Enhanced Box Score: Bulls 103, Pistons 81 – April 9, 2023
The Bulls had me grinding my teeth.
While I understand Billy Donovan’s preference to keep his players in a rhythm heading into Wednesday’s Play-In Tournament game, how could I not worry about any fluke injuries? Getting his guys off the floor sooner than later felt like it should be the priority, but then both DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Patrick Beverley trotted back onto the court for the start of the second half.
LaVine ended up playing 26 minutes with 17 points, while DeRozan clocked 24 minutes with 16 points. Meanwhile, Vucevic was held to just 17 minutes after being the only one of the three to appear in the team’s previous contest against the Mavericks. Fortunately, each player seemingly came out unscathed.
Other than that, I’m not sure what else to say about this game. The Pistons were able to hang around for a majority of the time, but I attribute a lot of that to the Bulls’ starters playing on cruise control. When the bench came in and youngsters like Carlik Jones, Dalen Terry, and Terry Taylor got some minutes to try to prove themselves, they outscored the Pistons 36-17. I give them each props for coming out with plenty of energy, but we’re ultimately talking about a pretty meaningless quarter of basketball.
So … there we have it. The Bulls’ regular season comes to an end with a 40-42 record. They will now head to Toronto for a do-or-die game on Wednesday night. Regardless of what happens then, however, we can surely declare this regular season a significant disappointment. After a year when the team returned to relevance and finished top-6 in the East, all they did was prove how far the organization still has to go.
We’ll talk way more about the Play-In game over the next two days. For now, enjoy your Sunday. Happy Easter to those who celebrate!
Check out the full box score here.