Self-Inflicted Wounds, Donovan's Teaching Style, A Tougher Mavs Matchup, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Self-Inflicted Wounds, Donovan’s Teaching Style, A Tougher Mavs Matchup, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

The girlfriend and I made a big pillow fort last night because why the hell not? The entire thing was great fun, but I will say that squeezing into a fort and laying on the floor as a six-foot-three male does make the whole thing a bit less magical (Michael: See? That’s why I always said I’m happy to be 5’7″).

•   Before we look on, we must look back. While I want to forget what happened on Friday night to the Chicago Bulls, I probably shouldn’t, and the same goes for each player in that locker room. A blown 22-point lead and a double-digit collapse in the final 1:47 are not supposed to happen anymore. If these players want to be apart of something new in Chicago, they have to be instrumental in creating that new image on the court. In several ways, they’ve done that this season, but they have yet to do it is the only way that truly matters – winning. The team has now lost four-straight games by a combined 11 points. In other words, the team has dropped four theoretically winnable games in a row. When that’s the case, the only one you can really blame is yourself.

•   One good example of their many self-inflicted wounds came on the final play of regulation against the Thunder. Stephen Noh does a great job outlining what was supposed to happen and how the Bulls panicked below.

•   Chicago had a clear path to victory … literally. All Porter needed to do was get that pass off to a wide-open Markkanen, who could then score over the much-shorter George Hill or pass to rookie Patrick Williams for the easy dunk. I know Porter was trapped, but you probably have to try to get that pass off. Donovan even said during the postgame that he wanted Porter and Markkanen to run the pick-and-roll because he trusted Porter’s size to throw the ball over the top. If he does just lob it up over true defenders, perhaps Hill has more time to better contest Markkanen’s shot, but then the option is still there for the quick pass to an unguarded Patrick Williams.

•   At the end of the day, though, it’s unfair to say the Bulls lost on that play. The team actually lost at least five turnovers and five minutes before that when they were still up by 16 points. And that’s exactly why Donovan sat his team down on Saturday to rewatch their chaotic demise.

•   The man is fed up. He sounded that way during Friday’s postgame press conference and it appears he’s acted that way behind the scenes. I know that may sound negative, but I think it very much has opposite impact in this scenario. All this guy has done over his career is win games, and that also happens to be exactly why he was brought to Chicago in the first place. He is trying to establish a more accountable and consistent winning culture, one that doesn’t see a team nearly beat the Los Angele Clippers short-handed before blowing a 22-point lead to a rebuilding Thunder team. His attitude and his reaction to these recent Bulls blunders should only make fans more comfortable with the fact that he has been hired as the team’s new leader.

•   Donovan quotes >>>> nails on a chalkboard >>>>> Boylen quotes

•   Now, the Bulls have a chance to show their head coach how fast they can learn from their mistakes. Today’s 2:00 p.m. CT matchup against the Mavericks will be very different than the game these two played a couple of weeks ago. While Dallas is missing several key role players yet again, they will have both their star players on the court. Neither Luka Doncic nor Kristaps Prozgingis appeared in the previous contest, which certainly made the Bulls 118-108 victory a bit more obtainable. If the Bulls can channel a similar style of play from the west coast road trip and first half in Oklahoma City, they should be able to keep this one close (especially with their depth feeling superior to the Mavs this time around). Then, it will all come down to their ball control and defense, the two areas I’m sure they talked plenty about over the last 24 hours.

•   BullsTV does a remarkable job with these Run With Us episodes. The latest gives a great look at their Health and Safety Protocols as well as their dope win against the Trail Blazers. Give it a watch, and I promise you’ll feel less mad about being a Bulls fan.

Author: Elias Schuster

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