With the All-Star break upon them, the Bulls sit at 28-29, alone in seventh place in the East, a game ahead of eighth-place Pistons and two games ahead of the ninth-place Bucks. "That's a bad call".
Replays showed that the contact Smart was whistled for came with 1.0 to 1.2 seconds to play.
"I do because every time we play against the top-tier teams, teams that are competing for something, we do well against them". Stevens was irate at the moment the call was made. "I think he can go from 80 to 100 back down to 40 to 90". And I just couldn't believe it.
To fully understand Smart's frustrations, you have to recognize that Smart is nearly singularly focused on winning games, so having a victory ripped away like that did not sit well with him.
Added Olynyk: "We played a good stretch of basketball those last 12 or 13 games, whatever it was".
Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds in tonight's game against Chicago. Butler, who finished with 29 points on 9-for-20 shooting and seven assists, has transformed himself into one of the game's best players, but Thursday he looked like a true superstar, taking over the game and stepping up when it mattered most.
But Thomas, after getting his shot blocked by Gibson, recovered the rebound and drew a foul on the Bulls forward. When soreness persisted after that game, Bradley and team doctors elected to take a more cautious approach and not rush him back.
Thomas, criticized often for his defensive abilities, changed Wednesday night's Celtics-Sixers matchup with a fine defensive play.
Wade reached double figures in the four games he appeared in on the Bulls' six-game West Coast trip, including a 31-point performance against the Kings when the Bulls watched a comfortable lead disappear, only to have Wade come to the rescue. Butler initiated offense, found open shooters (despite the misses) and finished with nine points of his own in the final period, essentially matching Thomas as best he could.
Bulls: Host the Phoenix Suns next Friday night.
The Bulls also got a surprise performance from youngster Bobby Portis, who poured in 19 points off the bench. You can't just put a rebounder that can't shoot out on the court because it might provide some help on the rebounding end, because it takes away from our strength on the offensive end.