Portland Trail Blazers vs. Chicago Bulls
Last night, the Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls faced off in Portland. The Bulls had a thrilling comeback against a Portland Trail Blazer team that has started this season with a tough schedule. Coming into this game, the Blazers had faced four playoff teams from last year, plus the Golden State Warriors.
The Blazers got an easier matchup with the Bulls last night, and seemingly they went up by 20 points in the first quarter. However, the Bulls fought back, and Zach LaVine sealed the game with a late three-pointer to secure the Bulls’ fourth win of the season.
Damian Lillard went cold in the second half of the game when the Blazers needed him most. Lillard had 13 points in the first quarter and ended the game with just 24/1/9. He shot 35% from the field and 27.2% from distance in this one. He made a deep and heavily contested inbound three to keep the game within one point, but it was not enough for the Blazers.
C.J McCollum took advantage of the Bulls’ weak on-ball defense when he got matchups from Coby White or even Garrett Temple, who is one of the Bulls’ better defenders. McCollum had another strong night from the field, with 26/5/4, shooting 47.6% from the field and 42.9% from behind the arc.
Robert Covington had a big night shooting 50% from the field and 47% from three. He added 14 points in this game, after averaging just over seven points per game this season. He also added a steal and a block to his night. Covington was big for them in guarding LaVine and keeping him to low offensive numbers.
The Blazers struggled with shooting from the field last night. They shot 41.2% from the field but shot an impressive team 37.3% from behind the arc. The Trail Blazers are one of the most prolific and efficient three-point shooting teams, and it showed last night.
Again, the Blazers continued to do what they do best. They recorded eight steals on defense against the Bulls and committed just 11 turnovers too. They have the fourth-best assist-turnover ratio in the NBA, and last night they recorded a healthy 2.09 A/T ratio.
Overall, the Blazers failed to breakdown their one-on-one matchups on defense. They allowed seven Bulls players to score in double figures last night, including all of the starters. They played well offensively, but they were inefficient in converting their opportunities.
Zach LaVine was the biggest highlight for the Bulls last night, posting 18/4/9 off of 33.3% shooting from the field and 30% shooting from distance. Lavine had a tough night with shooting, but he continued to make plays when the Bulls needed him too. Lavine had 8 of his 9 assists in the first half of the game. On the last play, he caught Derrick Jones Jr. lacking off the high screen and made him pay with a three.
Coby White was an underlying hero for the Bulls last night. Coby struggled a bit in the first half with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists – shooting 36.3% from the field in the first half. In the second half, he posted 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists and shot 57% from the field. Coby never lost confidence in shooting the ball, even when he got cold.
The Bulls’ bench really helped them out in their win last night. Thaddeus Young put up 10 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists and shot 50% from the field. Young also put in work defensively, taking two charges in the first quarter. Garrett Temple came alive from the arc shooting 4/9 and adding 14 points on the night.
The Bulls’ starters had a huge night, having all five of them score in double figures and having nearly three double-doubles. Otto Porter Jr. added 19/13 from 50% shooting from the field. Rookie Patrick Williams added 14 points on 62.5% shooting. Wendell added 13 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in just 25 minutes of play.
The Bulls shot 44.4% from the field last night. More impressively, they shot 39% from behind the arc as a team. This season they have shot just 36.1% from three, but they matched the Blazers’ intensity from three and outplayed them in their own game. Even more so, they outshot the Blazers from the free-throw line too. The Bulls shot 83.3% from the line while the Blazers shot 64.7%.
The Trail Blazers will continue to have an easier schedule coming up for them. They will play the Timberwolves, Kings (twice), and Raptors in their next four games. The Blazers are 3-4 on the season and have the eighth-best record in the west. Their backcourt is still balling out, but they need to start involving everyone to secure games.
The Bulls came away with a big win in this one. They are the first team this season to come back from a 20-point deficit and win a game. The Bulls have the Kings on Wednesday night, but they have the Lakers, Clippers, and Celtics after that. The Bulls are now 4-4 on the season after a win last night.