The Bulls gave up a season-high 130 points in their blowout loss to the Hornets in Charlotte on Tuesday night. Afterwards, forward Jimmy Butler voiced his displeasure over his team’s effort on the defensive end.
“We ain’t been playing no defense,” a frustrated Butler said after the game. “Other teams have just been missing shots to tell you the truth, to be honest. [Shoot] we score enough points, that’s not the problem. But when you don’t stop nobody, they put up 130 or whatever they did, we got to nip that in the bud now because that’s not winning basketball. It will never be winning basketball here and it never has been winning basketball here. We’ve always prided ourself on playing hard and not being pretty. Tonight, we were pretty, we were soft. Got our asses whipped.”
For the Hornets, it was their first win of the season after they had dropped their first three games, and they scored at least 30 points in every quarter. That would have seemed unheard of against a Bulls team from recent years under former coach Tom Thibodeau. But under new head coach Fred Hoiberg, it’s clear the defense has not yet reached the lofty standards set by the previous regime.
“Effort will fix all of that,” said Butler. “It’s all if you want to do it or not, to tell you the truth…Speaking for myself, speaking for a lot of guys on this team, we got to guard. That’s where it’s got to start for us. We got to be the dogs that everybody in Chicago knows we are, we’ve always been. Just some hard-playing guys that play harder than everybody.”
Butler was quick to group himself in with his team’s poor showing on Tuesday, but to be fair, he was one of the few Bulls who came to play, as he scored 26 points in only 32 minutes, and at times seemed like the only player guarding anyone.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Bulls this week, as Oklahoma City comes to town on Thursday for a nationally-televised game on TNT.