25 years after Michael Jordan and the championship-winning Chicago Bulls took Paris by storm, the 2022-23 rendition of the Bulls once again found themselves in the City of Lights to take on the Detroit Pistons. In a game that threatened to see the Bulls once again play down to their opponent’s level, they put together a strong 4-quarter game where they managed to walk away with a dominant 126-108 victory.
The two-headed monsters, Zach Lavine and DeMar DeRozan, led the way with 30 and 26 points, respectively. Nikola Vucevic also chipped in with 16 points as the Bulls’ supporting cast all got involved, particularly with meaningful work on offense from Derrick Jones Jr. and Coby White.
Patrick Williams was extremely efficient tonight, finishing with 10 points on an 83% effective field goal percentage and ending with an offensive rating of 128.4. If Williams can keep up this consistency the rest of the season, he’ll be a valuable swing option on offense while locking up opponents on the other end of the court.
The Chicago Bulls win handily in the City of Light with efficient play on both ends of the court. Can this be the springboard for a second-half push?
Although neither team was incredibly effective from beyond the arc, the Bulls were highly efficient near the basket and in the mid-range. The Bulls shot nearly 79% in the paint, over 10 percentage points higher than the league average while shooting 48% inside the arc, nearly 7 percentage points above the league average. DeMar DeRozan was his typical mid-range sniper while Lavine contributed several threes and was also solid near the rim.
Games against inferior opponents have seemed to trip the Bulls up this season. In fact, Chicago has only achieved a paltry 6-11 record against teams below a .500 winning percentage. However, Beating teams like the Celtics, Nets, and Bucks have provided Chicago fans with some reason to hope as the NBA season begins to grind toward the playoffs.
It’s these frustrating losses to lesser opponents that have seemed to throw sand in the team’s gears this season. The Bulls have been on a solid run of late, and a relatively convincing and easy win against the Pistons could hopefully provide additional cushion as the Bulls advance to 21-24 on the year, just 3.5 games behind the 6th-seeded position in the East. Hopefully, this win vaults the team into a solid stretch that has them contending for a more favorable playoff position.