Bulls Lose Heartbreaker to Warriors
Two teams who were searching for their first win on the young NBA season battled it out on Sunday night. The Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors went toe to toe at the United Center in search of a win. It was a back and forth game that came down to the final seconds. Golden State’s Damion Lee hit the game winning 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left on the clock. Steph Curry who shot poorly in the first half finished with 36 points and surpassed 2,500 three-pointers made. Most of his points came in the 3rd and 4th quarters when the Warriors needed it. However, if he hit his shots in the first half, this could have been another ugly loss for the Bulls. I know everyone saw the video of Steph at the Bulls practice facility a day before the game where he hit 103 straight three point shots. 5 straight minutes of video footage of swish after swish from Steph Curry…. It led many to believe he was in for a big game against the Bulls and they were not wrong.
Give the Bulls credit, they did a great job denying Curry the ball on the final play of the game. Luckily for the Warriors, Damion Lee came to the rescue and hit the big shot. However, the NBA came out after the fact and said that there should have been a 5-second inbound violation and an offensive foul on a screen set by Kevon Looney. Both of which were not called on the court and the Warriors walked away with the victory. Obviously does not help the Bulls now, but certainly would have helped if the correct call was made during the game. When the NBA comes out with this information after the fact, it does more harm than good. Although this Warriors team is a team the Bulls should beat handily, losing in this fashion will sting for a while.
Golden State improves to 1–2 on the season while the Bulls fall to 0–3. An immaculate win for the Warriors who will be without their 2nd best player for a 2nd straight season. On the flip side, it was a gut wrenching loss for a Bulls team who has playoff aspirations in 2021 but have not started the season as they would have hoped.
Steph Curry and the Warriors do not have high expectations in the West. Especially with the injuries that have plagued them the past two seasons. There is only so much Steph Curry can do without his running mates of Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Although Draymond should be back on the court in the next week or two, this is a very young, rebuilding Warriors roster. They have little to no chance of making it into the postseason in the tough Western Conference… Unless they have the refs on their side of course…
The Chicago Bulls went into this season with high hopes. A young, up and coming roster, new head coach, and front office has the organization revitalized and optimistic for the future. However, after a tough 0–3 start to the season, frustration is setting in. The Bulls were dominated in their first two games of the regular season to the point where the 3rd and 4th quarters really didn’t matter. However, this game against the Warriors was much different. The Bulls came out and played well to start the game. Something they had not done in their first two losing efforts.
It was encouraging to see the Bulls ‘Core 4’ of players having good games. Zach Lavine led the way with 33 points and 7 rebounds. Lauri Markkanen who has played well all season finished with 23 points and 7 rebounds. Wendell Carter Jr. had arguably the best game of his young career with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Last years #7 pick Coby White added 20 points and 5 assists. This was a great sign of future success for the Bulls as they shared the ball and played well off of one another. Although they did not come out with the win, they have been improving every game so far. The effort has improved on both ends of the floor. However, the first 3 games have been won and lost on the Bulls inability to stop opposing teams going on big runs, and their inability to take care of the basketball.
Turnovers have been the Bulls achilles heel through the first week of the season. They will need to be much stronger with the ball if they want to stay close in games and come out on top. The Warriors played some full court pressure in their game on Sunday night and the Bulls could not handle it. The Warriors forced numerous turnovers from their pressure defense and that ultimately turned out to be the difference in the game.
Yet another loss brings on more questions on the future of this team. While it is only 3 games, the media has been writing about the possibility of the Bulls parting ways with their star assets and starting fresh. While I believe this is a horrid knee-jerk reaction to a poor start, there is no denying the toll constant losing has on players. If some players start to get frustrated, they may want to find a way out of Chicago any way possible.
As I mentioned, I do not see that as the case just yet. We need to give the coaching staff and these players a chance to get their feet under them. These athletes have not played competitive basketball for 9 months prior to their first preseason game where they subsequently got blown out by the Rockets. This coaching staff has had an unusually short and abnormal offseason, so they are learning on the fly just like the players are.
It will take some time for this Bulls team to start to mesh with one another, but if it takes too long, it could lead to premature changes being made prior to the trade deadline or leading into next season.
The Bulls will get another chance at that elusive first win of the season on Tuesday against the also winless, Washington Wizards. They will play the Wizards back to back on Tuesday and Thursday so somebody is bound to get their first win. Hopefully the Bulls can pull off the clean sweep and head into the weekend at 2–3.
Bulls Nation, try not to panic. Billy Donovan will do whatever it takes to figure this thing out and get the Bulls back to playing winning basketball. It was very encouraging to see the numbers put up by Lavine, Markkanen, Carter Jr., and Coby White. They are the first foursome of Bulls to score 20+ a piece since Jimmy, DWade, Rondo, and Moritic. An exciting sign of what could be on the horizon. It will not happen overnight so it will take some patience from the players, coaches and fanbase, but when it turns around, you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the bandwagon.
Buckle up… It’s going to be a roller coaster season for the Bulls.