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Takeaways from the Chicago Bulls win over the Charlotte Hornets

Will Gottlieb Avatar
January 9, 2024

A win is a win.

It wasn’t pretty, but the Chicago Bulls took care of business against the Charlotte Hornets with a 119-112 overtime win on Monday night.

Here are my takeaways from the game.

1. Nikola Vucevic (adductor), Alex Caruso (neck), Patrick Williams (ankle), and Zach LaVine (foot, shoulder) were all questionable to play but were ruled active. LaVine and Vucevic came off the bench yet again, playing limited minutes (35 and 30 respectively).

2. The Hornets were missing LaMelo Ball (ankle), Gordon Hayward (calf), Cody Martin (groin), PJ Washington (foot) and Mark Williams (foot) were all out for Charlotte. Poor Terry Rozier.

3. LaVine looks out of place in the new offense. Whether he is being passive as he tries to fit in, quiet quitting, or the team has moved on without him, he doesn’t look like he knows his place. He’s spending a lot of time spacing the floor in the corners, passing out of his closeout situations.

LaVine had nine points on 2-of-9 shooting. He was 2-of-6 on threes, 3-of-4 at the line with five assists.

4. To his credit, LaVine is locked in defensively. He stood up Terry Rozier on the final play of regulation, blocking a go-ahead three-point attempt, and giving the Bulls a chance at a game-winning shot on the other end.

5. The Bulls centers combined for 42 points and 25 rebounds in a dominant effort over the short handed Hornets.

Drummond had 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 15 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive glass.

Vucevic had 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting.

6. Coby White led the way in scoring with 27 on 10-of-19 shooting, 3-of-7 threes and 4-of-5 free throws. In spite of LaVine returning and playing heavy minutes, continued to be a focal point on the offensive end, initiating actions out of pick-and-roll.

Though his percentages at the rim are down compared to last season, he is showing more craft and touch than previous years. He had a couple of really impressive and creative finishes off the glass on drives.

7. Terry Rozier absolutely dominated for the Hornets and was the only reason the game was remotely close. He had 39 points on 10-of-18 shooting, 7-of-13 threes and was perfect in his 12 tries from the free throw line. He was on fire with his step-back threes. He was drawing, and finishing through contact.

8. The Bulls got nothing in the final 3:36 of regulation. The Bulls went to DeRozan on the final four plays of regulation and couldn’t get anything to go.

The first play was a high pick-and-roll, drawing Nick Richards onto DeRozan, who missed a jumper.

In the second play, DeRozan couldn’t get the switch, and turned the ball over driving to the baseline

The third play, LaVine initiated a pick-and-roll with Vucevic, who found DeRozan out of the short roll. DeRozan tried to draw contact on a drive and forced up an errant shot. No foul.

On the final play, DeRozan brought the ball up after Rozier missed a go-ahead attempt. He dribbled into a tough jumper as the clock expired.

The Bulls left regulation with two unused timeouts that they could have used to draw something up on any of these plays.

9. Four Factors: Despite losing the three point battle 9-of-26 to 17-of-42, the Bulls were able to win care of the Hornets in each of the four factors: effective field goal percentage, turnovers, offensive rebounds and free throw rate.

10. Standings snapshot: With the win, the Bulls have moved to 17-21 on the year, and vaulted into the ninth seed. They’re a half game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets.

Up next: Bulls return to Chicago for a matchup with the Houston Rockets on Wednesday

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