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Bulls Choke in Crunch Time

To the Knicks? Seriously.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Tyson Chandler #6 of the New York Knicks and Richard Hamilton #32 of the Chicago Bulls compete for a loose ball at Madison Square Garden on April 8, 2012 in New York City.

    After a game like Sunday, we need to create a new word: Blowvertime. It's when your team bungles its way into overtime and blows it. Sunday, the Bulls pulled a classic blowvertime maneuver.

    Down 21, the Bulls somehow fought their way back. They had a 10 point lead with 3:45 left.  Championship teams clamp down on their opponents in situations like that. They milk the clock. They get offensive rebounds. They make the other team panic.

    But Rose and Deng missed two free throws each. Each! And Carmelo Anthony said, "Look, if you don't want this game, I'll take it." He did.

    Blowvertime.

    Here's the real question: Why did the Bulls lean so heavily on Derrick Rose? The guy came back after 12 games out. He's not going to be himself. It takes a while to get his touch.

    Sure, Rose scored 29 points, but he played 39 minutes. And he was a godawful 8-for-26 from the field. The man who hasn't played in 12 games shot ten more times than the next closest Bull.

    Really?

    Let's flashback to last year's playoffs. The plan was: Chuck it to Rose and get out of his way.

    You can't win a playoff series like that.

    You win as a team. You lose as a team. And one awesome way to lose as a team is by trying to run on one blown-out leg.

    So far, it's just a one-game thing. Hopefully, Thibs realizes that Rose will take a while to shake off the rust. Hopefully, the rest of the Bulls realize they can shoot the ball too. One guy should not be taking nearly 30 percent of your team's shots. Especially when that one guy just came back from injury.

    Wise up, Bulls. Play as a team. Share the rock. Give Rose a breather. And learn how to squeeze when you have your opponent where you want them.

    Or get ready for an early summer vacation.