The Bulls were coming off 4 days rest (and their vaunted practices!), had seen their last 2 games end in 2 straight blowout losses, plus one a bit earlier against this very same team in the Oklahoma City Thunder. “Despite the poor won-loss record, the team’s buy-in and commitment to working hard is palpable”, said one veteran beat reporter. In their defiant act to re-establish the pride of the Chicago Bulls tonight, our young scrappers...put up 7 points in the opening quarter.
Starting the zero-PG lineup, Fred Hoiberg’s backcourt of Jerian Grant and Kris Dunn both had awful turnovers leading to OKC fast breaks. Some might say that is bad, but you have to instead see it instead as a very tight competition. The lineup, with those two and Quincy Pondexter (yup), started the game in an 11-3 hole before a time-out.
There were three shot-clock violation turnovers in that first quarter, among 8 overall.
This was a brutal ATO even by Hoiberg's standards pic.twitter.com/AOIThW1DeZ— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) November 16, 2017
There were a couple near shot-clock turnovers that were only avoided because Bobby Portis REALLY likes to shoot.
The defense was ok letting the Thunder take one-on-one jumpers, though when the Thunder moved the ball it was too much for the Bulls unit to handle.
What a possession from the Thunder pic.twitter.com/z3VHgMmlCp— Will Gottlieb (@wontgottlieb) November 16, 2017
It was all capped by Denzel Valentine holding the ball to end the quarter in a very clear indication that he didn’t want to negatively affect his 3-point percentage for this turd of a game, and season.
You might say one can’t judge Denzel for not shooting and also Bobby Portis for shooting too much, but here we are.
The Bulls were down 20 after the first quarter. I didn’t watch the rest. I see they lost by only 13 after what I’m sure was a heroically-earned 23-15 edge in the fourth.