How Not to Give Up 150 Points to Minnesota Again (and Other Bulls Bullets)

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How Not to Give Up 150 Points to Minnesota Again (and Other Bulls Bullets)

Chicago Bulls

March Madness saw my bracket, tore it in half, spit on it, threw it in the fire, collected the ashes, flushed them down the toilet, went in the sewer, collected the ashy water, and shot it into space.

I’ve been doing brackets for a long time, and Thursday was my worst performance ever. On the one hand, it made me furious. On the other hand, how can you not love March Madness!?

  • The Chicago Bulls hit a new low the last time they played the Minnesota Timberwolves. Despite Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns being stuck in street clothes, Anthony Edwards and Co. dropped 150 pointaroonies on the Bulls’ head. It was the first time since 1982 that Chicago allowed an opponent to score 150 points in regulation. And it was only the fourth time ever (it has happened two other times, as well, but both were in OT games).
  • The T-Wolves shot 65.5 percent from the field and finished with seven players in double figures. While Edwards led the show with an easy 37 points, it was Minnesota’s bench that really blew the game out of proportion. Their second unit was a +24, as they cumulatively finished 23-31 from the field. So, if the plan is to NOT allow the T-Wolves to hand Chicago another historic loss (which I think is a good plan!), providing a more competitive effort off the bench is a must.

  • Fortunately for the Bulls, their second unit has looked solid over the past several games. Patrick Williams’ move to the bench has come with more room to score, and he’s now cracked 13 points in three of his last four contests. In the team’s win over Denver, Williams was a +23 on the night after shooting 8-9 from the field. In the more recent gut-wrenching loss to the Kings, he had a +13 outing with 13 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists. If Coby White can also carry over the momentum from his big night against Sacramento – where he drained four 3s with 5 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals – the Bulls should have a much easier time hanging around.
  • But, let’s not kid ourselves, the No. 1 thing the Bulls need tonight is for their starting lineup to set the tone defensively. Minnesota assisted on 38 of their 57 made field goals and drained a total of 23 shots from behind the arc. Not only were half-court rotations a complete mess, but the Bulls couldn’t have acted more lackadaisical. This arguably felt the truest in transition, as Chicago allowed Minnesota to outscore them 20-9 on TOVs and 13-2 in the fastbreak.
  • I hate myself, so I sat down this morning to re-watch every made bucket from the Timberwolves during that game. Did they hit their fair share of dumb shots? Absolutely, especially when we now consider they’re the 23rd-ranked offense in the NBA. But, as simple as it may sound, the Bulls just played with disturbingly low effort and extremely poor communication. Whether it be easy rolls to the rim for Naz Reid, minimal physicality against Anthony Edwards, or shooters left wide-open from downtown, the Bulls looked like they didn’t know where to be nor like they wanted to find out.
  • The good news is that I highly doubt someone like Patrick Beverley will allow this to happen again. I also do expect the Bulls to walk into this game with at least some sort of chip on their shoulder. After all, to their credit, they did win five of six games right after that ugly loss and locker room blow-up. Not to mention, I think we can all agree their effort has at least been there since the All-Star break (even if the execution hasn’t).
  • So how do you avoid giving up 150 points to Minnesota again? Do the opposite of everything you did the first time! Well, I guess the “Big 3” can combine for 74 points on 56.0 percent shooting again. But everything else should probably be the opposite! K. Thanks.
  • Hey, not helping!

  • In all seriousness, I do think NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson provides some important context about Lonzo Ball’s impending surgery. While I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he can play again in the NBA, this is a very concerning situation. What we should all hope, for now, is that this next procedure solves the discomfort and helps get rid of long-term concerns for his day-to-day life. Once we know more about that, we can then begin to think about what a possible return might look like.
  • I’m putting Tab on blast for not including the 2010-11 Bulls in this poll. What a travesty!

  • Lowkey, bring back the green uniforms!

  • Congrats to the Bulls for helping make the Kings’ dream a reality!

  • Some running back talk …

  • Some lottery talk …

Author: Elias Schuster

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