The Chicago Bulls got down early on the road against the Golden State Warriors, never quite recovered and eventually lost 99-91 on Monday night. Derrick Rose had a particularly difficult night, finishing with 13 points on 4-17 shooting, while Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis had great nights, finishing with 21 and 26 points, respectively. After the game, Sam Smith of Bulls.com spoke with the team about what went wrong. The team remained focused on improving the defense rather than dwelling on the offensive problems:
Joakim Noah - We're not going to get to where we want to get to playing defense like that. We have to improve. It's frustrating. Our defense was just bad.
Derrick Rose - Defense, defense, defense. We always say we can live with missed shots. Of course, I missed a lot of bunnies tonight. Open shots I normally hit along with other people on the team. But we can always fix it. We know that without us playing defense, it was going to be a hard game, especially with the scorers they have on their team.
Tom Thibodeau - They're hard to guard normally. You put them into the open floor and they're coming at you with a live ball. And then we're not protecting the basket. You give a team like that easy baskets their confidence goes way up and they are not easy to stop after that. We can't play like that. We have to play defense, rebound and we‘ve got to take care of the ball. They're jumping out on pick and rolls and we're not protecting the ball and that's what happens.
It's early in the season, but the team is staying on point with the defensive message in response to their first bit of adversity in 2011-12. With the compressed schedule it will be interesting to see if the team can keep up their signature defensive intensity every night.
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