The Chicago Bulls played incredibly well in the first quarter of tonight’s game against the Raptors. However, the other three quarters were not as pretty. The Bulls lost with a final score of 122-98.
For their final game before heading into the All-Star break, the Chicago Bulls had a tough test. They took on the number one team in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors.
After the first quarter, the Bulls led 33-27 and all things were looking good (other than any Toronto big man getting whatever he wanted offensively). But after that, the differences in the two teams started to show.
Despite an impressive win against a good Minnesota team last Friday, the Chicago Bulls are still the same Chicago Bulls we’ve seen for the majority of the year.
Chicago held All-Star Demar DeRozan to a mere 7 points but couldn’t contain Kyle Lowry or the Toronto big men. Lowry finished the game with 20 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds while Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas combined for 34 points on 16-21 shooting.
Toronto realized where the Chicago Bulls’ weaknesses were and attacked them perfectly.
What went well for the Bulls?
Budding star Zach LaVine really struggled from the field as he shot a poor 5-17. But during this rebuild, I’ll never be upset with LaVine having a “keep shooting” mentality. His aggression was on full display despite his shooting struggles. Plus, he managed to freeze Valanciunas with a nice hesitation move and then finished it off with a big-time slam.
He also showed some nice passing potential with this dime to a cutting Robin Lopez:
It was also nice to see Kris Dunn return to action, tonight. He finished the game with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists – but only saw 20 minutes of action as the Bulls are trying to bring him back slowly.
The only real silver lining to take from this game, besides LaVines aggression, is that we got to see the Bulls future play together. Bulls fans can look forward to seeing more of LaVine, Markkanen, and Dunn after the All-Star break as all three appear to be healthy and confident.
So really, nothing went that well for the Chicago Bulls tonight. Fred Hoiberg summed it up best with this quote:
The Chicago Bulls (like most teams around this time of year) really need the All-Star break to re-group and re-focus. So with a record of 20-36, the Bulls head into the break. We’ll have to wait a few more days to find out how they approach the remainder of the season.