Chicago Bulls vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 Takeaways

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Jimmy Butler, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls

Dec 13, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) reacts after making a basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the second half at the United Center. Minnesota defeats Chicago 99-94. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

It was a heartbreaker at the United Center on Tuesday night as the Chicago Bulls fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves. This one felt a little more significant than just any old regular season matchup, so let’s break down the biggest takeaways from the game.

Welp.

On Tuesday night, the Chicago Bulls hosted the Tom Thibodeau reunion game for which we had all been patiently waiting. Finally the rafters of the United Center would echo with shouts of “ICE ICE ICE” and the cosmos would once again be in harmony. Jimmy Butler and the squad got a bit of a different game than they were expecting, however, and the Bulls lost 99-94.

After leading 38-22 at the end of the first quarter and pushing the lead to 21 midway through the second, the Bulls fell apart in arguably their worst loss of the season (Wade sat when they lost to Dallas remember). They scored the same amount of points in the first quarter as they did in the entire second half.

The Bulls essentially played two different games: the first quarter and the rest of the game. Through the first quarter, they had a 158.3 offensive rating, shot 72.7 percent from the field, and overall looked like they would bulldoze to another blowout victory like their other 38-point first quarter back on Halloween.

For the rest of the game, they shot 32.3 percent from the field (the Wolves shot 44 percent over the same span) and looked like a stagnant offense that relied entirely on hero-ball iso’s from its two alphas.

Tuesday’s game had odds-defying runs, plenty of drama, and four more missed threes from Nikola Mirotic (shooters shoot). Let’s dive into the details and discover what we can learn from the emotional loss.

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