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Short-handed Chicago Bulls post noncompetitive effort in loss to Miami Heat


Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

What did you honestly expect?

You need two hands to count how many guys are out for the Chicago Bulls right now and you’d need a lot more than two hands to total up the amount of shots that the guys who are healthy missed in a 118-92 loss to the Miami Heat.

Yes, the Heat are missing Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. But they beat a fully healthy Milwaukee Bucks team three nights ago. They are undoubtedly deeper than the Bulls right now (and probably significantly so) even without their two best players.

At the same time, the outcome in the game, considering this wasn’t a competitive effort for most of the night, was astoundingly disappointing.

It felt like the Bulls needed good games from all of their starters to win this game and Zach LaVine was really the only who delivered. NBC Sports Chicago write K.C. Johnson summed it up succinctly in a tweet.

As previously mentioned, Zach LaVine was really the only Bulls player that was any good. He tallied 33 points and hit seven of the 11 3-point field goals he attempted during the game (it’s already his 8th 30-point game this season). As previously noted, Vuc was really an unmitigated disaster hitting only three of the 15 shots he attempted and had a +/- of -29. Late in the game, his frustration boiled over when he missed a shot when he essentially tackled P.J. Tucker after the Heat’s forward grabbed the rebound. Reminder that the LaVine/Vucevic led Bulls last season didn’t really lead to very many W’s and that was the good version of Vuc.

The Bulls entire bench was Alonzo McKinnie, Tony Bradley, and Devon Dotson and the three players combined for a measly 16 points (some of the production was in garbage time too). They were the only three players to come off the bench for the Bulls until garbage time.

As a team the Bulls shot under 40 percent from the field, meanwhile the Heat shot nearly 50 percent from the field. Duncan Robinson led all Miami scorers with 26 points while Dewayne Dedmon had a 20 point 12 rebound double double. All of the Heat’s starters were at least a +16 and Miami as a team had 37 assists.

The Bulls were down a manageable 12 points at the halfway mark, kept it around there in the third quarter (outscored by three points), but let the game get away from them in the fourth quarter.

The Bulls got off to a poor start and never really recovered. Per K.C. Johnson, the Heat started the game 9-for-14 from the 3-point stripe in the first quarter en route to a 39 point quarter.

The Bulls only play two games in the next seven days and those games are against the Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors so not the toughest games in the world. Hopefully it will allow the Bulls to get some of their guys back. This is still a really good team, but any team no matter how good they are would be hard pressed to look good with this many guys out.