The Bulls suffered a very tough loss on Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks. The Bulls, facing the Hawks for the second time in five days, were blown out in the last meeting 102-93. In that matchup, the Bulls showed a lack of effort and, frankly, looked disinterested for most of the game. On Wednesday night, the team came out from the tip with revenge on their mind. Led by Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, who combined for 73 of the team’s total 114 points, the Bulls jumped out to an early lead and did not look back.
Wade and Butler played like the unstoppable force many fans imagined the two would be when Wade signed over the summer. The duo was running up and down the floor playing like men on a mission. Specifically on the offensive end, Wade and Butler seemingly traded off basket after basket. Wade, who had one of his stronger games of the season in this one, finished with 33 points on 14/24 shooting. Butler had another monster game, filling up the stat sheet with 40 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Mid-range, three pointers, driving to the hole–you name it, these two did it in this game. The Bulls had a good contribution from Doug McDermott who scored 10 points off the bench and was 2/5 behind the arc. The Bulls looked like they were going to cruise to a third consecutive win and hand the Hawks a taste of their own medicine. Then, late in the fourth quarter the Bulls unraveled and the game that was supposed to give this team some confidence, slipped away.
At the 2:46 mark of the fourth quarter, down by 10 points, the 26-19 Hawks finally awoke. After three consecutive three point field goals the Hawks crept within 1 point of the Bulls. Even watching on television, I could see the emotions on the Bull’s players faces changing. A fun, revenge win, turned into a sad, heartbreaking loss. I could imagine all of the fans in attendance thinking “here we go again.” The Hawks would end the game on a 19-4 run, and beat the Bulls 119-114.
This game was a perfect example of how inconsistent this season has been thus far for the Bulls. In the blink of an eye, this team can go from clicking on all cylinders to crumbling under pressure. As a fan it’s hard to watch this team on a consistent basis, one can only imagine what the players are feeling. In recent days, it has become apparent that Dwyane Wade is not happy with the Bulls. Rumors around the NBA say that Wade will not pick up his player option next season and will elect to become a free agent. Other reports say that the Bulls are looking to clear house, trying to find places to send Taj Gibson, Rajon Rondo, and Nikola Mirotić. It seems that the Bulls front office is coming to terms with the inevitable rebuild mode this team has been going toward ever since Derrick Rose suffered his first knee injury. It may not sound pretty, but it’ll soon be the reality for the Bulls and their fans.
The Bulls play again on Friday at the United Center against the Miami Heat, Wade’s former team. The Bulls are 2-0 against the Heat on the season and look to bounce back from Wednesday’s ugly loss.