Billy Donovan gets real on Bulls’ winning problems
The Bulls losing streak extended to four games Friday night after the team lost multiple double-digit leads throughout their game to eventually fall 127-125 in overtime to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Bulls head coach Billy Donovan put his team’s difficulties bluntly, saying that his young team hasn’t figured out how to win yet.
“This is a hard-working group. It’s a good group of guys. They want to win,” Donovan said in his media availability postgame. “They don’t know how to. They are learning how to.”
Turnovers have become a commonality in the Bulls’ play, particularly when they are up big. In their loss against the Thunder, the Bulls committed 24 turnovers, losing another double-digit lead.
“It’s the same thing for us,” Donovan said. “Until we find a way to take care of the basketball, it’s so hard to win at this level when you’re turning the ball over at the rate we turn it over.
“A lot of it is self-induced,” Donovan said. “I thought it was all on us.”
Before the Bulls’ loss Friday night, teams were 1-2,930 when trailing by 10 or more points in the final two minutes of regulation over the past five seasons. The Thunder have now boosted that record to 2-2,930.
“I think we’re all at a lot for words on how we played and how we ended the game,” a frustrated LaVine said. “We just folded. We straight up folded.”
The team’s four-game losing streak comes at the same time LaVine is on an offensive tear. He is the first Bull to have four consecutive 30-point games while shooting 50% or better from the floor since Michael Jordan in 1996.
Zach LaVine is the first Bulls player with 4 consecutive 30-point games while shooting 50% (or better) from the floor since Michael Jordan had a 5-game streak in Nov. 1996. pic.twitter.com/0RU6GWIpDZ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 16, 2021
“You gotta learn how to win a basketball game when you’re up by 20,” LaVine said.
“It is really hard to win in this league if you don’t do three things: If you don’t win the free-throw battle, the rebounding battle, and the turnover battle, it’s really difficult,” Donovan said. “And for us, we’ve gotten destroyed in the turnover battle the whole entire year.”
The Bulls play the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.