Don't Hang Your Head, The Bulls Played a Heck of a Game – Lakers 117, Bulls 115 | Bleacher Nation

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Don’t Hang Your Head, The Bulls Played a Heck of a Game – Lakers 117, Bulls 115

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls are down four players including Lauri Markkanen and Tomas Satoransky; Otto Porter left tonight’s game after only clocking six minutes; a 19-year-old guarded arguably the best player in the league for a bulk of the game; and the Bulls only lost to the Los Angeles Lakers by two points.

Be upset about the close loss all you want, but I’m going to sip my bourbon and think only happy thoughts for the rest of the night. What the Bulls just did in the Staples Center is as close to a win without actually winning as they could get. I know, it doesn’t feel great to take moral victories, especially after years of painfully below-average play. But this is a new era, and before we can be excited about consistent winning, we have to be excited about consistent growth, and that happens to be exactly what the Bulls demonstrated in this closely contested 117-115 loss.

The offense was smooth and fast, while the defense was aggressive and scrappy. The Bulls actually won the turnover battle 15-13, stealing the ball away from the Lakers 10 times. Chicago also abused Marc Gasol and Co. in the pick-and-roll, finishing with 62 points in the paint compared to the Lakers 42. A big reason for that success around the rim is thanks to Wendell Carter Jr., who continues to set strong screens and roll stronger to the basket. The Bulls big man finished with 23 points and 7 rebounds, looking like the team’s second-best player tonight behind – duh – LaVine (38pts, 5reb, 6ast, 2stl).

The real spectacle tonight, though, was my boy Patrick Williams (or as we should call him – Pat Dub). Tasked with guarding LeBron James, Williams showed nothing but promise. He held the man to a mortal 28 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. He also helped force the not-GOAT into four turnovers. All things considered, his praised defensive chops were on full display, as he moved his feet well, contested shots strong, and forced James into some tough decisions.

Considering the man is only 19-years-old and 10 games into his NBA career, it was hard not to watch the outing and think, “damn … the Bulls really got something special, huh?”

We’ll talk some more about everything we saw tonight later. I need some time to digest, and also some time to catch up on all the Z’s I’ve missed this week due to these late games. I truly love the fight this team is showing, though, and the improvements they’ve made from Game 1 to Game 10 is pretty freakin’ remarkable. Let’s keep it up.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.