Chicago Bulls: Season-opening beat down not the end of the world

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Despite a rough outing, the Chicago Bulls’ season opener is just one game.

It was just one game, and one game is all the Chicago Bulls should treat it as. In their 2020-2021 season opener against the Atlanta Hawks, the Bulls were routed. The final score of 124-104 did not even come close to depicting the full lashing Chicago received, as they were once down by 40 points.

But, for a team under a brand-new head coach, let’s give them some grace. It will take a bit of time before the Bulls get into a groove. Also remember, the Bulls weren’t entering this season with championship aspirations. At this point, if they were to shape up and squeak into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, this season would be a resounding success.

The Hawks came out on fire in this one and looked as though they couldn’t miss. Atlanta ended up shooting nearly 54 percent from the field, including 40 percent from deep. The Bulls, meanwhile, shot just over 41 percent on the night.

It was a tough first game for the likes of Coby White, whom fans were excited to see after the way he finished last season and how he looked in the preseason. White ended the game with only nine points on 2-for-11 shooting, including just 1-for-7 from three-point range. He did come up with seven assists, though.

In a bit of a surprise, rookie Patrick Williams started the game for Otto Porter, who came off the bench. This was certainly a positive. Williams looked comfortable just as he did in his preseason action. He ended his first regular season game with 16 points, four rebounds, one assists, one steal and one block while shooting 5-for-11 from the field.

Another positive from this one is how Lauri Markkanen looked overall. He only took nine shots but made six of them, as Markkanen finished with 21 points and knocked down 4-of-5 from long distance. If anything, a big takeaway for Markkanen is that on nights like this, he should keep shooting.

This was a rough first game for Chicago, and there’s only one direction they can go from here. It’s going to be difficult for a team to play any worse than seeing a 40-point deficit mid-game.

Billy Donovan should be able to take one major thing away from this game, and it was made clear by his starting center Wendell Carter. after the final buzzer. After the game was over, Carter simply said:

”I feel like tonight, none of us gave it our all.”

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Those are pretty blatant and powerful words from a guy who looked lost for much of the game. Donovan has a couple of days to get his guys ready for a December 26th battle against the Indiana Pacers. Just remember, this is one game. It’s time to move on.