The Chicago Bulls decided to start slow and then pick up their game instead of the reverse, and their strategy worked. After a difficult first quarter, in which the 12-29 Detroit Pistons outscored them 25-20, the Bulls took both the second and third quarters handily.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulls outscored an opposing team! Considering the Bulls were outscored in the fourth quarter in 14 of their last 16 games, the Bulls taking the fourth 25-21 feels like a small moral victory. Chicago used a balanced scoring attack and took advantage of the fact that Jerami Grant is the only quality NBA player on the Pistons, to run away with the victory 100-86 and move to 19-22 on the season. It was their sixth straight victory against Detroit.
The Set Up
If you caught the factoid in the last paragraph about the Bulls being outscored in 14 of their last 16 games in the fourth quarter, you probably correctly assumed things have not been going great for them. Even though they were .500 in those games, it certainly did not feel that way. Coming into a matchup against the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls needed to dominate the Pistons for a victory to feel good. Losing their third in a row would be tough, but only winning by a few points would possibly have felt worse.
Balanced Scoring Attack
The Bulls didn’t have a 30-point Zach LaVine performance, but they got a few buckets from every player who saw the floor. LaVine still led the way with 18 points in a night where he only played 32 minutes and didn’t shoot it well. Behind him, Lauri Markkanen had 16 and Patrick Williams had 10. Those were the only Bulls in double figures. Within the smattering of buckets provided by all the Bulls players, they shot the ball efficiently, shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 50 percent from three.
Patrick Williams On the Offensive… Kind Of
Patrick Williams came out of the gate fast. He stole the opening tip won by the Pistons and dunked it seven seconds into the game. Then, he had a few more drives and cuts that led to easy looks at the rim, ending the first half with eight points on 4/4 shooting. Then, he took one more shot for the game.
He finished with 10 points on 5/5 shooting, but it felt like the type of night he could have completely had his way with the opposition. Instead, he got passive, even as players like LaVine struggled to find the bottom of the net. This continues a pattern of Williams showing off enough to get fans excited about his potential, but never really showing the aggressiveness needed to greatly impact games. That should develop in time, and I’ll still take a guy shooting 100 percent and scoring in double digits to go along with seven boards and two blocks.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Bulls take on the 30-11 Utah Jazz tomorrow night at 8:00 PM CDT at the United Center. Currently, the Jazz sit at first place in the Western Conference and look like true contenders. However, if the Bulls can handle the Pistons, I’m sure the Jazz will be just as easy. As always, friends, stay up-to-date on the Bulls with articles, analysis, and podcasts from Bulls On Tap.