Chicago Bulls Week in Review – 11/3 to 11/9
The Chicago Bulls went 1-2 this past week, falling to 2-7 on the year.
The Bulls opened up the week with a win in Orlando against a red-hot Magic team. Everything seemed to be clicking for Chicago as they held Orlando to just three made free throws and 83 points, 32 below their season average. The Bulls also shot 48 percent from behind the arc as seven players scored in double figures.
Justin Holiday led the team with 19 points, 14 of which came in the first quarter of the game. Despite jumping out to an early 15-4 lead, the Bulls struggled to stop the Magic early. The first quarter ended with Chicago leading by just two points and the second quarter started similarly. Orlando briefly regained a lead but then went ice cold, missing seven straight shots as a team. The Bulls took over again in the second half going on a 19-5 run in the third and a 10-2 run in the fourth to close out the game with a 105-83 victory. David Nwaba found his form in the starting line-up as he dropped 16 points while Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine both drained a trio of three-pointers each.
Chicago looked to keep its form the next night as they played the second of back-to-back games against the New Orleans Pelicans. Both teams struggled shooting the ball, going a combined 20-73 from behind the arc. Holiday once again led the Bulls in scoring with 18 points, but the story of the night for Chicago was missed opportunities. Robin Lopez missed two shots late in the fourth quarter that likely would have given his team the win. Instead, the game went to overtime and the Pelicans never trailed from there. They were led by Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousins who had 27 and 25 points respectively. Denzel Valentine scored a season high 16 points off the bench for the Bulls, and Jerian Grant had a solid game finishing with 13 points, nine assists, eight rebounds, and no turnovers.
The Bulls finished the week with another loss on the road to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night. Chicago stormed back from a 23-point deficit, but came up short in the fourth quarter. Bobby Portis made his return from an eight-game suspension for punching teammate Nikola Mirotic. Portis played well and led the team with 21 points and 13 rebounds. He dropped 14 of his points in the fourth and led the Bulls’ comeback, but DeMar DeRozan drained a turn-around jumper late to seal Chicago’s fate. Much of the tenacious and hard-nosed basketball that the young Bulls have been praised for this season was missing in the first half of the game. Despite Robin Lopez scoring 20 points in the first half alone, the team wasn’t getting stops on the defensive end of the floor. Fred Hoiberg ripped into his team during halftime and sparked the second half surge, but it was too little too late.
Chicago will look to bounce back this week with three games on the schedule. Their best chance to pick up a win will come Friday night at home as they face an Indiana Pacers team who has lost their last four games. The Bulls then play two games on the road against the San Antonio Spurs on November 11th and the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 15th.
Stats and info courtesy of NBA.com