Chicago Bulls Lose To Hornets Again In Pau Gasol’s 1,000th Game


Chicago Bulls’ Pau Gasol Was Playing In Career NBA Game No. 1,000 But Team Couldn’t Win

Chicago Bulls C Pau Gasol was playing in his 1,000th NBA basketball game on Saturday, but unfortunately the team lost to the Charlotte Hornets 102-96. This puts Chicago at 11-6 for the season, and it ends their brief run at the top of the Eastern Conference. They backed into that lead in the standings after the Cleveland Cavaliers lost the night before, but it didn’t last long.

As for the Hornets game, the Bulls came out with better energy against Charlotte than the last time around when Chicago suffered their worst loss of this season. They didn’t get off to the best start in the first quarter, though, and this ended up killing them despite great performances by Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler.

“It’s just energy,” said Rose to the Chicago Tribune. “Coming out knowing the play call or just get into it a little bit quicker. We’ll be alright. It’s nothing to fuss about. Of course we lost this game but we can easily fix our energy level.”

The PG finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in one of his best games of the year. Rose has apparently been working intensively on his shooting motion with head coach Fred Hoiberg during practices, and it certainly looked that way on Saturday. The point guard shot eight out of 17 from the field and buried three three-pointers, mostly when Kemba Walker ignored Rose defensively.

“It was good to see Derrick knock down some shots,” Hoiberg said. “He’s been working extremely hard at it. Hopefully, this will get him going a little bit as we move forward.”

The highlights for the Hornets were Nicolas Batum scoring 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and Walker hitting the shot to put Charlotte up 98-94 and seal the game. The lowlight was, once again, Jeremy Lin‘s bizarre desire to look like an anime character, and it was the reason I chose the headline picture above. If you missed the game, then you can check out most of the major plays below.

As for the Bulls, Butler continues to show better chemistry with Rose after continued work together in practice and on the floor, and that is a real positive sign for their chances in the playoffs. If those two can get a smooth flow playing together, then only good things can come of that. Butler recorded 25 points, eight rebounds, two steals and four assists against Charlotte, and it is truly impressive the way that he continues to improve his ball handling.

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Gasol had another solid night at the office with 13 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four blocks. But he was disappointed with Chicago’s preparation, and interestingly he threw the coaches into the discussion as well.

“Everyone has to come out ready, individually and collectively,” Gasol said. “From a players’ standpoint, from a coaches standpoint we all have to do our part to start with the right attention, the right attitude, the right energy, set the tone well and be more aggressive.”

While we are on the subject of Pau, Dirk Nowitzki had an epic burn of the Bulls big man on Twitter.

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The inconsistency of the Bulls has been their only constant this year. They step up to the plate against teams like the Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Indiana Pacers, but this is now their second loss to the lowly Hornets. Chicago will next host the Phoenix Suns on Monday, and that game should be a grand opportunity for them to get back on track. Let’s hope for Gasol’s sake that the Bulls have a better result in the big man’s 1,001st NBA game.