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Bulls Takeaways: Devin Booker scores 51 in three quarters, Suns win in a laugher

Will Gottlieb Avatar
December 1, 2022

Maybethe Bulls were due for a complete and total ass whooping after winning three-of-four games including two against the top teams in the east?

Whatever we need to tell ourselves after that one

The Suns absolutely mopped the floor with the Bulls in a 132-113 win in Phoenix on Wednesday night. Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton both finished with season-highs in points. Booker dropped 51 in three quarters. THREE QUARTERS.

The Suns were playing a different sport.

The Bulls were outclassed and embarrassed.

Here are my takeaways.


1. Devin Booker

It’s always fun to watch 50-point games. Just a lot less fun when it happens against the Bulls.

It didn’t take long for Booker to reach his 51 total points. He needed just three quarters to do his damage and take care of the Bulls.

What’s more impressive was his efficiency. He shot 20-of-25 from the field, 6-of-7 from three and 5-of-6 from the line. He added six assists and only had two turnovers. That’s about as close to perfect as one can play.

I’d love to say Booker rained in tough shot after tough shot against a strong Bulls defense. That was true at times — he hit some extremely high degree of difficulty pull up jumpers and even had a four-point play.

Great players are going to make tough shots. They’ll beat great offense more often than not. But some of these shots are without resistance and that is unacceptable.

Booker had a special shooting night. It’s amazing to watch the great players in the league do their thing. But it sucks it had to come against the Bulls.


2. DeAndre Ayton was uncontainable

In addition to Booker, Ayton had his way with the Bulls.

Finishing with 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting and some of the easiest buckets you’ve ever seen.

Part of this is game plan. The Bulls brought Nikola Vucevic up to meet the ball at the point of the screen as they usually do. But against the Suns, the plan seemed to be to stay with the ball handler and force him to get rid of the ball.

But the help has to be in place, and it simply was not. The Bulls can’t play this kind of defense, still allow the ball handler to get off for 50, AND not help on the back side. A complete failure from start to finish.

3. Three-point problems continued…

Some games, no matter how well you shoot, you’re just not going to win. That’s fine. One game.

But I feel like I write about this twice a week. The Bulls three-point problem is still a problem.

The Bulls shot 4-for-25 from deep. They were only 1-for-14 in the first half. So I looked into how their shooting affects their performance:

  • In games where the Bulls make 10 or more threes, they are 7-5.

  • In games where the Bulls make fewer than ten threes, they are 2-7

  • In games where the Bulls attempt 30 or more threes, they are 5-4

  • In games where the Bulls attempt fewer than 30 threes, they are 4-8

Ayo Dosunmu’s shooting has been particularly troubling. Over his last nine games including Wednesday against the Suns, Dosunmu is 2-for-15 from deep, 13.4 percent.

Through his first 12 games, Vucevic seemed to have turned a corner with his three-point shooting, bringing his percentage to 38.9. Over his last ten games, he is 11-for-39, 28.2 percent.

The Bulls can’t just be a “shoot threes when they’re making threes” team. It’s extremely difficult to win in today’s NBA if you are at that kind of disadvantage.

Next up

The Bulls need to wash this one out of their mouths quick — they travel to the Bay Area to face the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Friday, who are 9-1 at home.

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