The Chicago Bulls started this week on a high note, beating the Phoenix Suns 124-116 on Wednesday night, but finished the week losing both games of a Friday/Saturday back-to-back against the Miami Heat (103-96) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (111-96). The Bulls continue to miss their injured comrades, but some solace should be taken in the improved play of Jabari Parker.
Parker scored over 20 points in each of the 3 games this week. His offensive outburst has helped spark a renewal of energy from Zach LaVine, who also scored over 20 points in each of this weeks games. Parker took some of the pressure off of LaVine; when Jabari is scoring opponents can’t just focus on stopping Zach. Even with these improvements, the season is still slipping away…
Speaking of seasons slipping away, bad news for Denzel Valentine! He will miss the remainder of the season due to his bum ankle. Valentine will have surgery on the offending joint in hopes that it won’t be so janky in the future. It was also a rough week for rookie Chandler Hutchison. He sat out all three games this week, first suffering from, and then recovering from, back spasms. Let’s hope the rook feels better soon.
Good news for Lauri Markkanen! He has started practicing with “controlled contact.” He is well on his way to full health, but the Bulls don’t seem to be rushing his come back.
Hoiberg said Lauri Markkanen had good 2-on-2 workout with “controlled contact” in Chicago.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 24, 2018
Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis both seem to be steadily recovering as well. No setbacks have been reported, yet, so keep those fingers crossed.
MVP of the Week: Jabari Parker (2)
Sure his defense still sucks, but at least he has been giving some effort! On offense, Parker didn’t settle for nearly as many jumpers as he had been during the first handful of weeks to start the season. He made a concerted effort to drive into the lane and score at the rim. He focused, this week, on getting points in the paint and it really worked out for Parker and the Bulls. He also scored throughout the entire game, not just during the first quarter or half. He is finally in playing shape, and has been sustaining his effort all the way to the end of games. Parker also seems to have gotten use to his new teammates and Hoiball. He looks more comfortable on the court, he’s settled in and producing. It’s certainly been nice to cheer for Jabari doing good things, instead of hoping he gets benched.
Stat of the Week: 31
That’s the Bulls team record for consecutive games with a made three pointer. The record was solely held by Kirk Hinrich, but is now shared with Justin Holiday after he hit a three pointer (he actually hit 4 three pointers) in Saturdays loss to the Timberwolves. Holiday has been lighting it up from 3 point land this season, shooting 40% from beyond the arc. He’s averaging just over 3 makes on over 7 three’s attempted per game, that’s the most he’s ever made or attempted per game in his career. Holiday just needs to hit a three against the Spurs on Monday, and he will take possession of the team record. At the rate he is shooting and making threes this season, I’m guessing he will succeed in breaking Captain Kirk’s record.
That’s it for this update. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I am thankful that people continue to read my blog posts. This week will be business as usual, so expect a Wednesday post. There might be some scheduling shenanigans as we head into the Holiday Season, but for now it should be the regular Wednesday and Sunday posts we’ve all come to expect. Thanks for reading and Go Bulls!