The Chicago Bulls have suffered five losses so far this season, and although those defeats have been disappointing, they’ve also been a little bit encouraging to fans as well.
After starting off the year with an impressive 3-1 record, the Bulls have lost four of their last six contests (as of Monday night), including their 21-point blowout defeat to the Clippers and most recently, an eight-point loss to the Blazers on the road.
While five losses may sound like a lot at this point, it really isn't, seeing that superstar Derrick Rose hasn't played a minute for the Bulls since April (ACL injury).
Here are a few positive things pertaining to the Bulls’ losses thus far.
The Bulls really should have won this game, especially since the Hornets were without their two best players in Eric Gordon and rookie phenom Anthony Davis.
On a positive note, Chicago trumped New Orleans in six different categories. The Bulls were better in terms of offensive rebounds (15 to the Hornets’ nine), assists (21-13) and steals (11-7).
The Bulls also had fewer turnovers (12 to the Hornets’ 16), more fast break points (21-17) and more points in the paint (38-32).
Instead of getting blown out of the gym, the Bulls proved they can hang with the Oklahoma City Thunder, falling 97-91 to the defending Western Conference champs.
The Bulls outscored OKC 25-18 in the third quarter but just didn’t have enough to get past the Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook-led squad.
Chicago grabbed more total rebounds (41 to OKC’s 38) and offensive rebounds (12-8).
Luol Deng was phenomenal in the losing effort, dropping a season-high 27 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field. He also knocked down three of his six attempts from three-point land.
And don’t forget about “Old Man Rivers” Richard Hamilton, who poured in a season-best 20 points for Chicago.
Bulls rookie Marquis Teague hasn't seen the floor much at all this year.
In fact, the former Kentucky Wildcat has played in just a handful of games and is averaging six minutes per contest (as of Monday night).
However, due to a Kirk Hinrich injury, Teague played a career-high 18 minutes in the loss to the Boston Celtics. He finished the game with five points, three rebounds, two assists and shot 1-for-4 from the field as well as 3-for-4 from the foul line.
No, he didn't put up mind-boggling stats, but he looked as if he belongs on an NBA court.
Following the game, Celtics All-Star Rajon Rondo had nothing but nice things to say about Teague, according to ESPN Chicago.
It's good confidence for a young player to be playing when the game's on the line. I think he played maybe the last seven minutes. That shows a lot of confidence with him and (Bulls coach Tom) Thibodeau. He’s a good player.
He's a confident player. He's been a winner all his life. He won at Kentucky, so I don't think he shies away from confidence. He's ready when his name is called. He got to the cup a couple times, drew some fouls. For a player that young, your confidence just grows and grows.
Chicago suffered an embarrassing 101-80 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers out in Southern California.
There aren’t many positive things you can say about getting whooped that badly. However, look on the bright side, at least it was against one of the league’s better ball clubs.
And remember that the Bulls were without their Alpha Dog Derrick Rose, who produced 29 points, 16 assists and eight boards in a win over the Clippers last season.
If Chicago had D-Rose in the lineup, they just might have knocked off the Clips once again this season.
Chicago lost to the Portland Trail Blazers 102-94 one day after getting crushed in L.A. by the red-hot Clippers.
Although the Bulls came up short against Portland, they did outscore them in the paint 54-34, which isn't bad at all. They also had more total rebounds, assists, steals and blocks than the Blazers.
In the losing effort, Joakim Noah showed why he deserves to make his first-ever All-Star team this season. The Bulls starting center flirted with a triple-double, recording 16 points, 15 rebounds and a point guard-like eight assists.
In addition, the Bulls’ bench played well, putting up 37 points. Nate Robinson scored 18 points, Taj Gibson added 11 and second-year forward Jimmy Butler chipped in with eight.