Enhanced Box Score: Pacers 117, Bulls 113 – February 15, 2023
This sure didn’t look like the same Chicago Bulls offense we watched average a league-low in points over the last five games.
The first quarter was about as good as we could have hoped for. They outscored the Pacers 39-15 and repeatedly turned turnovers into easy transition buckets on the other end. If we’re being honest, it was reminiscent of the team we saw dominate for the first half of last season. Plus, they were even making 3’s!
But, as the Bulls have proven time and again this season, humiliation is inevitable. The second quarter saw the Pacers break out into a 24-9 run and shrink what was once a 24-point lead all the way down to single digits. The Bulls were able to eventually bump their lead back up to 16 points thanks, in large part, to a great effort by Coby White off the bench, but we all knew that foot wasn’t going to stay on the gas.
The 3rd quarter gave me deja vu. The Bulls let the Pacers outscore them 40-28 to enter the final frame up just 4 points. By the 8:15 mark, Chicago’s 24-point lead was officially erased as Bennedict Mathurin’s layup gave the Pacers a 92-90 lead. What happened next is what assured me the Bulls were going to lose.
If giving up that lead wasn’t bad enough, the Bulls failed to take advantage of an obvious five-on-four situation that played out after Mathurin’s go-ahead basket. The rookie either thought he was fouled or knew the Bulls weren’t going to make his team pay as he celebrated with fans underneath the basket. The Bulls lackadaisically brought the ball up the court and settled for a missed Vooch jumper.
All things considered, that possession summed up this now season-high five-game losing streak for me. Not only did the Bulls fail to notice the opportunity they had in front of them, but they wouldn’t have cared to do anything about it even if they did.
I’m having a really hard time, guys. I just don’t really know what to say about this team anymore. Every single game is pretty much the same, and it really feels like the players have joined us in praying for the offseason to arrive faster. This is going to be a really painful final month and a half.
Check out the full box score here.