Over before it started.
The Miami Heat ran the Chicago Bulls out of their own gym Friday Night in a 116-108 victory. Don’t let the score fool you, it wasn’t that close.
Jimmy Butler must have felt at home as he dropped 27 points, helping his new team toy with his old one from the start. Chicago’s own Kendrick Nunn had a similar, cozy feeling with 21 points, shooting 8-14 from the field. (Luis: There was a point where the ex-Illini players outscored the Bulls through a quarter. It was bad, folks.)
The Heat started the game on a 15-0 run, while the Bulls failed to score their first bucket until the 6:54 mark in the first quarter. A poor start triggered Jim Boylen into a bizarre move – which we’ve grown accustomed to – as he took out Zach LaVine for Ryan Arcidiacono. And now we know why:
Boylen on flat performance from starters: “It’s frustrating. It’s not right. And it bothers me. Our starters have to play better.”
Boylen said LaVine made “3 egregious mistakes” defensively early.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 23, 2019
The first quarter ended and the Bulls were down 34-16. Fans in the stands responded appropriately:
Fan yelling from the stands "FIGURE IT OUT! FIGURE IT OUT!" #Bulls
— Tony Gill (@thetonygill) November 23, 2019
After being down 67-43 at the half, the Bulls showed a small sign of life and won the quarter 24-18. Then, things got weird.
The Heat coasted and the Bulls clawed their way back into the game during the 4th quarter, but with no thanks to the team’s starters. Boylen opted to let his bench ride things out, even putting in two-way player Max Strus alongside Denzel Valentine (who hit three 3-point buckets in his five minutes on the court). The bench unit was able to, shockingly, bring the Bulls within single-digits and force Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra to bring Butler back into the game. Is this going to keep happening?
Don’t let this final score fool you. Regardless of how close this game looked at the end, it was yet another troubling loss for the Bulls. More later. Enjoy the rest of your Friday.