The Bulls were hoping to build on their thrilling comeback victory over the Clippers on Thursday, but instead they got their asses absolutely whooped again by the top-seeded Heat at the United Center on Saturday night. Miami started out on fire and kept it going all game long in a 127-109 destruction of a Bulls team that proves time and time again to be fraudulent against elite competition.
Zach LaVine and the Bulls got off to a hot start, but the Heat were even hotter and stayed hot all night. Jimmy Butler led seven Heat players in double figures with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Miami shot 53.7% overall and 17-of-34 from 3-point range in a dominant offensive performance. The Heat also racked up a whopping 56 bench points, with Tyler Herro going 6-of-7 from 3-point range and Gabe Vincent shooting 3-of-4 from deep. Those two players alone matched the Bulls in 3-pointers as the home team went a woeful 9-of-34 from 3-point range.
LaVine hit five of those nine 3-pointers as part of a 33-point effort, but non-LaVine Bulls went 4-of-22 from distance. Coby White was a brutal 0-of-7 on mostly wide-open 3-pointers in one of the worst showings of the season. He scored two points on 0-of-9 from the field for the game. Patrick Williams showed a nice spark off the Bulls’ bench when he first entered, blocking two Herro shots and scoring a transition bucket on the other end to give the Bulls some life. Williams had 12 points, six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal in his 30 minutes and was one of the semi-bright spots of this woeful game.
There was basically nothing else positive about this Bulls performance. DeMar DeRozan had 26 points but shot 6-of-18 from the field and took a bunch of bad shots as part of a game-worst minus-19 mark in the box score. Nikola Vucevic had 12/10/5 but routinely failed to take advantage of mismatches and offered little resistance on defense. The Bulls fouled four 3-point shooters in this game, at the very least. I might have missed one.
This was just another example of the Bulls getting outclassed by one of the NBA’s elite. They lost all four games against the Heat this season and are now 2-19 against the top-four teams in each conference while getting routinely smoked in these games. They have the Bucks and Celtics coming up at home, so there will be two more opportunities to at least somewhat alter the narrative before the postseason, but this is a truly embarrassing track record and there’s little reason to think this team can be competitive in a playoff series.
The Bulls dropped to sixth behind the Raptors with this loss. They’re still two games up with the tiebreaker on the seventh-seeded Cavaliers, who beat the Knicks on Saturday.