Heat Hand Bulls Another Home Defeat, 96-84.

Posted by Richard Kagan on Sunday, January 25, 2015 with No comments
When the current season is over, the Chicago Bulls could look back upon the home losses to the Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic, and Miami Miami, all teams below .500, as a reason why they didn't finish higher in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Bulls have proven they can beat good teams and Jimmy Butler recently was quoted as saying, "We can beat anyone when we put our mind to it." Well, today, the Bulls looked like the gang that couldn't shoot straight and Miami got a stellar game out of 7' 0" Center Hassan Whiteside, who had a rare triple-double, in scoring 14 points, hauling in 13 rebounds, and blocking 12 shots (a Heat franchise record). Whiteside came from all directions down low to swat away balls that seemed ready to go in the basket. He played a terrific game in the Heat's 96-84 win.

In the fourth quarter, Aaron Brooks attempted a shot that looked like it was going in. That would have cut into the Heat's lead but Whiteside swatted it away to the dismay of the crowd.  Dwyane Wade scored on the next trip down the court to end the Bulls' threat.  That was the game in a nut-shell. Miami made plays and the Bulls did not.

The veteran Wade returned to his native city and scored 26 points while Chris Bosh added 20 to pace the Heat.

Forward Luol Deng played 9 seasons with the Bulls before getting traded to Cleveland last season.  He was picked up as a free-agent by the Heat and has worked out well.  Deng had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

It was enough to stop whatever good mojo the Bulls had gathered with their latest mini-winning streak.  The team shot a lowly 35.6% from the field and that is not good enough to compete and win the NBA.  Chicago trailed 26-20 at the end of the first quarter. 10 points at the half, 12 going into the 4th quarter.

The way the Bulls have been playing at home lately, that lead was too much to overcome.

Derrick Rose scored 19 for the Bulls but he went 0-6 from three-point land.  Pau Gasol had another double-double, netting 13 points and 17 rebounds. Aaron Brooks came off the bench to add 17 points and Taj Gibson had a solid game with 11 points and 8 rebounds.  However, the Bulls failed to put together a rally and cut into the lead. This was a game that could have been won, had the Bulls been on their game however they weren't and lost another tough one at the United Center.

Now Chicago heads west for a 6 game road trip that may have Conference standing implications.

Mike Dunleavy might return to the lineup but it remains to be seen if the Bulls can sustain an aggressive defense and score timely points. They don't have to score over 100 points a game to win.....just more than the other team.