Please Rebound Tonight, Patrick Williams Makes History, Lauri Markkanen's Injury, and Other Bulls Bullets

Social Navigation

Please Rebound Tonight, Patrick Williams Makes History, Lauri Markkanen’s Injury, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Pain on Wednesday. Pain on Friday. Pain on Saturday?

•   The Bulls have an opportunity to redeem themselves tonight after two back-to-back troubling losses to fellow Eastern Conference bottom-feeders. While their offense has continued to look much improved at times, they have also failed to shoot at an efficient clip from downtown in each of their past two games. Fortunately, with as much offensive talent as the Bulls have, I think it’s fair to believe their 3-point shooting woes will figure themselves out. The rebounding problems, on the other hand? Yeah, that’s going to be a big concern moving forward.

•   Before Wendell Carter Jr. hit the injury report with a severe quad contusion, the Bulls ranked 13th in the NBA in rebounds per game. Since then, however, the team has ranked 3rd-to-last in that category. I should mention that the Bulls have played multiple quality rebounding teams over this recent stretch (the Lakers, Magic, and Knicks all rank within the top-10), so it is likely the Bulls percentages would have taken a hit even with Carter Jr. on the court. But would it have been this substantial of a hit? Probably not. Lauri Markkanen and Daniel Gafford just don’t have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with these more physical and savvy big men. I mean, Nikola Vucevic literally dropped a career-high on them last night with 43 points and 19(!) boards. I truly don’t know how the Bulls are will go about fixing this problem … but I sure hope they do.

•   What we saw last night was far closer to a jump-ball than what we saw against the Blazers. Ridiculous.

•   Patrick Williams broke Bulls history last night.

•   I think what was so exciting about last night’s offensive showing was simply that it met expectations. For weeks now fans have wanted to see Williams play a more active role on offense under the assumption that his elite athleticism and natural aggression could give opposing teams problems. For the most part, that is exactly what happened last night, as he went 7-11 from the field with all but three of his shots coming from the paint. Even better, he shot 6-7 on his buckets that came within 10ft of the basket. I’m hoping that his success in attacking the basket over these past two games will show him that he can play a much bigger role on that end of the floor. After all, it sounds like his teammates are more than okay with letting that happen.

•   Not to mention, the Bulls might simply need Williams to step up over the next couple of games. Head coach Billy Donovan said Lauri Markkanen is “unlikely” to play tonight after leaving last night’s matchup with a shoulder injury. Markkanen has been no stranger to extended injury absences, so while I hope that will not be the case this time around, there is a chance Williams will have to slide over to fill a Markkanen sized hole in the foreseeable future.

•   The good news is that Williams sure does sound ready to take on any kind of increased role (via NBC Sports Chicago): “I think not only me but every guy has to step up. We do have those guys out. So I’m not sure who’s gonna be available and whatnot. But part of being a pro, of what I’ve learned, is just being ready when your name is called. So like I said tomorrow, if they do play, if they don’t play, somebody’s name has to be called and we have to be ready to step up to the plate and compete again.”

•   Some good commentary on the Bulls defense:

•   So did y’all see Stacey King and Adam Amin absolutely roast this Bulls fan last night? I mean, I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t laugh, but I did feel bad that this man was put on blast without even knowing it.

•   The good news is King and the Bulls did locate the man over social media and will apparently hook him up with a bunch of new gear for being a good sport. A little public shaming for a new Jordan jersey? Honestly, I’d take that any day!

Latest from Bleacher Nation:

Author: Elias Schuster

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