This was an ugly game. The Chicago Bulls faced an opponent with a 1-14 road record in the Brooklyn Nets who are floundering at 8-23.
The Nets beat Charlotte on a buzzer-beater by Randy Foye the other night. The shot made the highlights in all the New York City papers. Watch out, because in the NBA, anything can happen, and Jimmy Butler beat the Nets at the buzzer with a 20 foot shot, to win the game for Chicago. Butler came up huge — he scored 40 points and hauled in 11 rebounds. He made 11-11 attempts from the free-throw line.
Butler kept the Bulls (16-16) in the game in the closing seconds. His short jumper with :28 seconds left gave the Bulls a 99-97 lead. Center Brook Lopez of the Nets tied the game with a slam at :13 seconds left. The Bulls called a time-out.
With Dwyane Wade out with a migraine headache, it was up to Jimmy B to bring it home. And, he did. His shot at the buzzer broke the tie and sent the Bulls home as winners. This on a night when the team only hit 40% of its baskets. Wade scored 16 points until he had to come out of the game.
The Bulls are having troubles on offense. They can’t make their shots, and their offense is stagnant. They still don’t have an identity on the court except for a team that rebounds well. They do get second chance points as well.
In this one, Butler had quite a game. The Bulls need two other scorers to step up besides Butler on a night in/night out basis. They have one scorer in Wade. The other night F Nikola Mirotic scored 20 points to take pressure off of Butler. Tonight Mirotic had 7 points.
Early season is turning close to January, and the Bulls don’t have their offensive identity set. The fourth quarter output is improving. Sooner or later they’ll have to find something that works.