No one understands why Kirk Hinrich fouled Monta Ellis at the end of regulation, but it turned out to be one of the things that caused the Chicago Bulls to lose 132-129 at home to the Dallas Mavericks in double overtime, while Derrick Rose hit just one of his three attempts at the end of each closing period to save the game.
His first attempt came at the end of regulation. He managed to get a clean look after shrugging off a defender but his shot was a bit too strong. At the end of the first overtime, with the Bulls down by three points, he shot something of a long-range floater which hit the board and went in to send us into double overtime. At the end of the second one, with the Bulls down by 3-points, his shot didn’t touch anything, giving us an anti-climax air-ball type of shot.
With one minute left in the second overtime, the Bulls took a two point lead after Derrick Rose once again fed a big man, this time Joakim Noah, for the easy two. The problem was Monta Ellis having a scorching game, finishing with 39 points. He hit a huge 3-pointer from five feet behind the 3-point line, before Jimmy Butler had time to set his feet and really get in his face. That gave the Mavericks a one point lead the Bulls couldn’t erase.
Dirk Nowitzki called Hinrich’s fouled at the end of the game the stupidest thing he has ever seen since entering the NBA. He might be exaggerating, but it’s still hard to understand what Hinrich was thinking when trying to block a tough 3-pointer, knowing very well how these things can turn out. A rookie mistake from a player in his 12th NBA season. That was the only foul Hinrich had in the game, allowing Ellis to send the game into overtime with three accurate free throws, in what was overall a good game for the Bulls guard.
For more than anyone, it was a rough night for Derrick Rose. He tried taking the game on his shoulders and failed, finishing with just 6-of-20 from the field and turning the ball over seven times. He did score 18 points and add 10 assists but as we’ve mentioned a few times this season already, the Bulls are at their best when Rose doesn’t try to play like the MVP he was in 2011. They have enough offensive weapons for him to make use of playing more like a pass-first kind of point guard. That attitude gave them the lead late in the second overtime, squandered by a huge Ellis 3-pointer.
Besides Ellis, there was Dirk Nowitzki with 22 points, Chandler Parsons with 24 and Devin Harris, steaming off the bench with 20 points, going 6-for-6 from beyond the arc. The famous Bulls defense found it difficult to slow down the best offensive team in the NBA, winning each and everyone of their games when they make it to 100 points. It usually happens against far more weaker opponents, but it’s been kind of a one-sided affair between the East and West this season.
The Bulls got a good game from the rest of their starters, at least on offense. Pau Gasol scored 29 points to go with 14 rebounds, Mike Dunleavy scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler finished with 23 points but kinda blew it from the line, hitting only 5-of-9 shots. But two players have this loss to carry as something of a burden, at least for 24 hours: Hinrich, for making a rookie mistake and snatching the win away from his teammates, and Rose, for playing irresponsibly, shooting way too much and being careless with the ball.