This game was an interesting one to watch. With no Butler or Wade, Hoiberg had to unbench Rondo. His addition made this game close. Denzel Valentine surprised us and put up 19, leading the team in scoring this evening, even though he got cocky shooting his three balls.
I said that there were three things to look out for tonight. I went 1/3 in the Bulls 101-99 loss to the Wizards.
For us to have a chance, Niko and Doug needed to put up 20. Niko was sick and even though Doug put up 11 shots and only made 2 of them, I am not mad at that. His role for the 24 minutes on the court is to get buckets. Shooters have to shoot. Unfortunately, he was cold as the arctic. Luckily the three ball was still falling in lieu of these two not being a factor from Denzel and Bobby Portis.
I said that MCW needed one of those crazy John Lucas the 3rd games for us to win tonight and he didn’t. He scored 14, but had plus/minus of -4 and was not a factor when he was in the game.
I predicted the Bulls to cover and they did. I was right and my pocket couldn’t be happier.
I was so pessimistic in the pregame and I was so wrong about how this team would perform in this game. The Wizards thought the game would be a cakewalk but with their terrible rotations on both offense and especially defense, the Bulls easily put up 61 on them in the first half.
The second half was a complete flip of the script. The Bulls looked lost. They couldn’t rely on any of their scorers and a big third quarter run tied this game up quickly for the Wizards. This game was won on a John Wall baseline jumper with 5 seconds to go, but the game was really won when the Bulls went cold on every shot they took.
This game reversed some of my earlier pessimism which is what I hate about this team. They always find away for me not to give up on them. Even with the loss, we were missing our two best players. The what ifs are endless but some of the role players did shine.
Rondo deservingly will stay on the court in Hoiberg’s rotations. The front office should still trade him but he deserves his minutes for the time being after being the leader on the court tonight. The benching should be over.
Valentine should get a tad bit more playing time. I would love to see him out there with the second team knocking down those threes. Remember he did lead us to a summer league championship. He still has those rookie errors but he earned his playing time tonight.
Portis looked better as well. Would love for him to stay up on the team instead of the D-league.
Obviously, every player looked better when Butler and Wade are off the court. This game was closer than it should’ve been but it is no indicator of the success of any player. This just was a poorly played basketball game, and even though some playing time might of been earned, this team needs to fix some mistakes asap.