The Chicago Bulls continued their road trip coming off a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Feb. 8. The Bulls visited the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 8. in hopes to turn gears around and make a new win streak.
The starting line up for the Bulls was Nate Robinson, Richard Hamilton, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. Starting for the Denver Nuggets were Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Kosta Koufos, Danilo Gallinari and 2013 NBA slam-dunk contest candidate, Kenneth Faried (FYI: You’ll be hearing his name a lot in this piece, just so you know).
The Bulls had a record 29 wins, 19 losses and hoped to remain in their third seed in the eastern conference. The Nuggets however had a record 31 wins, 18 losses and were sitting in the fourth seed in the western conference, just right below the Los Angeles Clippers. This is the first of two meetings as both teams will play again once more on March 18. in Chicago, Illinois. Embrace yourselves fans because of the next game is any indication as tonight’s game, than the Bulls would be dreading that next meeting.
Lets get right to it. The first quarter started off presumably well. The Bulls had an early 8-3 lead, however at the 8 minute mark, the Nuggets were on fire (no pun intended) as Faried and Iguodala both made spectacular dunks. The Nuggets later on regain the lead, 16-10, as Gallinari hit a three-pointer and as Faried scored a finger roll layup.
The Bulls started getting sloppy as Deng and Noah turn the ball over on several occasions. As well, Deng missed a three-pointer and Robinson missed a layup. Sloppy, sloppy play. The Nuggets expanded their lead to 19-10 as Iguodala hit a three-pointer. However, thanks to Robinson, he brought some life to the Bulls as he answered Iguodala’s three, with one of his own. Still, the Nuggets just kept getting open looks and shots, as Nuggets’ reserve, Wilson Chandler, hit two back-to-back consecutive three-poiners, making the Nuggets lead 27-14. Taj Gibson tried to keep the game in favour of the Bulls by making jump shots, layups and free throws, however it wasn’t enough. After the end of the first quarter, the Nuggets led 33-25.
After an ugly start, the Bulls go onto the second quarter. The Bulls got their acts together and actually gave the Nuggets a run for their money. Bulls’ reserves Marquis Teague and Daequan Cook got some playing time as Teague made a layup and former three-pointer shoot out champion, Cook, made a successful three-pointer with the assist by Gibson. That brought the Bulls’ deficit down to 32-39.
The Nuggets continued to play badly, as Corey Brewer and Javale McGee missed a few shots. Cook helped the Bulls again, shooting another three-pointer.
Later, with six minutes remaining, Robinson and Cook made more three-pointers as the led was surprisingly cut down to 42-47. Noah, Deng, Boozer and Butler continued to work in the paint and in the key, making shots after shots and actually help the Bulls, only trailing by 3, 55-58.
The Nuggets somehow managed to stay alive, as the ended the quarter, 63-58. Not a bad effort by the Bulls, if I do say so myself.
With both teams fuelled up and ready to go, the Bulls still had fight in them. Boozer made a few layups here and there, however all hell seemed to break loose. The Bulls just started to lose it. Completely absurd. They went from a close score, 58-65, to trailing 80-64 at the six minute mark, than trailed by double digits, 66-88 to the Nuggets. Unbelievable. Bulls coach, Tom Thibodeau, used time outs to make some sense as to why the Bulls are playing so horrendously, however they just simply lost it in this quarter. Missed shots, turnovers, missed rebounds, you name it. The Bulls played horribly in this quarter. You may say i’m critical of the Bulls, but the fact is, they just sucked in this quarter. They lost all the fight they had.
Deng and Gibson were the only ones to a least make an effort, however, the rest of the team were beyond cold from everywhere on the court. Behind three-point range, the wing, in the paint, on the key, they were flat out cold. Horrible play by the Bulls.
At the end of three quarters, the Nuggets lead by a ridiculous 100-74. This is was a flat out embarrassment by the Bulls.
Onto the last and final quarter of the game. If you thought the Bulls would slap themselves in the face and turn things around, you’re sadly mistaken. At this point of the game, Thibodeau rested his starters and played his bench. Bulls’ Cook continue his hot shooting streak making consecutive three-pointers again and Marquis Teague made layups after layups. However, the Nuggets bench was too good for the Bulls, they made buckets as well. Radmanovic even checked in and made a last minute three-point bucket.
As you know, the Bulls just had a bad day, as they lost to the Denver Nuggets, 128-96.
Now you’re probably wondering why the Bulls lost. Well lets look at the statistics. The Nuggets shot 58% from the field, while the Bulls shot 48%. The Nuggets as well had a higher three-pointer percentage shooting 47% as the Bulls shot 37%.
The Nuggets out-rebouned the Bulls as they obtained 46 while the Bulls only had 34. Denver also had more fast break points, scoring 23 while the Bulls only had six and in the paint, the Nuggets scored 64 points while the Bulls scored 44 in that area.
The highest scorer for the Bulls was Cook as he led with 16 points. Deng led rebounds with eight and Robinson led assists with six.
The game was just a mess from the start of the third quarter. It’s as if the Bulls didn’t wake up in time and missed the alarm.
While I am critical and harsh sometimes on the Bulls, I do remain optimistic that the team can turn things around. Everybody has a bad day now and then. For the Bulls, that day was today.
The Bulls now with 29 wins, 20 losses play against the lowly Utah Jazz. Hopefully they can turn this around in that game.