What the Bulls did tonight was almost impossible.
The Bulls were up to a 99.1% chance to win up 10 with 1:56 left in regulation before they lost to the Thunder in OT
Teams were 1-2,930 when trailing by 10+ points in the final 2 min of regulation over the last 5 seasons. The only other win was by the Kings on January 27, 2020. pic.twitter.com/vK84WPUjKF
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 16, 2021
Excuse me as I go vomit.
This team followed up an electric all-around first half with arguably their most self-destructive two-quarters of the season. They came out of the locker room with a 68-50 lead and somehow managed to be outscored by the exact same margin in the second half. Oklahoma City ended the 4th quarter on a 10-0 run over the final 1:47. The Bulls turned the ball over three times in that span and a total of eight times in the fourth quarter and OT alone. When the final buzzer sounded, they finished the night with 24 total turnovers, matching a season-high. How many points did the Thunder score on those turnovers? 33.
Look, this team isn’t going to win a game when they commit that many turnovers. And if they somehow do, I think it’s fair to say they didn’t deserve to. I’m not quite sure how the hell they are going to clean up this remarkable ability to shoot themselves in the foot, but I guess that’s not my job. Instead, that duty rests in Billy Donovan’s lap, and my job is to sit here and type furiously about it until he somehow fixes it.
Bulls finish with 18 field goals and 17 turnovers in the 2nd half and overtime.
Bulls scored 7 points on 2/11 shooting in the last 7 minutes (4th & OT).
— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) January 16, 2021
Speaking of which, I think what most infuriating about tonight’s second-half blunder is that it didn’t feel like Donovan was on the sideline. Bulls fans were rather transported back to 2019 where all the Bulls did was lack confidence and play foolish basketball. It’s clear that the residual Jim Boylen stank has not worn off quite yet, despite what we saw on a truly encouraging stretch of basketball over the previous four games. When the Thunder started to battle back, the Bulls folded under the pressure. Their shot-selection was off and their decision-making was putrid.
Again, it all comes down to the turnovers, though. I know it seems like blowing a 22-point lead would be more complicated than that, but in this case, it really isn’t. The Bulls shot 47.3 percent from the field and 45.7 from downtown. They outrebounded the Thunder 56-44. They shot more free throws than the Thunder, and they recorded eight blocks. The team did enough to win, they just didn’t want it enough.
Zach LaVine: “We straight up folded. There’s not a lot to talk about.”
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 16, 2021