You can expect Bosh to do it to you. You can expect Calderon to do it to you. You can even expect Bargnani to do it to you. But when Jamario Moon comes out and puts down 15 points, 9 boards, 6 blocks and 3 steals on your team, you officially have problems. This isn’t to take away anything from Moon, who has been a complete diamond in the rough since arriving from the wastelands of basketball. Moon has primarily done what he has been brought here to do, bring energy and rebound the ball. But when he is having his way with your team, making himself look like a savvy NBA veteran, you seriously have to wonder what is going on with your team.
Let’s not sum this up to the Bulls being bad though, they had all kinds of problems matching up with Moon. They couldn’t handle his energy on the boards, which you can sort of expect at the end of a long road trip. Luol Deng had a good night, but Moon also did well switching and rotating through screens, picking up his new man and closing down quickly.
This game showed what I was talking about with Calderon. If you give him those kind of minutes (in the 40+ range), he is going to get his assists. He has a good command of the floor and sees where lanes are going to pop open. But today, when he was getting himself set and using his legs to elevate through open jumpers, he started to make those shots. Once again, people will talk about the numbers in the double-double (19 and 14), but you have to love the 1 in the turnover column. That could be a number even more important than the other two. I’ll just sit back and wait for the TJ/Jose conversations to start again! Lol…before you comment, you know I love them both, okay? Jeez. How about running them on the court at the same time? It has been done before…
There hasn’t been a lot of talk about it, but you have to be impressed with the Raptors from the free throw line. We’ve been saying it forever, that getting to the line is one thing, hitting free throws is another. I still don’t think the Raptors get to the line nearly enough (especially considering how well they shoot from there), but you have to enjoy the fact that when they get to the line, they’re lethal. That is how you close out games. If you can put points on the board without the clock moving, while also putting other players in foul trouble, you are going to make the game that much easier.
Back to the Bulls for a minute. Kirk Hinrich said, “There’s no fun in moral victories…I feel like we played better but we lost the game and we struggled down the stretch again.”. Kirk, dude, buddy. You felt like your team played better? Better than what? Better than that embarrassing loss to the Knicks? You shot 38% from the floor, 60% from the line, were outrebounded by THE RAPTORS, turned the ball over 12 times and scored 78 points. That’s an improvement? Hey boss, I’m all about trying to find the positives, but at some point, you have to say that you are letting yourselves down and that you have to figure out what it takes to win, including having some balls to admit that right now, you just don’t know how to win. You’re good at finding all kinds of ways to lose, but you don’t know how to win.