Game 7 (Preseason): Chicago Bulls (3-4) lose to Atlanta Hawks (5-2), 97-81
Oct. 20, 2016
CenturyLink Center Omaha – Omaha, Nebraska
The Bulls had a difficult time on offense throughout the entirety of the game. They only posted 20-plus points in two quarters, and even then it was at most 23 points. Those deficiencies, along with the Bulls’ inability to defend the Hawks well, set them up to lose in their preseason finale.
Player of the Game
The CenturyLink Center Omaha opened in September 2003, so Kyle Korver was already in the NBA, thus making Thursday night’s game his first time playing in the arena. The arena may have been new to him, but the Creighton fan-filled crowd was not, and he gave them a treat with his 16-point performance on 6-for-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 shooting on 3-pointers.
The Bulls had their flaws, but Taj Gibson still had a good individual performance. His was the best of his team: 12 points and nine rebounds for a near double-double with 5-of-10 shooting from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 on free throws. He also added a block and had just one turnover.
The Bulls could barely make a field goal, connecting on less than a third of their shots. Meanwhile, they allowed the Hawks to hover around the halfway mark, making 47.1 percent of their buckets.
After the game, Doug McDermott mentioned how the team didn’t like the rims at the arena:
McDermott:"Fred joked after the game: ‘How’d you score so many points in here?’ We couldn’t make a shot. Everyone complained about the rims"
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 21, 2016
Not only were the Bulls outworked on the offensive end, but they couldn’t match the Hawks’ effort on the glass either. Of the Hawks’ 55 rebounds, 48 of them were defensive rebounds, which was already three more than what the Bulls posted for the night as a whole.
Both teams’ benches were pretty evenly matched numerically speaking, but the Hawks’ second unit featured more even scoring. Four Atlanta players scored at least five points while McDermott and Portis were the lone Bulls bench players to score five or more points.
Inactive Players/Injury Report
Denzel Valentine and Nikola Mirotic sat out Thursday’s game. Valentine is still recovering from a sprained ankle but was on the Bulls bench. Mirotic strained his lower back in Monday’s game and didn’t make the trip to Omaha.
The Bulls will start the regular season Thursday, Oct. 27 against the Boston Celtics.
Ashley is the owner/editor of The Bulls Charge. Follow her on Twitter at @wijangco12.