3 Takeaways from the Chicago Bulls win over the Warriors

Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
1 of 3

The Chicago Bulls finally managed to defeat the Warriors 132-118 on Sunday, marking their first win over the Dubs since March 2, 2017, snapping an 11-game losing streak against the team. Nikola Vucevic was the star of the day, scoring a career-high 43 points and adding 13 rebounds and 4 steals. Zach LaVine also added 27 points, 9 boards, and 6 assists.

This is a frustrating team to watch. The Bulls have consistently beaten top NBA teams, including the defending champions. They are 7-3 against the top 4 seeds in the East (Celtics, Nets, Bucks, and 76ers), but have not been able to get the job done against teams they should beat. Recent examples have included the blowout loss against the Rockets 3 weeks ago, and the recent losses to the Wizards and Thunder.

It’s wins like yesterday that make these losses even more demoralizing, as the Bulls have the talent to beat these teams but haven’t come ready to play. However, the Bulls had an excellent showing against the Warriors, and they won because of 3 main reasons.

If the Chicago Bulls continue improving in these 3 areas, they can make the playoffs.

1. Defensive Intensity

The Bulls’ defense has struggled at certain points in the season, including allowing 150 points against the Timberwolves and giving up 71 points to Donovan Mitchell. However, yesterday was an impressive defensive performance where the Bulls had 12 steals coming from six different players. The team’s hustle was on display yesterday, including this play from Alex Caruso leading to a Zach LaVine layup in transition:

Plays like these are ones that can make the difference between a win and a loss, and with the playoffs coming soon, the Bulls are going to need everything to go their way. This defensive intensity forced 23 Warriors turnovers, which is something that comes with that extra effort. Even though the Bulls allowed 118 points, their defense was something encouraging and it was a game that they can build on over this upcoming stretch. Active hands and hustle are vital for this team, as players like Zach LaVine and Ayo Dosunmu thrive in transition, and this can lead to even higher scoring outputs.