Bulls Fall Short Against Jordan's Hornets.

Bulls Fall Short Against Jordan's Hornets.
Chuck Burton / AP Fred Hoiberg, right, holds back Taj Gibson after Gibson was ejected in the second half.

It’s the holiday season–however the Bulls weren’t very joyful tonight.

In a matchup against Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets, the Bulls came out flat, and dug themselves a hole that not even MJ could have dug them out of. Jimmy Butler was efficient racking up his usual 26 points on 11-for-19 from the floor, including shooting 2-f0r-4 from from the three-point line. However, the Bulls offense seems to stall at times. Butler and Wade both seem to thrive in isolation situations, and those type of offensive sets limits ball movement. Fred Hoiberg’s offense thrives when the ball is moving, and lately the ball has been sticking.

Rajon Rondo continued his season long struggles, as he shot 3-for-10 from the field. However, the Bulls’ point guard did have 9 rebounds to go with 10 assists, but it was his 5 turnovers that really hurt the Bulls. After leading 26-22 at the end of one quarter, Hoiberg’s Bulls were only able to muster up 14 points in the second quarter and were simply never able to recover. Taj Gibson, who looks to be in his final season with the Chicago Bulls, continued his strong season with 10 points in 30 minutes.

The Bulls’ bench unit is starting to perform at a higher level. Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic combined for 26 points, while Jerian Grant contributed 4 points in 13 minutes. It was good to see Doug McDermott get some shots up from the three-point range, rather than just stand in the corner waiting for the ball. McDermott ran off screens and created his own shots in the lane. Cristiano Felicio was a non factor with 0 points in 14 minutes, missing on his only 2 shot attempts.

There were simply no answers for Nicolas Batum or Kemba Walker. Batum filled the stat sheet with his first Triple Double of the season, scoring 20 points, grabbing 11 rebounds while dishing out 10 assists. Walker contributed 20 points, and was more than enough for the Bulls defense to handle.

Lisle, Illinois’ own Frank Kaminsky came off the bench for Charlotte–scoring 13 points. While former Chicago Bull, Marco Belinelli, only saw 7 minutes of action before leaving the came with an apparent ankle injury.

Tempers flared toward the end of this one as Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson were both ejected in the 4th quarter, following a flagrant 2 foul from Lopez. The Bulls’ center caught both Tyler Zeller and Marvin Williams with elbows to the face. By the time Chicago’s starting front court had been asked to leave–this one was over. The Bulls looked like a team who just can’t seem to gel together, and are starting to unravel 29 games through the long 82 NBA season.

It’s hard to pin this loss on Fred Hoiberg. He’s simply playing the players that he has, and let’s face it–the guys that he has aren’t helping him out. It’s nights like this that Fred Hoiberg might be missing his Iowa State team. Following this loss, the Bulls have fallen to under .500 for the first time this season with a record of 14-15. Chicago will square off in San Antonio against former Bulls draft pick LaMarcus Aldridge, and the San Antonio Spurs on Christmas Day at 4:00PM on ABC. Fear not, Bulls fans–this is the type of game that the Bulls will come out fearless, and put up a fight against a far superior team. Let’s hope for some Christmas magic.

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    Bulls need a better starting PG. One who can sustain energy, push the pace, run sets, and hit outside shots. MCW should start. He may not be a shooter however, the energy is there along with his size, and length. Rondo's not a starting PG imo.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Thanks for reading Michael- I agree, Rondo is simply not cutting it. This is why I would have much rather preferred having Seth Curry over Rondo. Curry is having a solid season in Dallas, and can shoot from long range.

  • Time to trade Jimmy, Taj and Wade to bottom out. This is projected to be a very strong draft. The Kings' pick is currently #11, and would go to the Bulls. They are likely to be right on the bubble of handing the pick over. If I ran the team, I would trade Butler to a team with a top 5 pick. I would trade Taj and Wade as well. The Bulls might wind up with 2 top 5 picks and push the Kings to 11 or 12. It would be a shame if the Bulls finished with 35 or 40 wins and the kings wound up with 33 wins and kept a top 10 pick. The Bulls need elite young athletes. There is no path to a championship with this group of mediocre players and athletes.

  • In reply to piggy7:

    Why do do you want to make the Bulls a farm team for the whole league? Basketball is also entertainment and this team has attracted a national audience. At this moment they are media darlings which maintains team value. Getting rid of all the players you named would greatly lower the team's value and any owner would be at odds with your suggestions.
    The team has a solid foundation. Over half of their current losses could have been prevented with a veteran 6th man. Their starting 5 is as good or better than any starting group in the league.
    An experienced coach could have utilized the strengths of the bench instead of playing them outside of their strengths in positions where they have had little success. Realistically, the current group's ability does not match up with the current coach's experience.
    This team may be one or two players in a trade away and a coach away from being solid contenders. Leadership skills by the front office would have made sure the bench would have had some confidence and consistency with designated playing time as role players. Roles have not been clairly defined.

  • In reply to penwit1:

    I agree some changes need to be made for sure, but Jimmy Butler needs to stay. Taj Gibson is a FA so trading him at the deadline seems necessary. Letting Pau Gasol walk for nothing is still a head scratcher. Butler is a near Super-Star and can perhaps recruit future FAs, but I would definitely make anyone else on this roster available via trade.

  • How many coaches in the league can afford to ignore stats about what is working and could make their team more effective?

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