All the effort in the world wouldn’t have helped the Bulls stop the Warriors

SHARE All the effort in the world wouldn’t have helped the Bulls stop the Warriors

Warriors guard Klay Thompson (right) drives to the basket past Bulls forward Jabari Parker during the first half Monday night. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

If you watched Warriors guard Klay Thompson demolish the Bulls on Monday and felt no sympathy, empathy or pity for the poor saps trying to stop him, an FBI profiler would like to have a talk with you. You have no soul.

Thompson had 22 points in the first quarter, 36 by halftime and 52 when he left the game for good with about four minutes left in the third quarter. He had just broken the NBA record for three-pointers in a game, making his 14th of the night to break the mark held by teammate Stephen Curry.

The result was a 149-124 blowout and possibly years of counseling for Chicago defenders. There was nothing the young, injured Bulls could have done about any of it, short of slugging somebody. And what a bad look that would have been, like a pitcher giving up back-to-back home runs and then beaning the next batter.

The Bulls started Zach LaVine, Justin Holiday, Cameron Payne and two rookies, Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison.

The Warriors did not.

‘‘It’s pretty simple: We got our ass kicked, and that’s the bottom line,’’ Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said afterward. ‘‘We have to learn from this. We have to get better.’’

Hoiberg talked about a lack of edge and effort and . . . am I missing something here? The Warriors started Thompson, Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Damian Jones.

The Bulls did not.

What we had here was the Warriors against a G League team.

No amount of effort would have changed that calculus. It’s why the Bulls were down by 42 points at the half.

There were either a lot of Warriors fans in attendance at the United Center or a lot of Bulls fans who wanted to see Curry’s three-point record broken. There was a huge roar when Thompson made his 14th three of the night. Apparently, you’re going to have to work to find your happiness if you follow the Bulls.

Thompson entered the game shooting 39.6 percent from the field and 13.9 percent on three-pointers. That was supposed to be the Bulls’ one hope. Then he made his first four shots, including three three-pointers. He had 10 threes by halftime. The record was in sight, and his teammates started feeding him more.

‘‘I wanted it so badly at that point,’’ he said.

Until the real players return, get used to this, Bulls fans.

You’ve probably heard of the next-man-up philosophy in sports. An athlete gets injured, and it’s incumbent on his replacement to pick up the load and trudge forward gamely.


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You might not be familiar with the Bulls’ next-man-down approach. Lauri Markkanen hurts his shoulder, leading a sympathetic Kris Dunn to sprain the medial collateral ligament in his knee, pushing Bobby Portis to sprain his MCL as a show of solidarity.

Who’s next? What’s next? LaVine and an unfortunate encounter with a parrot? Robin Lopez and psoriasis? Rule out nothing, my friends.

Before the season, some of us had circled the game against the Warriors as a nice way to see where the Bulls were in their rebuild. Instead, lengthy absences for Markkanen, Dunn and Portis meant the Bulls were thrown to the Warriors.

Nobody else got hurt, but there was pain anyway.

The best offense in the world against an injured team with one of the NBA’s worst defenses. Now we know what ants feel like when they see a shoe overhead.

The Warriors did whatever they wanted whenever they wanted. Durant blew past Jabari Parker in the second quarter, got fouled by Cristiano Felicio and converted a three-point play. Curry did whatever he wanted. It was like that all night.

Warriors sub Alfonzo McKinnie played at Curie and Marshall high schools, Eastern Illinois and Wisconsin-Green Bay and various minor-league and foreign teams. Never heard of him? He finished with 19 points.

That’s how it went.

It was fun to listen to Warriors coach Steve Kerr trying to pretend before the game that there was reason to worry.

‘‘Games like this, you have to be careful coming into,’’ he said. ‘‘When a team is that decimated by injuries, it’s the last game on the trip, our guys are looking forward to getting home — you can’t look past a team. It’s more about focusing on yourself, on your own team.

‘‘We know we have a big talent advantage, so if we don’t focus on what we do and we make a lot of mistakes, then we give up that advantage.’’

The whole idea this season was for Markkanen, Dunn and LaVine to play together and jell. It didn’t happen much last season, so here was the chance to see some growth. So far, all they’ve bonded over are rehab schedules and orthopedic braces.

A rebuilding team missing several walls. Oh, and the Warriors in town.

No, life isn’t fair.

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