By Richard Kagan
At least the Bulls didn’t get blown out on Tuesday night.
Chicago rallied in the fourth quarter to cut a 15 point deficit to 3 points, but the Phoenix Suns held on for the 104-99 victory. The Bulls (3-16) have the worst record in the NBA.
However, there may be a glimpse of light in Bulls Nation, as Niko Mirotic is practicing with the team. As of now, there does not appear to be a thaw in the relations between him and Bobby Porter. Porter threw a punch to Mirotic’s face and caused damage that has seen the PF sidelined since the season started. Mirotic may be heading back to the lineup shortly. Much to be determined on the Mirotic front. And, Zach LaVine was seen trying out his dunk step for the camera. He looks pretty good.
Mirotic and LaVine will be practicing in the G League with the Windy City Bulls while the team travels to Denver.
Chicago gave a determined effort but just fell short. Justin Holiday led with 25 points and 6 treys. Kris Dunn, who has experienced shooting woes lately, came back and had a good game with 24 with 4 treys. Rookie F Lauri Markkanen had 12 points but was 4 of 15 from the floor. Markkanen had a three pointer that put the Bulls down by 3 at 102-99 with under a minute left. But Phoenix was able to close out the game.
Guard Devin Booker scored 33 for the Suns. And, T.J. Warren had 25 points. Alex Len had tied a career high with 18 rebounds in just under 30 minutes of play.
Tonight the Bulls gave a gutsy effort but again, the offense was lacking as Chicago hit 40.4% from the field. The Bulls made 40% of its three-point attempts. The Suns out-rebounded the Bulls 58-41 and controlled the boards.
Little by little strides are being made. Good to see Dunn score some baskets. When Zach LaVine returns, they will have more options and there will be much better flow to the offense. He was the big component in the Jimmy Butler deal.
This is a rebuilding year. The Bulls have yet to field a full team and it’s almost 2 months into the season. The Bulls will be an interesting team to watch with LaVine in action. Hopefully, they can win some games in the process.