The Chicago Bulls tried to make the best of it. Coming off a grueling 115-111 over time win in Philadelphia the night before. Chicago played Western Conference foe Dallas with Dirk Nowitzski, a future Hall of Famer.
The Bulls played as hard as they could but ran out of gas and faded in key moments of the second half, as the Mavs seized control of the game. The Bulls lost 83-77 on a night they shot 31 % in the second half. That’s not going to get it done.
Derrick Rose, who returned to action following a minor knee injury, scored 18 points. With Rose, any injury to the knee is problematic, but he was able to return to the court after missing part of one game and the game in Philadelphia.
Jimmy Butler, who scored a career high 53 points vs. the 76’ers, in a game the Bulls trailed by 24 points, did not have it against the Mavs. He scored 4 points and did not make a three point shot.
Coach Hoiberg spoke about Butler’s game vs. the Mavs.
“Sure he was tired,” Hoiberg said. He played a ton of minutes last night in a Superhero performance. And, yeah, he was tired. But he’s out there, gutting it out and trying to battle through it after the overtime game.”
This fact says it about the Bulls: Rose, Butler, and Mirotic were 0-8 from long distance and the Mavs’ Deron Williams was 4-5 and that was the difference in the game. Plus the Bulls only had 16 assists.
Chicago played very good defense, and had a ten point lead at half, 46-36. But the Mavs have Nowitzski and no lead is safe. He scored 21 points, Williams had 18 and Zaza Pachulia scored 9 points while grabbing ten rebounds.
Noah’s injury to his shoulder kept him out of the second half when the Bulls could have used his hustle and desire. Hoiberg noted,
“When you have that happen to someone like Jo, who is an energy guy on the this team, it’s going to affect us.”
Hoiberg thought Noah’s absence was a factor in the game, but others contributed to the loss. Especially, a team with tired legs.
The Mavs knew Chicago was in a struggle the night before in Philly. “We knew they would be tired coming off they game they had so we just tried to outlast them,” said Williams.
Chicago gets Rose back but now Noah is out. As of now, his status is not yet known. But Rose’s availability is in question. You just don’t know what might happen next as he tests in his knee in game action.
The Bulls have lost 4 of 5 games. They have to find a way to regroup without Noah.