For the second straight night, the Chicago Bulls had a basketball game as they were in Charlotte to take on the Hornets. It was an ugly game and that’s putting it nicely. Tuesday’s performance was one to forget for the Bulls, who had 21 turnovers on the night. It was the team’s fifth straight loss.
Let’s take a look at some of the things that stood out in the mess that was Tuesday night’s game.
1. Turnovers, Turnovers, and More Turnovers
As I mentioned the Bulls has 21 total turnovers on Tuesday. Tanking or not, that is far too many turnovers to have in a game. Kris Dunn was credited with seven of those turnovers, which is not a good statistic coming from your starting point guard. These kinds of sloppy games happen, but it’s important for Fred Hoiberg to address these issues as soon as possible. This is how bad habits are developed. It seemed like Dunn and most of the Bulls were just trying to do too much against the Hornets.
2. David Nwaba is For Real
Since David Nwaba was inserted into the starting line up he has been a spark plug for the Bulls. He’s even making three-pointers now. Nwaba is making himself a lot of money by playing this good, so the Bulls will need to pay up this offseason if they want to keep him. Gar Forman and John Paxson need to seriously consider doing just that. Nwaba probably isn’t a starter, but he is one hell of a sixth man to have come off the bench.
3. Zach LaVine‘s Return
Zach LaVine did not play in Monday’s game. Instead, the Bulls decided to give him the day off, so he could play in the second game of the team’s back-to-back. In 35 minutes, LaVine scored 24 points to go along with four assists and four rebounds. Overall, he had a solid game, but he and Dunn are still not on the same page. If the Bulls are going to have a successful rebuild they will need LaVine and Dunn to develop some kind of chemistry on the floor.
When they are out there together, it seems like the floor shrinks a little bit. They have plenty of time to figure things out, but it would be nice to see something positive sooner rather than later.
LaVine acknowledged this after the loss.
“Me and Kris, there are still some things where we’re not on the same page. Me and Lauri, we’re still trying to figure out how each other plays.”
4. Cristiano Felicio is Alive, Kind Of
Last night I wrote about bad Cristiano Felicio has been and Tuesday night he kind of shut me up. In the first half, Felicio had 12 points. That was about all the good. The bad was he had a difficult time on Dwight Howard who scored 24 points. He also did not score a single point in the second half, which is concerning given the Bulls paid him $32 million in the offseason. We know he can score, but can his defense get any better? That is the million dollar question.
I’m gonna do something I never do and give credit to Denzel Valentine. He has quietly had a good couple weeks. He’s not the starter the Bulls wanted him to be, but he’s a decent bench player that can score. In 29 minutes, Valentine scored 14 points and grabbed six boards. Depending on what the Bulls do in the draft, they could have a pretty deep bench next season with both Valentine and Nwaba.