The Chicago Bulls blew another winnable game at home. Here are some things I loved and some things I hated from the embarrassing loss to Golden State.
In a season full of horrendous losses for the Chicago Bulls, tonight’s loss against the Golden State Warriors might have been the worst.
Here are some things I loved and some things I hated from tonight’s loss.
Love – Limiting D’Angelo Russell
D’Angelo Russell isn’t known as a guy who makes his living in the paint, but the Bulls kept him out of the paint even more than usual tonight. He didn’t even take a single 2-point shot. Instead, he settled for three after three, connecting on a 2-of-8.
Normally, limiting the opposing team’s best player to only 2-of-8 shooting — all from three — would result in a win, but this Bulls team is special. They find ways to lose in improbable scenarios.
Despite the loss, it was nice to see the Bulls’ defense hold Russell to a mere seven points.
Hate – Jim Boylen playing 11 guys
With Thaddeus Young out, Jim Boylen decided to throw Luke Kornet in the mix. After that didn’t work, he went to Shaquille Harrison. He shouldn’t have gone to either guy. In a game the Bulls needed to win, Boylen should’ve only rolled out eight or nine dudes.
Denzel Valentine had it going tonight. He was making beautiful passes and knocking down jumpers with ease. He should’ve played more than 14 minutes.
Coby White was hot from the get-go. He finished the game with 14 points and knocked down four of his five three-point attempts. He should’ve played more than 19 minutes.
It almost seems like Boylen feels the need to give everyone a chance. That needs to change. Tonight, he should’ve kept Kornet and Harrison on the bench. You could even argue that he should’ve kept Ryan Arcidiacono on the bench. Those minutes should’ve gone to White and Valentine.
Love – A confident Lauri Markkanen and a patient Zach LaVine
Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine often struggle to play well on the same night. Usually, they take turns having good games. Tonight, though, they both looked pretty good.
Markkanen did most of his damage in the first half, looking confident early on. He was giving the Warriors a healthy dose of deep shots and basket attacks. It was beautiful.
LaVine took a backseat role while Markkanen was cooking. Normally, high-volume scorers start forcing things when they aren’t getting shots, but LaVine didn’t do that. He saw that Lauri had it going, and he was fine being the table-setter. LaVine’s time to score eventually came. He finished the game with 22 points.
Hate – Zach LaVine’s attempted heroics
The Bulls were down 100-98 with 13 seconds left. They had the ball coming out of a timeout. The initial idea was good. Get Zach LaVine the ball, clear out and then send Wendell Carter Jr. to set a screen.
That’s a good way to get LaVine going downhill where he can get in the paint and make a play. He’s unbelievably explosive coming off a screen, and the Bulls only needed a two to tie.
What did LaVine do? He called off the screen, dribbled the clock down and took a pullup 29-footer. I was sick to my stomach.
I know that’s a shot LaVine can make, but it’s not a high-percentage look and it’s definitely not playing to LaVine’s biggest strength.
The Bulls will try to get back on track Sunday evening in Miami.