The Chicago Bulls‘ defense on Wednesday was an outrage, and it just about pushed one fan and blogger over the edge.
See Red Fred has become a popular voice on Twitter for Bulls fans. His followers saw him breaking down some tape of the team’s horrendous defense after Wednesday night’s 124-104 loss, and SRF didn’t hold back before the grade-school errors forced him to end the transmission.
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Zach LaVine Catches SRF’s Wrath
Early on, Zach LaVine seemed determined to take on the responsibility of guarding the Hawks’ best player, which is obviously All-Star point guard Trae Young.
Let’s just say, that didn’t go well.
Young got off to a fast start thanks to faulty defense from LaVine and wound up with 35 points on only two missed shots from the field.
LaVine wasn’t defending Young intelligently on the pick-and-roll and picked up two quick fouls. He had to go to the bench earlier than planned and he was switched off Young when he returned.
The sequence below shows Lauri Markkanen exhibiting the sort of poor on-ball defense we’ve come to expect from him, but LaVine’s issues on that end of the floor were even more reprehensible on this play.
He never gets his head around to find the ball on defense and this is proof he’s likely never been forced to adhere to some basic defensive principles.
Watch and listen to SRF:
LaVine’s issue here isn’t about effort, it’s a poor technique, but rather inexcusable at the highest level of basketball
Will Perdue Calls Out LaVine’s Hoops IQ
I’m not the only one calling LaVine’s defensive awareness into question.
Former Bull and NBC Sports in-studio analyst Will Perdue also cited this during his post-game wrap-up with another former Bull Kendall Gill and Jason Goff, and he also mentioned a lack of leadership on the floor.
You mentioned Zach. We were talking to him throughout the game. This is what I’ve wondered. I don’t question his effort. This dude works his ass off. We know that. We’ve seen the videos of him in the offseason. He works hard. What you also have to do is spend that time in the film room. I’m not saying he doesn’t, but a lot of this stuff tonight, if you’re truly prepared, you see that watching film. You kind of know what a person’s traits are, you know what they try to do. The Bulls can’t afford for Zach to pick up silly fouls like that.
Here is a look at the segment here:
LaVine did discuss his defense…a little after the game. I’m not sure this was the picture of accountability, but I suppose it’s a start.
I got in early foul trouble and it made me switch off him a little bit. Obviously, Trae’s a great player and we’re going to be playing against a lot of tough guys and I want to take that assignment. I think I have the ability to do that, and I’ll continue to get better at it. But it’s a team game. We’ve got to do better overall. Trae killed us. I feel like the whole team killed us the way it was looking. It looked like we were just taking the ball out the basket, so we’ve got to do better collectively.
As the best player on the roster and the guy stepping up to take on the best player on the opposing team, I’d like to hear LaVine accept all of the responsibility for the Bulls’ failure to create any sort of impediment for Young to overcome on Wednesday.
It’s just the first game of the season, but to say things need to get better is the biggest understatement of the year.
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