Seemingly, the Chicago Bulls recently learned that scoring more points than the other team gives them a high percentage chance of winning. On national television, the Bulls took down the sixth-seeded Boston Celtics 121-99. They blew out the Celtics by 22 points, and it was equally awesome to see them win so convincingly on a national stage and frustrating their lottery odds will suffer as a result.
The Set Up
After a four-game losing streak, the Bulls bullied the Charlotte Hornets as Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic returned to the floor. The Bulls blew out the Hornets, the current 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, by 21 points. Vucevic played like he had no lingering effects of his right adductor tightness. The big man put up 29 points and 14 rebounds on 50 percent shooting and 71.4 percent shooting from three. LaVine was more rusty, which makes sense because he missed 11 games. He only chipped in 13 points while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor and 37.5 percent from deep. Still, LaVine didn’t need to do much because Vucevic and the rest of the team had very solid games. Patrick Williams had 11 points and nine boards. Markkanen had 10 and seven. Cristiano Felicio didn’t miss a single shot. The Bulls seemed to be back.
The Bulls should hope they play playoff teams every game if they keep blowing them out by 20-plus points. For the second straight game, the Bulls held their opponent to under 100 points. This comes after being held under 100 themselves for the four previous games. Jayson Tatum – who scored 60 points in three games – only scored nine points. He only mustered 20 percent shooting and was 0/7 from the three-point line.
As we all know, the Bulls’ guards and wings are well known for their lockdown defense. Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier were the Celtics’ only source of offense. Walker had 33 and Fournier had 17. No other player on the Celtics even scored 10 points. It felt sort of like watching the Bulls, only they were wearing green and their fans were less used to getting disappointed.
For the Bulls, Nikola Vucevic put up a triple-double in 32 minutes with 18 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists (thank you, Coby, for making that last three). Speaking of Coby, he had 25 points, seven boards, and five assists on 56.3 percent shooting and 58.3 percent from deep. LaVine only shot 41.7 percent from the field and 33.3% from three, but he also chipped in 25 points and had a couple of highlight dunks. No one else on the Bulls put up more than 10 points (see above comparison for the Celtics) but they didn’t need to. Besides, Felicio averaged 18 assists per 36 minutes; he didn’t need to score.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Bulls’ next game is against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday at 7:00 PM CDT. The game will air on NBC Sports Chicago. Currently, the Pistons are the worst team in the Eastern Conference, so after seeing the Bulls blow out two playoff teams, you can confidently expect at least a 15-point win for the Pistons.