Note-A-BULLs: Bulls blast Pistons to break out of funk

The Bulls sputtered and hobbled and stumbled as of late, losing six of their last eight, falling to 0.500, but the slump came to a halt Monday night at home against division adversary, the Detroit Pistons. The Bulls meant business, coming out of the gate strong and leading this one wire to wire, quickly amassing a 16 point lead after the first quarter and a 35-point halftime lead.

  • The Bulls scored 69 points in the first half, their most of the season. This matches their entire point total from Friday night’s embarrassing 26-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. To achieve this feat, the Bulls shot an impressive 72.9% from the field. This is no small task for the Bulls, whose field goal percentage was fourth worst in the NBA coming into the game, at 43.6%.
  • Monday’s performance also landed the Bulls among the daily leaders in the NBA: 34 assists (1st), 59.8% field goal percentage (1st), 100% from the line (1st), 50% field goal percentage (1st), 46 rebounds (2nd), nine steals (2nd), and 113 points (3rd).
  • The ball was hopping in the first quarter, posting 15 assists. This is tied with Golden State for the most assists in any quarter this season – saying this is good company to be in would be just a slight understatement.
  • Rajon Rondo had a near triple double, with 10 points, 14 assists, and eight rebounds, helping the Bulls maintain meaningful possessions and execute fast breaks for easy points.
  • The 34 point lead after three quarters allowed the starters some rest – not one of them logged a minute in the fourth quarter; Jimmy Butler led with 30 minutes, Rondo had 28, Robin Lopez with 25, Dwyane Wade with 22, and Taj Gibson with just 19 although not for lack of production – he was 8/8 from the field with 16 points, four rebounds, a block, a steal, and a +19.
  • Astonishingly, the Bulls didn’t need many trips to the free throw line since their shooting was so good – Butler was 6/6 and Wade made the one attempt he was afforded.
  • I could rattle off individual stats up and down the roster on a night like tonight, but what’s more telling about their performance is that they had seven players in double digit point figures, with no player posting over 20; to boot, 34 assists on 49 field goals is an extraordinary sign that the Bulls hope to continue.
  • The team was reported to have a lowlights film session of Friday’s loss to the Bucks, which was said to have impacted the team in a positive way by helping them maintain an open mind to their respective criticisms and identify areas for improvement. It came through in flying colors.
  • As embarrassing as the Bulls were on Friday against the Bucks, the Pistons found a way to equal it. Head coach Jeff Van Gundy said, “We got crushed. It was a disgusting performance by all of us, me included. I mean, it was unprofessional, embarrassing, humiliating. It looks to me like a lack of effort and a lack of heart. And if you don’t play hard, you’re not going to have any confidence. We looked like we were hoping the game would be easy tonight, and it wasn’t. And we just caved.”
  • Up Next: On Wednesday, the Bulls host the Washington Wizards, while the Pistons host the Memphis Grizzlies.

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