That’s how it’s done, folks.
The Chicago Bulls suffered the perfect tank loss on Thursday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. It was a wild game at United Center that saw a lot of lead changes. In the end, it was a heartbreaking loss for the Bulls who collapsed down the stretch. Still, there were many positives to take away from this game.
Despite missing the game-winning shot, Portis had a career-high 38 points. He’s a streaky player, but when he’s on he’s almost impossible to stop. As for Nwaba, he also set a career high after scoring 21 points in his first game as a starter. He finished with nine rebounds in a surprising performance.
On the night, the Bulls hit 18 threes, which set a franchise record. Everyone seemed to get in on the fun. Zach LaVine had 23 points after a slow start. Lauri Markkanen was one of the few players to have an off game. He finished with just three points. However, his play on defense seemed to make up for his poor offensive night.
Kris Dunn also struggled at times, but he still makes things go for the Bulls on offense.
The story of this game was the missed opportunities at the end. Both Portis and Denzel Valentine had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. After the game, it was Valentine who took the blame for the loss.
“I made a huge mistake that cost us the game. I take full responsibility.”
Valentine was in the game in the final two minutes because Nwaba had fouled out. The starting lineup to start the game was Dunn-LaVine-Nwaba-Markkanen-Felicio. The Bulls will use the same lineup on Saturday against the Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“I get it. I understand it,” Lopez said. “I always want to be out there playing on the court. That’s what I enjoy, especially playing with these guys. But I’m excited to watch these guys give it a go from the bench.”
Lopez may be a veteran worth keeping around. He is all about the team.
“All my teammates, whether they’ve been playing with me or sitting on the bench and not dressing, they’ve all supported me,” Lopez said. “I don’t think I’d be too good a person if I didn’t do at least the bare minimum of the same.”
Cameron Payne was able to get some playing time on Thursday because of the absence of Lopez and Holiday. Surprisingly, he didn’t have a bad game at all. He was actually a play plus 17 on the night. There have been many, many people that have doubted Payne. Yet, he believes there is no reason to considering he hasn’t gotten his chance to show what he can do yet.
“Of course. That’s why I liked it. It’s funny to me because people ain’t really watched me, so how can you judge me? So I’m just going to come out and do my best every night and just to show the people”
Bulls fans should get used to seeing Payne because he should get a decent amount of minutes down the stretch. It will be another interesting game on Saturday night in a rematch with the Wolves. Sure, the loss to 76ers was disappointing, but it will only help the Bulls in the long run.
The tank goes on.