Chicago Bulls (4-5) at Sacramento Kings (4-3)
Postgame Analysis 01-07-2021
The Bulls fell short last night on the second night of a back to back to the Sacramento Kings losing 128-124. The Bulls fell behind early again being down 12 in the second quarter, down by 9 in the third quarter and closed the gap to 6 with three minutes remaining in the game. With star guard De’Aaron Fox out early in the game with an injury, the Bulls kept it close at the end and did all they could but Tyrese Haliburton was not going to be denied. He scored 3 three pointers and 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and was a major reason the Bulls couldn’t pull off the victory. Coby White did all he could to help propel the team with a career high 36 points with Zach Lavine also dropping 32 points.
Even though the loss was disappointing as a Bulls fan, you can’t help but notice the improvement game to game from this team. These young Bulls have a lot of heart and even though they consistently fall behind early, they are now managing to climb back into the game and make it competitive. I am loving what I am seeing out of this Bulls backcourt. Coby and Zach look great next to each other and they combined for a total 68 points. They have played some of the best backcourts in the league already this season (Lillard/McCollum, Westbrook/Beal) and have held their own. It seems like the last few games, I keep seeing a new career high for one of the two backcourt mates in some statistical category. The way they are playing, it allows one to be distributor and one to attack and it’s interesting seeing how their chemistry is forming every game. White has scored 20+ points in 3 straight games and is averaging 26.7 PPG during the stretch with Lavine averaging 29.7 PPG during the same stretch.
Credit must be given when it is due, and I am one of the most negative people about Denzel Valentine, but he played a great game last night. He made the right passes, made some timely buckets, and played good defense. I hope he can build off this performance but I still wished we signed Kris Dunn over him in the offseason. Garrett Temple has looked like a great signing so far and he does all the little things to help win the game, along with some important baskets throughout the game. He did have some late game mishaps, especially with his poor inbounds pass with 11 seconds left in the game. One thing that really stuck out like a sore thumb during the game was how far back Wendell Carter Jr. played not he screens today. He was not within 10 feet of his man and allowed way too many open 3’s, midrange jumpers, or drives. I don’t know if it is a scheme of Donovan’s playing the “drop” defense but when Thaddeus Young is in the game, there is a clear difference on screen defense. The Bulls are still without 4 important rotation players but I wonder how Lauri Markennan will fit in to this starting lineup with Otto Porter Jr. playing great game after game.
With the loss, the Bulls drop to 4-5 on the season and have a tough upcoming 2 game set against the Lakers and Clippers starting on Friday evening.
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