Booker Makes History, the Broken Offense, Billy Talks Lonzo/Jerry, and Other Bulls Bullets

The Bulls might only be a short three-game winning streak away from a .500 record, but it sure didn’t feel like it while watching them last night.

The Phoenix Suns made this roster look so far below average that a teacher would have graded them a G-. From start to finish, it was a dominant two-way performance from a Suns squad missing two of its normal starters, and it was largely thanks to the elite play of Devin Booker.

  • Somewhere in yesteryear, there is an Elias Schuster making the case that Zach LaVine and Devin Booker live on the same planet. That Elias Schuster is wrong. While LaVine still has the potential to be one of the NBA’s more elite three-level scorers, Booker is doing it at a far more consistent level right now. He seasoned and cooked the Bulls for three-quarters last night, amassing the 50-point threshold before the 4th quarter clock started to run. Remember the infamous Klay Thompson game when he hit an NBA record 14 3-pointers against Chicago over the first three frames? Yeah, it pretty much felt like watching that on repeat.
  • NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer did the digging, and Booker is now just the fourth player in NBA history to post the kind of performance that we saw last night. Only James Harden, Joel Embiid, and CJ McCollum have ever scored 50+ points on fewer shot attempts and in 31 or fewer minutes.
  • When someone is playing that well, you pretty much have to just tip your cap to them. The Bulls threw every single player and defensive look they had at Booker to try to slow him down. Could a better defensive team have a combination that worked? Possibly. But I truly believe Booker was playing well enough that he was going to feast against anyone.
  • Having said that, the Bulls are supposed to have the kind of offensive firepower to keep up with someone who is on a heater. They are built around three offensive-minded All-Star, and the fact that they continue to possess just the 22nd-ranked offense in the NBA is an indictment of what this front office has built. The roster construction remains frustratingly flawed, as Deandre Ayton go whatever he wanted in the paint and the Bulls were outscored 42-12 behind the 3-point line.
  • Not to mention, Zach LaVine has yet to look even close to the player this team paid to keep this summer. I’m not ready to press the panic button with the two-time All-Star (coming back from knee surgery will have its bumps in the road), but this team is built to go as far as he takes them. We truly have to start asking ourselves if the LaVine from the past will show himself this season. Is he already entering a new stage of his career? Is he going to need the full year to build back strength in his knee? Is he trying to adjust his game to rely less on athleticism and more on IQ? I really don’t know what the heck is going on, but every game he struggles to score efficiently, I grow increasingly concerned.
  • Even Ayo out here getting yelled at for his defense. Smh.
  • What did the Chicago Bulls do to the basketball gods? Do six rings somehow equate to six decades of torture? I NEED ANSWERS.
  • Billy, I’m so so sorry, but I couldn’t give a fewer Fs about your relationship with Jerry Reinsdorf. If it’s so darn good, then why don’t you convince that man his lack of spending is an embarrassment to basketball?
  • I envy the Celtics, who have two big men they know are part of the future plans.
  • If Fields doesn’t run any risk of further injury, fine, get him those developmental minutes.
  • So. Dang. Close.
  • written by

    Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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