Bulls-Sixers: ‘Weird’ Couldn’t Fully Describe Monday Night’s Win


At halftime of Monday night’s meeting with the 1-24 Philadelphia 76ers, the Chicago Bulls trailed by five points. Then in the second half, the Bulls almost scored the same amount points that Philadelphia did in the entire second half.

Monday appeared to be on the way to the way to lowest point in the short era of Fred Hoiberg‘s tenure with the Chicago Bulls.

Then, led by Tony Snell — yes, Tony Snell — the Bulls dropped 64 points in the second half and avoided utter disaster with a blowout 115-96 victory over the one-win Sixers.

To put Tony Snell’s night in perspective, Snell had only one double-double in his entire time with the Bulls.

That came on March 11, 2015 against the Philadelphia 76ers on a night where he shot 2-for-9 from the field in a nine-point Bulls win.

On Monday night, Snell scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting (13 in the third quarter alone) and 10 rebounds for his second double-double in his career.

Snell’s 13-point quarter was more than the entire Sixers roster in that third quarter (12).

That’s not even the weirdest part of Monday night’s game.

The Bulls were trailing by five at the break to a team with one win (over a team with three wins) in 24 games.

Did the Bulls end up doing what they had to do in the second half? Of course.

Did it feel like they were going to do what they had to do through the first 24 minutes? Of course not.

It’s the Bulls.

The Bulls looked like they were sleepwalking early on. It took almost three minutes for either team to log a single point.

Yeah, it was that bad.

Joakim Noah hit the nail on the head. The Bulls aren’t playing with the right energy on a nightly basis.

He is, but the Bulls aren’t.

In 21:59 of playing time against Philadelphia, Noah grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out eight assists. That’s never been done before.

Granted, there were reports coming out that both Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler both had some kind of illness they were fighting through on Monday night.

Butler still managed to drop 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, while Rose scored just six points on three shot attempts with four assists and looked completely disengaged.

But, Rose wanted to play through things.

Believe it or not, there was some good from Monday night.

Doug McDermott scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds and both Bobby Portis(!) and Cameron Bairstow(!) saw action late in the blowout.


In just 4:25 of game time, Portis scored seven points on 3-of-4 shooting.

I don’t want to say that Bobby Portis has become the NBA MVP favorite, but he should get a few votes. (Only kidding, but it’s good to see the rookie see action.)

Next: How the Bulls shook their fourth-quarter woes vs. New Orleans


Can there be a lot taken from this one? Probably not.

A 64-point second half against a 1-24 Sixers team should be expected from a team with high expectations. But, it was nice to see the Bulls break out and put a team away in the second half so that guys like Portis and Bairstow could see time on the floor.

Related Story: It's time to give Bobby Portis a chance, Fred

The Bulls have a busy four-game week this week, so it’s good to kick the week off with a blowout victory. They’re 14-8 and just one game behind Cleveland through the midst of this early-season chaos. (Cleveland’s not fully healthy and neither are the Bulls, but that’s another story for a different day.)

The simple way to put Monday would be that the Bulls looked atrocious in the first half and woke up in the second half. I’m sure they know they can’t do that against teams that are actually trying to win games this season, but the energy/execution concerns are warranted.