Bulls trounced again, but concern focused on LaVine injury

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • The Bulls followed up Wednesday's miserable second half against Brooklyn with a dismal first half against Golden State on Friday. The Bulls lost 138-96 and will await the diagnosis of Zach LaVine's first-quarter knee injury.

    The Bulls followed up Wednesday's miserable second half against Brooklyn with a dismal first half against Golden State on Friday. The Bulls lost 138-96 and will await the diagnosis of Zach LaVine's first-quarter knee injury. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/14/2022 10:36 PM

While the Bulls were getting drilled on their home court for the second time in three nights, the question of "How could it get any worse" had already been answered.

The Bulls lost all-star Zach LaVine to right knee injury early in the game and were blown out of the United Center by Golden State 138-96 on Friday.

 

After the game, the Bulls didn't know a lot about LaVine's condition, only that he would have an MRI on Saturday and wouldn't be joining the team on a flight to Boston.

"I haven't talked to him," teammate DeMar DeRozan said. "As soon as I get on the plane, I'm going to give him a call. I didn't see what happened. It was a shock to all of us. Hopefully he's all right. Definitely will check on him once I get out of here."

The theory is LaVine hurt the knee when he landed after grabbing an offensive rebound at the 8:57 mark of the first quarter. About 30 seconds later, he took an intentional foul and immediately walked toward the locker room, without any noticeable limp.

With most serious knee injuries, something can usually be detected, even a slight wobble which is a possible indication of an ACL tear. But there wasn't anything based on observation of the incident that would raise cause for alarm. There were early reports the Bulls feel some confidence that it's not a serious injury.

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"I think he came down for an offensive rebound maybe and just felt some discomfort," coach Billy Donovan said. "I think after that he tried maybe to play a little bit and was dealing with some pain in his knee and didn't feel quite right. I haven't spoken to him since the game ended."

When it comes to the game, it was just a brutal performance by the Bulls. Golden State was blown out in Milwaukee on Thursday and came back with a vengeance. The Bulls came back from their ugly loss to Brooklyn with nothing.

Here are the horrid numbers: Over four consecutive quarters, the Bulls were outscored 154-89. That includes 78-47 in the first half against Golden State and 76-42 in the second half against Brooklyn on Wednesday.

The 276 points given up were the most by a Bulls team since the second and third games of the 1982-83 season, when they allowed 143 to Washington and 152 to Detroit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

All that was missing was Tim Floyd saying the Bulls couldn't have beaten a snappy junior high team. Or maybe Jim Boylen scheduling a practice for the next morning.

"Clearly, we're going to have to play harder, we're going to have to fight more with where our team is at right now," Donovan said. "I feel like we're not in a position to have our offense dictate our defense."

Steph Curry was merely Golden State's fourth-leading scorer. Rookie Jonathan Kuminga led with 25, Jordan Poole scored 22, Andrew Wiggins had 21 and Curry 19. Coby White led the Bulls with 20.

"Compete level's got to be high every time we step out there on the court," DeRozan said. "We just got our butt kicked two nights in a row. Now it's about how we respond. Going on the road tonight, play Boston tomorrow in a hostile environment, we're going to see what we're made of.

"Nobody's going to come save the day. It's on us to go out there and step up. These two games should be all the motivation we need to step up, play hard, play for one another."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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