Though they were defeated in Wednesday night’s preseason matchup against New Orleans, the Chicago Bulls proved that they might be one of the more exciting teams to watch this season.
The Bulls finished the 2018-19 regular season campaign with a disappointing 22-60 overall record, which left the team well out of playoff contention (No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference). This season, however, the young Bulls are looking to change their narrative.
Chicago may have lost Wednesday night’s game, but it was clear that the team was playing better. More importantly, the ball was moving. In fact, the Bulls finished with 38 assists and 14 made three-pointers.
According to NBA.com, the Bulls had more assists through three quarters than they had in any game last season.
“I think we did a good job of moving the ball well and playing much better defense than the first preseason game,” Tomas Satoransky said via NBA.com. “I think we were much better one-on-one defensively and I think we showed the way we want to play.”
LaVine’s game is so clean 👀
He dropped in 28 points in 24 minutes against the Pelicans last night: pic.twitter.com/tCZH18x8B5
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) October 10, 2019
“Zach’s a special cat,” Bulls head coach Jim Boylen said via NBA.com. “He’s locked in. He’s worked very hard and makes it look easy at times. I’m proud of him.”
Otto Porter Jr. had a solid night as well, racking up 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Tomas Satoransky, who was given the starting nod at point guard, recorded 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Rookie Coby White finished with 13 points on 6-of-15 shooting and actually led Chicago to a 42-35 lead in the second quarter.
In the end, though, it was Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson who came away as the star of Wednesday’s exhibition, as the No. 1 overall pick registered a game-high 29 points on 12-of-13 shooting in 27 minutes.
Despite the loss, coach Boylen was pleased with his team’s performance:
“I thought,” Boylen said, “at moments we looked like a team. We looked like how we want to look. We need to have more of those moments and be more consistent. And I am confident we will.”
Another aspect of Chicago’s play style that will make them exciting this season is their willingness to shoot the three. The Bulls attempted 37 threes on Wednesday night — this after 38 attempts in Monday’s opener. We’ll have to wait and see if that’s a trend that will continue.
The Bulls are 0-2 so far in the preseason, but don’t be fooled. They’re a young, talented team that will be looking to contend for a spot in the playoffs.