Bulls Blown Out in Charlotte

Zach LaVine won’t approach Michael Jordan’s record for most consecutive games with 30 points to open the season.  He ended the night with 20 after sitting out the 4th quarter of a blowout…the losing side.  LaVine’s streak is the least of concerns for the Bulls right about now.  Just two days after wrestling a victory away from the Hornets at United Center. the Bulls got knocked out early at Spectrum Center.  135-106 was the final in yet another lackluster defensive effort for the Maitre D’s of the Midway; as in “come right this way to the rim, your layup is waiting.”  Time and time again the red D parted, allowing uncontested bunnies for Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and whomever else wanted a lane.  (BTW, Miles Bridges looks like a draft steal.)  To be fair, the Bulls are starting 2 rookies, Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison, and have been decimated by injuries to 4 rotation players.  Carter and Hutchison both play solid defense, but make rookie mistakes and end up on the rookie end of rookie calls.  Cristiano Felicio got the call over Robin Lopez, again.  The big Brazilian played okay, but struggled switching onto guards.  Kemba made Felicio look less mobile than Christ the Redeemer, driving by him for a layup to end the 1st quarter.  Games with such horrendous defense are not fun to watch, for my money.  I live for defensive stands and big stops as much as I do last second shots.  The most encouraging development in this evening’s drubbing was the late 3rd quarter Bulls debut of Shaquille Harrison.  The point guard the Bulls claimed when the Suns dumped him for Jamal Crawford showed me something.  He got after it on defense – Kris Dunn-style – displayed solid handles and knocked down a couple shots.  First time I’ve seen him play and he’s not bad.  Could be a nice backup to spell Dunn once he returns.  Other than that, I want to forget this game forever.   Bulls @ Hawks tomorrow.  First look at pro Trae Young.  Hope somebody wants to guard him.  Go Bulls.





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