Late Night Basketball, Will the Bulls Flash Enough Defense Tonight? Watching Williams, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Late Night Basketball, Will the Bulls Flash Enough Defense Tonight? Watching Williams, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

As the sun peeked through the blinds and caressed my eyelids this morning, I awoke chipper. I sat up with energy, slid my slippers on with force, and began the blissful walk to the Keurig. The smell of coffee danced in and out of my nostrils. The first sip tenderly slid down my well-rested esophagus. Today will be a good day, I thought. What could disrupt such a pleasant morn?


•   West coast road trips suck for a number of reasons – one of which is the fact that games tip-off around the same time they would end when held in the central time zone. Look, I’m no old crank that has to hit the hay by 10:00 p.m., but I’d rather not spend my 9:30 p.m. – 12 a.m. hours watching, worrying, panicking, and writing about a possible blowout Bulls loss. That’s the other problem with these west coast journeys, the Bulls haven’t stood a chance in recent years. If I felt a bit more comfortable about the matchups, I’d probably feel keener on watching late-night hoops and skipping the Amazing Race binge with the girlfriend.

•   But, hey, maybe the Bulls make the time worth our while. The team is coming off a solid victory against the Dallas Mavericks, and the Portland Trail Blazers haven’t necessarily been lights-out to start the season. They just let Steph Curry drop 62 points on them over the weekend, and their defensive rating sits at an underwhelming 115.7, which ranks 3rd-to-last in the league. I mean, folks, that’s somehow actually worse than the Bulls, who currently rank 25th. Now, the Trail Blazers have faced teams like the Lakers and Clippers already, but that doesn’t make their defensive struggles any less real.

•   Fortunately for the Blazers, they do happen to have way better talent, and the Bulls happen to have a similarly atrocious defense (at least, on paper). So while Portland might let Zach LaVine and Coby White score in bunches, Chicago could very well let Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum score nonstop. Like, every freakin’ possession. I’ve seen nothing from this backcourt defense thus far to suggest they can slow down an opposing backcourt of this caliber. LaVine and White will either have to put together an uncharacteristically good defensive performance or the Bulls will simply have to hope they can outscore the Blazers as a whole. I guess the other option would be that Lillard comes out cold, but I think it’s fair to say Dame Time is (*extreme Thanos voice*) inevitable.

•   Maybe the Bulls will have an extra chip on their shoulder since this is their first nationally broadcasted game of the year:

•   Win or lose, this should be a fun game to keep an extra eye on rookie Patrick Williams. For the first time this season, he has managed at least 19 shot attempts over two games. His role on the offensive end is either purposefully expanding or it has always been this open and he finally feels comfortable playing more aggressively. Whatever the case may be, I’m all for it. Williams has not only shown some explosiveness and craftiness on offense, but he has also shot the ball decently well to start the season (44.6 FG%, 38.5 3PT%). Granted, that has gone down with the increased role over the last two games, but the flashes have been there. How effective he can be tonight, though, is a big question mark. The Blazers defense might stink, but he’ll have two of the team’s better defenders on him throughout the game – Robert Covington and Derrick Jones Jr. I hope he is ready for the challenge.

•   I also hope he blocks the crap out of more dudes.

•   The Knicks are 4-3 under Tom Thibodeau. That’s it. That’s the bullet.

•   Did Bobby Marks just give me the perfect excuse to share one of my posts from yesterday? Why, yes. Yes, he did!

•   The ending of this game was bonkers.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.