Tom Thibodeau takes blame for Bulls' poor play

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Tom Thibodeau takes blame for Bulls' poor play

Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau stepped to the forefront of the Bulls' 120-97 loss to the Houston Rockets.

They completely outplayed us from the start, Thibodeau said. My job is to have them ready. Obviously, we were not ready. That part is on me. Having them ready and playing hard, I have to have them ready. In the last three games, they have put up 120 points. Obviously, we did not understand and I did not do enough of a job delivering the message of what we were going to have to do to be successful.

As honorable as him taking the blame for his team falling behind as many as 35 during the game, the truth is the Bulls have struggled to play with the edge they showcased during the first three quarters in last Fridays win over the New York Knicks.

You can look at the fourth quarter of that game in which they allowed the Knicks to score 45 points, erasing a 24-point lead as the start of the Bulls poor play during the last two games, which have been of blow out fashion.

The Rockets outraced them in the open court, outscoring them 31-8 in fast break points, demolished them 62-32 in points in the paint and outrebounded them 45-31.

The Bulls typically have responded well after losses in the Thibodeau era and this is the first time theyve lost back-to-back games by double digits during his tenure.

Things can change very quickly in this league, Thibodeau warned. If youre not right and dont have an edge, youre not going to win without the right amount of intensity.

The Bulls roster consists of prideful players and the last thing they were willing to accept was their coach putting the onus on himself because of their effort.

Its on us. It has nothing to do with coach, Nate Robinson said. Coach does a great job in preparing us and getting us ready for the game. Thats all on us. Were not going to let him take the blame on that. Thats on us, we have to do better tomorrow and we will.

The beauty of the NBA schedule is that they will get their chance to correct the issues that have plagued them during this stretch Wednesday in Indiana.

Cubs down to only one All-Star starter in voting update

Cubs down to only one All-Star starter in voting update

The Cubs are down to only one starter in next month's All-Star Game in Miami: reigning MVP Kris Bryant.

Jason Heyward lost his grip on the final starting outfielder spot to Marlins star Marcell Ozuna in the latest All-Star balloting update released by the MLB:

That may be for the best, as the Cubs are currently banged up (Heyward. Ben Zobrist and Kyle Hendricks are on the disabled list) and slogging through a season where they've hovered around .500. So maybe four days off in a row would be beneficial for the defending champs.

Heyward is 29,270 votes behind Ozuna and Zobrist is 118,248 votes behind Heyward. It appears as if Washington's Bryce Harper and Colorado's Charlie Blackmon are sure things for the top two outfielder spots in the NL.

Bryant is only 58,082 votes ahead of Nolan Arenado at third base. Anthony Rizzo trails Ryan Zimmerman at first base, Javy Baez comes in well behind Daniel Murphy at second base and Buster Posey has more than twice as many votes as runner-up Willson Contreras at catcher.

Addison Russell is third among shortstops. Kyle Schwarber — despite being demoted to the minors last week — is eighth among NL outfielders.

It's a far cry from 2016, when the Cubs made up all four infield spots in the NL starting lineup.

Voting ends in four days. Fans can head to MLB.com to vote.

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Major League Baseball released the latest American League All-Star voting update Monday and Avisail Garcia has jumped back into fifth place among outfielders.

The White Sox right fielder jumped past Boston's Mookie Betts since the last returns were announced on June 13.

Since then Garcia has slashed .319/.447/.819 with a homer, 5 RBIs and three doubles in 12 games.

Aaron Judge, Mike Trout and George Springer remain the top vote-getters in the outfield, though Trout won't play in the Midsumemr Classic because of a thumb injury.

On the year Garcia is batting .331 with a .904 OPS, 11 homers and 51 RBIs; the RBIs are the same number Garcia had all of last year.

Garcia is the only White sox player among the top AL vote-getters at any position.

Voting ends June 30.