Second Unit for Bulls Leads Charge in Rebound Win over Toronto


After another sluggish start on Monday night, the second unit of the Chicago Bulls led the way back and was the main reason Monday night was a success for the Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls got 51 combined points from Tony Snell, Aaron Brooks and Bobby Portis in a 104-97 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Yes, a third-year wing that has provided next to nothing this season, a journeyman point guard under six feet tall and a rookie led the Bulls to a key win over an Eastern Conference contender.

That’s the kind of season the Bulls have had through 29 games.

But, that’s the kind of victory that can springboard a team out of a funk and into a good rhythm heading into the new year.

More from Bulls News

As for the trio of misfit toys, Snell was the talk of the town after a 22-point, seven-rebound outing on Monday.

“He’s one of those kids, he’s easy to coach,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after Monday win.

“Talked to him before and after I took him out of the (starting) lineup, and he handled it like a champ – ‘Whatever you think we got to do to win the game, Coach, whatever you think you got to do to win the game.’ I told him to stay ready.”

Along with Snell’s best game of the season, Aaron Brooks was hotter than the surface of the sun early on and finished 17 points, including a trio of and-ones throughout the night.

As usual when Bobby Portis has played significant minutes for the Bulls in this recent stretch, he wasn’t shy. Portis finished with 12 points and nine rebounds on the night.

It hasn’t been confirmed if Bobby Portis is crazy, but his eyes basically tell the whole story.

Other notes from Monday’s win:

  • For the Bulls to find long-term success, Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler have to get on the same page. No, that’s not saying that they have “beef”. Rose came out on fire in the first quarter with seven quick points and finished with 20 points and made three(!) of his five three-point attempts. On the other hand, Butler was a no-show on Monday, scoring just five points on 2-of-7 shooting. Butler did play stellar defense against Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, but provided basically nothing on the offensive end.
  • There’s a reason Nikola Mirotic only played 16:43 on Monday night. He shot 1-of-6 from the field and missed all four of his attempts from three-point range. Mirotic is shooting worse than he didn’t in his rookie season last year (40.5 percent compared to 38.1 percent this season). Plus, he’s playing a position that doesn’t fit his game. He’s not a “three” (small forward), which once again comes back to the Bulls missing Mike Dunleavy‘s presence as a small forward immensely.
  • Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry might win an Oscar before Leonardo DiCaprio does.

Don’t be surprised if Lowry hears from the league office for this masterpiece. It’s one of those plays where you can’t believe the officials fell for it, but you can’t help but laugh.

  • Monday was the kind of win that can get people to start buying into the Bulls again. Without their best player playing at a high level offensively, the rest of the roster picked up the slack, specifically the bench. Until the Bulls provide the consistency you see from legitimate contenders, holding off on the “Bulls are legit” talks seems wise. But, that doesn’t take away from this being a solid victory. Prior to Monday, the Bulls had lost four of their previous five.

Next: Issues for Bulls Running Deeper Than Jimmy Butler Leadership Questions

Up next for the Bulls:

  • Indiana at home, Dec. 30, 7:00 PM CT.
    • The two teams have split the first two meetings, with the home team winning both match-ups.