Flu-Ridden Bulls Fall Flat in the Big Apple

Flu-Ridden Bulls Fall Flat in the Big Apple
Frank Franklin II / AP Knicks guard Derrick Rose drives past Bulls forward Paul Zipser as teammate Joakim Noah and Bulls center Robin Lopez watch during the first half.

With Jimmy Butler, Denzel Valentine and Nikola Mirotic suffering from influenza, the Bulls had little rhythm in New York, as they faced off against old friends Rose and Noah.

In a game that started with back-to-back buckets from former Bulls Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, the shorthanded Bulls simply couldn’t keep up with the struggling New York Knicks. Since Derrick Rose went AWOL on Monday night, he has shot 18-for-31, including 17 points on Thursday night in 34 minutes. The former MVP showed many flashes of his old self–driving past Rondo and Jerian Grant with ease. While both Rose and Noah may both say that this is just another game, playing against the team that drafted them definitely has more meaning. Noah, who has continued to struggle this season, was huge for the Knicks with 12 points, while dominating the Bulls on the glass with 15 rebounds–nine of them offensive. Former Bull Justin Holiday also participated off the bench with 2 three-pointers. Holiday is putting up nearly 7 points a game off the bench for New York, and looks like a player that the Bulls could desperately use for some shooting in their 2nd unit.

Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 23, including 2 three-pointers and 9 rebounds in 34 minutes. Mindaugas Kuzminskas had a career night off of the bench with 19 points. The 27 year old from Lithuania shot 8-of-15, knocking down half of his three-point attempts. Kyle O’Quinn pitched in a Double-Double off of the bench in just 17 minutes, with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

This game was clear evidence that Jimmy Butler deserves the starting nod in the 2017 NBA All-Star game. The Bulls simply have no identity, or no one to turn to when Butler isn’t on the floor. Paul Zipser, not Doug McDermott, got his first NBA start in place of Butler scoring 7 points in 34 minutes. The 6’8 German showed some promise in his 1st real opportunity, but he clearly has a long way to go before Fred gives his meaningful minutes with a healthy roster.

Michael Carter-Williams and Rajon Rondo collectively shot 3-for-17 for 7 points while Jerian Grant had another solid game off of the bench with 14 points. The former Knick has shown that he belongs in this league, and perhaps even deserves the starting job over the 2 “non-scoring” Point Guards ahead of him.

Dwyane Wade lead the Bulls with 22 points, going 9-of-20 from the floor. Wade showed flashes of his Miami days, including a monstrous 1 handed jam in the lane, but couldn’t find help where it was needed from his teammates. Doug McDermott struggled once again, scoring 2 points in just 17 minutes. The 25 year old from Creighton has shown flashes in the NBA, but is struggling to show consistency for the Bulls second unit. Cristiano Felicio was once again one of the bright spots off of the bench, scoring 13 points, connecting on 6 of his 9 attempts. The Brazilian big man is making a case for the front office to move one of their front court players, paving the way for Felicio to start.

With last nights loss, the Bulls fall to 19-21 on the season. Fred Hoiberg is running out of options with this crew, whether it be via trade or free agency, this squad needs help, and they’d better get it fast before they find themselves too deep in the Eastern Conference standings.

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  • Doug McDermott is officially a BUST! When you're benched for a second round pick in Paul Zipser you have hit rock bottom. He is white Tony Snell.

  • In reply to Vic Nardozza:

    Yeah.. Not good to have Paul Zipser play more minutes and start over him. Doesn't bode well for the front office given their draft history.. Thanks for reading!

  • Couldn't agree more. McD has no future. He is slow as hell, a liability on defense and cannot get open shots consistently. I would trade him for Justin Holidays in a heartbeat. MCW is another bummer. This guy cannot shoot within 2 feet from the rim, nor have the PG skills to assist. He is a one-trick-ponny of being a solid defender because of his length. This team is getting harder to watch. The only positive is the ongoing rising of Jimmy.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    Doug is an NBA caliber player, but he is not nearly worth what they Bulls traded to get him. He is playing like a 2nd rounder. Truly disappointing coming out of an outstanding college career.

  • I'd say things are on track for the Gar Forman firing everyone wants to see. The Bulls' draft magic has completely fallen off starting with Marquis Teague, then Snell, then McDoug, then Portis. No matter what your track record is, four busts in four straight years should get you fired. McDoug cost us two picks, so that's like two busts in one, or five busts in four years. That's pretty hard to pull off.

    I'm not sure Hoiberg is a bad coach, but Gar has done him no favors with the roster, and it has in turn at least made Fred look bad, whether he is or not. No way to know with this roster but either way, the accountability has to be with Gar.

    I know some think Reinsdorf will never do anything as long as he's making money, but it's a narrative I reject. Reinsdorf fired Jerry Krause, the architect of the Bulls dynasty, so he'll make a change if he thinks the GM is standing in the way of the team's success. If there's no accountability now, there never will be, and I will find something else to do rather than follow NBA basketball.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Actually, McChuckIt cost the Bulls FIVE draft picks. Two first round picks and a second round pick initially. Then two more second picks to get someone to take the great Anthony Randolph off their hands, who came with the trade from Denver. Really one of the worst trades in NBA history.

    I hope you're right about Forman getting the hook but I'm skeptical. The Krause firing was still with championships fresh on everyone's mind. Reinsdorf, who spends his winters in Arizona, is too detached from the Bulls and all he cares about now is if stupid North Shore people keep buying season tickets. He loves Paxson too much and Paxson is too lazy to be a full-fledged GM. So unless they can find someone willing to be a pseudo patsy GM we're stuck with Forman.

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    I thought Doug was supposed to be a better Kyle Korver. He was supposed to be more then a catch a shoot guy, and he's not even a catch and shoot guy.

    If he could hit 40% of his 3's, then maybe he could help this team. If he's not making his shots, he's not providing floor spacing thus making him completely useless. I really wish we didn't waste 2 picks on this guy. I wish we drafted Gary Harris and double doug dared someone to take Doug before out 2nd pick.

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