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Feeble showing rankles Skiles
The Bulls played the kind of game Monday night that gets a coach fired and the best players traded.
Oh, that's right, the Bulls did that already.
Anyone have any other ideas?
Don't be fooled by the 92-80 loss to the Utah Jazz at the United Center, which dropped the Bulls to 7-19 with their second straight home loss and sent the early-fleeing crowd home with a mixture of regret and boos for spending so much money for so little effort.
It was worse than that.
The Jazz, playing its sixth road game in nine days and second of a back-to-back, dominated the game against a Bulls team that had played once in the last four days.
Sure, the Bulls again were without Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler, but they allowed the Jazz to carry the play in virtually every phase. The Jazz (15-13) shot 49.3 percent to 34.2 percent for the Bulls, outrebounded the Bulls 49-34 and had 16 assists to the Bulls' 14.
Andrei Kirilenko, with 26 points and 16 rebounds, moved inside as if he had a free pass to the basket. DeShawn Stevenson added 18 points for Utah.
Kendall Gill led the Bulls with 13 points, and Jerome Williams had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Predictably enough, Bulls coach Scott Skiles, who blistered the team at halftime, wasn't pleased with anything he saw.
"I'm struggling to understand the last two efforts," he said. "Maybe a certain amount of frustration has set in because we played hard and weren't able to get wins. The last two we haven't shown up for long enough stretches to get wins. We're searching right now to put a unit out there that will [play hard]."
The one that started the game clearly didn't, as the Bulls took an 8-4 lead and then were outscored 23-4. The Bulls fell behind by 20 early in the third quarter. They closed to seven points with about five minutes left, but then fell back again.
It was clear that Skiles was sick Mondayof the Bulls' second straight miserable effort. Just three weeks after Skiles' first game, the Bulls appeared to be reverting to familiar habits of lazy play and lack of interest.
Skiles tried to stop that immediately Monday with a timeout 66 seconds into the game and the Bulls trailing 2-0. He then took out starting shooting guard Jamal Crawford with less than four minutes gone in the first quarter and did not play him the rest of the half.
"I was in the wrong spot on offense," Crawford said. "He said his patience was wearing thin. I was in the wrong spot and he pulled me out.
"I respect coach. He's only doing what is best for the team. He was pretty upset [at halftime]. We're a good team when we play hard."
Said Skiles: "I was very frustrated. I told the guys my patience was wearing a little bit thin on our lack of execution and knowing our handful of simple plays. We blew a couple early. We had a timeout play. We went out and didn't execute again, so I started taking the guys out who I felt like didn't know what we were doing. That led to a poor first half.
"There are things we've gone over in three weeks they need to do better."
Skiles had expressed disappointment after Saturday's loss to Cleveland, and in a curious lack of effort and attention Monday.
But it was the Bulls' backs they were looking at as the Jazz constantly beat the Bulls on back-door layups and runouts to lead 27-14 after one quarter and 52-35 at halftime. The Jazz shot 57.1 percent in the half to 34.3 percent for the Bulls, outrebounded the Bulls by 10 and doubled them in assists in one of the Bulls' poorest efforts in years.