The game between the Sacramento Kings and the Chicago Bulls will be remembered for two incidents – Derrick Williams messing up a dunk with only the backboard to get in his way and Joakim Noah going off on the officials after being ejected from the game.
The officiating in the NBA can be awful at times, and Noah had his reasons to feel frustrated. He was T’d up for the first time after being fouled by Jason Thompson with nothing called for it. He was awarded with a second technical after getting called for a foul that never was while boxing out DeMarcus Cousins. He didn’t remain silent, got his second technical foul and went off on the referees, which pretty much ended any chance of the Bulls coming back from a game that went bad from them right from the start.
On the other end, the Kings were quite happy to see DeMarcus Cousins scoring 25 points with 16 rebounds, playing for the first time after missing six games. It was a very good game for Isaiah Thomas scoring 19 points, Rudy Gay adding 14 and even Jimmer Ferdette getting his chance to shine in garbage time with 11 points on a perfect 5-of-5 from the field, but Noah stole the night with his profanity filled tirade aimed at the officials.
It’s hard to say if the Kings played great defense or was it the Bulls simply putting on a horrendous offensive display, but the bottom line was Chicago shooting an embarrassing 28.2% from the field and 20% from beyond the arc. They didn’t lose point guards Kirk Hinrich or D.J. Augustin, but this team is at its best when Noah is on the floor, and without their best player any chance of putting on a semi-impressive performance was completely gone.
Williams is the kind of player who should thrive in garbage times games like these, but had only 5 points in 24 minutes, with 9 rebounds probably not making him feel any better about messing up his chance to make it into the highlight films. On a breakaway with no one actually chasing him, Williams went for the extravagant by ignoring the easy 2 and going for the dunk off the backboard. He set himself up but couldn’t control the bouncing ball, leading to an awkward moment for him.
The Kings aren’t going anywhere, even with a healthy Cousins who continues to show every game that he just might be the best offensive big man in the NBA. The team, with this personnel, can’t succeed. There’s talent, but not enough team and too much individuality. For the Bulls, no result this season is actually a surprise. They’ve shown they can overcome a lot, but losing their best player for a foolish reason of not being able to control his temper is something they can’t overcome.
Losses like this are going to happen, but Noah not keeping a calmer head in similar situations might eventually cost the Bulls a playoff spot that at the current pace they still should be able to reach, quite surprising considering everything that’s happened this season.