The Little Things Matter, Very Bad Officiating, Vooch's 3-Point Stroke, and Other Bulls Bullets

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The Little Things Matter, Very Bad Officiating, Vooch’s 3-Point Stroke, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls officially unveiled their new City Edition uniforms this morning, and I’d have to say they’re already growing on me.

It may not be as strong as last year’s throwback look, but they can’t all be first-place finishers, right? The NBA forcing teams to come out with a new design each years puts them in a pretty tough place, so I give the Bulls a tip of the hate for keeping it simple and focusing on the details.

  • To the Bulls’ credit, they are playing far more competitive basketball against some of the league’s most talented teams. Whether it be Boston or New Orleans or the 76ers, they have given themselves a chance to win in almost every single battle this season (with the exception of the home opener against the Cavaliers). But a chance to win isn’t enough. If the Bulls don’t start pulling out some of these close games, they are basically going to be in the same situation they were in last season.
  • The difference between good and great teams comes down to how they handle the little things. The Bulls can keep the game as close as they want, but if they can’t grab that crucial 4th quarter rebound or convert a simple inbound pass, they’re going to lose more times than not. The Pelicans outrebounded Chicago 50-35 on Wednesday night, which included a 13-6 victory in the offensive rebounding department. They also simply sank their biggest shots of the night, while the Bulls turned the ball over on arguably their most important possession.
  • To be clear, the Bulls deserve credit for the way they kept this talented Pelicans team in check for three quarters. But it’s a 48 minutes game, and I absolutely hate that I have to keep saying that. Both Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson were able to save their best for last, Combining for 27 points in the 4th quarter on 10-15 shooting. As for the Bulls, Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan scored just 10 points on a dismal 4-14 performance. It was a duel between two All-Star duos, and the Bulls’ pairing, unfortunately, fell flat on their face.
  • I can’t place all the blame on them, however. Not only did they still combine for 56 total points, but the officials were acting like Benny the Bull poured popcorn down their pants and spit in their ice cream. I mean, seriously, this was easily the most poorly officiated game of the season, and there is no question it had a significant influence on the outcome of the game. We saw the refs miss multiple calls in the clutch, which included a seemingly blatant foul by Williamson on a DeMar DeRozan drive to the rim and push off by Brandon Ingram on the other end.
  • Let’s also not forget this disaster in the first half:
  • At the end of the night, the Pelicans shot 36 free throws compared to the Bulls’ 18. Let me remind you that the Bulls went into the game sitting top-7 in FTAs per game, whereas the Pelicans ranked 18th. I just refuse to believe that the disparity should have been that large, and I’m already dreading the L2M that will come out later today. The Bulls already lost the Wizards game because of a missed foul call on DeRozan’s final 3-point attempt, and I will not be shocked if a similarly significant call was missed this time around.
  • At least we had these fun plays …
  • Nikola Vucevic struggled mightly against Jonas Valacinuas, who finished the night with 21 points and 13 rebounds on 8-13 shooting. On the bright side, though, Vooch did continue to look like a rejuvenated factor behind the 3-point line. He hit two enormous shots from downtown to tie the game and then give the Bulls the lead with less than 3 minutes to go. He’s now shooting 39.7 percent from downtown on 4.5 attempts per game. We can only hope those numbers stick around.
  • Find Justin Fields some more help!
  • You love to hear it.

Author: Elias Schuster

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