The long wait finally ended Tuesday night when the Chicago Bulls began their regular season against the reigning champions, the Miami Heat. Although the Bulls were able to go on a run late in the game, they couldn’t do enough to prevent a 95-107 loss.
Although Derrick Rose got the the ball stolen from him on the first possession of the game, Chicago got out to a lead early on. Miami started off slow on the offensive end, but once the Heat discovered their offense, they went off. They went on a 13-0 run that went into the second quarter. It wasn’t until Kirk Hinrich hit a right-wing three that Chicago’s drought ended; however, that didn’t stop the Heat or really help the Bulls offense get going again.
By taking too many jump shots, whether they were threes or mid-range ones, the Bulls simply took too many of them. No one’s shot was falling consistently, but Chicago still resorted to them instead of attacking the basket. With one half in the books, they were 30 percent from the field and 18.9 percent from downtown.
In the first half, Mike Dunleavy had plenty of good looks, but went 0-5. Rookie Tony Snell faced a similar situation shooting 0-3, but he also couldn’t handle defending LeBron James. He certainly took advantage of that Snell by attacking the rim and made Chicago suffer even more.
Luol Deng also got into foul trouble quickly, and as a result, missed the majority of the first quarter and all of the second quarter. Butler also faced early foul trouble, but he still played parts of each quarter. Joakim Noah, as well as Deng, did not score in the first half. Both would eventually score come the second half, but they both struggled to contribute offensively each going 25 percent from the field. In fact, the offensive struggles never really went away.
It wasn’t until the near-end of the fourth period that Chicago got into somewhat of an offensive rhythm, if that could even be considered one. Hinrich made a three that brought the deficit to 11 points. He fouled out of the game soon afterwards, but then Rose checked in. Dunleavy was able to make a pair of free throws, and then Rose followed, and then Jimmy Butler did the same. Only 10 points stood between the Bulls and the Heat.
Boozer scored on a layup that then cut the difference to eight points, but they never got any closer. Miami hadn’t gone away. In the end, the Bulls had just dug themselves into too big of a hole.
To lead all scorers, Boozer had 31 points and seven assists. Butler managed to score 20 points despite the limited playing time in the first half. Rose chipped in 12 points and 4 assists while Noah grabbed 11 rebounds.
The Bulls will be back on the court on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. central for their home opener against the New York Knicks.