The Chicago Bulls came out hot against the Denver Nuggets, and it looked like they might keep it up for 60 minutes. They scored 30 in the first quarter, and led 55-47 at the half. Of course, because its the Chicago Bulls, they proceeded to spectacularly fall apart in the second half. While they kept the scoring up in the 3rd (34 points), they also gave up 34 points. Then, the 4th quarter happened. The Bulls attempted to blatantly not play defense and it surprisingly did not work out in their favor. They gave up another 35 points while scoring jut 27, and—on a Jamal Murray buzzer beater—went into overtime. At this point, you could have just turned the TV off and known the outcome. The Bulls lost 131-127.
The Bulls haven't won in Denver since 2006, back when most of the current Bulls players weren't even teenagers yet. Patrick Williams was essentially a toddler. Okay, I may have gone too far back in my setup, but the point is it was difficult to project this as a win for a struggling Chicago team. After winning two straight against the Toronto Raptors and Oklahoma City Thunder, the Bulls blew a big lead and lost to the San Antonio Spurs, and they decided they liked doing that so much, they would do it again.
Anyway, now for some passive aggressive headlines.
Zach LaVine Scores 32, I guess
LaVine scores in bunches. He's having one of the more impressive scoring/shooting seasons in recent memory. He continued the trend on Friday, scoring 32 points on 50% shooting. While he only shot 33.3% from deep on nine threes, he also went 9/9 from the free-throw line, marking one of his more aggressive nights attacking the basket. Still, it's frustrating when the stats feel hollow. LaVine is the player who kept this team in the game, but it was another loss despite LaVine balling out.
As The Game Closed, Donovan Put Carter Jr. and Markkanen in Best Position to Succeed: The Bench
Both Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen rode the bench as the Bulls gave the game to Denver. Their stat lines were atrocious too. Markkanen put up 10 points on 36.3% shooting, and Carter Jr. put up six points and six boards — though he chipped in five assists. When games get physical and intense, both players seem to shrink away, and that isn't good for two lottery-pick big men.
What’s On Tap Next?
The Bulls (18-22) get a night off before traveling to Detroit to take on the 12-29 Pistons team that, let's be honest, they have to beat. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM CDT, and it will be interesting to see if the Bulls come out and dominate as they should or if they will find another way to disappoint their fans. Either way, stay up-to-date on the Bulls with articles, analysis, and podcasts from Bulls On Tap.