Bulls Notes From The 111-88 Blowout Victory Over Philadelphia


After not being able to find their offense at all late against the Minnesota Timberwolves this past Saturday night, the Chicago Bulls scored more than enough against the winless Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.

The Chicago Bulls kicked off their 2015-16 season with two straight wins over Cleveland and Brooklyn in two straight nights. Since then, they’ve alternated wins and losses on their way to a 4-3 mark heading into Monday night’s game in Philadelphia against the 76ers, who were 0-6 entering Monday’s match-up.

ALSO AT PIPPEN AIN’T EASY: Could The Bulls Bench Beat The Sixers?

Six Bulls scored in double figures — led by Nikola Mirotic‘s 20 points — while Doug McDermott scored 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting in the 111-88 thrashing of the Sixers. The backcourt duo of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler scored just 19 combined points on 8-of-20 shooting, but the two combined for 11 rebounds and 12 assists in the victory. Butler was also the game-high in the plus-minus department with a +/- of +29.

Not only did the Bulls score 31+ points in two quarters on Monday, they held the young Sixers bunch to under 26 points in every quarter, including a 19-point third quarter that basically sealed the game up for the Bulls. Chicago product Jahlil Okafor scored 21 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, but the third overall pick in this year’s draft shot just 9-for-25 from the floor.

Here’s some more thoughts and notes from the Bulls getting back into the win column on Monday night in Philadelphia.

Joakim Noah’s late scratch before tip-off

With all of the talk after Monday morning shootaround about Joakim Noah working more with the starters, it turns out Noah wouldn’t even factor into the game after all.

Noah sat out Monday’s game with a sore knee, but from the sounds of things, it doesn’t appear to be a major issue moving forward.

“I didn’t expect it. I’d been feeling great until this point. It just happened. don’t think it’s too serious. I just have to be smart,” Noah said after the game. The former defensive player of the year mentioned that it flared up during the morning and he made the last-second decision to sit on Monday. There’s no MRI scheduled for Noah.

It’s still good and bad with Doug McDermott

There’s two things to keep in mind when you speak about Doug McDermott:
1) He virtually didn’t play last year, and when he did, he wasn’t great.
2) It’s his second season.

Regardless of how many years you play in the league, plays like this one can’t happen often.

The Bulls aren’t a great defensive team to begin with this season, but McDermott’s defense is still concerning. Nobody has ever claimed that he can play defense, but McDermott has a hard time guarding anyone at his position.

But, if he’s giving you this on a nightly basis, it appears Fred Hoiberg and the Bulls will live with his performance on defense.

McDermott drained three of his six attempts from long range and scored 18 points on the night. One of the better plays of the whole night came on a Derrick Rose drive-and-dish to McDermott in the corner for a four-point play.

Nikola Mirotic appeared to get back on track against the lowly Sixers

In the first two games of the season, Nikola Mirotic’s numbers looked like this:

Stats via Basketball-Reference.com

Since then, Mirotic has shot just 30 percent from the field, including making just 24.1 percent of his 5.8 three-point attempts a game, to go along with a plus-minus average of -5.

On Monday, Mirotic scored a team-high 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Along with getting his shooting back on track, Mirotic grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds after not grabbing more than six in a game during the last five games.

Other notes from Monday:

  • Even if it’s Philadelphia, plays like this from Derrick Rose have to happen often for the Bulls to really take off this season. Rose scored 12 points on just 6-of-14 shooting, but he dished out seven assists on Monday; the sixth straight game he’s dished out five or more assists.
  • More on Rose: This pass was just silly.
  • Bench alert: Bobby Portis, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Bairstow all saw some type of action on Monday night. Portis played the most out of the three (10:27), while Bairstow (4:10) and Felicio (1:23) saw limited action. Felicio did have a nice dime to McDermott late in the ballgame.

There’s not much you can take from a 23-point over Philadelphia. This was a game that the Bulls should have dominated from the outset and did. It wasn’t pretty in the early going, as the Bulls had a stretch of 14 missed shots in 15 attempts during the second quarter, but they hunkered down and handle their business with a long break in between games this week.

Next: Should the Bulls consider a lineup change?

The Bulls don’t play again until Friday night in Chicago against the Charlotte Hornets. That could be a game to keep your eyes on, being that the Hornets just hung 130 points on the Bulls during the previous week.

Tip-off between the Bulls and Hornets is scheduled for 7:00 PM CT.