That was a rough one. Do we even need to talk about it?
The Chicago Bulls (3-6) shut the Hawks down and got themselves back in the win column Wednesday night, winning 113-93. The Hawks fell to 3-4 on the season, with a daunting West Coast road trip looming on the horizon.
“This is where you really have to grind and dig in,” head coach Lloyd Pierce said. “This is similar to what we’ll experience on the road. West Coast, first time out, similar to back-to-backs.”
For the Bulls, six players finished the game with 10 or more points. Tomáš Satoranský led the way, as he scored 27 points and flirted with a triple-double, recording seven assists and eight rebounds. The Czech international put together a rare offensive masterclass.
“[The team] was hurting from the way the [Lakers] game ended last night,” Bulls head coach Jim Boylen said. “I think they held on to the things that we did well and I’m just really happy for them, proud of them.”
The Bulls beat the buzzer twice in the contest. Satoranský drained a corner 3-pointer at the end of the first half and Ryan Arcidiacono followed suit, hitting a 2-pointer at the end of the third quarter.
Along with Coby White, who scored 10 points off the bench, the former Villanova star Boylen solid minutes off the bench.
“We put it all together tonight, in both halves,” White said. “We played for all 48 minutes; we had to bounce back from last night, and it was a great win.”
Let’s start with the few positives, although Pierce was quick to shoot down any thought of a positive takeaway.
“We stunk together,” Pierce said. While he does not say it often, Pierce noted that the team truly looked young throughout the contest.
Jabari Parker arguably had another good showing, as the forward continues to prove his worth to the team. He finished with 18 points and five rebounds in 29 minutes. The loss of John Collins will be tough to handle, but Parker’s recent performances are hopefully a sign of more to come.
“[Parker] can do that in his sleep,” Pierce said. “There’s no positives.”
A circus performance from the free throw line, courtesy of Thaddeus Young, drew the loudest cheer of the evening. The forward’s airball on the first attempt really seemed to amuse those inside State Farm Arena, who had very little to cheer about throughout the contest.
And a fan came agonizingly close to knocking down a halfcourt shot for $10,000, but fell just short, as his effort bounced off the front rim and out. Hey, it was fun to watch, but rather summed up the evening.
Time to get critical for a minute, though. Turnovers killed Pierce’s men. The Hawks finished with 24 on the night and never found a rhythm on offense.
“The worst part about tonight’s turnovers [is] we were on the break,” Pierce said. “Our turnovers summed up our night.”
On the offensive side, rookies Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter took a major step back after their impressive performances Tuesday night.
Trae Young also struggled heavily, as he shot 0-for-8 from three-point range and finished with only nine points of his own. Last season, Young dropped 49 points on the Bulls. It was clear from the first tip that Chicago was out for revenge.
“[Chicago] is not going to let Trae have an easy game the rest of his career,” Pierce said.
After Satoranský threw down a powerful one-handed jam with about 7 minutes left to go in the contest, the crowd had seen enough, and began to clear out of the arena.
It was an ugly one. For Vince Carter, who finished the contest with a season-high 14 points, Wednesday’s loss presents the younger players with a perfect opportunity to learn some lessons and continue to grow.
“It’s a learning tool for us, understanding how to prepare after a great win and not resting on your laurels,” Carter said.
The Hawks take on the Sacramento Kings Friday night back at State Farm Arena.