CSN's Vincent Goodwill and Chuck Garfien discuss the Bulls' three-game losing streak, Joakim Noah's shoulder injury and what lies in the coming week in the Bulls Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana Honda dealers.
It's been a week to forget for the Bulls. From Jimmy Butler calling out head coach Fred Hoiberg for his lack of toughness to three-straight losses, including an embarrassing home loss to the lowly Brooklyn Nets, the 2015-16 season has entered a downward spiral that the Bulls can't seem to find their way out of.
"Clearly, there's some real issues going on," CSNChicago.com Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill said. "This team does not have an identity. They don't have any one thing or one player they can lean on, basically aside from a guy like Jimmy Butler in terms of performance."
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To make matters worse, Joakim Noah left Monday's game with a shoulder injury.
Goodwill discussed what it would mean for Chicago if Noah were to miss an extended period of time.
"It's going to free up time for Bobby Portis who has obviously stepped forward already and was campaigning for more playing time," Goodwill said. "You have Nikola Mirotic who's struggling, Doug McDermott couldn't really hit a shot tonight ... This is going to be a dangerous time right now."
See what else Goodwill and Garfien had to say in the video above in this week's Honda Road Ahead.
The Bulls couldn't have known it at the time, but when LeBron James blocked a Derrick Rose 3-point attempt in the final seconds of Game 5 in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, it was the closest those Bulls would ever get to the promised land.
It happened on May 26, 2011, seven long, long, long years ago today.
The game was an ugly one and certainly a fourth quarter the Bulls would love to have back. They took a 12-point lead on a Ronnie Brewer 3-pointer with 3:53 remaining. The Heat closed the game on a 19-4 run, with James' emphatic block on Rose the lasting image of the series.
James finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds, and added six assists, three steals and two blocks in 46 minutes.
Rose went just 9-for-29, finishing the series shooting 35 percent from the field after being named league MVP over James.
It's probably unfair to say James and James alone shut the Bulls' championship window. Rose's ACL tear the following postseason realistically was the biggest culprit. But these Bulls had won 62 games, had homecourt advantage, had the MVP, the Coach of the Year and all the momentum. And still they couldn't get it done against James.
That win also sent James to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007. He's been there every year since, though that could change as he faces the Celtics on Sunday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.
Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.
"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"
Paxson scored 10 of 12 points for the Bulls during a fourth quarter run in Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals, the series clincher, and famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch that series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.
"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"
Watch the video above to see the interaction.
Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.