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No Zach Lavine, No Problem for the Bulls: Week 6 Recap

The Bulls picked up two wins in a row after getting blown out in the final game of the In-Season Tournament against the Celtics (124-97). These two wins came without their leading scorer, Zach Lavine (right foot soreness). I just wrote an article last week about how the Bulls should trade Lavine and then see if they could deal Demar and Vucevic afterward, but maybe they would be fine just moving Zach? (Change Needed in Chicago: Breaking up the Big 3 (thirddownthursdays.com)) In these two games without Lavine, Chicago scored 120 points against the Bucks and 124 points against the Pelicans. They had only scored 120+ two times prior to that all season. The offense was fluid, with rarely any bad, out-of-rhythm shots taken. It now gives Bulls fans something to look forward to. Can they continue to build on this, or was it just a fluke?




11/28 - Boston Celtics

There's not much for Bulls fans to brag about here as they were dominated the whole game and lost 124-97. The defense didn't come into play (what's new?). All 5 of Boston's starters scored in double figures, and the Bulls gave up 21 threes. Not only did Chicago leave their defense at home, but they also left their offense. Even though they didn't perform well as a team, there has been a recurring bright spot for this team: Coby White. He scored 19 points (7-12 FG), followed by DeRozan, who also had 19 points (7-14 FG).


On the other hand, Zach Lavine shot the ball the worst he has this year. He had 2 points (1-9 FG) with a +/- of -22. This was his final game before his "right foot soreness." This might just be a way for the Bulls to rest Lavine before preparing to trade him. I think everyone in the organization knows his time in the windy city is coming to an end. The only issue is finding a trading partner to give the Bulls what they want.



11/30 - Milwaukee Bucks

The Bulls came into this game without their two leading scorers, Lavine (foot) and DeRozan (ankle). That didn't stop them from pulling off the upset, though, as they won an overtime thriller 120-113 against the Bucks. The Bulls trailed 55-49 at the half but turned it around big in the second half. They started the fourth quarter off on a 16-2 run, pulling away and eventually leading 103-96 with 1:26 left in the game. At this moment, everyone thought the game was over, but Milwaukee answered back in the blink of an eye. Giannis hammered a dunk, Malik Beasley hit a 3, and then Brook Lopez responded with another 3. Just like that, the Bulls found themselves down 104-103 with 21 seconds remaining. Pat Williams was then blocked by Giannis with 6 seconds to spare and was fouled after securing the rebound. Giannis made both, and the Bucks were now up 106-103. Vucevic found himself at the top of the key with the ball and handed it to Caruso, who fired a prayer up over Brook Lopez. It's Alex Caruso, though; what do you expect? Of course, he made it! He has been so clutch all year for this squad and came through again to send it to overtime. "I don't think it's that difficult because I shoot that a lot in the summer, playing open gym, and then playing in August, September when we come back with the guys," Caruso explained after hitting the tying shot. "I just don't get the opportunity to shoot a lot because usually I'm the guy taking the ball out." In overtime, it was all Chicago. Ayo Dosunmu hit a mid-range, followed by a pair of free throws from Vucevic and a dunk that put a stamp on it by Pat Williams.


"We knew with Zach and Demar out, there were gonna be obviously a handful of shots and minutes to go around," Caruso stated. Without their two star guards, the team put on arguably its best performance of the year. 8, I repeat, eight players scored in double figures for the Bulls. Vucevic led the way with an impressive 29 points (11-21 FG), ten rebounds, and six assists. He was followed by Coby White, who impressed once again with 23 points (7-20 FG), seven assists, and four rebounds. Coby has been amazing when he has total control of the ball. Ayo Dosunmu (14 points, three steals), Pat Williams (12 points, two steals), and Alex Caruso (11 points, two steals) rounded out the rest of the starting lineup. The bench came to play as well. Carter had 11 points, three steals, and a +/- of +22. Drummond was an animal on the boards, totaling 14 rebounds to go along with 10 points. And Torey Craig was the only other Bull to score, providing 10 points and eight rebounds.



12/2 - New Orleans Pelicans

Zach missed another game, but Demar came back for this one, and Chicago handled business again. They took care of the Pelicans 124-118. The Bulls found themselves in a similar predicament as in the last game. They trailed 61-53 going into halftime. However, Caruso left the game right before halftime due to a toe injury. Alex is the hustle of the team, and Bulls fans weren't sure what to expect coming out of the half. Well, they came out very strong. They outscored the Pelicans 36-21 in the third quarter. They were on a roll, but New Orleans continued to battle and fight back. The Bulls were up 4 points with 20 seconds left when the Pelicans tried to save a ball from going out of bounds. Coby White stole the pass and then threw a beautiful alley-oop to Pat Williams, who put a stamp on the game once again. "As long as I threw it up high enough that Valanciunas couldn't get it, I knew that Pat is so athletic and bouncy and springy that he could go get it", White said. "That's becoming his thing: ending the game with monster dunks."


Young star Coby White continued his dominance as he led the team with 31 points! He hit eight threes, grabbed nine boards, and dished out six assists. Demar had 24 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds in his first game back from injury. Pat Williams had 14 points, two blocks, and two steals. It has been nice to finally see the highly anticipated draft picks (Coby and Pat) start to blossom, resulting in wins. They also got some much-needed help from the bench yet again. Torey Craig had 15 points and six rebounds. Ayo Dosunmu had 15 points as well. And Andre Drummond totaled 7 points and eight rebounds. Having a collective unit that can rebound off the bench has been a huge factor in their wins. It is exciting to finally see the Bulls' offense come to life, and we'll see if they can carry it over in week 7.



Week 7 Opponents:

12/6 - Vs Hornets

12/8 - @Spurs



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