Billy Donovan’s Bulls debut obviously didn’t go well, especially on the defensive. Bigger picture? Zach LaVine wants to win, not just for his own recognition, but for his team as well. There is still a long way to go.
Choose a negative adjective to describe the Bulls’ loss to the Hawks on Wednesday night between 124 and 104.
In the second quarter, Trae Young ran down his own rebound with almost no resistance from the home team, then hit corner three. There was a possession in the third in which Young walked down the floor as three Bulls didn’t even bother to get over half the pitch. Then there was a fourth quarter jumper from Hawks’ Cam Reddish who quickly attacked the rim for the tip-in while Bulls players just stood in the paint and watched.
The 42 points the Hawks scored in the first quarter were the most approved by the cops on opening night in franchise history. They followed that ugly quarter and allowed 41 in the second. By halftime the cops had fallen between 83 and 59, allowing the Hawks to shoot 65. 9% of the field, including 10-for-20 from the three-point range.
New Bulls trainer Billy Donovan admitted disappointment with the lack of exertion but noted a bigger problem.
« We have to get tougher physically when we’re just on the ball and have some resistance to keep the ball from going over the edge and then closing again, » said Donovan. “For our boys, Atlanta played very well offensively in this 40-point race (first quarter). They shot even though I didn’t think our defense was great. I don’t want to take away from what you did. ’’
The cops were led by Zach LaVine’s 22 points, but it would be hard to convince him that his 22 mattered at all.
It’s only one of 72 scheduled games, but LaVine knows how big this season is and what he’s following. LaVine has never sniffed the postseason since the design in 2014. He knows his talents would find more recognition if he played on a team that actually played in meaningful games.
« The main thing is to win, » said LaVine. “Individual things come after you win. I think over the past few years I’ve been one of the better players in the NBA individually if you look at it. But we didn’t get the victories, so you won’t get credit for them. The main thing is that winning takes care of everything. Win games. I work hard enough on my craft to believe all of this will come into play. ’’
The only positive thing – which was by no means easy to sift through and find – was no. 4 Overall selection Patrick Williams starts and ends with 16 points, four rebounds and one block.
The 19-year-old had a couple of defensive rounds in the first quarter but played with a physicality that most of his teammates failed to show. He attacked the rim and looked for contact.
On a night when the cops practiced social distancing far too often in defense, even recognition of Williams’ appearance fell on deaf ears as conversation focused on the poor defense.
« We’re not that fast, explosive, foot-speed team, » Donovan said of his defense. « I thought we didn’t have good built-in help where it should be and our guys on the ball got hit too easily. « .
« To do this, these people have to put in a lot of different efforts. I think you are ready for it. I just don’t think we did very well. ’’
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The boy was fighting with another man on the 2400 block on North Meade Avenue when the man pulled out a gun and shot him in the stomach.
Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, NBA
World News – USA – Ugly opening night for the Bulls, and that would be a kind assessment
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