Lack of depth for Bulls on full display in loss to Spurs

Troy Brown Jr., Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Brown Jr., Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s not much that the top players for the Chicago Bulls can do when there is nearly no production coming from the bench beyond the sixth man. Second-year head coach Billy Donovan and the Bulls saw this team fall flat in a tough 131-122 loss to the San Antonio Spurs and legendary head coach Gregg Popovich on the night of Jan. 28.

This loss to the Spurs prevented Donovan and the Bulls from moving their two-game winning streak to three heading into the weekend.

Moreover, there were points in this game where the Bulls looked like they had life for good. Whenever the Bulls are getting top-notch production from the likes of star forward DeMar DeRozan, center Nikola Vucevic, and star shooting guard Zach LaVine, this team looks like they always have life.

Coby White the only sign of life off the Chicago Bulls bench in loss to Spurs

Yet, that wasn’t the case in this game when it was all said and done. The Bulls didn’t get much of any production from the bench while the Spurs were lighting them up on the scoreboard. Outside of what the Bulls got from third-year point guard Coby White, there wasn’t much to speak up from the bench in this loss to the Spurs.

The Bulls did get 18 points on a solid shooting night from Coby. He shot an efficient 7-of-9 from the field, 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, and he didn’t have any attempts from the free-throw line. But Coby was about the only source of production that the Bulls had off the bench in this game.

When the second-most productive player coming off the bench is forward Troy Brown Jr. giving the Bulls just four points, this team is going to be in trouble. Brown did have another decent night off the bench in terms of his rebounding numbers and overall lack of mistakes.

But the fact of the matter is that the only Bulls player that came off the bench that had a real impact in this game was Coby. And that could be a storyline that continues to change the overall narrative of the Bulls season as the team tries to work their way through this latest bad wave of injuries.

If nothing else, this loss to the Spurs proves just how important it is for the Bulls to have the likes of point guard Alex Caruso, point guard Lonzo Ball, forward Derrick Jones Jr., etc. in the rotation. Missing the point guard duo of Lonzo and Caruso has proved especially costly of late. The Bulls had a tough night defensively, letting the likes of guards Dejounte Murray and Derrick White have a huge night for the Spurs.

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Following this loss to the Spurs, the Bulls are now sporting a record of 30-18. Next up for Coby and the Bulls is a meeting with the Portland Trail Blazers to round out the weekend, with tip-off time set for 2:30 p.m. CT on Jan. 30.