We have another guest post for you, this time Mike Bonomo handles the recap duties. Follow him on Twitter @TheMikeBonomo.
The last time the Bulls faced off against the Trail Blazers they were able to hold the backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to a combined 14-39 shooting en route to a 25-point road victory. Unfortunately, this time around the two premier guards combined for 54 and were able to lead the Blazers past the Bulls 112-110.
Dwyane Wade led the way for the Bulls with 34 points, and looked very fresh early after sitting out Saturday night’s loss to the Mavericks to rest. Jimmy Butler added 26 but the Bulls struggled to find consistent offense outside of their two stars once again. Nikola Mirotic did pick up 18 points, including making three of his four attempts from deep, but the Bulls struggled to find rhythm on both ends while he was on the floor.
The Bulls were also without Rajon Rondo who was suspended for the game after reportedly getting into an altercation with an assistant coach. While Rondo has struggled through most of the young season, his absence, along with the injury to Michael Carter-Williams has had the Bulls relying on Isaiah Canaan a bit more than they've expected.
Early on, it looked like the game might come down to a late battle between each team’s pair of stars, but Butler and Wade faltered down the stretch, while McCollum and especially Lillard shined. The guard out of Weber State scored 11 of his 30 in the final 6 minutes. Butler on the other hand didn’t make a field goal in the final eight minutes. He did make a three pointer at the buzzer, but by that point the game had already been decided. It’s worth noting that 2/3's of the alphas played 37 and 36 minutes respectively. Heading into a second game of a back-to-back, it'll be interesting to see how the extensive playing time will affect both stars.
As has been the case the whole year the Bulls relied on getting their offensive production from Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, as well as an having the advantage in free throw attempts and offensive rebounds. Tonight showed that the Bulls may need to find another scoring option if they truly think they can compete in the East.
This loss drops the Bulls to 11-9 and have now lost three of their last four. They’ll travel to Detroit to take on the Pistons for their second game in as many days, a game in which Wade plans to suit up. Rajon Rondo will also be back in uniform following his one-game suspension.