The Chicago Bulls have a tough homestand ahead as they try to
break out of a dismal losing stretch, but their offensive woes
could be helped by facing the league’s worst defensive team.
The Bulls try to avoid a fifth straight loss Friday night when
they begin a stretch of six consecutive games at the United Center
with a matchup against the Golden State Warriors.
Chicago (7-13) is one of the NBA’s lowest-scoring teams at 90.6
points per game, and it’s been particularly inept offensively
recently, failing to reach 90 points in three of the last four.
After suffering a two-point loss to New Jersey, which came into
Chicago on Tuesday with a league-low one win, the Bulls had one of
their worst performances of the season in a 118-83 defeat at
Atlanta on Wednesday. Chicago shot a season-low 36.4 percent and
was outscored 31-15 in the third quarter after Atlanta opened the
second half on a 20-4 run.
The Bulls, who have lost nine of 10, also have struggled
defensively, allowing opponents to average 106.3 points in the last
10 games after yielding 91.8 in the first 10.
“Either you want it or you don’t,” said point guard Derrick
Rose, who scored 19 on Wednesday. “Hustle, if you want it. Rebound.
The score tonight speaks for itself. We’re just not playing
Rose and the Bulls have been outscored by an average of 20.8
points during the losing streak. They’ll try to rebound during this
homestand, but it won’t be easy, as Chicago will meet Boston and
the Los Angeles Lakers in its next two.
“We really need to stick together,” center Joakim Noah said. “I
think there’s enough character on this team for us to turn this
Chicago may have a chance to break out of its offensive slump
against Golden State, which is giving up a league-high 112.5 points
per game. The Warriors (7-14) had their four-game losing streak
snapped with a 105-89 win at New Jersey on Wednesday.
Monta Ellis scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half and
the Warriors scored 30 points off 22 turnovers.
“Tonight was a great show of it from what we really have and the
talent we have,” Ellis said. “If we just stay together, we can just
grind it and keep playing hard and play together, we can turn this
Ellis, who came in averaging 31.0 points in the previous nine
games, was one of six players who finished with double figures in
scoring. Center Mikki Moore had a season-high 16 points, making
eight of 12 field goals.
“We can’t just rely on Monta to score 50 points every night.
That’s one thing that’s going to be wear and tear,” Moore said. “By
the time he gets to the All-Star break, he’s going to be
handicapped. I think we’re starting to learn our roles. It’s
helping out everybody.”
The Warriors have lost three straight to the Bulls and seven of
the last eight in Chicago. The Bulls averaged 112.5 points in the
two meetings last season.