Timberwolves push Bulls to OT, Bulls lose 102-93
All credit tonight has to go to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Although they are a team that I actively root for and believe can win games, very few people thought they had a shot to beat the Chicago Bulls tonight and in theory, the Bulls do have a better team assembled currently. It’s not that the Timberwolves don’t have players with the potential to be solid players, because they absolutely do. To this day, I will defend that Ricky Rubio is a great point guard, that Zach LaVine can probably play the 2 decently within a few years, and that Gorgui Dieng should enter the starting role at power forward at some point. Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns have already begun to look like outstanding NBA players, the former in his sophomore campaign and the latter a rookie that is widely anticipated to be in the running for this years Rookie of the Year. Along with some veteran players on the team in Tayshaun Prince, Andre Miller, and Kevin Garnett, the Timberwolves are in a place to compete within the next 2 years.
But the Bulls needed to capitalize on the momentum from the previous win over the Thunder and form some sort of consistency in a November where the Bulls are facing some relatively easy opponents. Of course, this could prove to be a terrible month if the Bulls should continue to play down to their level of competition and drop games as they did tonight and in their massive loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
A few quick notes from this one:
- Again, there’s no doubt that the Timberwolves played a really great game tonight that put all of their players abilities on display. Wiggins continued to like an absurdly athletic player in the game as attacked the basket consistently, but also showed off his three point shot as he drained 4-of-5 three point attempts. Huge game for him and his confidence, as there were plenty of people who had already started to be concerned over his rough start to the 15-16 season.
- Karl-Anthony Towns played really great as well tonight, as he was able to show off all of the aspects of his game that people are hyping up. He put up a 17 point, 13 rebound game. Huge in their win tonight.
- The Bulls defense continues to shock me in the worst way possible. While it’s well known that Rubio can orchestrate some beautiful offensive plays with his ball handling abilities and great court-vision, there were multiple possessions where he was able to absolutely dismantle the Bulls defense by himself. I’m specifically recalling the alley-oop the tossed up to Wiggins
Sloppy defense. No doubt the play was ran beautifully but there were options defensively that no one seemed to pursue. Pau stood in the paint, as he just watched Wiggins fly overhead. Butler was simply too slow for Wiggins after getting around the screen Payne set for him. Pau Gasol continues to demonstrate his lack of defensive awareness.
- Turnovers! What the hell happened last night, Bulls? We went from a game where we barely coughed the ball up at all, and now managed to turn the ball over well over our average amount this season.
- Nikola Mirotic is in a terrible slump right now, as his shots just don’t seem to be falling. He’s opting for deep threes, typically an easy make for him. However at this point, I’d almost prefer him to use his speed and bizarre finishing ability and drive to the hoop.
- Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler both had off nights. Consistency is key in the NBA, and Jimmy having a 4-for-15 game (including 0-of-7 from three) are the kind of games where Derrick will need to help set Jimmy up for some easier takes. The Bulls didn’t look good at all tonight shooting, but to not even score once in overtime? Terrible basketball that needs to be corrected.
After the game, Derrick Rose stated “It’s all about effort. We’ll get tired of getting our asses whooped one day”. Hopefully that day is soon.
The Bulls next game is against the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow (11/9) at 6:00 PM CST. The Timberwolves take on the Atlanta Hawks on 11/9 as well at 7:00 PM CST
Full Box Score: