How would you describe the Bulls season opener?
I’ll use, “not ideal” (and that’s putting it lightly).
The Chicago Bulls were handed one heck of a glorious opportunity to start the NBA season off strong, but alas, they did not.
Instead, the Charlotte Hornets, a team projected to be at the very bottom of the power rankings this season, took it to the Bulls with an incredible shooting performance, winning 126-125. The Bulls defense looked abysmal at times, and while the Hornets had their fair share of impressive, contested makes, there is no excuse for letting up a Hornets franchise-record 23-three-pointers.
And to add insult to injury, seven of those three’s came via rookie P.J. Washington, who had a bonkers NBA debut with 27 points.
Overall the Hornets shot 52 percent from downtown compared to the Bulls 30. And while I’ll never discourage this Bulls team from throwing up the three-ball, this squad needs to figure out a better gameplan when they’re not falling.
Oh, and having Zach LaVine not score his first basket until 4:32 in the second quarter hurt BAD.
While I’m basking in a mood of frustration, I’ll try my best to at least give the Bulls props in a few places. For starters, the team did come out of the half on an 11-4 run and look like a completely different squad. In fact, things were going so well they took a 10 point lead with a little over six minutes to go in the 4th quarter. You know, before they blew it.
Jim Boylen: “We have to do a better job of executing down the stretch.”
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 24, 2019
Lauri Markkanen did demonstrate that his underwhelming preseason performance may not be all that worrisome with a 35-point, 17-rebound double-double. Also, Coby White continued his hot play with 17 points, and a (surprising) seven assists.
Although, at the end of the night, we only saw spurts of the fun ball movement, pace, and shooting we saw in the preseason. I have to provide the obligatory “it’s only game one,” but I’m not going to beat around the bush and say this wasn’t disappointing. Of course, this team is going to have growing pains; however, it would have felt so refreshing to see a convincing Bulls victory to start the season.
Oh, well. Focus on defense. Forget about this game. And show progress on Friday against the Grizzles. Rant over. Goodnight!