BULLet Points: Bulls comeback falls short in loss to Celtics

  • For the second consecutive game, the Bulls starting guards put together impressive performances while the rest of their teammates contributed next to nothing.
  • Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler combined to score 55 points on 48.7% shooting from the field. Butler, who is battling through an illness, got off to a slow start against Jae Crowder. But from the second quarter on, Jimmy was able to get to the hoop and knock down his mid range jumper en route to a team-high 28 points. Butler also led the team with 14 rebounds and eight free throws.
  • After an abysmal start to the season, Rose has shot the ball well in 2016. Derrick had perhaps his best night from distance on Friday, connecting on 3/4 attempts from three. In nine games this month, Rose is shooting 48%-33%-96% on field goals, threes and free throws. He’s doing all this while attempting more field goals per game than he has in any prior month. I was unfairly skeptical of Rose’s vision problems to start the season and viewed it as a convenient excuse for his horrible play. But maybe the guy from the first 20 games of the season just couldn’t see!
  • The Celtics play an intense, disciplined style that relentlessly attacked the weakest aspects of the Bulls. Boston has great size and depth at guard and they exploited the Bulls’ reserves. Several times with either E’Twaun Moore or Aaron Brooks in the game, the Celtics raced down in transition to create a quick post up for Evan Turner or Marcus Smart. The Bulls were slow to get back on defense and failed to effectively communicate when they did.
  • The Celtics finished the game with 14 steals. Avery Bradley led the team with four, and Jae Crowder and Jared Sullinger each had three. Boston is tied for the league lead in turnovers forced per game at 16.8, and the 20 they forced from Chicago will only go to build that lead. Too often the Bulls guards would fire lazy passes on the perimeter that led to easy fast break points the other way. Boston’s love of jumping passing lanes should not come as a surprise to any team, and it was on these live ball turnovers that showcased the Bulls lack of attention to detail.
  • Boston is by no means a good offensive team. But when you give up easy transition layups and threes, it’s hard to beat anybody.
  • The Bulls received no contribution from their small forwards. After writing about Tony Snell in the (D)Rose sand Thorns midseason review, Tony attempted only one field goal. Snell made his sole attempt, which is more than what can be said for Doug McDermott. In Doug’s 23 minutes on the court, he was just 0/1.
  • Coming up: the Bulls take on Tyronn Lue (in his head coaching debut) and the Cavs in primetime tonight on ABC!
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