The Bulls didn’t help its cause Wednesday night. Shooting an anemic 34.8 % from the floor, Chicago failed to show real punch in the offense and the defense let up easy baskets in the low post. Chicago was outscored 30-21 in the second quarter and James Harden had 15 points to jump-start the Rockets.
Harden had a payback night against Jimmy Butler, scoring 27 points, 22 in the first half. Houston did not have a good floor game but won anyways, 101-90. The Rockets hit less than 42% of its shots but got a strong game from Trevor Ariza, who scored 20 points. In Houston, the Rockets went to the charity stripe 23 times as opposed to 5 attempts in Chicago. The Rockets made 17 shots which helped.
Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 27 points, and Pau Gasol had another double-double, with 16 points and 12 boards. The problem with the Bulls is that two starters combined only for 4 points, Noah 1, and Hinrich 3. Mike Dunleavy missed another game and is expected to be back soon.
Let’s face it, the Bulls are in a quandary. Gasol and Noah appear to be having a difficult time meshing in the first unit in the front court. Noah needs to carve out his own role, passing, rebounding, and getting 2nd chance shot opportunities. He needs to find his role on the court soon. He is too good of a player to be ineffective on offense. Taj Gibson came off the bench to score 12 and haul in 10 rebounds.
This is the first 3 game losing streak of the season. Chicago has lost 4 of 5 games. There are a lot of questions about this team, and the Bulls need to start finding the answers. Forget about overtaking Atlanta, Chicago has its hands full facing Cleveland.