By Richard Kagan
Nikola Mirotic has been back in uniform for three games. The Bulls have won all three.
Maybe it’s a coincidence. Maybe it’s good luck. Just maybe, the Bulls needed Mirotic to come alive and score 24 points, (8 rebounds) in leading the Bulls past a tired Boston Celtics squad on a 2nd night of back to back, without their star guard, Kyrie Irving.
The Bulls (6-20) won 108-85 because they scored points and out-hustled the Celtics. The second quarter was illustrative, when Chicago outscored the Celts 28-13. The Bulls took a 56-42 half-time lead and never looked back.
Bobby Portis pressed into service because Lauri Markkanen was sidelined, had a strong game and scored 23 points. That is one of the few times, two Bulls scored 20+ points in the same game. Well, it happened in this game, and the Bulls came out on top for its third win in row. Watch out for the Bulls, they’re coming.
It could be a harbinger of things to come when Zach LaVine gets back on the court. He can score, and the offense will be moving then. Monday night it moved against a tired team. The Bulls will take it. David Nwaba had 13 points and provided energy and movement. He also had 6 boards.
Chicago shot 48% from the field and made 41% long-distance shots. Boston, hit 40% of its shots and were 10-40 from three-point range. (25%). Some night you have it, some night you don’t. The Bulls were the beneficiaries of the Celtics uneven play. This team has had trouble scoring. Tonight it didn’t. Kevin Dunn had twelve points. But he moved the ball up and down the court. The wings, Mirotic and Portis, made their shots.
The Bulls are in rebuild mode. The season isn’t going to be pretty. Tonight, the Celtics came to town, one of the best teams in the East, and just didn’t have it.
The Bulls had Mirotic and Portis and that was enough.