If you had one word to describe how this game was, the word would be ugly. It was a tough night for the Chicago Bulls as they were beat by the Atlanta Hawks 103-88 and snapped their three game winning streak.
Chicago led only for a small part of this game and spend much of the game trying to keep pace with the Hawks, who were just too much for the Bulls. But it's not like the Hawks had a perfect game either. Both teams struggled from the field and couldn't hit open jumpers all night long. But the Hawks are Chicago's kryptonite just like how the Bulls are Toronto's kryptonite. Weird how that works.
But a big problem for Chicago tonight was their defense, especially against Jeff Teague and Al Horford. The Bulls struggled to contain Atlanta's two best players as Horford scored 18 points on 8-11 shooting and Teague scored 19 points. It was the pick and roll combo between the two that was tough for Chicago to defend and the fact that Horford was able to step out knock down three's made it even worse. The big man from Florida was three of four from deep and his shooting could cause even more matchup problems against Atlanta if these teams meet in the postseason.
With Horford and Milsap showing that they can knock shots coming off set plays, Chicago will have a tough time guarding Atlanta's top two big men. The biggest problem will be with Pau Gasol as everyone knows his struggles on the defensive end. Taj will be fine but Pau is the one to worry about. But you already knew that.
E'Twaun Moore also struggled in this game as he only scored six points, had three turnovers, and had a plus minus of -20. It was not a good night for him as Jeff Teague had his way with him on one end and he struggled to find some rhythm on the other end. It also didn't help that he picked up two quick fouls at the beginning of the game.
To any Bulls fans still hanging on and watching this one -- praise to you guys. This is one of the worst played games of the season.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) February 27, 2016
Two other takeaways
1. At least Doug McDermott played well
It was another night where we got to see Doug McDermott dunk. McBuckets was Chicago's best player in this game as he scored 20 points on six of 13 shooting. He is as confident as ever right now and is showing that the game against Washington and Toronto may not be flukes. He is moving great when he doesn't have the ball and is playing the best stretch of basketball we have seen him play in the NBA. As long as McDermott can show that he can still knock down jumpers and add an extra dimension to his game by putting the ball and driving, like he did against Kyle Korver on two occasions, he will be fine. He is proving to be a spark off the bench and he is so much fun to watch right now.
Pau Gasol also got his usual double double as he scored 16 points and 17 boards. But he shot 27.3% from the field (six of 22 from the field) and had so many chances to finish around the rim. The only positive is that his mid-range game is was pretty solid tonight.
2. Not a game for three-point shooters
With players like Kyle Korver and Doug McDermott, it would have been easy to think that we could see some good shooting from both teams. Well that turned out not to be the case as Chicago shot a woeful 25% from deep while Atlanta wasn't that much better either as they shot 20.6% percent. For two teams that rely on three-pointers and shooting, you can understand why this was a tough game for both teams. It was an even tougher night for the two snipers in McDermott and Korver who went a combined two of 10 from the field.
This was just a bad game and with Portland coming here, the Bulls have to rebound ASAP.