The Chicago Bulls started off their season in Charlotte with a 126-125 loss. While this was not the decision this young Bulls team was looking for, but the Bulls takeaways from this game should be good reminders as they move throughout the season.
Last season the Bulls ranked 27th in defense. This should be one of their number one priorities moving forward.
In this game, at times, it seemed defense was optional. Especially around the perimeter. Not only did the Hornets shoot 44 threes, but they made a stunning 52 percent of them. It’s not often a team will put up a franchise-record number of made threes on you. Or, have their rookie, P.J. Washington, set a record of made threes in his debut.
The Bulls’ takeaway here should be to double down on defensive effort. The Bulls continually got burned on rotations. This allowed the perimeter shots to be open, or for Hornertsbig man Cody Zeller to get an easy drive to the hoop. Moving forward the Bulls need to clean up their rotations and not allow so many shots from beyond the arc.
Part of this comes with experience, and part of this comes with consistently tough play. The Bulls can’t help their experience, but, they can help how hard they are playing throughout the game.
This Bulls team is young. They are one of the five youngest teams in the league. There was, and still is, some worry about how these younger players will step up. Last night showed that the Bulls are in good hands for the future.
Lauri Markkanen went off with 35 points and 17 rebounds. There were some concerns about how he would fit into this offense. There should not be any concern now. He made a statement in the first game that he is able to play in this offense and be incredibly effective on top of that.
Rookie Coby White also had a solid debut game. White put up 17 points and 7 assists. While not the most outstanding game, it shows that White is ready to make an impact right away.
The only issue was allowing the lead toward the end of the game to slip away. Again, getting that win will come with more experience.
The Bulls’ takeaway should be positive here. This team is developing and coming into their own. The future is in good hands.
This was not an easy game for either team. Much of the game was back and forth. The Bulls fought back from down double digits. Although the end result wasn’t a win the team still battled back from a huge deficit and kept it close until the end.
Coach Jim Boylen prides himself on being a “tough-guy” coach. This attitude may be rubbing off onto his players and getting them into a more grit and grind headspace. This style of basketball is not really played throughout the rest of the league. Fans will find out quickly if his approach will work.
The Bulls takeaways from this are that first, they do have the ability to make a big comeback, and moving forward they should be wary of this coaching style. It worked for the Memphis Grizzlies, but the NBA is moving away from some of those “grind it out” plays in favor or more fast-paced play and shooting more.
The Bulls can learn a lot even from this one game. The Bulls’ takeaways should be used, from this game especially, to help them improve as the season goes on. Especially if they are hoping to make the playoffs.