CHICAGO – So that’s how it’s supposed to look if everything is working well.
The ball would move through the Bulls’ big men, assists would be flowing and the turnovers would be low. It’s something that Billy Donovan has preached during the 2020-2021 season, and there was hope that some new acquisitions could help make that a reality.
But over the previous four games, growing pains with a revamped group, injuries, along with strong competition made it difficult to make this so. Four games since the trade deadline resulted in four defeats, though close efforts against the Suns & Jazz brought small signs of hope.
Those all came together against another strong team, the Brooklyn Nets, on Eastern Sunday afternoon at the United Center, when the Bulls looked as good as they have all season long.
The Bulls dished out 29 assists on the afternoon and shot 55.1 percent from the floor, which helped six players reach double digits. A 32-18 second quarter put the Bulls ahead for good as the ended their six-game losing streak with a 115-107 win in a performance nearly two weeks in the making.
Nikola Vucevic had a strong showing in his first game at the United Center with 22 points and 13 rebounds while Zach LaVine led the team in scoring with 25. Tomas Satoransky boosted the assist total with 11 on the afternoon while also scoring, with Thaddeus Young adding 12, Patrick Williams 11, and Daniel Theis getting ten.
The strong effort was the Bulls’ first win over a team with a record above .500 since February 1st when they beat the Knicks at the United Center. Brooklyn came into the game tied for the lead in the Eastern Conference with the Sixers, but they didn’t have an answer for the home team on this Sunday.
Trailing by three at the end of the first quarter, the Bulls outscored the Nets by 14 in the second quarter to grab the halftime lead. They’d lead by 17 at the end of the third quarter and continue to hold off comeback attempts by Brooklyn the rest of the way.
Zach LaVine’s three-pointer with 1:22 to go finally put the Nets away as the Bulls completed an effort that some home to see a little more in the future.