The Bulls apparently had a big night out planned for South Beach, as they couldn’t be bothered to expend any energy playing defense during Tuesday’s 129-111 loss to the Heat.
The Heat’s 129 points were the most they have scored in a game all season, and their 67.5% shooting from the field was the best any team in the league has shot in a game this year. Hassan Whiteside led Miami with a career-high 26 points to go along with 14 rebounds and four blocked shots. Joe Johnson had 24 (10/13 FG) and Luol Deng added 20, making 8/10 shots including 3/3 from behind the arc.
On the bright side, the Bulls offense continued to look better as the season progresses. Derrick Rose came back after missing three games to lead the team with 17 points in just over 24 minutes on the court, and he continued to look good when he drives strong to the basket. But his lack of a consistent outside shot continues to hurt the team’s spacing, and he continues to look disinterested for the most part on defense.
Pau Gasol had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists, while rookie Bobby Portis had another strong outing with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Portis now ranks in the rookie top-10 in scoring (10th), rebounding (7th) and 3-point percentage (6th).
Justin Holiday had his best game as a Bull, with seven points, three assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 16:19. He did all of his damage while playing the entire fourth quarter ahead of Tony Snell, who continues to be useless unless he makes his first few shots in a game.
Even though he scored 16 points, Aaron Brooks continued to be horrible as the back-up PG. His defense is as bad as ever, and he continues to force up bad shot after bad shot on offense. If the Bulls have any plans on advancing in the playoffs, they really need to sign a PG and send Brooks home for the rest of the year. E’Twaun Moore is serviceable in limited minutes, and once Butler comes back he can run some point, but Brooks has simply become a complete liability any time he’s on the court.
The Bulls are right back in action tonight as they head north on Florida’s Turnpike to take on the Magic. The game starts at 6 PM CT on CSN-Chicago, with Chicago Bulls Pregame Live kicking off the coverage at 5:30.