Bulls Get Reality Check In Rout By Raptors

Chicago shot just 29.9 percent in a 108-84 loss in its home opener.

Cody Westerlund
October 26, 2019 - 10:33 pm

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- After playing a pair of bottom feeders in opening their season with a split, the Bulls were humbly reminded Saturday of the long climb they face back to respectability.

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Chicago was crushed 108-84 by the defending champion Toronto Raptors in its home opener at the United Center, losing control of the game in the middle of the second quarter and struggling to find an offensive rhythm at any point. The Bulls shot an abysmal 29.9 percent overall and 25.7 percent on 3-pointers (9-of-35).

 “Sometimes we get distracted in 'The ball’s not going in for me' instead of, 'That’s part of it and I got to do the other things better – and it’ll come back to me,'” coach Jim Boylen said. “That’s the learning moment. That’s what a young team has to learn.

“It’s about our maturity in those moments when it’s not going our way. For some reason, we stopped doing what we were supposed to do.”

The Bulls had performed well offensively in their first two games, posting 125 points in a loss to the Hornets and 110 in a win against the Grizzlies. The Raptors presented an entirely different challenge. Although they lost star Kawhi Leonard and starter Danny Green in free agency, they returned the rest of their key players and displayed foundation of a defense that was a top-five unit a season ago and the bedrock of a championship team.

No Bulls player scored more than 12 points, with that total coming from Wendell Carter Jr., who also had 11 rebounds. Zach LaVine scored 11 points and shot just 4-of-13 one night after he scored 37. and Otto Porter Jr.'s struggles continued as he scored nine points on 2-of-7 shooting and had to leave to game to get stitches in his mouth after taking a elbow. Rookie Coby White cooled off with eight points on 3-of-14 shooting.

“You try to be aggressive,” Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky said. “They were in the deep drops, so that kind of gives you the open looks in the mid-range shots. You don’t want to settle for that. You try to get to the rim. We missed some easy ones even when we were aggressive. We kind of stopped doing that, and I think that worked for them. We settled for the jump shot, and they stopped us from sharing the ball.”

Boylen has often referenced the Bulls’ need to display heart for the city and their fans after they went a franchise-worst 9-32 at home last season. Assessing the ugly home opener, he used the term “disappointed” to describe the performance while adding he was “not discouraged.”

Assessing it all, he came to the conclusion that the Bulls “mentally and physically have to compete for longer stretches.”

It’s a refrain that Satoransky echoed.

“We’re still learning to play together,” Satoransky said. “There’s some moments, we have to learn to handle them together. It’s a new team, new system. So there’s going to be those moments.”

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.