The Chicago Bulls have been on a roll in this year’s NBA Las Vegas Summer League having won their first two games against the Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets convincingly. Thus coming into last night’s game against the 0-2 Portland Trailblazers people expected the Bulls to once again bulldoze their opponents. That wasn’t the case.
Like the past two games the Bulls came out of the gate strong grabbing a double digit lead early. Though the team was missing Malcolm Thomas due to a sore ankle from Monday night’s 22 rebound performance, the team looked as if they were going to cruise to another victory behind the efforts of Erik Murphy, Tony Snell, and Marquis Teague. Unfortunately a broken nose forced Murphy out of the game in the middle of the first half. Already without Thomas the Bulls were forced to move Snell to a power forward position.
The Bulls were humiliated on the boards from that point on leading 22 rebound differential in favor of the Trailblazers. Behind the play of CJ McCollum, Portland fought their way back from a double digit deficit in the fourth quarter and forced overtime. Several key shots from Andrew Goudelock put the game away for the Bulls.
With the win the Bulls are now 3-0 and move onto the Las Vegas Summer League postseason as the second seed behind the Golden State Warriors.
- Tony Snell
Snell’s game was up and down last night. He managed to knock down several mid range jumpers, a floater, and some layups but for the most part his shot abandoned him last night. He managed to make up for this with good off ball movement, smart passing, and good overall defense.
- Erik Murphy
Murphy was on an absolute tear shooting wise before he was hit in the face on a put back attempt. Murphy’s shot was as smooth as silk last night as he went 4-of-6 from the floor with 2-of-3 coming from long range. What struck me as interesting last night was Murphy’s willingness to put the ball on the floor after pump faking scrambling defenders. It’ll be interesting to see if Murphy can become a three point threat not only as a spot up shooter in pick and pop situations, but also as someone who can shoot off of some dribbling.
- Andrew Goudelock
The magic is gone for Goudelock (for now). Last night he shot a poor 4-of-13 from the floor and barely managed to get into double digits. Often times he over-dribbled which led him to put up prayer shots, only one of which I remember going in. Goudelock likely didn’t hurt his stock and will still end up on another team, but let this be a reminder that volume shooters can lose their shot as quickly as they find it.
- Marquis Teague
Early on in last night’s game Teague started off a bit shaky. Some of his passes were forced, were bad, and looked out of rhythm. But he quickly regained his composure and imposed his will on the pace of the game. Once again he used his speed to blow by his opponents to get to the rim which led him to shooting 12 free throws on the night. The most unbelievable part of the night is easily the fact that Teague went 3-of-3 from long range including 2 late in the game keep Chicago ahead and showed some confidence in his shot.