The Chicago Bulls had a good stretch of games before the albatross around their necks showed up yet again. It was an embarrassing end to a rather close-knit affair in last night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder (97-85), as the Bulls closed off the game with one of their weaker offensive stints in recent memory. Chicago ended the game with a 34.5 field goal shooting percentage.
Now, if the Bulls want to be regarded as a serious title-contending team looking to make a serious push towards the playoffs, these offensive struggles need to be fixed, or else this whole late-season surge would have been for naught.
While the Bulls’ offense never really got off the ground, their most glaring weakness showed up in the final quarter. Despite a strong start to the fourth, going 8-0 and bringing the game to within one, the Bulls’ offense went dark for the remainder of the quarter, as shot after shot missed the rim completely.
Chicago had this one chance to prove their worth to a likely NBA Finals contending team, but they tripped up before the final buzzer rang.
But that isn’t to say that last night was a complete loss. For one, the Thunder are one of the best teams in the NBA right now, so a victory against them was going to be a struggle. Additionally, their team star Kevin Durant has been consistently impressive this year; he ended the game with 35 points and 12 rebounds.
One good thing to take from last night’s game is how Chicago never faltered. Other teams would have folded against the combined mastery of Durant and coach Scott Brook‘s game plan, but the Bulls kept on.
Chicago has what it takes to go far in the league, that much is certain, but games like these just make it evident that they are not operating on all cylinders. They need to find a cure for their offensive woes, and the sooner the better.