The tank rolled on Tuesday night as the Chicago Bulls lost 112-106 to the Los Angeles Clippers. It was another sloppy game for the Bulls, who have struggled for the last three weeks now. Players aren’t giving their full effort and missing assingments–it’s a mess.
Losing games is exactly what the Bulls want to be doing at this point in the season. However, there is a good way to lose and a bad way to lose as confusing as that may sound. Here are five things from the Bulls loss to the Clippers.
1. Zach LaVine Struggles
Last week against the Detriot Pistons, Zach LaVine went 3-15 from the field in what was one of his worst games of the season. Tuesday night wasn’t much better. LaVine finished with just ten points on 3-of-13 shooting. His frustration was visible as he got a technical for arguing a no-call on Sindarius Thornwell who hit LaVine’s wrist on a dunk attempt. Lou Williams also took it to LaVine all game long.
LaVine commented on his play after the loss. “It is frustrating,” LaVine said. “You want to do good all the time. You want to impress and you want to show all the things you did in the gym. You shoot and work out and pay attention to the game and go hard and sometimes it doesn’t go your way and that’s part of basketball.”
I do think the Bulls should sign LaVine to some sort of extension. With that being said, his recent struggles are concerning, but we have to remember he is still young at just 23-years-old.
2. Bulls Still Cannot Stop Big Men
Here’s what I had to say after the Boston Celtics beat the Bulls last week.
Want to know how to beat the Bulls? Come on, it really isn’t hard just go big and attack them down low. It’s that simple.
The Clippers used a similar strategy to beat the Bulls on Tuesday. Center DeAndre Jordan had 29 points and 18 rebounds. Talk about domination. Until the Bulls get their center of the future this will continue to plague them. Or if they play Robin Lopez for more than a quarter, which brings me to my next point.
3. Robin Lopez Usage
For the second consecutive game, Lopez played the entire first quarter and didn’t play again. In 12 minutes, Lopez scored 12 points and probably would have helped the Bulls slow down Jordan. Instead, it was again Fred Hoiberg and the front office making the right move to let other players play meaningful minutes. I don’t want to complain, but Bulls basketball has been ugly as of late.
4. Kris Dunn, the Scorer
Point guard Kris Dunn can score. He has been showing off as of late and he did so again on Tuesday night by scoring 18 points and dishing out six assists. One thing I would like to see Dunn a little bit more of is to get to the free-throw line. He should develop this skill the more he plays in the NBA, similar to how Jimmy Butler did.
For the first time all season, Markkanen missed a game due to an injury. He had back spasms and did not play against the Clippers. Obviously, this is nothing major, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Markkanen gets more time off as the season winds down. He has played the majority of the year and besides developing some chemistry with Dunn and LaVine, there isn’t much upside to him playing.