Game 4 loss for Bulls was more than Rose’s blunders


Derrick Rose’s gaffe-filled finish in Game 4 against the Milwaukee Bucks will steal the headlines, but the Bulls had no business winning the game anyway.

The most turnovers that the Chicago Bulls had in a single game this season was 20 against the Boston Celtics on Jan. 3. Believe it or not, the Bulls actually won the game in overtime, 109-104.

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Things were a little different on Saturday night in Game 4 of the Bulls’ first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Even with a chance to win the game late with the game tied, the Bulls turned the ball over 26(?!) times and lost at the buzzer, 92-90. Bucks head coach Jason Kidd designed a stellar play during the final possession and Jerryd Bayless beat Derrick Rose to the basket for a game-winning layup.

Rose’s defensive slip-up was just the culmination of a finish that he would like to forget. With the game tied at 90 in the final seconds, Rose went into a late-game isolation play, tried to get into the lane for a shot and turned the ball over with 01.3 left in the contest.

"“I put that all on me. I just wasn’t paying attention to it. Great call from J-Kidd. But if anything, it’s a learning experience,” Rose said. “Knowing we could’ve forced overtime. I messed things up.”-Derrick Rose on the Game 4 finish,"

The 26 Bulls turnovers resulted 39(!) points for the Bucks. In the last 25 years, only two other teams turned the ball over in a playoff game more than the Bulls did on Saturday night.

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On top of Rose’s mistakes in the final minute, the Bulls lacked that edge that was seen in the first two games of the series.

Instead of playing to close out the Bucks and get over a week of rest before the second round, the Bulls played on their heels all night and were extremely sloppy with the ball from the opening tip.

The turnovers were just the “low”light of the night. If you add in Joakim Noah‘s four-point performance with a -23 in the plus-minus, Pau Gasol‘s lack of touches in the first half and no production from Aaron Brooks and Taj Gibson off the bench, the Bulls should have lost by 20 on Saturday.

(If the Bulls weren’t playing a young, inexperienced Bucks team, they probably would’ve lost by 20.)

The lone bright spot for the Bulls was Jimmy Butler.

Butler’s Most Improved Player campaign continued in a big way with a playoff-high 33 points on 12-of-17 shooting, seven rebounds and three steals. In the four games against the Bucks, Butler has scored no less than 25 points and has shown he can carry the load when the Bulls need him.

Sure, it’s just one game, but the concern for the Bulls moving forward is there.

Milwaukee did have the fourth-best defensive rating per 100 possessions in the NBA this season (103.49), but the Bulls haven’t been as dominant in the series as they were in Game 1.

They’ve been sloppy with the ball through the first four games and cannot afford these kinds of offensive drop-offs potentially in the next round and beyond.

Game 5 for the Bulls should be about four things: Staying healthy, taking care of the basketball. getting offensive production as a team and finishing off the Bucks on Monday.

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Next: Jay Cutler to speak with reporters on Tuesday