I’m going to keep this one short and sweet.
The Chicago Bulls fought their ass off for a full 48 minutes. It was their third game in four days, and they managed to put themselves in a position to steal one against the defending Eastern Conference champions on the road. As far as losses go, that is one I can easily stomach.
Does it sting that the Bulls couldn’t capitalize on a dominant performance from DeMar DeRozan, who scored 46 points on a 20-22 performance from the free-throw line? Absolutely. Should you win a game where you shoot 51.2 percent from the field and 39.3 percent from downtown? Probably. But this felt like one of those playoff games where anyone could have walked out victorious. The Bulls did everything they could, and the ball just happened to roll a couple more times in the Celtics’ favor.
Ok, fine, and the whistle also blew a couple more times in the Celtics’ favor. A big reason Chicago walked away victorious the first time these two met was because of the rebounding battle and free throw line. This time around, however, the Celtics managed to win both. The free throw line, in particular, was likely the main difference in this game, as Boston shot 14 more freebies than Chicago.
Again, at the end of the day, this is a loss I can live with. I still think the Bulls showed some extremely positive things tonight, and the fact they’ve started the year looking far more competitive against playoff-caliber teams is a positive.
Check out the full box score here.