horford 23:54 4-6 0-0 1-5 4 3 8

Bibby 19:08 1-5 0-0 0-1 2 2 2

JoJohnson 29:23 6-16 0-0 2-5 5 1 12

Crawford 34:26 10-16 5-5 0-1 4 1 29

Evans 23:44 6-8 2-2 0-1 1 2 18

J Smith 8:09 1-3 3-4 3-5 0 2 5

Pachulia 15:14 0-1 1-2 1-4 0 3 1

Teague 21:57 3-7 2-3 0-4 8 3 8

Morris 7:50 1-2 1-1 0-2 0 0 3

Collins 6:46 1-2 0-2 0-0 1 2 2

Totals 240:01 44-88 21-28 10-43 32 24 118

Percentages: FG .500, FT .750. 3-Point Goals: 9-24, .375 (Crawford 4-6, Evans 4-6, Williams 1-4, Teague 0-2, Bibby 0-3, Jo.Johnson 0-3). Team Rebounds: 13. Team Turnovers: 8 (2 PTS). Blocked Shots: 6 (Evans 2, Horford, Pachulia, J. Smith, Teague). Turnovers: 8 (Jo.Johnson 3, Teague 2, Crawford, J. Smith, Williams). Steals: 12 (Bibby 2, Crawford 2, Jo.Johnson 2, Evans, Horford, Pachulia, Jos.Smith, Teague, Williams). Technical Fouls: None.

Officials--Monty McCutchen, Leroy Richardson, Rodney Mott. A--16,808 (18,729). T--2:30.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 11, 2009

 

 
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