Oddly enough, Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson were the difference in this game. That and four horrible jump shots by Josh Smith.
Now I understand the desire to go crazy over the Joe Johnson show. There was way too much Joe Johnson. Especially when Al Horford was having a perfectly fine game and Joakim Noah had five fouls for what felt like the last 20 minutes of the game. I get that feeling. The Hawks probably could have used some more ball movement and diversity. And despite what Nique says, a fade away two point jump shot with a hand at your chin is not a good shot. I understand all this.
But with all that said, Joe really did have the advantage. Outside a few forced shots (and you are going to have a few when you shoot 32 of them), Joe could have made near every one of those looks. That last missed layup was so good my buddy and I were talking about how he went too soon in the game clock. Joe got his looks. He passed to open shooters. But Bibby missed open shots, Marvin missed open shots. And Josh took open shots.
On the other side of the ball, the Bulls did what we wanted them to do, only they succeeded. Rose, Taj, and Kirk hit jump shot after jump shot. Hats off to them. They deserved to win.
On a night when our defense forced them into jump shots, they hit them. VDN played one on one defense knowing Joe could get his shot and banking on the fact that he would not always hit it. Del Negro was right. And without any real help for Joe, every possession mattered for the Hawks and we wasted too many.
A lot of what ifs were left on the table, but I am going to answer the ones with blame toward the guys that did not score 40 points on 50% shooting.
The Hawks won't win them all. And that includes the ones they should. But anger tonight. Perspective tomorrow. Go Hawks!