Chicago (39-26) played its 4th game in 5 nights, the second of a back to back, and came up short against the Grizzlies, 101-91. Marc Gasol scored 23 for Memphis, while his brother Pau notched 13 points and 11 boards for the hometown team.
The Bulls trailed Memphis by 8 points entering the 4th quarter but pulled even at 82 all, mid-way through the quarter, but Memphis had a little bit more in the tank. Tony Snell had 21 points for the Bulls and Nikola Mirotic added 18. Aaron Brooks tallied 15 for Chicago. The Bulls were missing Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Taj Gibson all out with injuries.
Rose spoke to the media Monday and looked upbeat and optimistic that he would return within 4 to 6 weeks. He said his knee injury was perhaps a “blessing in disguise”, giving him time to heal from the season’s toll. He is on schedule in his rehab and expressed faith in his teammates. “We have a great team,” he said.
Chicago only hit 38.1% of its baskets in the first half, They shot 43.8% for the game. Memphis had a good night, going for 50% from the floor in the game.
Playing Memphis is like going up against an Asphalt grinder. They hold teams to a League low 95.6 points per game. Monday night was no different, points were hard to get. The Bulls missed its starting backcourt. Gibson is now listed as day-to-day and could return within a week.
Coach Tom Thibodeau stressed the positive in his post-game comments. “The fight was there, no quit, we just came up short,” he said.
The Bulls played different combinations of players in an attempt to get things rolling. But the team had a telling 17 turnovers. In Sunday’s game vs. the Spurs, the Bulls had 22 miscues.
Time to get a handle on things before the Philadelphia game.