Stop me if you’ve heard this story before: The Chicago Bulls couldn’t make a 3 and couldn’t protect the rim.
From the moment this game tipped off, the Bulls same old problems crept up. They started the night a disgusting 1-14 from behind the arc and shot 42.5 percent from the field overall. Meanwhile, the NBA’s second-best offense continued to push their advantage higher and higher, as the Suns outscored the Bulls 32-18 in the 2nd quarter and shot 57.8 percent over the first two frames.
Deandre Ayton cruised to an early 16 points on 7-9 shooting. All of his made buckets in the first half came from right underneath the basket thanks to the Bulls missing rotations and not having the athleticism to properly contest.
Who truly ended this game early, though, was Devin Booker. The Suns’ MVP candidate looked like he was playing against a JV’s second unit. He splashed 25 points in the first two quarters and didn’t stop there. By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, he already had 51 points to his name on a highly efficient 20-25 shooting display. The dude put on an absolute clinic.
Worst of all, the bucket that put Booker over the 50-point threshold came after snatching Zach LaVine’s cross-court pass right out of the air. It was a moment that underscored just how different the two players truly are right now.
Previously compared for their fiery scoring ability, Booker has continued his ascension this season while LaVine has looked like a shell of his former self after offseason knee surgery. The Bulls’ All-Star continued his dismal shooting display in recent weeks with a 1-6 start to the night. He went on to finish 7-15 with 21 points, but it came in a team-worst -17 performance.
Look, losing to the Suns isn’t the worst thing in the world. But the Bulls didn’t even make it seem remotely competitive. The same old problems arose, which great teams like this are going to be able to exploit time and again.
Anyway, I have so many thoughts going through my head and don’t even know how to organize them right now. I’m mad at the front office, confused with players, and depressed with the outcome. And I can’t imagine I’ll be feeling any different on Friday when the Bulls play Steph Curry … but we’ll see.
Check out the full box score here.