Bulls take down Hawks

After beating the Indiana Pacers last night, the Bulls (20-10) fly to Atlanta to take on the Hawks (15-17). Their 1st meeting of the season and 1st of 2 this week.


Coming into the game the Bulls have no new injury/Protocols concerns (thankfully), where as there was talk of postponing it due to the Hawks having 11 players out due to Protocols. But an hour before tip off star guard Trae Young cleared Protocols and was able to play leaving 10 Hawks in Protocols. Bulls fans were certainly hoping for a big game from Zach LaVine who on his last visit to Atlanta dropped 50 points.


1ST HALF


Into the 1st and the Bulls drop a couple of early 3s, but the Hawks have control early leading by 9 at one point and they had no problem keeping it that way. The quarter finishes with the Bulls down 36-31 following a huge 3 from Troy Brown Jr with 2 seconds left. Trae Young ends the first quarter with 12 points, but DeMar DeRozan tops all scorers with 15. Bulls go 6/10 from 3, whilst the Hawks go 5/11.



Into the 2nd and the Bulls defense hopes to contain Young a little better. Bulls tie the game 5 minutes into the second quarter with Ayo Dosunmu getting the bucket followed by a huge block on Young. They finally get the lead at 8:30 minutes following a technical foul from Trae Young and the Bulls keep their foot down and finish the half with another huge buzzer beating bucket, this time from Zach LaVine. Halftime score Bulls 69-63 Hawks.


HALFTIME STATS

Bulls

  • LaVine 23 pts, 5 assists

  • DeRozan 21 pts, 5 assists

Hawks

  • Reddish 19 pts

  • Young 17 pts, 6 assists

One big take from the 1st half was Ayo Dosunmu's impact early. Coby White got the start but struggled with Trae Young as well as on offence. Dosunmu certainly flipped the script and despite 3 fouls seemed to slow Young down.


2ND HALF


Into the 3rd and Bulls will be hoping to start how they finished. However they go with the starting pair of White and Green, with Green on Young. White finds his scoring form dropping 2 early 3s helping the Bulls to a 10 point lead. White certainly came out looking like a different player influencing the game on both ends. Matt Thomas came off the bench and immediately dropped a 3 to give the Bulls their biggest lead of the game at 15, followed by another trey. The 3rd quarter finishes with the Bulls up 98-87 with the biggest takeaway being Coby White, who dropped 10 points and came away with 2 steals.



Fourth quarter and the Bulls wanted to finish this as early as possible but the Hawks come out fighting and keep it close. 8 minutes left and White picks up his 5th foul immediately followed by an 8 second violation by DeRozan and the Bulls seem to have lost focus. The game becomes a bit scrappy but the big 3 of LaVine, DeRozan and Vucevic help get it under control. A huge 3 from Vucevic using the full 24 seconds with 3 minutes left gives them a 10 point lead and with 1:19 left, Coby White returns to play with another dagger 3 putting the Bulls up 14. The final score of Bulls 130 - 118 gets them to 21-10 for the season.


POSTGAME STATS

  • DeRozan: 35pts/10ast/5reb

  • LaVine: 30pts/9ast/4reb/1stl

  • Vucevic: 24pts/17reb/6ast/4blk/1stl

  • White: 13pts/4reb/2stl

  • Thomas: 9pts/3reb/1ast/1stl

  • Dosunmu: 8pts/2ast/1blk

  • Brown Jr.: 7pts/3reb/1ast/1stl

  • Green: 2pts/6reb/1blk

  • Cook: 2pts/4reb

Final Takeaway


A game that people thought the Bulls would dominate didn't turn out that way as the Hawks kept it close throughout with Reddish and Young causing problems all game. Reddish had 33 points and went 8/13 from 3. From a Bulls perspective the big 3 of DeRozan, LaVine and Vucevic got it done stuffing the stat sheet in the process and Vucevic coming up with some big plays late.


A game of 2 half's for Coby White, 1st half he really seemed to struggle having to guard Trae Young. Second half they relieved him of that duty and his offence blossomed hitting 13 points including three 3's. Some good minutes from Matt Thomas really helped the Bulls finishing with 9 points, all from 3.



People will say this was an expected win for Bulls and maybe so, but at the end of the year it's only the W that counts, not who was on the court. Bulls take on the Hawks again Wednesday night in Chicago where it will probably be another tough game as maybe more Hawks return from Protocols


-Matt H (Twitter:@matthearn1)

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