Bulls collide with scroll saw, lose by 32 to Pacers at United Center

Throw the video of Monday’s game in the trash.

No need to cut it up for a movie or even talk about it before the Bulls leave for Houston on Tuesday.

That’s not to say there were no lessons to be learned from the embarrassing 109-77 loss to the Pacers at United Center, and coach Billy Donovan will be watching his side’s reaction closely.

“We’re not getting the game back, but there is a standard that we expect to play,” Donovan said afterwards. “I’m not taking anything away from Indiana; they played well on both sides of the field. I think what we learn from this and how we respond to it will be important. How do we get from here to there? I’ve never been the type to say, ‘Rinse it out, that didn’t happen.’ No, it happened. In an 82-game schedule, nights like this happen. ”

The NBA calendar features trap games throughout a season, whether it’s the second in a row, games after long trips out west, or just an opposing team with a chip on. the shoulder.

In the case of the game against the Pacers, the Bulls were against it all.

Then again, the Bulls also see themselves as an elite Eastern Conference team. This means understanding that shooting nights take place, but that they shouldn’t dictate all of the energy in the game.

This was the case for the Bulls (12-6), however, and it was evident from the opening point.

A three-point shot from the Pacers’ Justin Holiday greeted the Bulls to start the night. But after a jumper from DeMar DeRozan and a three-point shot from Zach LaVine, it appeared the Bulls were ready to thwart another opponent’s game plan.

The Pacers had different ideas though, putting a shell on LaVine and DeRozan whenever they had the ball and using a heavy dose of zonal defense, daring the other Bulls to attack. Big man Tony Bradley did it for a while, doing back-to-back shots over the edge midway through the first quarter before things quickly fell apart.

At the end of the quarter, the Bulls were down 31-16. They allowed the Pacers to shoot 54.2% from the field and 4 for 10 from three points in the quarter and 31.8% from the field and 1 for 8 behind the arc themselves. They were also passed 17-8.

At the end of the first half, the Bulls were down by 21.

“It wasn’t something they hadn’t shown,” Donovan said of the Pacers’ zone. I don’t really think we attacked very well. We haven’t moved around enough in space. It was not something we did not expect. We felt like it was going to happen and we could have done a better job than we did. ”

The Bulls ended the game with 13 assists – proof of their stagnation in their offense – and Donovan didn’t want to use goalie Alex Caruso (bruised wrist) as an excuse for a late scratch.

Caruso’s defense would have helped, but the Pacers still shot 41.9% from three points and passed the Bulls 59-38.

“I just had a bad day,” said LaVine. “Lose by 30 or lose by two, you always lose. Just take it as a learning experience. I think they hit us first, and we couldn’t answer them. And they just kept going. Offensively, defensively, we just didn’t have it.

Now he’s back on the road for the Bulls, but against much less competition in the Rockets and Magic.

If there was any good news, Donovan said center Nikola Vucevic would travel with the team, but his status as a player upon his return from a coronavirus fight is still unknown.


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