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Grades: Bulls still winless against East's elite

Will Gottlieb Avatar
March 23, 2022

Welp. The magic from Monday’s win against the Raptors was quickly erased in an absolute blowout loss to the Bucks 126-98. The odds of getting home court advantage in the first round are drying up.

This. one. hurt.

Zach LaVine: B

Easily the Bulls best player in a game where no one else wanted to step up. The 7-0 run he went on to end the first half gave the Bulls some hope, but not enough juice to dig into a 20-point lead. LaVine looked far less hesitant to shoot from deep than last night, but the driving continues to be a positive sign. He was unable to get to the free throw line because of how well the Bucks wall off the paint and contest high without fouling.

LaVine disappeared down the stretch of the third quarter and the fourth, but seeing him attack the basket was super encouraging considering the uncertainty around his knee.

DeMar DeRozan: D

Maybe a bit harsh, but not a good game from DeRozan. Certainly not by his standards. For the most part, the process was right, but he needed results here.

21 points on 23 shots. ZERO free throws.

Unless he’s shooting 55% from the field, he’s not going to carry the offense like the Bulls need him to. And the Bulls really need him to be that guy.

Nikola Vucevic: B

Vooch was awesome in the first quarter, hitting his first few threes. In retrospect, he was really the only reason the Bulls were in this game early. He needs to keep shooting value of him taking, and making shots goes far beyond the score.

Defenses trap DeRozan, cramp the floor and no one commands the respect required to draw defenders out of the paint. This means more driving lanes, more foul shots and a more dynamic overall offense.


Patrick Williams: INC

Incomplete for Pat. Through no fault of his own, he simply was not ready to contribute at this level.

He had some nice moments defensively but also got torched by Giannis a handful of times. Go figure.

It was nice to see him take on some ball handling and shot creation in garbage time.

Alex Caruso: C+

Sensing a theme here with incredibly average, if not poor, performances all around.

I like that the Bulls went to Caruso as the roll man briefly. He’s a good enough passer to make the right play as the short roller and if and when Vucevic decides to pull the trigger from three, the spacing works.

Javonte Green: B

Green got off to an aggressive start, guarding Giannis, got his hands on a few balls, and had a monster dunk.

He left the game in the second half and did not return. Billy Donovan said post game that Green had been dealing with a non-COVID illness all day so props to him for giving it his best effort.

Ayo Dosunmu: C-

Dosunmu had his hands full with Jrue Holiday, who absolutely torched him in meaningful minutes. Same as last game.

I don’t want to criticize him too much because that is a tough assignment, but those are the kinds of matchups he’s going to be asked to take on. He has played really well all year, and it’s okay that he’s cooled off. Just needs to bounce back.

Coby White: D

Man. Coby.

White’s foul on Pat Connaughton was the pivotal play in this game. Tied 20-20 in the first quarter, the Bulls were right in it until that moment. Three free throws and a 13-0 run later, the Bulls couldn’t come back.

Defense remains a massive problem and when his shot isn’t falling and he’s coughing up turnovers, he is just bad. There is a role for him on the best version of the Bulls IF he’s not doing too much.

The Bucks are overwhelming defensively and that forces him to do a lot more than he should. Year three for Coby, he needs to stay in his lane, stay poised and do what he does best. Nothing more, nothing less.

Tristan Thompson: Idk

I’m really not sure what the best version of Thompson is for this team. He is fine at being energetic and big, but are those things valuable?

Everyone else: Idc

Down 25+ in garbage time…not really going to have much to say about their performance.

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