*cracks open a cold one*
Ah, that’s refreshing.
The Chicago Bulls had their most complete performance of the season tonight, dominating the Atlanta Hawks from start to finish in a 113-93 victory.
We saw a similarly flowing offense to last night’s first half against the Lakers, the only difference: the Bulls actually kept it up. Tomas Satoransky was a major part of that newfound consistency, posting a career-high 27 points and leading the way with eight assists.
I know people were frustrated with his start to the season, but what we’ve seen over these past two games is exactly the reason the Bulls were praised so heavily for signing him. The offense clicks better when he is on the court, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he can also do this:
While Satoransky stole the show, Lauri Markkanen had a very solid bounce-back performance (maybe he read my post before the game). The Finnisher started the game with two aggressive drives to the hoop before knocking down a three-pointer and finding a groove. He finished with 17 points, going 6-11 from the field and 4-7 from downtown. A familiar Markkanen, indeed.
Both performances were key to having a convincing Bulls victory, but the real encouraging take away from tonight is the fact that the team had six players in double figures.
Offensively, this represents exactly who this team needs to be moving forward.
As for on the defensive end, the following things happened:
- Satoransky and the Bulls held Hawks leading-scorer Trae Young to only nine points and three assists.
- The team held the Hawks to their lowest first-half total of the season (41).
- The Bulls also forced 24 turnovers and scored 31 total points off those takeaways.
- Chicago won the defensive rebounding battle.
- And, in a change of pace, the Hawks were the team who struggled from three-point land shooting only 20 percent.
Hey, all those things win basketball games!!
Okay, and now, it’s time to give credit it where credit is due.
As angry as Jim Boylen has made all of us in recent days, he made several smart decisions ahead of tonight’s game. He tweaked the rotation to stagger his starters and keep Luke Kornet on the bench. When taking Carter Jr. out, he kept Markkanen in and shifted him over to center. Meanwhile, the three-guard lineup of Kris Dunn, Coby White, and Ryan Arcidiacono was scratched in favor of having Chandler Hutchison on the court.
Even during the game, he called the reasonable timeouts and substituted well. Everything just made more sense.
The Bulls finally brought it all together tonight, but can they keep it up? Find out next time on “will the Bulls make us sad!?”