Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder: Player of the game

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 10: Denzel Valentine
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 10: Denzel Valentine /

The Chicago Bulls suffered another blowout loss at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite the blowout, there were still some decent individual performances.

After the Chicago Bulls suffered another blowout loss at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, it’s safe to say that the Thunder might just have their number this year.

Unfortunately, for us Bulls fans, we’re going to be saying that about a whole lot of teams the next year or two. We’re also going to see a whole lot of blowouts, and frankly, this game wasn’t even as close as the 92-79 score. 

With the Bulls down 27-7 at the end of the first quarter, the game was essentially over, and honestly, I thought I might have to award the player of the game to a Thunder player. Or just make it a Shaqtin’ a Fool highlight post:

But believe it or not, there was some real basketball being played. Lauri Markkanen put together another good performance with 16 points on 6-13 from the floor and 3-6 from deep. Antonio Blakeney (!) finally got on the court and scored 16 points on 5-12 from the floor, and generally looked alright despite some awful defense.

However, for me, it was Denzel Valentine that was really the most effective player for the Bulls. Plus, I wanted to talk about how he’s actually been doing some decent things the past few games.

Valentine had 13 points on 5-9 from the floor and 3-6 from three, to go along with three rebounds, two assists, and no turnovers. In his past nine games, he’s now averaging 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. His assist to turnover ratio during that time is 2.63, which, is pretty good.

Valentine came off the bench and basically prevented the Thunder from extended the lead to about 40. He was the offense in the first half, and even got the start over Jerian Grant in the second half, which is absolutely something to watch going forward.

Look, I’m still as confused by Valentine as anyone. I didn’t like the pick. I still don’t. He’ll probably never be even an average defender in the NBA. With all of that said, he is doing two things well right now, and it’s two things that are a staple of offense for many NBA teams.

Valentine is scoring .95 points per possession as the pick-and-roll ball handler. That’s in the 76th percentile of NBA players, according to That’s good! Much of this probably results from Valentine’s skill as a passer combined with his shooting ability.

He’s shooting an absurd 48 percent on pull-up jumpers. That won’t last. Neither will his shooting 30 percent on catch-and-shoot shots. Both of those numbers should end up somewhere in the mid-to-high 30s. Which, again, is good! Coming into the league we knew Valentine could shoot.

Unfortunately for Valentine, and us, there just isn’t much else Valentine is good at. You could argue he’s still even raw at the things he’s doing well. For now, Valentine is fine doing what he does on a tanking team. And he is what he is: intriguing.