I finally got my hands on an Ayo Dosunmu jersey, so that counts as a win, right?
The United Center wanted to get loud, but the Cavaliers never gave it the chance. Despite a crafty Zach LaVine feed to a cutting Nikola Vucevic for the opening night dunk and a thunderous Javonte Green put-back, the Chicago Bulls failed to make any noise in the first half.
Slowly but surely Cleveland stretched the lead into double digits, where it stayed for the majority of the opening two frames. The Bulls seemingly refused to guard the 3-point line and allowed the Cavs to shoot a grotesque 10-14 from behind the arc over the first two quarters. Chicago’s offense tried to keep up, but they repeatedly clanked their opening looks off the rim to the tune of a 3-13 showing from downtown. Yikes.
I wish I could say the second half provided the turnaround we wanted to see, but the Bulls offered just a temporary glimmer of (ultimately false) hope. The three-man combo of Ayo, Javonte, and Caruso deserves massive credit for bringing the Bulls within 9 points with their defense activity. But the team’s offense couldn’t close the gap.
They ended the night shooting just 40.5 percent from the field and a dismal 24.1 percent from behind the arc. The bench, in particular, was no help on the offensive end, going a combined 1-13 from distance.
While I’m not necessarily concerned about the Bulls offensive struggles, we were reminded of how quickly the lack of reliable 3-point shooters can sink the ship. I also can’t help but scratch my head at the decision-making of Billy Donovan. His choice to sit all three All-Stars at the same time in the 2nd quarter helped the Cavs balloon the lead to 20 — practically ending the game right there.
I don’t know. It’s Game 3 of 82, so I’m not going to overreact. But I do hope I slip on a spilled 312 on my way out of the arena and forget the last 24 hours.
Next up … the Celtics. Woof.