Bulls Fall to Cleveland in Champaign 86-83
By Jeff Bossert
Chicago Bulls Coach Tim Thibodeau says his team simply dug a hole it couldn’t recover from.
They fell to 1-and-1 in exhibition play with an 86-83 loss to Cleveland at Assembly Hall in Champaign Friday night.
After trailing by 21 points at the half, the Bulls went on a 14-0 run to pull within two. But Thibodeau says his team essentially beat themselves with its lack of preparedness.
“We competed in the third quarter, and the thing is, you've got to do that for 48 minutes in this league," he said. "So we can’t pick and choose when we’re going to compete and execute, and the things that we’re supposed to do. So we’ve got a long way to go.”
Thibodeau says his team gave his opponents confidence by allowing his team to shoot 60-percent in the first quarter, and saw early signs of this in practice Thursday.
"We practiced very poorly yesterday," he said. "We have to change it. We have to correct it."
Kirk Hinrich, who led the Bulls with 14 points, echoed those comments. "You just can't do it in spurts in this league," he said. "It's definitely a disappointing effort, and we've got to do better tomorrow."
The Bulls made another run with minutes remaining, but Jimmy Butler’s 3-point attempt to tie it fell short at the buzzer. Dion Waiters led the Cavaliers with 18 points.
Chicago played without star point guard Derrick Rose, who's recovering from surgery on his torn ACL during the 2012 playoffs.
It was the Bulls’ first game in Champaign since 2008.