CHICAGO – They’re not finding success at the moment, but they can’t be beaten when it comes to creating storylines.
Friday was the benching of arguably their best player because of a few bad possessions. Then came the redemption for that athlete in one of the more incredible regular season finishes of the NBA season so far. Both were preceded by a victory in which the biggest cheers were saved for former players, including one that played for the opposing team.
What in the world would Monday night bring? Believe it or not, another storyline.
Carmelo Anthony, who was technically a member of the Bulls earlier this year, enjoyed his best game since becoming a member of the Blazers Monday night at the United Center. He scored 25 points against his former team (again, just technically) as he hit four three-pointers and went 50 percent from the floor. He even had some fans in the opposing arena chant his name before the end of the game.
That’s not a surprise considering the Bulls delivered a mostly uninspired performance just 48 hours after the thrilling win against the Hornets when they scored six points in seven seconds to erase a five-point deficit for a victory. Monday featured a return to their inconsistent ways in a 117-94 lost to Portland to fall to 6-12 on the season.
Luck from behind the three-point line, which they enjoyed on Saturday night, was non-existent as the Bulls went 9-for-29 from long distance during the contest. LaVine led the way with 18 points, but on this night he’d hit just one of his five three-point attempts on the night in what was a slow evening for the Bulls’ offense.
Concerns about Lauri Markanen continues as well as he had ten points but shot 3-of-7 from the field with just a single rebound over 27 minutes on the floor. Over the last three games, he’s 7-of-28 shooting as his slow November on the offensive side of the ball continues.
Anthony had none of those problems as he continues a return to basketball after not playing in a game since November of 2018 with the Rockets. He was traded to the Bulls as a way for Houston to relieve some salary issues on January 22nd but never once took the floor in Chicago before being waived on February 1st.
In three games with the Blazers before Monday night, Anthony was averaging 13 points a contest but saved his best for the Bulls. He hit 10-of-20 shots – going 4-of-7 from behind the arc – over the course of 31 minutes while also grabbing eight rebounds as well.
Carmelo’s performance made some national headlines and put the Bulls in the spotlight again in the early part of the 2019-2020 season. Unfortunately, all the drama hasn’t paid off in wins as the Bulls may have hoped before the season.