If today’s 123-118 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors does not give this unidentified Bulls group confidence, I do not know what will.
Jimmy Butler was the reason we won this game and the reason the Bulls are not plummeting towards rock bottom.
The Toronto Raptors came to the UC today with a 24-11 record. They are second in the Eastern Conference and only a handful of games behind the defending NBA Champs Cleveland. Players such as Demar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry play exceptional ball for Toronto, however, the Raptors have never been taken seriously as contenders for an NBA Championship.
The first half of the game consisted of a sloppy Bulls basketball. Poor defense and low scoring options on offense led Toronto to take a 61-48 lead. This was the point when many Bulls fans turned off the game, which turned out to be a big mistake.
The second half was a totally different ball game. The Bulls played hard-nosed defense and outscored the Raptors in a roaring comeback led by Jimmy Butler. He hit shots, got to the line, and most importantly retrieved offensive rebounds to get second chance opportunities. Our bench also came up big (for once) with Doug McDermott, 17pts 10 rebs, and Niko, 12pts 9reb, contributing.
When it came down to the wire the Bulls almost lost the game. They gave DeRozan and Lowry two great looks in the remaining seconds of the 4th quarter. Luckily the ball rolled off the rim and the Bulls never looked back. Hitting big shot after big shot, the Bulls cruised to an overtime victory and boy it felt good. Here are a couple things to take away from today’s huge win:
1) Jimmy Butler has truly taken his game to another level. Scoring 42 points today he played like an MVP. I personally think Jimmy is playing just as good if not better then Drose did his MVP year. The only difference is the team behind the two stars. With trade rumors swirling according to Ric Bucher from Bleacher Report, the Bulls were reportedly taking offers for Jimmy. I do not see the Bulls having a player better than JB in the next decade and if they do trade him it will be the equivalent of trading Drose in his prime. Hopefully, Jimmy can lead the Bulls to an upwards trend before the all-star break.
2) Rajon Rondo needs to be dealt. Rondo turned out to be a failed experiment here in Chicago. It’s sad to say after seeing him getting so involved in the community along with his teammates. However, If the Bulls do not plan on playing him, having him sit on the bench is a waste of money and space. Not only could we get an effective player for him that can contribute, we could also get rid of his miserable looking attitude. I wish Rajon could have worked out here, but now we gotta deal him.
HUGE win tonight and let’s hope the Bulls can build on the momentum going forward.