The Chicago Bulls misplaced for the fifth time within the final six video games Wednesday, this time a 124-110 blowout on the street towards a New Orleans Pelicans workforce enjoying with out Zion Williamson.
Listed here are seven takeaways from the sport, which dropped the Bulls to eleventh within the Jap Convention with a 6-9 report.
1. The Bulls gave up a double-digit lead within the third quarter regardless of robust begins out of halftime all season.
Getting into Wednesday, the Bulls have been the second-best workforce within the league within the third quarter with a mean +3.3 differential over their opponents within the interval. However the Pelicans flipped the script, beginning the interval on a 9-0 run and successfully ended the sport with a lopsided 37-25 third quarter.
DeMar DeRozan scored 10 factors on 5-for-6 capturing within the quarter because the lone supply of offensive rhythm. The remainder of the workforce went 6-for-20 from the sector. In the meantime, the Pelicans shot 6-for-11 from 3-point vary alone. CJ McCollum scored 9 factors within the third quarter whereas Brandon Ingram, Trey Murphy III and Jonas Valančiūnas added 5 factors apiece.
2. Nikola Vučević’s lack of scoring highlights the Bulls’ incapacity to capitalize within the paint.
The Bulls had a transparent benefit within the paint with Williamson out. The Bulls ought to have been set to push their offense by means of Vučević, however that plan fell flat as Vučević and energy ahead Patrick Williams remained tentative within the matchup.
Vučević scored 12 factors within the first half however managed solely two within the second, fading fully within the third quarter because the Pelicans roared to their double-digit lead. Six of Vučević’s factors got here off 3-pointers.
The Bulls marginally outscored the Pelicans 48-46 within the paint, however didn’t handle to make the most of clear personnel mismatches.
3. The bench unit led by Zach LaVine continues to provide a lift between the primary and second quarters.
One of many strongest elements of the Bulls offense this season is a secondary unit — a bench group that features Alex Caruso, Goran Dragić and Andre Drummond and led by Zach LaVine.
After giving up an early five-point lead in yet one more sluggish opening from the starters, LaVine led the secondary unit on a 15-2 run between the tip of the primary quarter and into the center of the second to take a 37-32 lead. This “bridge” unit between the 2 quarters typically has been decisive in loads of video games this season, permitting the Bulls to include the deficit inside single digits heading into halftime.
4. The Bulls nonetheless battle to counter 3-pointers.
The three-point line stays a weak level for the Bulls, who gave up 51 factors from behind the arc Wednesday. The Pelicans aren’t a very prolific 3-point capturing workforce — ranked twenty second within the league in made 3-pointers (11.1) regardless of capturing a fifth-best 38.7% — however they joined a rising listing of groups to capitalize on the Bulls’ lack of close-out strain.
Six totally different Pelicans gamers made two or extra 3-pointers Wednesday, but it surely was Murphy who scorched the Bulls by going 5-for-6 from behind the arc.
The Bulls have the second-worst 3-point protection within the league, permitting opponents to shoot at a 37% clip. They usually can’t counter on the opposing finish, capturing a good 11-for-32 from behind the arc Wednesday that couldn’t hold tempo with the Pelicans.
5. Ayo Dosunmu is preventing a capturing droop after a robust begin from 3-point vary.
Dosunmu confirmed off a sped-up shot that appeared improved his numbers on 3-pointers, coming into this week capturing 40.1% (18-for-44) from behind the arc. However Dosunmu is now in a slight droop, going 0-for-7 between Sunday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets and Wednesday’s loss to the Pelicans.
Off nights are anticipated for any participant, and Dosunmu’s most essential position on this Bulls roster is commanding the offense. His psychological response to this dry spell can be key — he appeared to hesitate earlier than taking a number of pictures Wednesday, incomes some audible teaching from Billy Donovan after Dosunmu balked at a 3-point shot and was referred to as for touring.
6. LaVine is again on his bounce, however his capturing accuracy remains to be hit-or-miss.
LaVine’s buoyant athleticism appears to be returning after he missed a number of video games within the opening weeks of the season whereas recovering from a left knee harm. However the guard nonetheless isn’t absolutely again to himself regardless of a handful of explosive dunks and drives by means of the paint towards the Pelicans.
LaVine’s 3-point capturing is essentially the most obvious absence in his recreation. He went 4-for-11 from behind the arc towards the Pelicans, producing most of his 25 factors across the rim.
7. The Bulls are on a three-game shedding streak.
The Bulls at the moment are on a three-game shedding streak as they sink additional within the Jap Convention standings. That is the primary time this season they’ve strung collectively three of the identical outcomes — wins or losses — in a row.
The Bulls face a younger, shaky Orlando Magic workforce Friday, which might present a robust alternative to snap the skid, however then face robust matchups towards the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks.