The Chicago Bulls picked up a big-time win tonight against the Washington Wizards. Here are some things I loved and some things I hated from the W.
Tonight wasn’t an easy one for the Chicago Bulls. They faced a lot of adversity but they did a really nice job of taking everything in stride and focusing on playing good, team basketball.
Here’s tonight’s love/hate list.
Love – Zach LaVine’s massive game
Zach LaVine has been one of the best guards in the NBA since the calendar turned on January 1. He didn’t take his foot off the gas pedal tonight.
Whether it was dishing out assists or cashing in immensely difficult buckets, LaVine was a star for 33 minutes. He finished the game with 30 points on an efficient 12-of-21 shooting from the field and 6-of-11 shooting from the 3-point range to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists.
If you still don’t think Zach’s an All-Star, just watch his tape from tonight.
Hate – Lauri Markkanen’s disappearance
Lauri Markkanen has had a difficult time getting shots up in the Bulls’ offensive system, and that’s a gigantic problem. He’s the second-most talented player on the team, but he’s being marginalized night in and night out.
Tonight, Lauri played well when he got the ball. He connected on four of his eight field-goal attempts and knocked in two of his three shots from deep. He did a nice job of moving off the ball, finishing around the rim and shooting it accurately from deep. The Bulls just didn’t do a good enough job of getting him the ball.
Love – Kris Dunn’s impact
Kris Dunn struggled shooting the ball tonight. He was 1-of-7 from the field and 0-of-5 from 3-point land, finishing the game with a measly two points. Dunn still managed to impact the game in a positive way, though.
He was active on defense, recording three steals and making things difficult for Bradley Beal, and he wore his playmaking shoes, dishing out seven assists and not committing a single turnover. (I don’t know if playmaking shoes are a thing, but they absolutely should be.)
Despite shooting the ball so poorly, Dunn was still a +22 in his 30 minutes of action.
Hate – Injuries
The Bulls were thin in the frontcourt coming into tonight. They really miss Wendell Carter Jr. As if losing him wasn’t enough, though, Daniel Gafford left the game less than two minutes after tip-off with a dislocated right thumb.
Oh, and Chandler Hutchison left the game after hurting his shoulder. This team’s in some serious trouble going forward.
Love – The bench
The Bulls’ bench stepped up tonight and gave the team a much-needed boost.
Thaddeus Young was great, scoring 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 shooting from deep to go along with eight rebounds, two steals and one block. Luke Kornet played 35 minutes in Gafford’s absence and was surprisingly good, scoring 10 points and blocking a couple of shots. Hutchison was finally playing good basketball before getting hurt. And Coby White was really solid overall, scoring 10 points in 23 minutes.
The Bulls will look to carry this momentum into Friday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers.