Thibs Reunion Doesn't Bode Well for Bulls
The battle between two of the least talked about teams in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves was a great one. Filled with reunions, young studs, and ejections, this game had it all and then some. It was the type of game the Bulls needed to win; it was at home and it was against a young team. For the T’Wolves it was a game that would be nice to win; on the road and against some talented superstars. Games earlier than the All-Star break between two teams fighting to make the playoffs can seem worthless sometimes. That is if you overlook the small things. Tom Thibodeau was making his return to the Bulls as coach, this time as a member of the T’Wolves, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Zach LaVine showed why they are the best young trio in the NBA, and Jimmy Butler continued to prove he is one the best players in the NBA. Those are things people would overlook simply because this game seemed “boring” at first glance.
The first quarter was dominated by the Bulls’, they even had a run of 16-0 and the T’Wolves looked like they would pack it in early. That was until they stormed back and took the second quarter (30-18), and went into halftime only trailing by 4, 56-52. Going into the locker room at halftime the Bulls’ would need to change a couple minor things to make sure they can hang on and win this home game, but that would be to no avail; the T’Wolves would continue their run and take the third quarter by 7 (26-19) and head into the final quarter leading by 3. So, at this rate the T’Wolves probably continue it and take the fourth easy right? Well, that’s where the game gets interesting and for all the fans it couldn’t have come at a better time; right before they head home.
The fourth quarter was a fun-filled back and forth shootout. It felt like multiple times that we witnessed Wiggins and LaVine come down, knock down a 3 on one end, then Jimmy Butler do the same the next possession on the other end. This is what the people at the game paid for and all the viewers at home tuned in to see; the best young talent in the game going head to head in a game that may be much more important in the long run than the current state. Fast forward to the end of the game and Dwyane Wade would much rather skip over this part, but it happened and it may cost him some money. After the T’Wolves started to break away in the final minutes, Dwyane knew the Bull’s needed a bucket, but he was turned away at the rim. After the layup was missed and there was no foul called on what Wade thought was plenty of contact to warrant one, he let the ref know what was on his mind. It wasn’t hard to figure out what he was telling the ref and it wasn’t rated G. He was given a double technical and was ejected from the game; sealing any hope of a comeback with the technical foul shot and possession going in the T’Wolves favor. The final score would be 99-94 in favor of the young T’Wolves squad, despite a big night for Jimmy Butler; 27 points and 9 rebounds.
This loss for the Bulls’ drops them to 13-11 overall, 6th in the Eastern Conference. They will head to Milwaukee to take on a much improved Bucks’ team, this Thursday at 7 central time on TNT. Following the biggest comeback in the NBA this season (21 points), the T’Wolves improve to 7-18 overall, 14th in the Western Conference. Although the season hasn’t gone as planned so far, this win is a big win for the young trio of Wiggins, LaVine, and Towns. It gives them confidence and shows how good they can be in the next couple years.