After having a total disaster offensively against the Milwaukee Bucks last week, the Bulls decided to have their best offensive performance of the season against the Detroit Pistons last night.
Chicago was on fire to start the game from the field and shockingly kept it up all the way until the final buzzer sounded. A quick start was nice and the 81% shooting from the field at the end of the first quarter was an even better but there was always a doubt that Chicago would find themselves in an offensive rut sometime throughout the game. But that never occurred as the Bulls finished the game with a field goal percentage of 59.8% from the field, and saw their starters hit 31 of their 48 makes tonight. The most efficient Bull was Taj Gibson, who hit all eight of his field goals in just 19 minutes of action. He played the least out of all the starters but still showed his ability to help the Bulls in the pick and pop game along with giving them a post presence.
It was an all around group effort offensively as seven Bulls players registered double figure point totals including Rajon Rondo who nearly had another triple double, falling just two rebounds shy. It also helped his assist total that the Bulls were hitting every shot that he was passing to them. Doug McDermott also dropped double digits (13) in scoring, and shooting 50% from the field. The only blemish on McDermott’s game was the fact that he only shot three 3PA’s in this game. With him and Nikola Mirotic being Chicago’s best threat from deep and Chicago’s everlasting spacing issues, the Bulls need him to be taking more three’s and stretching out the defense. McDermott can’t be passing up open looks like he did against the Pistons.
Like their game against the Spurs, it was a night where everyone contributed offensively not just one person. No Bull scored more than 20 points in the game but they didn’t need someone to play hero ball and hopefully for Fred Hoiberg and his team, more balanced scoring can start becoming a nightly occurrence. Butler and Wade still have to be the leaders of this team and come up in the clutch for Chicago when needed but having other guys pitch in on the offensive end can really go a long way in helping the Bulls win basketball games.
Revenge game for Nikola Mirotic
After being benched for the last two games, Nikola Mirotic was the first player off the bench for Hoiberg against the Pistons. He rewarded his coach’s faith by scoring 13 points while shooting 50% from the field overall and from three. Mirotic looked decent offensively, especially his willingness to shoot from deep with his 6 3PA’s. The Bulls need Mirotic to make smarter decisions with the basketball especially on the offensive end of the court where, like McDermott, he is a three-point threat. He is needed even more coming off the bench and playing with that unit considering they don’t have much scoring options in that lineup.
It was a good sign to see Niko + Doug take 9 of the Bulls 16 3-point attempts but they need to start shooting more altogether. If both can start to become more consistent shooters/scorers it will give the Bulls bench a big boost.
Bulls crash the boards again
Although they didn’t need to crash the boards as much offensively considering how hot they were shooting, the Bulls still managed to win the rebounding battle. Chicago beat Detroit 46-32 with 37 of the Bulls rebounds coming on the defensive end. Rondo surprisingly led the way with 8 rebounds while Cristiano Felicio grabbed seven in a great effort off the bench and Robin Lopez came in third with six.
Felicio is such a beast on the offensive glass. He would be leading the NBA in offensive rebound % if he had enough minutes to qualify.— Stephen Noh (@hungarianjordan) December 20, 2016
The Bulls also did a great job of keeping Pistons big man Andre Drummond off the glass for most of the game, limiting him to just four rebounds total. It was mentioned in the preview that Chicago needed to keep Drummond off the boards to help themselves offensively and push out to get easy baskets. They did just that.