Rapid Reaction: Hornets 89, Bulls 82
November, 3, 2012
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Let's take a quick look at how the New Orleans Hornets earned a surprising 89-82 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night at the United Center.
How it happened: Greivis Vasquez led New Orleans with 18 points as the Hornets played solid defense on the Bulls most of the night. Luol Deng paced Tom Thibodeau's bunch with 19 points, but it was not enough as the Bulls simply couldn't find any rhythm offensively. On Friday night in Cleveland, the Bulls shot 64 percent and seemed as if they couldn't miss. On the second night of a back-to-back, they let an undermanned Hornets team, playing without Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon, outwork them -- a fact Thibodeau will not be happy about. The Bulls couldn't buy a bucket.
What it means: Without Derrick Rose, this is the new reality for the Bulls. There will be some nights where they simply can't score. Rose was always the safety net for this group when it couldn't find the basket. The Bulls must find a way to create points while Rose rehabs his knee, something they struggled with throughout Saturday night's game. This was the biggest fear for the Bulls' brass before the season and something they must face head on. As a group, the Bulls looked frustrated. Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli and Taj Gibson played pretty well off the bench, but the starters have to set a better tone from beginning to end.
Stat of the night: Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Rip Hamilton and Kirk Hinrich were a combined 8-for-38 from the field.
Hits: Belinelli played his best game as a Bull. He had 13 points and looked much more comfortable on the floor.
Misses: Aside from Deng, the Bulls' starters did not play well. As a team, the Bulls shot just 33 percent from the field.
What's next: The Bulls have the day off Sunday. They'll be back on the practice floor Monday afternoon before playing host to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday.