It was hard to not be confident that the Bulls would go into tonight’s contest against the Hornets and anticipate a Bulls win. All of the night’s match-ups seemed to favor the Bulls in every single way, but the team (minus Jimmy Butler) just came out looking flat tonight. Derrick Rose was a non-factor in the game, Pau Gasol as a defensive liability seemed to outweigh any positive aspects of having him on the court for offense, and Nikola Mirotic looked completely useless tonight on the offensive front, where he’s been crucial for the Bulls spacing.
A few notes, from a person who was pounding his head on his desk throughout this train-wreck:
- Jimmy Butler finally had his insane breakout game for us this season! I mean…it came in the form of him trying to carry us to a win, but regardless Jimmy looked on point tonight. Batum knocked down some silly shots over him but defensively Butler was sound. On offense, he seemed to just look really comfortable and not looking to over complicate his game
- Being down early really ruins this teams rhythm and ability to play to their strengths. That first quarter was completely devastating to these teams game plan.
- Defend the three-point line. Far too many shots fell from deep for the Hornets. This includes our big’s staying on players known to stretch the floor that play the power forward and center.
- As much as we know the Bulls cherish their undersized point guards, Aaron Brooks is looking like a massive liability on defense.
- It hurt seeing Lin play so well. I’ll never know if we had a chance at landing him, but he would’ve been huge for this team.
- The Hornets are a low-key decent team. I know their record doesn’t reflect it, but in due time they’ll be a 6-8 seed contender in the East.
- Doug McDermott shot well yet again and continues to be a huge threat off the bench.
- Tony Snell has actually looked relatively competent on defense, playing the passing lanes well in this one and bothering his opponents at least.
- Derrick Rose had yet another rough game tonight, and I’m beginning to question his role on our team as he recovers from his recent injury. Has his vision improved? How has it altered his play? These questions need to be pondered and looked at, as to decide what will be best for a Bulls team that is not looking so great over the last 3 games.
- It’s a damn shame this is Bobby Portis’ first exposure to a regular season NBA game. He looked good in his relatively low minutes of play and hopefully can fall into Hoiberg’s good graces and get minutes in additional contests.
- The Bulls are still learning Hoiberg’s systems on offense, but there is absolutely no excuse for such a poor defensive game from this team. Absolutely terrible.
The Chicago Bulls pray to survive their next game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night, whereas the Hornets look ahead to facing the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday as well.
Full Box Score: