I got to be honest, I thought I’d be walking into today eating my feelings.
After what we watched from the Chicago Bulls over the past two weeks, in no world did I expect them to come out and beat the top-2 teams in the Eastern Conference back-to-back. I guess it just serves as a reminder of the potential that still resides on this roster and how much growth they actually have made since last season.
Anyway, I’m going to keep these holiday bullets relatively short. I got a Turkey Bowl to get to with some old friends and then a little drive to make before dinner. If you need me, I’ll likely be nursing a sore ankle and unbuttoning my pants.
- I don’t know if these two wins will fuel the kind of full-season turnaround all of us covet, but I do know I’m extremely thankful for both victories. The Bulls were outclassed in almost every game against a top opponent last season, so the fact they were able to grab these two does signal that at least some legitimate progress is being made.
- I mean, seriously, did you see how hard this team played!? Not only was it the first time they looked like a group that fully understood each other’s strengths, but it was arguably the most aggressive defensive showing we’ve seen from this core. Even DeMar DeRozan was drawing pivotal charge calls and Coby White was adding steals to the box score. Whenever anyone was switched onto Giannis Antetokounmpo, they acted as if their life depended on keeping him from scoring. All in all, the Bulls forced Milwaukee into 19 turnovers and recorded a season-high 12 blocks. Include all those games with Lonzo Ball and it may still have been their best defensive performance of the past two seasons.
- Speaking of Coby White, that may have been the best game of his career. I know White has put together far more explosive scoring efforts during his four seasons, but he’s arguably never been as influential on both ends of the floor. In addition to his surprisingly sound defense, White hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game with 1:15 remaining and to take the lead with 46.1 seconds remaining.
- Nikola Vucevic also continued his own bounce-back season from behind the arc by nailing three of his four 3s in the final frame. The Bulls ended the night with a season-high 18 buckets from downtown. Huh, playing defense and making 3s is a good recipe for beating good teams. Who woulda thunk it!?
- You got to love some accountability.
“Losing the games we lost, we’ve been holding each other accountable,” DeRozan told Bulls dot com after the game. “Everybody’s been speaking up whenever we get a chance, film sessions, practice; we’ve been on each other. We’ve been picking it up and showing how bad we want it instead of just talking about it; that’s a testament to guys wanting to go out there and compete. Coach challenged me, Zach and Vooch a couple of games ago. We’ve got to live up to that, keep this group going. It’s a challenge we all accepted.
- You also got to love some Javonte Green.
- ICYMI: Ayo Dosunmu gave Bulls fans what they wanted …
- Remember how everyone said DeMar couldn’t do it again?
- HAPPY THANKSGIVING! EAT ALL THE FOOD AND DRINK ALL THE DRINKS AND ENJOY UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTENDED FAMILY!